February 19, 2015

Camwhores. Babbling. I has a sad. :o(

Yesterday Camwhores.com, where I have had my webcam exclusively for 14 years and where practically every single one of my friends come from, made a public announcement saying that they will be shutting down the site as of March 17th. I’ve talked with Kevin and there’s nothing to be done, it’s just time. A lot of people have been talking about building new portals or new communities so we all stay together but knowing what I do about what it took to make Camwhores work, I’m not very optimistic anything will last very long. I think the idea that shows the most promise is the subreddit Belinda set up, but I’m not really that much into Reddit so I can’t say if I’ll be in there much. I’ll definitely try. I know I won’t be posting nude cam pics, if I am, because the best part about CW for me, was that all my nudes and shows and sexual anythings were “contained” in one place where all of that was appropriate and inaccessible to minors. I don’t want sex stuff on my site and there’s no such thing anymore as a 30 second refreshing still cam portal. Camwhores was the the first and last one. And even if there was, honestly, I doubt I would trust it unless I knew the person running it. (And anyone I can think of who I’d trust wouldn’t be able to pull it off, I’m fairly sure.)

I’m fucking sad and I can’t stop crying.  I had the realization today that since Camwhores is the ONLY place I cammed, if it doesn’t exist, I guess I’m not a camgirl anymore. :o/

A lot of girls will go to MyFreeCams.com and probably make more money, but for some of us, it was never ever about money. And me? I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate streaming video. Loathe. I don’t like watching myself move and talk and hear myself, like I just can’t deal. But at the same time, I can’t not watch. The other thing is that MFC has a lot of trolls who are gonna make fun of me because I have a space between my teeth or because of my scar or because they’re just assholes out to ruin a girl’s day and I did the dealing with those kinds of trolls 15 years ago when the internet was much smaller and my reputation was a lot bigger and I am way too grown to step into that arena and get “rolled in” again. And for what? It’s not like I *have* to show off my body or I can’t live or anything. It’s just that sometimes you wanna post a pic on the internet of (a) body part(s) you can’t show on Instagram or Facebook. Even though we’re all friends, being on CW was/is partly performance, you’re in the spotlight while doing a show, with a totally appreciative audience who all know it’s better to leave for 20 minutes, than to say anything negative because they will be banned for various lengths of time to indefinitely. To express your negative opinion of a camwhore, members could vote them minus or vote all of their pictures 1s (on a scale of 1-10). There was a healthy outlet built into our community for negative feelings and as simple as it was, most of the time it was enough. In recent history, the only egregious thing I can recall is a member got really drunk and went on an awful tirade in chat about one of our girls, who I think was even live at the time, and he had to be given a timeout. But what did he do when his ban was over and he came back? He wrote a sincere public apology to the girl by way of CW’s blogs and while I forget if she actually accepted it, that’s the kind of gestures that could happen in our Camwhores community completely organically. You are never going to find a community on the internet that moderated itself so well, with very few people actually having the ability to moderate. Especially not one that grew out of the E/N scene. (I actually only know of one person from the E/N scene A) still doing E/N basically and B) making a decent living at it, but some people I know are primed and ready for it to come back.)

There is nowhere on the internet where you can post a picture straight from your webcam, let alone a nude, let alone the most explicit nude you can think of. You can post nudity on Twitter but my mom’s on my Twitter. She was probably okay with naked tree pose last week but I doubt she’d be happy knowing the precise colour of my labia. And the picture I *was* gonna post on Camwhores 2 days ago that would be totally within site rules but decided against because I had an ingrown hair and it wouldn’t be perfect enough, would almost definitely get me perma-banned from Twitter. And we all know Facebook and Instagram are lame when it comes to nudity in even ART. My friend and fellow artist Ana Voog has been suspended from Facebook a million times for posting artwork barely featuring nudity, it’s ridiculous. I get wanting to keep Facebook a SFW place, I agree with that and think it should be what it is, but when we’re banning art and breastfeeding, something’s fucking wrong with us. And of course there’s Instagram whose most famous hashtag is #freethenipple. Need I say more on  that one? (I like to covertly insert my boobs and nether regions into Instagram. Only I know it’s there or what it is, but it’s there dammit.) You can get naked on tumblr. Yes. Yes, you can. Tumblr is basically the 2nd last place on the internet I’d like to be, with 4chan taking home the prize. Tumblr just confuses me and ruins all the shows I watch because I download or record them and watch them later and how some of these people get gifs BEFORE the show airs, I have no idea, but tumblr is just a spoiler minefield so I avoid it at all costs. I realize I can stop following these people but sometimes I like seeing the gifs. Anyway, the tumblr community freaks me out and it’s a shitty place to actually communicate with people so that’s just a great big “no”.

So that pretty much leaves LiveJournal – which is totally fine with nudity but a bloody tampon is “obscene”, as Ana found out over a decade ago – and my site. You can’t make a webcam page on LiveJournal. I have a webcam page on my site, but it just tells you to go to Camwhores with a brief description of what I do there and approximately when. If I could change that page, and I only say “if” because it’s a WordPress page, so that my cam image updates every 30 seconds (maybe longer since it won’t be like CW), no archives and there’s a little chat thingy on the page, that would be good. Ideally the chat thingy would be one that you can pop out of the page or one that makes sounds when people talk and one where you can definitely ban people. In my brain, this sounds like an impossible thing, maybe to someone else it sounds simple. I dunno. A bonus to having a cam on my site is that Wes and Madison can be on it, so that would be cool. Instead of a PayPal link (because PayPal gets in a snit if they think you’re using it for anything “adult”), I think fuckit, I’ll accept Bitcoin. Why not? Camming’s not about money to me and Bitcoin’s not even real money to me, but with it there’s still an exchange of value, of appreciation, even if it’s a fragment of a cent. (I have no idea how Bitcoin works but I am signed up with this cool Bitcoin thing that Steph (the Geek) used to tip me enough Bitcoin to buy a cupcake if I’m ever anywhere that takes Bitcoin and has cupcakes that price! It’s made for tipping so it would be perfect. Totally forget what it’s called but it’s in my e-mail.)

Kevin doesn’t think there’s an audience for 320 x 240 static cams anymore but Ana and Steph and I are not so sure about that. What we all do about it remains to be seen. Maybe Everything/Maybe Nothing.

February 2, 2015

Splurge

I think after I get back from San Francisco I’m going to hire someone to fix up my site because right now things are buggy and it’s kinda driving me crazy. When WordPress updated, it stopped letting me be able to add borders to and play with the sizing of images by percentages. Now it’s click and drag resizing, which does me no good because I can’t eyeball 595 pixels, which is the maximum width a pic can be to fit on my site properly. The other thing is that the plugin I use to x-post to LiveJournal x-posts to LiveJournal, but the posts aren’t showing up on my LJ friends’ friends feeds so the people I actually care about reading my stuff miss most of it. This bugs me enough that today I considered just making a post on my site with links to LiveJournal and all my social media accounts and just using LiveJournal from now on but I decided to check my Google Analytics first and it doesn’t make any sense to do that because my LJ only gets about 600 sessions per month whereas my site gets about 3k on an average month and about 10-30k during Feb/March because of Sex and Blowjob Day and my blowjob guide being linked everywhere. The fact is though, that LiveJournal is just cooler than my site, that’s where discussions are going to be had, if there are discussions to be had because basically unless you have a LiveJournal – an account, a userpic, an identity – you are just some anonymous person on the internet to me. I don’t listen to or entertain cyberghosts. If I can’t connect with you as a human being behind a screen, there’s no point in talking to each other. If you’re not going to be accountable for your words, like I am, then why should I pay any attention to them? It goes for Twitter and Facebook and everything else on the internet too. There’s only one place on the internet where I speak to the anonymous and it’s not “here”, wherever you happen to be reading this. My world, my internet bubble that I created, is not the comments section of your favourite (or least favourite)  news/editorial site. Believe it or not, there’s a community here, you just don’t see it because the interactions take place on other forms of social media now, as opposed to the comments section of my site (which has never been very well-utilized and it’s buggy too) or LiveJournal, which most people have largely abandoned for fluffy Facebook thoughts.

Have you noticed? Even my own blog posts in the last little while are much more surface level than they used to be. I think a lot of that has to do with Facebook and what’s socially appropriate to share there because of who can see it or share it or comment on it. You do it so much and self edit so much that you just start to think on that surface level automatically, which is so not a good thing!

Anyway, the only solution I can come up with for the time being to my LiveJournal x-posting dilemma is that I’m going to post an LJ poll (another reason LiveJournal is cooler than my site, it has polls) every time I make a post on my site and in that post, I will link to whatever I just posted. Then on Facebook I guess I’ll link to the poll. I mean, how dumb is all that? But that’s what I’ll have to do. (Also why I stopped manually x-posting things to Camwhores.)

How much do you think I should budget for for someone to redo my site? I guess they need to make a new WordPress theme and install plugins. I have a few names kicking around of people I could ask to do it, but they may feel obligated to just do it for free or cheap because we’re friends and I don’t want that. I don’t want to accidentally lowball them either. I want to say, “Hey, can I hire you to X for $Y?” and not offend anyone.

Speaking of hiring people to do X for $Y, as I type this, there are 3 local girls in my house washing my walls and floors and bathroom and kitchen and blinds and vacuuming. We decided to splurge and pay for a thorough house-cleaning because originally, one of Blake’s coworkers was going to be flying in from Alberta and staying with us so we were like, “this house is a mess” and arranged for the girls to come (which we’ve never done before), but the thing the coworker was coming here for got cancelled and we figured since the cleaning was already booked, we might as well just do it. I’m not ashamed to admit that keeping a clean house is not my forte and I’ve never washed my walls. Never occurred to me to wash my walls. We vacuum regularly to try and stay on top of the dogs shedding, but we live with huskies, there’s dog hair on our floors and we keep the bathroom/kitchen maintained but the only reason our shower tiles aren’t completely disgusting is because we redid the bathroom this summer and got new ones, not gonna lie. There’s no specific shower cleaner chemical in this house. We have one bottle of lemon scented Mr. Clean and that gets used on everything in the kitchen and we have a bottle of Vim for everything in the bathroom because it says “bathroom” on it. I’m not trying to brag in some weird, gross way or anything and our house is clean enough most of the time, I would just never let a toddler crawl on my floor or a neat freak/germaphobe through my front door for their own good. The former would be a little hairy sasquatch in minutes and the germaphobe would end up with PTSD.

Despite the fact that we’re supporting a local, lady-run business and that’s super awesome and I love that, I still feel weird about paying people to come clean my house. Like, this is a privilege I shouldn’t be able to have. Like I should be able to clean my own house because other people seem to manage it just fine. I don’t really have a justification for it other than the fact that I’m cool with paying someone for their time and hard work so I can do something else with my time, especially if what I’m doing with my time is making more money so I can pay that person. My friend Kevin told me a long time ago that time is the most precious resource we personally have and when people want something from you, generally it boils down to time. So what is your time worth to you?  I really doubled down on this concept after almost dying and I realized that you only get X amount of time in one life and that’s not even guaranteed. Suzi Blu had a video a long time ago where she told her viewers to “live juicy”, which is something I’ve always loved and something I try to do on my good days. I try to fill every hour of my day that I’m not working with something juicy (to the point that if I don’t, I feel bad for wasting time, something I’m trying to get over), whether it be writing a blog post, making something, creating something or doing something. Even watching a good movie is living juicy, especially if it’s at a theatre and inspires more juice. Squeeze out every single drop of life there is in every single waking minute. Try. You’ll be happier and it’s just a theory of mine, but I’m pretty sure you’ll live longer too because – duh – the juicier you are, the lower your chances of just drying out and crumbling.

Annnnnnd in the time it took me to write that, the girls have finished, just in time for my work meeting. Worth every fucking penny.

January 31, 2015

2.5 Hours ‘Til Work

I kinda like working on Saturdays now, where before I used to dread it and referred to it as “a marathon, not a sprint” because it was just me vs. thousands of unhappy people for 9 hours but now during my shift, I have three trainees who don’t necessarily make my day any easier but at least it’s not so damn lonely anymore. Two of the trainees are new people to me, both dudes, and I’m potentially going to meet at least one of them, if not both, when we’re in San Francisco.  Actually when we’re in SF, I’m going to be having a work meetup with those two hopefully, along with two other coworkers. The cottage that we rented has a backyard and I’m hoping whatever day we do this, it doesn’t rain so we can all sit out there because the cottage itself is pretty small and you can’t really like, talk and hang out and socialize at a restaurant. So that’ll be cool.

I went to my shrink on Monday and we decided not to mess with my meds until I get back from SF, but she wants to get me off of clonazepam (I take 0.5mg before bed and 1.5mg before a work meeting) because she says I’ve been on it too long and it’s not good for me. I told her I was totally fine with that if she had something to replace it with. She suggested cognitive behavioural therapy and I just about lost my mind. THIS is what I did with my cognitive behavioural therapy certificate of completion and sums up my feelings on the subject:

She pretty much wants me to stay on Cipralex despite my sexual dysfunction, but is willing to try Prestiq/Effexor instead. She has this neat book with all the drugs in it, or maybe just the psychiatric ones, and it has charts with percentages of victims/patients who experienced whatever side effect. All of the other anti-depressants available to me made 30% of patients gain weight (not doing that again) except Prestiq/Effexor. Ten percent of people on both Prestiq and Cipralex experienced sexual dysfunction. So it could help or it might not. *shrug* Cipralex is a fantastic anti-depressant, so it sucks that it causes this issue for me. Hopefully Prestiq is better.

Speaking of sex, yesterday morning my friend told me about this awesome deal Amazon had, which was 60% off LELO vibrators and I ended up getting the exact one I wanted, which is $229 on LELO’s website, for $145. Deal of the year! All the camgirls swear their undying love for LELOs and my little bullet, the same one my friend Quimm Anaheim sent me like, oh god, 6 or 7 years ago now because she felt bad at my state of toylessness, is finally starting to die so I’d been looking for something to replace it with. I’ve never learned the trick to the whole g-spot deal, so I guess we’ll see what happens. The idea is to use the LELO *with* the Foria in San Francisco, ideally blowing my head off. :o) We’ll see…

Something we’ve gotten into recently – don’t laugh – is Magic: The Gathering. See, we live in a REALLY tiny town and the only thing to do in this town on a Friday night is go to the dive bar, go to the sports bar, or play Magic at the comic shop which doesn’t close until midnight, minimum. All the cool people in our vicinity choose the latter. It started with Madison and then Madison said I should play so I walked into the comic shop with the intention of spending $35 building a deck and I walked out of there about $120 lighter…Then Blake started playing and Wes has a deck that Madison built him for Xmas which is all wolf-themed, but he doesn’t really play with us. He usually goes to the comic shop when we play there, though, just to watch. I’m too green to play at the comic shop, but I did participate in 2 of the pre-release weekend events (sort of). I first one was on the Friday and you got your box which had 4 or 5 packs of cards in it, 2 or 3 of them from the new series being released and one a seeded pack of better cards (theoretically) so you open those and make a deck with those cards and then you play a Magic tournament with those decks. I was on board because I liked that everyone was on a level playing field, no one had like, uber thousand dollar cards or anything, so I figured I actually had a chance of not losing horribly, but then I realized that I would have to play with people I didn’t know and Blake or Madison wouldn’t be with me while I was playing to help me (because I’m still pretty new and I still don’t understand attacking/blocking/logic), so I just opened my packs there, as was the requirement, and dropped out of playing in favour of going home. The deck I made that night was black and white and actually pretty solid, I even pulled a planeswalker, so I probably could have done well but my anxiety was through the roof. I had to work on the Saturday so I couldn’t take part in the 2 events that day but Blake and I did take part in the “two-headed giant”, I think they called it? Where Blake and I were a team against another team. That was good. We lost both of our games, but I wasn’t anxious at all and I didn’t feel like such a n00b. I made a red/white/black deck that day and then when we bought our box of boosters on release day, I built on it further and now the stupid thing is a ridiculous 75 cards that I haven’t played with enough to pare down yet.

I think I’m a long way away from being able to play Magic at the comic shop but it’s something to work up to, I guess.

Oh, and did you know that one of the characters in Magic is trans? Her name is Alesha and she smiles at death. Before even knowing about that, she was pretty much the reason I decided to stick with the red/white/black deck. It’s not because she’s any uber kinda card or anything, I just liked her name and I pulled the promo foil of her.

Anyway, it’s now a half hour until work so I’m going to medicate and eat something and get on with my day.

PS. I don’t think all of my WordPress posts are x-posting to people’s Live Journal friends lists. They do show up on my LJ though (and my site) so if it feels like you might have missed something, check there.

PPS. I made a page on my site about weed.

PPPS. What are you listening to right now?

January 26, 2015

Shrinkage

Hi.

I have to see my new shrink in 3 hours, which means we have to leave in a little less than 2 hours and I’m not sure if that’s enough time to fit in everything on my mind but I’ll do my best.

At my last shrink visit, we discussed getting me off of the Loxapine, which is an anti-psychotic I’ve been using to sleep for about 3 years that’s apparently not only not that fantastic for your liver but one of its side effects is this neurological issue called Akathisia which is the inability to sit still, pretty much. It sounds really dumb, but on a scale of “excruciating” to “dear god just please kill me”, with pancreatitis at the high end and endometriosis and childbirth at the low end, Akathisia would actually be closer to pancreatitis. It’s not painful, per se, but it’s almost like there’s high voltage electricity inside you, like physical calories, that can only come out or be expressed through your arms and legs by jumping jacks or running on the spot or just finally, because you’re completely exhausted and should have been asleep hours ago, plain old continuous contortion in the dark in your bed while you cry and feel guilty for keeping your husband awake (or hating him for being asleep). The only thing that we found consistently worked was me overloading on sleep meds (which we had no idea were causing this in the first place) and having Blake drive me around the beach until I fell asleep, like a baby. These episodes would begin shortly after I took my sleep meds (but again, we never made the connection) at about 7pm and would continue until I passed out around midnight. Which really fucking sucks when you work in 4 or 5 hours. This had been happening, mostly in the warm months, about once every 2 weeks or so since I started taking this stuff and I never knew what was happening. The sensation of this “electricity” is a lot like when your foot falls asleep and in waking up, AFTER the pins & needles phase, the one right after that where if someone were to touch your foot you’d punch them right in the fucking face. You know the one. It’s shocking, right? Almost painful but not? I dunno how to describe it other wise but it’s like a constant pressure of that and the need to relieve it. So hard to explain and I am so happy that my new shrink connected the dots on that one so hopefully now that I’m not taking the drug anymore it won’t happen any more. It hasn’t so far and it’s been like, 2 months.

Something else I thought of while writing this is that I didn’t experience acute Akathisia as often this summer/fall as I did the previous year and I think that’s because this summer/fall, I changed my routine so I don’t take my sleep meds Fri/Sat/Sun and I stay up until between 3am-never making art and hanging out with some of my cyberpals in a top secret location. It would make sense that since I started taking less of it, the issue didn’t happen as often.

I’m so annoyed I didn’t catch this myself because I’m usually really proactive about researching the meds I take and I know I looked Loxapine up when I was first prescribed it but nothing bad happened right away so I just never put two and two together. I never  told any doctors about these episodes because they were simply so bizarre and indescribable and FLUKEY that I was convinced either “this is not a chronic thing and it’ll just go away” (lie) or if I tried to describe it to a doctor they wouldn’t take me seriously.

Stopping the meds should make the symptoms disappear, although in some cases it can take years for it to stop completely. I’m pretty confident that I’m done with it though. Not worried. Now I’m taking Trazodone to sleep instead and so far everything’s been a-okay.

Next thing on the list to discuss with my shrink is getting me the FUCK off Cipralex because, while I’m actually pretty happy and it’s good stuff, I’ve only had *maybe* 3 orgasms in the last 8-9 MONTHS, which is starting to drive even me, the sexlesss wonder, absolutely crazy so it’s time to find something new that doesn’t break my clit. I was told to give it 6 months for the side effects to go away and it’s been long enough, this is not just gonna go away.

Speaking of genitals, I had my pap smear a few months ago and told the nurse who did it that my endo is starting to become a problem again (yay, right? of course it is…) and since I now have a mesh in my stomach holding everything together, I can no longer safely have laparoscopic surgery and I’m not willing to have a hysterectomy, so my options now are painkillers and taking the birth control pill continuously so I don’t have any periods anymore. She understood as she had endo and went the hysterectomy route and from experience, she agreed with all of my reasons for being against it at 35. She left a note for my doctor about a prescription for birth control and he called it in the next day, Blake picked it up and I started taking it. It’s Tri-Cyclen Lo 28, but the first thing I did was ditch the sugar pills because I didn’t want to accidentally take any of them and long story short I’ve either been spotting, full on bleeding or leaking brown tissue and fluid since I started taking this shit so I need to see him pronto to get me on something else. I don’t think the nurse fully explained in her note what I was doing or why I was doing it because if she would have, I’m pretty sure he would have put me on something different. I think these pills are like, baby birth control pills for teenagers. I really wanted to ask my doctor for Marvelon 21 because that’s what I was on before and it did the job of keeping my periods at bay (not pain-free but period-free most of the time), but then I read this page about it and now I don’t think it’s a  good idea. I’m 35 and I have had a blood clot (when I was sick, I had a clot in a vein in my spleen – god it is so gross knowing that *shudder*) and I don’t smoke cigarettes but I do smoke weed obviously and I’m not sure if that’s the same thing as far as clots are concerned. I just need something that’ll stop my period and not kill me, kthnx.

I need all this shit figured out pronto! Because! Dammit! I wanna get laid in San Francisco! There’s this stuff you can get in California called “Foria“, which is weed spray for your pussy and I plan on shelling out seventy-nine American dollars to be sorely disappointed haha BUT! It’s for science! And I’m on holiday! So whatever! Truthfully, I’m skeptical about it for myself because as I’ve explained before, eating or vaping weed doesn’t do anything to me so I’m not totally convinced it’ll work subdermally either, but hey! Cool if it does! And if it doesn’t, I’m sure if I leave it in SF, Steph will put it to good use. :o)

Well, I guess I better go get ready to see my shrink. Peace out, homies!

January 6, 2015

Fetus Balloon and Other Things

I finished an art video last night and left it uploading overnight, so it would be ready for people to see in the morning. It’s called “Fetus Balloon”, here it is:

It’s a bit dark because my office is a bit dark, but I’ve got a lamp on my desk now so that should solve the problem in the future. I don’t really care if anyone watches them, I like watching them, and I just bought a video setup to make them, so expect more.

I realize I haven’t been updating a ton lately and most of that has to do with the fact that I’m not feeling particularly “writer-y” these days. I’m feeling more…I dunno, visual I guess. In the video, you’ll  see that I’m painting on a pad of watercolour paper. I’ve decided that paper is going to be my only substrate for the entire winter. I thought about limiting myself to only using Inktense pencils but I just couldn’t do it. I used them in the painting in the video but so far nothing I’ve been able to do with them has looked better than my usual acrylic paint so I’ve decided to do the opposite of limiting myself and anything, as long as it’s (relatively) flat, fits on that paper and won’t fall off when I file it in my portfolio, is fair game.

Here’s what I did with the first sheet of paper from the pad:

I’m so used to painting and working in layers that carefully leaving white space as not to mix your colours was really really difficult. Also there are no caucasian fleshtones in the whole tin and I have the really big 72 pencil one. I dunno, still playing with them.

When I go to San Francisco next month all I’m bringing as far as art supplies is this pad of watercolour paper, the Inktense pencils, brushes, brush basin, 3 Pigma Micron pens, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, exacto knife for cutting eraser, ruler and circle template, gel medium, acrylic glazing medium and 6-8 two oz bottles of acrylic paint, colours to be determined, but Santa’s Flesh, Snow White and Lamp black are definitely going to be in there.  I know it sounds like a lot but it really isn’t since almost everything is small or light and it’s NOTHING compared to the resources available to me in within the room I currently sit. So, during that trip I *am* limiting myself to that and whatever Belinda brings with her/buys while she’s there if she comes. We’re gonna sit around and watch movies and make bad art. It’ll be awesome. Steph’s also taking me to a restaurant that ONLY serves fancy macaroni and cheese, which I gotta tell ya, I’m pretty damn excited about. We’re going to see where Steph lives (in a bitcoin-fueled cyber hippie love commune), which should be interesting. At some point we’re going to hang out with Blake’s sisters and their kids, two of which Blake has never even met. They live in Lake Tahoe so they’re going to drive into SF and then I dunno what. On my actual birthday, my friend Kat is throwing me a birthday party and then driving us to the airport the next day (unless we just get a cab cuz it’s gonna be like, 4am). I’m trying to arrange a meetup one day with all the people I work with who live out there, but I’ve never actually met. So that should be pretty cool.

I’m going to SF because I figure by the end of Feb/my b-day, I’m going to be a wreck. The SAD officially kicked in this morning despite doing light therapy 3 times every morning for the last two months. San Francisco has warmth and sunshine and a MACARONI AND CHEESE RESTAURANT and friends. The place we rented has a pretty nice kitchen so we’re going to order in from this food delivery service that has all kinds of weird produce and organic meats. And I’m sure we’ll hit up a grocery store at some point. (I loooooove American grocery stores.) Blake’s going there to see his sisters and work on his book and be warm. I’m thinking about maybe getting a tattoo while I’m down there but I haven’t decided yet. I want to have my scar accentuated somehow because it’s fading, but I haven’t come up with anything yet. I don’t want to tattoo the actual scar though. I dunno, was just an idea. I want to buy THE most touristy godawful bong I can afford that says San Francisco on it, if I can find such a creation. I’ve been assured that such an item has been spotted once or twice so, I’ll be on the lookout.

Almost bought plane tickets to Vegas last week because my work can get us free tickets to AVN which is a big porn convention at the end of the month. Didn’t end up doing it because unless we could have rented a place with other people from work, we couldn’t afford to stay anywhere. I guess there’s also an electronic gadget convention happening at the same time so all the hotels raise their prices. Flights were pretty cheap, though. Plus doing that at the end of Jan. would mean only 3 paycheques between now and San Francisco and I want to save as much money as possible for that. This year would have been ideal to go to AVN because it’s their 30th anniversary so I bet there would be more than the usual amount of free swag. Oh well.

What else? Well, Madison has her learner’s permit and is learning to drive. She has two part-time jobs and spends all her money on Magic cards, something that she has gotten all of us into because the only shop worth going into in our  town is the comic shop and they have Friday Night Magic until 1am or longer, depending on how things are going.  My deck is white with a bit of blue, but I’m thinking about switching to a straight white deck when the new cards come out later this month. I guess we’ll see what I pull (I’m buying a full box of boosters and so is Madison).

Other than that like, all I do is work. I may play Sims 4 today though because I haven’t touched it since it first came out and I have no plans for today. Spending the day either in my Sims Bunker or farming in Warcraft and eating pizza sounds pretty damn good to me.  So that is what I am going to do.

Peace oot.

December 5, 2014

Murderous Meat

July 28th, 2044

 

It didn’t all start at once and by the time I was aware of it and my mom let me watch 24-hour news instead of my usual lessons, the world was already in crisis. This is what happened.

A few years ago, there was this 60-something year old lady in Texas named Esther Hughes who started waking up with really bad headaches. She took lots of medication and saw many doctors and they performed many tests but they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. They gave her prescriptions for strong opioids she had to inject herself, which didn’t help, and frustrated and in pain, she closed all her curtains and shut the world out.

Eventually, the holidays rolled around and Esther’s kids became concerned for their mother when she told them she not only wouldn’t be hosting the traditional five day feast but that she wouldn’t be seeing them over the holidays at all. She said the pain was too unbearable.

Troubled by the turn of events and the tone in their mother’s voice, Esther’s children, thinking they were doing a very good thing, decided to bring their families and the holiday feast to Esther.

Fortunately for Esther, it was her youngest daughter who arrived first. She told reporters later that it was the blacked out windows on her childhood home that told her something was really wrong. She lightly knocked on the front door and called to her mother, but there was no answer. She said she knocked for another few minutes with no answer before she went to the spot the spare key to the back door had been hidden her whole life. It was there and she made her way around the back of the house and unlocked the door to the sun room. She said the whole house was dark, but having grown up in it, she knew it like the back of her hand so she quickly searched the first floor for her mother with no results. She went upstairs, straight to her mother’s room, where she saw a lump in the bed. She called for her mother and turned on the light and according to their first interview with Oprah 2.0, Esther pulled the blankets over her head and screamed for her daughter to turn the light off, which her daughter, who was scared, immediately did.

In the dark, Esther’s daughter felt around for the bed and sat down on the edge of it. Holding her mother’s hand, she asked, “what’s wrong mama?” and Esther began to weep. Esther then held her daughter’s hand and brought it up to her face, allowing her daughter to first feel her mother’s lips, then her mother’s nose, then her soggy eyes which Esther fluttered so her daughter could feel her eyelashes and then she raised her daughter’s fingers to the middle of her forehead where…her daughter pulled her hand back and gasped. She said she felt the spot again with both hands this time and she was certain about what she was feeling in the dark: right in the middle of Esther’s forehead, where nothing should have been, there was a closed eye. And it had been crying too.

After recounting to her daughter how the process had happened and that bright light can often trigger headaches, Esther allowed her daughter to bring her downstairs, into the living room, where Esther said it was okay to turn on certain lamps, which she had dimmed by putting scarves over their shades.

Eventually the rest of Esther’s family arrived at Esther’s house and they all heard her tale, while not quite knowing what to do next. Esther didn’t want to see any more doctors or anyone for that matter, or rather she didn’t want anyone to see her.

Finally her family persuaded Esther to let a priest come to the house, who told her that this third eye was a gift from God and that there had long been stories and theories in many religions of a third eye giving the person the gift of prophecy. He told her that she should let as many people see her as possible, that she could help people in need make tough decisions, that this was her gift to share.

Pretty soon Esther became a worldwide media sensation, appearing on all the talk shows and news shows with her daughter, wearing sunglasses over her original eyes and a headscarf over her third eye to prevent headaches. People were calling on her to bless them and to try to heal their wounds or to tell them their futures.

At the same time people began pilgrimages to Esther’s home from all over the world, other people with new mutations that all happened in a short amount of time were starting to crop up in the media, which started a frenzy on the 24-hour news channels – so I’m told – about why this was happening. Some experts claimed it was because of pollution. Some claimed it was because of a surplus of vitamins. Some claimed it was because this government or that was testing or using weapons of mass destruction. Some claimed it was a virus or a bacteria. Some went so far as to say that these mutations were the next step in human evolution. No one was co-operating with anyone else and in the end, they would all be wrong as a result.

But as the media goes, after the initial hysteria died down and governments reassured their people that they were doing everything possible to determine the cause of this new “disease”, you didn’t hear about mutations as often. Soon people stopped worrying and went on with their lives, for the most part, with the most paranoid among them wearing medical masks in elevators and cities setting up sanitizing stations in malls, subways and large office parks.

And then Cookie Kaye happened. Cookie Kaye, of New Zealand, was the host of her own popular live internet cooking show, “What’s Cookin’ Cookie?” where she would prepare dishes from her global fans’ childhoods; such staples as macaroni and cheese with prosciutto on top, butter chicken, jerk pork or meatloaf with gravy.

One particular day, Cookie, dressed in a white, sleeveless blouse with yellow flowers, began by explaining that it was her 100th show and in that honour, she thought she’d surprise her fans with a dish from her own childhood: pan-fried lamb chops with rosemary and garlic. Cookie chatted about growing up in New Zealand and how lamb was a very common meat there, as she combined minced garlic with fresh, chopped rosemary and a little crushed red pepper to give it a bit of pizzaz! Since the next step in the recipe was to rub the mixture onto the chops and refrigerate for 4 hours, she pulled out two already prepared and chilled chops from the fridge and started heating olive oil in a large skillet. As the oil reached the proper temperature, Cookie discussed with her virtual audience the many other ways one can enjoy lamb and how you can obtain lamb in places where it may not be readily available. Once the oil was properly heated, Cookie explained that all you had to do next was to fry each lamb chop for 3 minutes on each side to attain medium-rareness and as she said this, she picked up a piece of the maroon, herbed meat in each hand and laid them into the skillet.

Immediately the lamb chops began to sizzle in the oil and before poor Cookie could say anything else, they were both flailing violently in the pan, writhing as if in pain like slugs that have had salt poured on them, splashing hot meat juices and oil across Cookie’s hands and bare arms. She gasped as she drew back and in the next breath she was pointing at the pan and yelling at her camera man, angrily asking if this was a sick joke. At that same moment, one of the chops launched itself out of the pan and over her right shoulder. In the clip I saw, Cookie screams as the second piece of lamb propelled itself similarly to its mate, only this time it flew straight at Cookie, hitting her in the face before Cookie throws it to the floor. Cookie screams “can you fucking help me here please, Steve?!” and now the camera man, still carrying the camera, rushes around the corner of the cooking island and drops the camera as he goes to aid Cookie who is shrieking and crying that she has hot oil and blood and pepper in her eyes. In front of the camera, now on the floor, is the second lamb chop, still sizzling and twitching in a most disturbing fashion as steam rises from it and in the background, you can clearly see Cookie’s high-heeled shoes and those of the camera man’s and then you hear the running and splashing of water as Cookie flushes her eyes at the sink. The camera man is heard talking on the phone with emergency services and the next thing you see in the clip is Cookie’s shoes turn around to face the still slightly squirming meat, which she then violently and without ceremony stomps into a million pieces, kicking the camera in the process, ending the clip.

As soon as this clip went viral throughout the world, stories of other incidents of butchered lamb parts behaving strangely when heated started slowly coming out in the papers. Those I was allowed to read. Then beef and pork seemed affected in quickly soon after, until finally there was a grotesque incident involving a turducken, captured on video and uploaded to YouTube.

In that clip, you see a green oven and through the window in the door, there is a black roasting pan that jumps around every couple of seconds, sometimes hard enough to knock the pan’s lid askew. You can hear two or more people in the clip quietly freaking out completely and swearing and a caption appears on the video saying that they were attempting to cook a turducken for Thanksgiving and that this was happening approximately an hour and 15 minutes into cooking it. Then one of the people, a man, gets brave and you see him open the oven door with one hand and then with an oven-mittened hand he pulls out the rack that the roasting pan is on and then backs up and out of the way while the roasting pan bounces around some more, seemingly agitated by the movement caused by pulling out the rack. The people in the background all go “OOOOH!” as the same man quickly reaches for the lid of the roasting pan and pulls it off, jumping back once again. Steam rises and the person recording the video gets closer and higher to better see what was inside the pan. What should have looked like a normal turkey on the outside looked more like a squirming mass of white flesh and bone, pulsating and spasming while the duck and chicken inside it presumably did the same. A girl in the background screams, “FUCKING GROSS!!! SOMEONE KILL IT!!!” to which someone replies “HOW?!” and the next thing you know, the oven-mittened man shoves the turducken back in the oven, without the lid, and slams the door shut. “That’s how,” he says and from there the video is a time-lapse view of the turducken from the window in the oven and you can see it squirming violently until finally it simply from within the oven there is a loud thump and an explosion of flesh against the glass. The video slows back down to normal and the oven-mittened man carefully opens the oven and backs up so the videographer can get a better look at the carnage inside the oven: bits of white flesh and skin and bones covered every surface of the oven and inside the roasting pan, where the chicken’s back and parts of the duck were still “raw” but cooking, it was twitching and flexing and reacting as if in pain just as the lamb chop had when Cookie Kaye tried to fry it. Someone suggested putting the remnants of the turducken back in the oven to “kill” the rest of it and the video stops there and starts again with a view of the inside of the oven with the rack and roasting pan pulled out slightly. All of the meat looks cooked, most of it overcooked and some of it burnt. Then the camera turns to the face of the oven-mittened man who mugs for the camera and says, “And that’s how it’s done, boys!” The video ends.

After that video also went viral, the governments of the world finally started working together.  When the World Health Organization issued a statement telling people to cut down on their consumption of un-processed meat until more was known about what was going on,  all that did was cause pandemonium and most people stopped eating meat completely, sticking to vegetables and fruits and processed foods. Most stores stopped selling it because they couldn’t guarantee that each piece or package of their meat wouldn’t react violently when the customer attempted to cook it.

My grandma Lisa said she saw this all coming. She said that a long time ago, when they were just starting the programs to replace heirloom livestock with cloned livestock that didn’t get sick as often, grew faster, tasted better and as an added benefit, the meat made people look more youthful, there were campaigns by people like her who thought that this was the wrong way to go. That this would muck up the food chain. And they protested. There needed to be more testing. But the governments of the world saw a quick way to “end” world hunger between these cloned animals and fruits and vegetables that had been genetically modified to not only grow just about anywhere, but to be resistant to pesticides and herbicides, and didn’t listen.

Now the 24-hour news channels were reporting that it was this strange meat that was causing the mutations.  I felt relieved because I don’t eat meat and neither does anyone in my family. Soon scientists figured out that it was the genetically modified corn that the world feeds to its livestock in some capacity or another, which was causing changes to the cloned animals’ DNA and when people ate the animals, it changed their DNA as well, causing mutations, cancers and death. The crisis, of course, was that the only “heritage” animals left on the Earth were wild game and immediately breeding programs for elk, deer and moose were established.

By this point, my mom said it was okay to watch the 24-hour news channels as much as I wanted to instead of my usual lessons because this was an important world event that would have lasting repercussions well into my grandchildren’s generation, so watch I did. I watched in horror with tears streaming down my face as animals were lead into big pits in the ground with a layer of charcoal at the bottom, doused in something flammable and lit on fire. Alive. To die. Screaming and writhing in pain. Because cooking or burning the meat was the only way to kill it, they thought in the beginning, so that’s how governments started disposing of the world’s meat supply. This upset a great many people, particularly Hindus who objected to the mass slaughter of cows that for all intents and purposes could live out their lives in peace but most people were so angry at the meat itself for being bad because by now just about everyone on Earth had been negatively affected by the meat in some way, that they blamed the animals and wanted to see them suffer. The United Nations eventually concluded, at the persuasion of several kinder countries, that the animals should all be poisoned or euthanized and then their bodies disposed of by cremation and most countries followed suit, while the poorer nations opted to slitting throats before the burn. Even on our little farm in Michigan where we weren’t burning anything, you could smell the rest of the world’s char.

On one morning show I watched, there was a scientist, Dr. Ryan Brownstein, discussing these worms called planarians that had an almost infinite ability to regenerate themselves into whole organisms, making them “effectively immortal”. He said that you could cut a planarian into 279 pieces and each piece would grow into a new planarian. This was significant, he told the toothy, blonde host, because when scientists were perfecting the livestock to clone, planarian DNA was most definitely part of the final sequence, which was what had been giving meat the property of giving the consumer a more youthful appearance and sometimes a slightly longer lifespan. The planarian DNA in the meat allowed for humans to regenerate their lost cells faster, allowing for new, glowing skin for all meat eaters just about all the time. He said that the problem now, however, was that this planarian DNA had run amok and now you can cut a cow into an unknown amount of pieces and after a short period of dormancy which is slowed down by refrigeration, each piece would grow into a whole new cow. That’s why these animals had to be destroyed, because if they were left to their own devices, we would be overrun with them. Not to mention what may happen to animals who ate parts of these animals – we couldn’t even grind up these genetically modified livestock into dog food – it could seriously damage the ecosystem.

“That’s what I’ve been saying!” cried grandma Lisa.

People really are so dumb though. Even the Amish got hoodwinked into replacing their heirloom livestock with cloned animals from the Sandy Mount company who just so happened to also sell the corn to feed them, which was cheaper and easier than the Amish growing their own corn to feed their own animals as they’d been doing forever.  Worse though, is that so many people signed on to ranch these animals due to government subsidies that no one thought to even try to preserve heirloom species. There was no Noah’s Ark, the so-called “frozen zoo” had a malfunction and everything thawed in 2019. The cow as my grandma knew it is extinct. As is the pig and the chicken and anything else you’d find on a farm 30 years ago. The cloning system was working so well and the whole world was fed so they thought “this must be a good thing”. With a lack of labelling of genetically modified produce, people just got used to that too and stopped protesting. Even vegans eventually got on board because it meant they could have any type of fresh fruit or vegetable any time they wanted no matter where they were in the world or what season it was.

And of course, there was the Svalbard disaster of 2032. Unknown armed terrorists wearing balaclavas and no distinguishing clothing, just all in black, descended on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault by small stolen planes on June 22nd and they killed the small staff that was in the building but left all of the security cameras undisturbed because they wanted someone to see what they were about to do.

The security cameras, the feeds of which were also stored at an offsite location, showed the terrorists, 18 in all, placing homemade ANFO bombs all throughout the seed rooms. I’m not even sure how many there were total, but enough that when they blew, it destroyed the entire stock of the seed bank, devastating the world’s original food supply. The terrorists were shot down trying to fly back to Norway but when officials got to the wreckage, they found that all 8 people were dead, apparently of cyanide poisoning: they had all killed themselves. This was a kamikaze mission.

The terrorists were eventually identified as being from all over the world but connected via the internet and while it was never proven – no motive ever was – many people I know thought the terrorists were hired goons for someone higher up because as soon as the news hit that Svalbard had been decimated, the stocks for Sandy Mount and companies like it shot up like squirrels with their tails on fire. Everything was investigated forward and backward but there was never any proven link between the terrorists and any of those companies or those companies’ shareholders. My gran said it was “some next level illuminati shit” because whoever did it doomed the whole world – except us – to be dependent on genetically modified produce, that these companies owned the patents for, for time immemorial.

Once people realized that the genetically modified – or GMO for short – corn had made the cloned animals act like planarians, they started questioning the genetically modified tomatoes and lettuce in their salads. The corn on the cob they had at their barbeques. The beans and textured vegetable protein in their vegan chili. If the meat had changed their DNA, would the genetically modified produce make them behave like planarians too? If someone lost a finger, would it grow into a whole new clone of that person?

Governments around the world obviously reassured their people that the produce was safe and that it had been tested for a long time with no ill effects, meanwhile behind closed doors presidents and prime ministers were ordering their top scientists to drop everything and make damn sure that what they were saying was true.

It was around this time that mom and gran started getting antsy and the guns were brought up from the cellar. Our farm is already protected by 12 foot fences topped by razor wire, disguised by rows of sunflowers but I had never seen the guns come out before and it frightened me. Being 14 years old, my mom said I was old enough to learn how to shoot so mom and grandma Lisa took me out to the behind the greenhouse and had me shoot old paint cans. They said I was a natural and that made me proud, but I was still scared because I didn’t understand why I might have to use the shotgun I held in my hands. They took me back into the house and sat me down at the kitchen table where gran gave me a dish of applesauce with raisins.

Our farm, they said, is veganic. This I already knew, it has been veganic for generations. We didn’t even fertilize with manure, we exclusively used compost. “All of the plants and seeds on our property are heirloom and right now that is a very valuable thing”, gran said with a hard edge to her normally soft as kittens voice.

Suddenly everything came into focus. All the rest of the world had was genetically modified seeds that may be making them sick and we were sitting on a farm with produce that had never been tampered with and we had an abundance of seeds because we harvested our own. The reason my mom and gran were certain that we wouldn’t start mutating was because we were raw vegans living on an organic heirloom farm. We ate very little that we didn’t grow ourselves.

My gran used to be famous, sort of. A long time ago she wrote a blog and book about eating a raw diet which we still follow, called “Raw on $10 a Day (or less!)”, which became a national bestseller at the time, as different diets were all the rage and people were eager to try anything that would give them the kind of glow my gran naturally had then, as she still has now. Because of this, she said, it was feasible that certain people may come looking for her now because in her book she suggested that people be wary of genetically modified organisms and that they should grow their own since the government refused to label them. Some people would naturally assume that she was doing this now.

She said that since we had a surplus of seeds, we could send some of them to someone but who would that someone be? And would the farm, our food, be safe from looters, our own neighbours, in the meantime?

These questions would have to remain unanswered for now. For now the gate to our driveway is chained shut and padlocked and my mom has been on the internet non-stop, trying to find the right person to offer our seeds to, someone who wouldn’t take advantage of us and leave us without food for ourselves. We’ve never trusted the government but it looked like on some level we were going to have to. While mom did that, gran was on the phone with family members who all also had farms like ours in Michigan and between all of us, gran said, we could show the government just what “Militiagan” meant.

As they did that, I immersed myself in 24-hour news for days.

In India they refused to kill the cows but made a preserve for them, agreeing to the United Nations’ stipulations that they keep the sexes separate so they would not mate and die out naturally and that if the bovine population began expanding rather than declining, then a complete liquidation would be necessary.

There were a lot of talking heads saying that the changes in people’s DNA were permanent and that we could be seeing birth defects for generations from this. Already babies were being born with deformities akin to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, like having two faces or babies that looked like their features were trying to slide off their faces altogether. Fortunately for these babies, most of them did not survive outside of the womb for longer than a few weeks. Because of these babies, women were getting abortions and tubal ligations in record numbers.

Doctors all over the world had a hard time keeping up with the effects of the meat between birth abnormalities, abortions, cancers and adolescent or adult mutations. Doctors and scientists found that no matter the mutation, if they operated on it, the same mutation would just grow back. The cancers were completely untreatable tumours inside people in various places from brains to bowels and the cancer was in every cell in between; it was in their DNA. Removing any of these tumours was fruitless because they would just grow back and by then the cancer would have already spread to somewhere really bad, like the kidneys or the liver or the brain, if it hadn’t been there previously anyway.

A new symptom started afflicting people where they would get a crazed look on their face, make a high pitched squeal, bite their own tongues off and eat them. Patient zero appeared to have been a woman in Japan on a crowded train and many cases have now been reported on every continent. The patients afflicted by this new behaviour then collapse into a catatonic state and stay that way indefinitely, unaware of anything happening around them, unable to feel pain or cold, unable to eat or evacuate waste on their own. The cause of this new, “cat got your tongue” syndrome is unknown but it is presumed to be related to what the media is now calling “murderous meat”.

Esther Hughes, seer, committed suicide.

With so much going on, every person on Earth basically started diets of rice and beans. Because no one knew what was safe to eat, people stuck to produce in cans, thinking they were better somehow, and all vegetables had to be nukrowaved for at least 5 minutes before consumption, because people were thinking that would “kill off” whatever DNA was active in the vegetable that could potentially harm them.

The vitamin and supplement industry was booming as people struggled to keep from being malnourished. People trusted synthetic nourishment in pills over fresh oranges and bananas and bread, a phenomenon turning a thousand science fiction books and movies into prophecies.

Some governments had to put in place bans on the exportation of meat because poaching had become a problem as people hunted the wildest of game to try and feed their families, such as cheetahs, zebras, seals and puffins. The breeding programs for deer had been successful so far but on nowhere near the scale they needed to feed any kind of large population. The elk and moose were less successful at breeding on their own so scientists resorted to the outdated practice of in vitro fertilization and things seemed hopeful.

I thought it was pointless though. People wanted no part of meat at all or even soy products that were made to resemble meat. People were sick and scared. The future of the human race was in question and we still didn’t know what was going to happen to us or our farm.

Then one morning at dawn there was the honk of a vehicle at our front gate. We looked out the window and there was a procession of shiny black cars parked on the side of the dirt road we lived on. My gran told us to stay in the house and to stay armed and she went out the side door to the truck. We have a very long driveway and my gran, while incredibly healthy and vibrant, is still elderly, so she drove the truck – unarmed – to the front gate to greet the people on the other side.

My mother and I watched with teeth on edge at the front windows. My mother was texting someone, I asked who, she said “everyone, this is happening” and I grew more afraid.

Much to our great surprise, gran unchained the gate and one of the men in suits pushed it aside. Gran got back in the truck and backed her way back up the driveway, parking at the side of the house as the truck had been before. As she did this, those 6 shiny black cars followed her up the driveway, with the last one closing and chaining the gate behind them all.

My mother told me to stay in the house and with shotgun in hand, she went through the kitchen and out the side door my gran had gone out previously to greet gran and these unidentified people. I ran behind her to watch what was about to happen through the window in the kitchen door. My mother said loudly, “mother, what the hell?” and as she said that men came out of the black cars, guns also in hand, screaming for my mother to “drop it” and get on the ground.

“There’s no need for that,” my grandmother said. “Honey put the gun down, it’s okay.” And my mother warily obeyed, placing the gun on the stair in front of her and putting her hands in the air. She slowly lowered them as a small figure emerged from one of the black cars. A thin woman with dark hair cut in a chin-length bob, wearing large sunglasses and a Pratt skirt, blouse and blazer stepped out of the car and into the sunlight. Behind her, a large man wearing the kind of suit every man wears only wearing it slightly better than the average man stepped out of the vehicle and held her hand as she picked her way through the mud toward gran, my mother and me.

She didn’t need to introduce herself but she did anyway and shook my grandmother’s hand. She was none other than the President of the United States, Belinda-Anne Briggs and her companion was the First Gentleman Charles Johnson.

Gran invited them into the house and lead them up the steps of the porch, where my mother had retrieved and put away the shotgun before scurrying into the house ahead of them. I didn’t know what to do so I went into the living room and slouched in the doorway between that room and the kitchen to watch what was about to unfold.

Gran, the President and the First Gentleman sat down at the kitchen table and my mother leaned against the kitchen counter. My grandma told my mother to get everyone some apple cider, which she explained we grow the apples, press them and bottle the cider ourselves so it was guaranteed to be GMO-free. Our guests gladly accepted and my mother served everyone a large glass. She offered me one but I just shook my head no, wanting to be as invisible as possible in the shadow of someone so huge.

President Briggs began by telling my grandmother how much she enjoyed reading her book and how she thought it was a shame that it was out of print and that that is something that should be remedies as soon as possible because a raw, vegan diet of fresh food is exactly what the American people, or even the world, needed right now. The second thing she wanted to discuss was our farm. She wanted to know everything about it, about how we keep our orchard pest-free, about what we grow in the greenhouse and how we harvest seeds. It was the letter she seemed the most interested in.

My grandmother flat out told her that we had a surplus of GMO-free heirloom seeds and that we had been trying to figure out what we could do with them to best help the world, if anything and the President cried real tears of joy, holding my grandmother’s hands across the table with both of hers and squeezing affectionately.

Something North America still had that a lot of the world did not was open spaces for planting fields, especially since the cattle and poultry industries were no more, said the President. She wanted to start by a few select organic farmers like ourselves planting “victory gardens”, a concept from the last century, harvesting enough food for ourselves and our neighbours and collecting enough seeds to plant for the next year, as well as to share with the government who would distribute the seeds to applying farmers. All of these activities would be heavily monitored by the military to ensure that the organic food supply remained GMO-free and to protect the gardens and fields from theft. The infrastructure was easy enough to implement, explained President Briggs, it was the seed stock that was the problem. Even farmers who had been planting perfectly normal organic corn in the earlier 2000s sometimes had genetically modified corn blow into their fields and when Sandy Mount found that these farmers were inadvertently selling their patented product, they sued the farmer into bankruptcy. The President said that she was in the process of creating a set of laws for the companies that produce genetically modified organisms that would eventually phase them out, make them illegal in this country and have them pay for the long-term implementation of the victory gardens. Apparently Canada was on board as well and due to our long-standing alliance with them, we would be co-operating with people on both sides of the border through the internet and mail system.

Gran said that even sending one person three tomato seeds to plant on a windowsill with instructions on how to eat most of the fruit and save a lot of the seeds at the same time, to be shared with someone else could make a difference. With time and the right selection process, community gardens and rooftop buildings with all tenants taking care of their own food supplies would be possible.

“YES!” exclaimed the President. “Exactly! This is exactly what I envision as well!”

“This,” grandma Lisa said stiffly, “is what I was trying to say in 2014.”

“And we should have listened,” President Briggs quietly admitted, meaning every word as she patted my grandmother’s hands.

After that, gran took the President, the First Gentleman and some of their staff down the muddy path to see the orchard, greenhouse and Southeast field while my mother got to work preparing gran’s famous cucumber dressing which we paired with a summer salad topped with edible pansies; it was gran’s showcase meal, if she ever had one. As she did that, I started peeling the apples for gran’s “Awesome Rawsome Applesauce” for dessert enjoying the sunshine streaming through the partially open kitchen window, a breeze slightly flicking the lace curtains. I smiled. Today was a new day.

Posted at 3:13 pm in: Animals , Environment , Food , Health , Politics , Things I Will Not Eat , winter , Writing
December 4, 2014

No and I don’t know.

Yesterday was Touched By Fire.

I finished work at noon and had between then and 3:30pm to roll enough joints for the night, figure out where to eat, co-ordinate all this with my mom and get myself ready, which not only often involves multiple wardrobe changes, but more importantly, well-timed pharmaceuticals, and I was freaking at twelve-oh-one because I didn’t know where to start. I started by rolling joints and listening to bad hip hop because medication of all kinds is the most important thing to not leave the house with and I’ve been known to take a VERY long time to do this, even with a rolling machine, so yeah, started there. As I got to about my 2nd (of a planned 5) joint, Blake got home with lunch from Fresh-A-Fare, which I had really really wanted when I asked him to bring it home half an hour prior, but since I hadn’t had a ton of time to actually medicate between then and when he got home, my stomach just wasn’t ready for it so we ended up leaving it in the fridge for Wes for dinner if he wanted it, which he would because it was a ham and cheese sandwich and turkey with wild rice soup and he eats like me, so he’d be all about it.

As Blake ate and I rolled, we watched Once Upon a Story in Wonderland because it’s free on this trial Netflix type deal we have right now, and when the episode was over, Blake went to the bathroom to start getting read and I so, so stupidly checked e-mail and Facebook. And that is how I learned that my friend, Jeff Depew, the drummer from Scratching Post, had passed away. As some of you know, I was sort of the band’s first unofficial mascot/panty girl/merch bitch who did a lot of touring with them and became very good friends with everyone involved. I was/am shocked and saddened by the news of Jeff’s passing and however it happened, it is my hope that it was peaceful. I found out at around 2:30pm and had to be out the door at 3:30pm. At first I almost didn’t go. Just didn’t feel like partying or having a good time or being social. Then I almost went in overalls, which in hindsight I probably should have, it’s what I’d originally wanted to wear, but I settled on the same thing I wore on our attempt to see Book of Mormon, which had been thwarted by a blizzard so the outfit had never been seen before.

It took me half an hour to do my makeup because makeup won’t stick to tears, no matter how much primer you try to use. I’m a very simple lipstick-top-lid-eyeliner-one colour of shadow-mascara kinda gal. Makeup usually takes 10 mins, tops.

Anyway, traffic was hellacious and it was becoming apparent that we’d be late, so I texted my mom who said they were running late too, which I figured because that’s how my mother rolls. We get to the parking lot and it’s 100 km away from the restaurant we were meeting at and it’s blowing snow and I’m in a skirt. That walk made me so unhappy, especially since at the time my mother kept texting me from the restaurant about stuff as I’m trying not to get hit by cars or drop my phone or get it wet. Finally I literally told her to “stfu lol” and eventually we got to the restaurant.

We went to this St. Louis Grill place that I don’t think I’d ever bother with again unless I had to. Typical chain, with tiny across-from-Skydome Toronto portions and prices. I did eat a piece of macaroni and cheese wrapped in bacon and deep-fried that was pretty wonderful but I forgot to bring enzymes with me and really really should not be eating something like that anyway.

After eating, we went to the show. I went there. I saw that my painting was in the very back corner in the dark where it belonged. I looked at everyone else’s stuff, some good, some not so good but overall WAY better selections than previous years, then I parked my ass at the bar where I could see people looking at my painting (but turned my back to it because I couldn’t look) and see when they did the speeches. Speeches were uneventful except that this year there were prizes and our old friend from town here, Brian, won an honourable mention in his category and his girlfriend won best of show for her category.

After the speeches and awards and stuff, the place cleared out pretty fast. It wasn’t like previous years at all. See, something happened. I don’t know what but last fall there was some drama surrounding the show and suddenly touchedbyfire.CA was NOT the place to go, but touchedbyfire.CO and there was a mad scramble to get sponsors and find a space. It seemed like too much drama for me so I didn’t enter. This year it was run with the same group as last year and I noticed a lot of familiar artist faces missing, which seemed odd to me. I mean, this show has its regulars and I didn’t see two of its most prominent ones represented there last night. The bust for Rebecca Burkhardt, the person in whose remembrance this event takes place, was also missing, or at least I didn’t see it anywhere. Her dad was there though.

Before we left the show, Blake and John went around the room to see if anything had sold and only 2 things had, one being the most inexpensive piece in the show.

While the quality of work this year was definitely better, the experience wasn’t. There was no printed catalogue, which is really the only reason I go, just printed postcards with instructions for people to use their phones to take pictures of the QR codes beneath them or whatever they’re called, to pull up basically this page. That makes sense for the paintings being up in the gallery for a month but the show should have had a printed catalogue, especially since if I sell my piece, I’m giving them 20% and I want certain things, like show catalogues, for them to deserve that 20%. There were also no name tags for artists which was a mixed blessing. Every other year I turn mine around as not to be identified but this year I was trying to get up the courage to actually speak to people, to sell that damn thing, and them approaching me first would have been better.

The show’s been running 8 years, my first time was the 2nd year and I think I’ve been in it a total of 5 times. Last night marked only the 2nd time I’d submitted anything that was actually for sale and I really really need to sell this piece or make money from it somehow, in order to complete my next project before I get frustrated by money and logistics that I give up.

Anyway, here’s my painting and what I wore and how far away I was away from my painting at all times. THE END.

PS. I also invited my brother and his girlfriend to dinner and the show but he never even replied. I have no idea why, I haven’t done anything to him and we haven’t had a fight, so wtf? This hurts me a lot more than it should and was on my mind all night.

PPS. If you want to buy my painting, help me make BETTER art and see my awesome artist statement, click here.

November 24, 2014

I never went to your school, I learned in a monkey tree…

Everything has been super crazy lately and today is my only day “off” between now and next Sunday, with some of those days working multiple times per day to cover people for US Thanksgiving-related stuffs. I had yesterday off technically but I slept all day because my body just needed it, I woke up, ate dinner, watched a show and basically went back to bed for the night. This is partially a byproduct of depression and winter, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as the doctors/Health Canada say. I was supposed to see Shrinklet (the “almost-shrink” who works with my new shrink, who’s technically a doctor but not a full shrink) last Wednesday to get a lightbox to try to alleviate some of the aforementioned symptoms, but she cancelled on me, so I see her this Wednesday instead.

I’m training 2 new people at work now, my last 2 having graduated out of training with me with flying colours. Now we’ve hired 2 MORE and I’m trying to get them into my morning training sessions with the other 3 I train every morning. With all these new employees, I’m pretty excited about our work’s Secret Santa because some of it will be blind guessing and some of it will be pure stalkage. :o) I also signed up for Secret Satan with the Scratching Post kids this year, which I’ve never done before. We met up with them earlier this month for lunch/brunch, as we tend to do a couple of times a year in Toronto, and as always, it was good to hang out. I’d never signed up for Secret Satan before because I’d never had enough money to do it properly and I suck at making things on a deadline. Last year’s work Secret Santa cured me of this when I made the perfect thing for the person I got and they loved it. This year I know my work Secret Santa really well and my Scratching Post Secret Satan barely at all because the last time we spoke, she was probably 16 and now she’s an adult.

The whole near death experience thing taught me a lot of things, but most importantly who my friends are. That and getting older is teaching me that putting energy into friendships is a good use of one’s time on this earth. Further to that, I have a LOT of “stuff”, so if I have to spend my money on something, I’d rather it be on an experience than another “thing”.

Last Sunday we went to the Danforth Music Hall to see Mother Mother and they were fantastic as always, but we were in the balcony and they use a lot of light effects in their show and I was literally switching between my regular glasses and sunglasses for their whole set. Then on Tuesday we were supposed to go see Book of Mormon but there was a blizzard and it took us 2 hours just to get to the movie theatre in the city closest to us where we watched Interstellar and waited out the storm instead. Super bummed about that. Then tomorrow we’re going to see Amanda Palmer, which should be interesting. It’s a “book tour with music” so I’m not really sure what that means. Her book is called “The Gift of Asking” and it’s all about artists finding funding for their projects or something. I dunno, I still say it sounds a little pyramid-y/Tony Robbins-esque but we’ll see. We had a spare ticket so we’re going with a new friend, named Liz. She’s a writer and here site is here.

The week before last, our hot water heater died and getting a new one into our tiny, shitty house was an expensive 10 day ordeal. 10 days without HOT water, I can’t even imagine what it’s like to live in a place with NO water.

I got into Touched By Fire, the remedial art show for people with mood disorders. It’s December 3rd in Toronto if anyone wanted to go, and you can get tickets here. I guess all of the artwork is going to be up in the gallery for the full month of December though, so you don’t have to go to the show itself to see what I made. I honestly didn’t think I was going to get in. I submitted the maximum allowed size and honestly, my piece isn’t perfect. I submitted it anyway figuring, why the hell not? It’s a self portrait and I’m hardly perfect either. Touched By Fire takes 20% commission so I made the price $1250, figuring I need at least $1k to get my next project(s) off  the ground and the intention with those is Touched By Fire next year and maybe…other things? I dunno, it’s totally an “if you build it, they will come” situation.

The latest rage in chez Crittenden is Magic. Liiiiiike, the uber nerdy card game that I was told the other day was invented by a mathematician, which I fully believe. Madison started it, or rather, her friends have been playing for a long time and Madison got interested, particularly when she found out that the comic shop down the street from us has Magic Night on Fridays and they stay open until like, 3am, so people can hang out and play. And people do, I mean, it’s a small town/community and there isn’t a whole lot to do here ANY night of the week. So Madison learned how to play and I asked her if she’d mind if I played too, because this is something she does with her friends and I didn’t want to intrude on a “kid thing”. She said she’d think about it and then I sort of forgot I asked until she told me this week that she thought playing with me would be fun and good for me, if we/I started going to Magic Night.

On Wednesday Madison and I went to the comic shop so I could start building my deck. We discussed things ahead of time and decided I wanted to build a blue and white deck for a bunch of different reasons, so I bought the starter pack thingy (the $17 as opposed to the – I think – $35 one) in the appropriate colours and then a ton of booster packs. I don’t think I was super lucky with my booster packs. I got a red foil guy that Madison said she’d trade for me for something I can use (I did the same with the foil that came in the starter pack because it required 3 types of mana and that’s too complicated right now) and I got 2 or 3 cards that I couldn’t use, that the store bought back from me for store credit, which Madison used yesterday I think, to get me better creatures. I have a lot of spells, counterspells and enchantments but a distinct lack of guys who do actual damage. I know one is a Planeswalker of some sort and that that’s a good thing and that I should actually have 4 of them in my deck. The learning curve is steep and I’ve still only played twice with Madison who obviously beat me both times, and I still haven’t gone through and read every single card, which is my plan when I’m finished writing this.  I’m also shockingly bad at math and that played a factor in deciding to play. When I was like, 13 maybe, my step-dad decided he wanted to learn how to spell things better so he bought a Scrabble game and we played LOTS of it and he improved, so I figure I can only improve my math skills by playing this. And of course, it’s something I can do with Madison (and Wes when he gets his start from Madison for Xmas), whom I hardly see anymore, that potentially gets me out of the house and interacting with real, live people. It’d be super cool if I end up being any good at this game and we can play teams, which I’m told is a thing. It’s also entirely possible that I’ll get frustrated with it and give Madison and Wes all my cards. We’ll see.

And finally, last Monday, Hoover Dog had a lump removed from his neck and THANKFULLY it turned out to just be a benign cyst. He’s recovering from surgery just fine, but he does ask for more ear scritch scratches because they gave him a haircut to do the surgery and I think it feels extra good without all that fur.

Okay time to make a “white sandwich” (turkey, mayo, havarti cheese and lettuce on toasted grainy bread) and read these Magic cards. Wish me luck and if you have any online Magic resources you actually use/trust, lay ‘em on me! (If my site allows comments this time…which it may not, I think, because Blake keeps forgetting to upgrade WordPress.)

Peace oot!

PS. This song is so stupid but is so totally my current favourite stupid song.

November 6, 2014

Yeah, I’d rather be a hippy than a hipster, what!?

Well, I *was* gonna show you a picture of this cool, old, US army truck that’s parked like a sculpture near my house but my gallery program doesn’t seem to want me to upload anything to it for some reason so I guess I’ll have to get Blake to take a look at that later to see why it’s not doing what I need it to do. Whatever, imgur for the time being. Behold, this awesome truck that I love so much I actually pulled over and trespassed on this person’s lawn/field to show you, which, for someone undergoing immersion therapy, is sort of a big deal.

I submitted a painting or, probably more aptly, a mixed media assemblage to Touched By Fire but I don’t think I got in because they originally said we should be notified by November 3rd if we did and I haven’t heard anything. That was before they extended the deadline until October 31st though so who knows? The piece I made was the biggest size they allowed so I knew my chances of getting in were pretty slim, especially when submitting so late in the game. Doesn’t matter though because I like what I made (but think I could have done better, of course) and it lead to two BIGGER ideas that I’m completely in love with and in the process of trying to make happen. The first part is waiting at least 3 weeks for samples because this shit is srs bsns, and within that 3 weeks, coming up with a solid budget which has been a lot harder to pin down than I originally thought it’d be. I’ve never spent this much money on an art project before though so I’m trying to be as accurate and frugal as possible but I’m dealing with wholesale minimum orders that I’ll only be able to meet ONCE so if I’m short on what I need, I’m screwed and I am THE WORST at math. I’ve asked many people to help me with the math and of the 15 or so answers I’ve gotten, including on Reddit, they’ve all been different. Vastly in some instances. I figure Reddit’s answer is probably the best jumping off point because if the ONLY DUDE THAT ANSWERED ME was wrong, he would have been downvoted or some other dude would have come in with a bigger dick to tell him he was wrong. Anyway, it’s been challenging but I’m pretty obsessed with making it happen one way or another, it’s just the “one way or another” I’m still figuring out.

I met my new shrinks on Monday. Yeah, shrinkS. Plural. I’m so lucky, I get two. The main one, we’ll call her Murphy Brown, immediately wanted to switch me from side-effect-free ziprasidone/Zeldox – my main anti-psychotic, the foundation of my mental health pyramid – with Abilify for no reason whatsoever that I can see except maybe she wants me to gain 30 lbs, which is just the tip of the iceberg with that drug. Fuck that and fuck her. It took me MANY YEARS of trial and error and metabolic syndrome, that outweighed any mental benefit of any drug, to find the right meds and right now I’m maintaining so fuck the fuck right off. I don’t have a nickname for the other shrink yet and she’s a doctor but not a full doctor and still in training or something? She looks about my age. I told them that S.A.D. has started kicking in, meaning that “we may need to go up by half a pill on my cipralex” at some point like my prior doctor said we may have to do and it’s not like this shit doesn’t happen EVERY SINGLE YEAR LIKE CLOCKWORK OR ANYTHING. I asked to borrow a lightbox, I’m going to use it – again, please fuck off with your bulldozer parked so close to my crystal castle.

So that’s how that went. I see the shrink-in-training in 3 weeks. I have no idea why or what I said to necessitate that. Hooray. Thrilled, I am, to have the privilege of answering 50 more random, nosey, irrelevant questions. Oh, that’s another thing, Murphy Brown suggested I stop drinking Diet Coke because it’s “SO MUCH CAFFEINE” and she said if I didn’t believe her I could look it up. Well. I did. When I got home. According to the fucking Mayo Clinic, a cup of coffee has 95-200mg of caffeine and a can of Diet Coke has 23-47mg which means that I consume on average the same amount of caffeine in a day as one cup of coffee, so again, I tell you, Murphy Brown please go fuck yourself.

I’ll stop now. Needless to say, the first visit was not a positive one despite the fact that I went in there with nothing but positivity because life’s going pretty good and good things are happening.

Like I said a while back, I’ve been working a lot. I now work 7-9 hours/day as opposed to 3. I’m still training people. Working all these new hours has enabled me to do something I’ve never done before: paid off my Visa. Then as soon as the final payment cleared, I immediately maxed it out by buying myself and Blake plane tickets to go to San Francisco for my birthday. Why San Francisco? Because Steph the Geek is there in her 20 Mission hippie commune. Because Sapphire is there. Because my friends Kat, Sarah, Quelyn and Erica are there. Blake’s sisters and nieces (whom he’s never even met) are close by in Tahoe. And it’s a medical state. With weird food we can’t get here. And it’s my birthday. So that’s why.

The plan is pretty simple: we’re gonna rent a place in the Mission District using airbnb with (ideally) 2 desks or work surfaces and a kitchen, that has a backyard or courtyard and we’re going to order crazy fruit and organic meat from this website Steph uses and basically just hang out with whoever and each other. Blake’s going to work on his book and I’m sure I’ll find a way to entertain myself.  We’re also going to rent a car and go to Tahoe. Not sure if that’s going to be an overnight thing or not at this point though. On the actual day of my birth we’re trying to have some sort of get-together with everyone…somewhere, because we’ll be leaving for home the next day. I don’t care about Alcatraz or the bridge. I would like to see some painted ladies. I wouldn’t mind seeing the other ocean. omg will there be tidepools? I’ve never seen a real starfish. I dunno, I just figured by the end of February I’ll probably be wanting to slit my wrists so somewhere sunny and warm (to me) with some of my closest friends seemed like a good idea since I suddenly realized it was a viable goal. And I realize I’m now in debt again, but it won’t take too long to pay off and I was pretty proud of myself for essentially saving up all of the money to do this. Or at least take the first step and order the plane tickets.

I have to figure out how to carry-on both my laptop and my camera because everything I’ve ever read/heard has said not to pack them in your luggage. Hrm. I dunno about this traveling stuff.

This week the new Anne Rice book came out AND the new Mother Mother album did too, so honestly, it’s been a pretty good week. Cried a little this morning, convinced that it was going to be a bad day, but it wasn’t. I also got the Lena Dunham book to read for myself, with context, what happened with her sister rather than rely on sentence fragments and the one excerpt the media’s been primarily focusing on to come up with my own opinion. My friend Tay also mentioned that Lena Dunham’s also said some racist things in the media about why there are so few minorities on Girls, which I guess I missed. I follow her on Twitter but like, as much as I follow any celebrity, which means I only read like, maybe 1/10 of her tweets. Anyway, I was interested in her book before all this but when I went to get the Anne Rice book, the Dunham book was only $20 and there was one copy left, so I was like, “fuck it” and added it to my pile, which also included Gone Girl, High Times and a magazine called Canadian Art that looked interesting.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANYWAY, it’s time to take my PM meds, find food, watch American Horror Story and go to bed. Peace oot, y’all.

September 26, 2014

NOW TAKING INTERESTING COMMISSIONS.

I have had a blank WordPress page open since like, the 18th, with this title. And I haven’t posted anything with this title or written the post that was to go along with this title because I’m not sure commissions are ever a good idea. For me, anyway. Either other people’s ideas don’t inspire me or the deadline aspect gives me diarrhea or (often) I’m not in love with the finished product because I see every imperfection and then I feel guilty taking people’s money. When I’m painting normally, I just paint what’s in my head and if there are imperfections, they’re part of the piece and it’s sold “as is”. Done, chuck it on Etsy. Next! But with a commission, I feel the client is expecting perfection and if they’re not they SHOULD BE because I would, so that’s what I feel I need to deliver no matter how unrealistic that may be.

Right now, though, I ain’t makin’ nothin’ and I only have these vague threads of ideas wafting through my head like the ghostly echoes of the whispers of creativity. The last painting I did was this one, last November. And right now all I do is work. Even when I’m not working, I’m actually still really working and I need to do less of that. A couple of weekends ago, I made an oldschool fan sign for a camgirl I like and I pretty much did it because I had 48 virgin Sharpies, a whole bunch of Bristol board and just wanted to do something – anything – creative while Blake and I finished watching Defiance. Cuz that’s what I do. I make stuff. I watch TV and I make stuff. It is what I’ve always done and probably what I will always do.

I have a ton of creative “shoulds” that are lingering about, things I either started or bought the stuff for. I mean, my god, there has to be at least one million ideas within the 6 x 7.5 foot cubicle I inhabit 17.5 hours out of every day, you would think it would be as simple as picking one and following through, but it’s not and it’s not because all of those ideas to me are old ideas. Stale ideas. No one’s ever seen or heard or been told about them or know they exist, but they’re so complete in my head and the process by which to execute them is so…I don’t want to say “easy” because I don’t want to imply that what I do is easy – it’s not. But definitely unchallenging and I’m probably not going to be surprised by the end result. More than anything I just wanna make shit and the only way I can justify putting in the time or money is if someone else wants it. If there’s a reason for making it.

I’m good at “cut & paste”. When I was in kindergarten or grade 1, there were “stations” in my classroom and one of these stations was “cut & paste” and it was THE BEST station because that was where you could always make the best stuff. I’ve always had a mild interest in various clay mediums and thought the dough station was 2nd best, but as a grown-up I don’t know the science behind making clays do what I want them to do permanently and they’re expensive so I’ve always just stuck to paint, paper, glitter & glue. And like I said, I have these almost tangible wispy ideas as I type this and mentally catalogue all of the “stuff” I have to make other stuff out of, but nothing solid takes shape. And right now I even have money that I could buy all kinds of NEW stuff to make stuff out of but I think that’s a complete waste unless the idea’s really good.

And as if by some cosmic joke, I literally just got the call for entries to Touched By Fire, the art show THEY say you have to be crazy to enter because it’s for artists with mood disorders, but I call it the remedial art show pretty much just because it’s like the Special Olympics of art and I’ve ridden that shortbus all the way to Crazytown a few times so I can make fun of it if I want to. This year it’s being held at the Steamwhistle gallery (which is in a brewery, I think) and the theme is “unspoken” and as I write this, about to make fun of it mercilessly, an idea appears….hmmmm….HMMMMMMMMM I SAY. And the more I think about it, the better it issssssssssssssssss…..oh look at that, 250 empty vegan gel caps and a box of o.b. tampons ordered off the internet. The deadline is in 28 days soooooooo I guess it’s problem solved and game on!

PS. Before I kill myself designing them, would anyone be interested in Xmas ornaments of my girls from Zazzle?  Here are the shapes. I figure I’d price them between $25-$20, depending on which type everyone preferred, if any. Lemme know!

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