March 31, 2009

These People Think I Need a Cube

Yesterday on Live Journal I asked people to send me fansigns if they felt I needed a Cube and slowly but surely the photos have come trickling in. Since there’s not a whole lot to do with the Hypercube contest between now and the 9th besides promoting the contest itself (which I still plan on doing, I just don’t really know where else to promote it that I haven’t done already), I decided that every day I’ll post a few more fansigns until the closing of the entry portion of the contest.

So here we go with the first batch!

Baby Ivy from the UK thinks I need a Cube!

Ashley from somewhere in the US thinks I need a cube!
(Also, she has the same phone as me but hers seems to take better pictures. Wtf?)

Chali from Winnipeg thinks I need a Cube! See? She even said so!

Hobbes from the UK thinks I deserve a Cube!

Drunken Housecat from California thinks I should just be given a Cube!

Alden & Jackie from the US think I need a Cube due to my sheer awesomeness!

Mark from Toronto, who has an ear infection, thinks I need a Cube!

Mara from Germany wants me to have a Cube!

Daniel from the Netherlands thinks I need a Cube too!

So there ya have it, people from around the world think I need and/or deserve a Cube and this is just the beginning…

If YOU would like to further my cause and send me a fansign supporting me in my quest for a Cube, please send it along with your name and location to Need more info on what to do with your fansign? Check out my Live Journal post on the topic. Thanks in advance and check back tomorrow for another batch!


Tricksy Hobbit!

HEY GUESS WHAT? This is a Cube post!
*awaits shocked faces*

Every day @thehypercube posts “questions of the day” on Twitter and we all sort of “shout out” our answers to her as an @ reply. However, I’ve been kind of out of commission over the past day or so due to pain medications kicking my ass and I’ve managed to miss all of them.

Sooooooooooo, what I did was write down all of the “questions of the day” she’s thrown out and I’ve missed and I decided to answer them here and just send her a link. That way I’m still in the loop, even though I’m on pain meds and thus, a little loopY.

And awaaaaaaay we go!

@thehypercube: Best road trip ever?
@SunnyCrittenden: When I was 12, my best friend’s mother borrowed a conversion van from a friend and we went on a road trip to Sandbanks Provincial Park down near Belleville, Ontario, which is really only about 2 hours away from where we lived at the time but we went all over the place in that ugly gold van for about 2 weeks, staying at Sandbanks for a few days and then staying at other campsites in the area until the vacation money literally ran out and there was just enough money for the gas to get home. The van was right out of the 70’s with gold shag carpet, gold seats and a booth-like area at the back with a gold cushioned seat around a sparkly gold table.

@thehypercube: Are you urban or suburban, and why?
@SunnyCrittenden: Both. I live in a very small town (pop. 1700) because it’s “safe”, my kids can walk to school, it’s a GOOD school with small class sizes and the town has a nice library, but it’s dependent on a city (Barrie) for work and basic necessities.

@thehypercube: Have you asked cubists what they would do if they won a Cube?
@SunnyCrittenden: I think I pretty much outlined that here. The Cube would allow me basic freedom that I haven’t really had in a very long time. I just want to be able to do cool stuff with my dogs, my friends and my kids. Looking good doing it is a bonus.

@thehypercube: I want to know where everyone got their Twitter nicknames from. There are some really interesting ones.
@SunnyCrittenden: Mine’s just my name. Well, my professional name anyway.

@thehypercube: What person, living or dead, would you most want to spend an afternoon learning from?
@SunnyCrittenden: This is a very difficult question, but probably Frida Kahlo. I think she’d have a lot to teach me about art, but life as well. My next pick would be Virginia Woolf for similar reasons, but with writing instead of art.

@thehypercube: If you can go on a road trip with the Cube across North America, where would you go?
@SunnyCrittenden: I’d like to see all of Canada. I’ve been all over the US, but as far as Canada, I’ve really only seen my own province and not a whole lot of it. I’d like to see Montreal, I hear it’s a pretty amazing place. I’d also like to see BC one day, but I’m not sure where specifically.

@thehypercube: Name your favourite movie and why.
@SunnyCrittenden: Probably The Hours because it’s just so well done. The book, by Micheal Cunningham is probably my favourite book of all time and the movie is just as good. Of course, it’s about Virginia Woolf and the writing of Mrs. Dalloway, but the subplots are woven together so tightly it just amazes me every time I see it.

@thehypercube: What’s your favourite letter of the alphabet?
@SunnyCrittenden: Z. There’s just no cooler letter than Z.

So those are the questions of the day I missed while I was out of commission. I’m still not 100% but getting better and needing the drugs less so hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with Twitter better pretty soon. The main problem is that the drugs make me tired, so I’ve been napping a lot and it seems like that’s when the questions of the day get thrown out there!

Anyway, I’m working hard on not falling behind.

And now, I leave you with some lolcats that Marylin made and sent me to further the Cube cause:

March 28, 2009

I’ve Been a Busy Girl. ;o)

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Last night I was bored and trying to think of something to do when suddenly I decided it was time to be a little more proactive in my quest for the Cube.

At this point in the contest, we’ve been asked to fill out our “Facebook-like profiles” on and we’ve been told that we have until April 9th to do so. Well, me being me, I got mine done about 20 minutes after I got the e-mail with my login info and I’ve been pretty much twiddling my thumbs ever since.

So as I said, last night I was sitting around with my thumb up my butt, wondering what I was going to do for the next 13 days when suddenly it came to me: promote the contest anywhere I can so other Canadians can get in on it before it’s too late! And how do I do that? By spreading the word on Canadian websites and forums. Sure it’s a little spammy, but worded right, I figured the odds of having my messages deleted were 50/50 at best and the worst that could happen is that is that my messages would be ignored or I’d be banned from forums I don’t even participate in, so no big deal.

I figured I’d start locally first, so off to 102.1 The Edge‘s website (Toronto radio station that meets the general demographic of this contest) I went and discovered that they had a whole page with ways to connect which included both Twitter and Facebook.

So…I sent messages to @the_edge, @1021edgegirl and @InsideEdgeChick with the contest information all hypercubists have been retweeting for almost a month now and encouraged all hypercubists to do the same, hoping some of them would see the cube signal via the #hypercube tag.

Then I hit Facebook. I posted a message on the wall of The Edge’s Facebook fan page and then I started a thread about the contest on Dean Blundell’s (morning show host) Facebook group, asking him to mention the contest on the air. I doubt he will, but I figured it would be worth a shot and again, I encouraged other hypercubists to keep the dream alive by posting in that thread, again, using the #hypercube tag in the hopes that others would see my message.

As I was doing all that, my faithful and trusty sidekick, Blake, who I happen to be married to, was looking up whether or not City TV (Breakfast Television – their morning show – in particular) and Much Music (Canada’s MTV) had forums or Facebook groups and e-mailing me links.

Breakfast Television didn’t have a forum to speak of, but we did discover that they had a Twitter account, so I sent them a Hypercube @message too, informing them of the contest.

As I was thinking about City TV and Toronto in general, a really good idea came to me: SPEAKER’S CORNER! So I tweeted, again using the #hypercube tag, that Toronto hypercubists should totally hit up Speaker’s Corner and spread the word as there was probably enough time to do that and get on the air next weekend, a full 4 days before sign ups close.

After I did that, I signed up for City TV and Much Music forum accounts and patiently awaited my confirmation e-mails.

As I waited for these e-mails, Blake & I went to a bunch more Canadian websites looking for places to put the hypercube message, when suddenly it dawned on me that hey, I happen to know the guys over at Bite TV fairly well, so over to their site I went only to discover that they had taken their forums down during the last site redesign. Bummer. So, I did the next best thing: I dug through old e-mails with them, copied the addresses and sent them an e-mail telling them of the contest. Truthfully, this one probably won’t bear fruit due to the nature of the station (they have no live content and in-house content seems to be only created maybe once a month, last I watched) but I figured “what the hell” and did it anyway. Maybe they’d make a blog post about it on the site or something.

So as I did that, the confirmation e-mails from City & Much came in, but just as that happened, Blake informed me that had CLASSIFIEDS. Oooooooooooh I thought, so I asked what kind of classifieds? Could anyone post? Were they free? So we both looked and found that the answer to all of the above was YES and not only that but they had a CARS section in the classifieds. So, I placed this ad, which was confirmed and is live, so you can see it here, but in case it gets taken down, I took a screencap:

( classified ad, click here to enlarge!)

Truthfully, there’s a very good chance that human eyes may see this before it goes up and nix the ad and there’s more than a good chance that human eyes will see it once it’s up and nix it for not being a “real” car ad, but I figured I’d so it anyway and hope for an “A for effort”.

By this time, I was exhausted (I’m currently on Tylenol 3 and it knocks me on my ass) so I decided to save City TV and Much Music for today.

So, when I woke up this morning, the first place I went after checking my e-mail and Twitter was to make my thread on their forum, which you can see here. But just in case they take it down, I screencapped it for posterity:

(Much Music thread I started, click here to enlarge.)

Again, this could be considered a little spammy, so there’s a good chance the mods will delete it, but i’m hoping I worded it in such a way that they won’t. It’s hard to say. The same could go for the thread I started on the City TV website, which you can see here, but again, I’m hoping that won’t be the case and of course I screencapped that one “just in case” too:

(The City TV thread I started, click here to enlarge!)

So, that’s what I spent my Friday night and Saturday morning doing, hopefully my messages are heard and my threads are fruitful, so some more hypercubists are added to the fray and we can make this community of ours a little bit bigger. :o)

Posted at 11:50 am in: Advertising , Nissan Cube
March 27, 2009

Cube Posts

If you’ve come here looking for posts about the Nissan Cube or the contest, the easiest way to find them all is to co to “Categories” there on the left and scroll through until you find the Nissan Cube category.

And speaking of… It’s not too late to try & win your own Nissan Cube! Go to and sign up! The profile pages are up and ready to fill out and that’s how they’re choosing the 500 “finalists” so go go go! (And don’t forget to follow @thehypercube on Twitter!)

Posted at 1:01 pm in: Nissan Cube

My friend KY Kelly sent me this…

And if she believes in this, so do I. :o)

KY Kelly has sent you a message on Mixed Media With Suzi Blu

Hello people.  I’ve never mass emailed all my friends on the Suzi Ning like this
before, but I need help.  Two of the Shutter Sisters (Jen Lemen and Stephanie
Roberts) are starting a mission of Hope, traveling all over the world to take
pictures and tell stories of people helping people, standing up for what’s right,
and just plain daring to believe in the basic good of people.  They need just a few
more votes to win “Name Your Dream”, and get 50,000 dollars to finance their
project.  It just takes a couple of seconds and doesn’t cost any money to go vote.
and then just a few more seconds to pass on the word to get the vote out.  This
would be amazing if they could win!!!  thank you, ladies!  (and rafa!)

Where to vote –

Shutter Sisters Home –

Posted at 12:39 pm in: Art , artists , Photography
March 26, 2009

Laparoscopy #4

So I had my follow-up appointment today with the doctor who did my laparoscopy a couple of weeks ago and long story short I have “extensive” endometriosis and he’s going to refer me to the surgeon in Toronto who will, hopefully, do a 5th laparoscopy, this time with a laser to zap all of the endometrial tissue.

The doctor I saw today was a very different doctor than the first time I saw him. I think the first time he didn’t believe me about the endometriosis or that I’d already had surgery for it 3 times, but maybe after actually getting my records and seeing for himself what a mess there is inside me, he changed his mind and decided to be sympathetic instead.

Again though, he tried to push the Lupron on me and again I had to fight with him about it. He did warn me though, that this doctor in Toronto may recommend a full hysterectomy, including the ovaries, which would put me into menopause, but that the choice would be ultimately left up to me and I would have the option of just the laser surgery. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

I asked him for a copy of my operative report, partially because I wouldn’t remember where all of the endometriosis was but also so I could show it to my family doctor who makes me feel like a lying junkie every time I ask him for Tylenol 3 because I’M IN PAIN. I have an appointment with him at 3:50pm today for this reason.

Anyway, here’s my operative report in case anyone’s curious. Basically I’m endometriosis-ridden and in very bad places, such as the bladder which is very tricky to operate on. The “pouch of Douglas”, if I recall correctly, is just a fancy way of saying “behind the uterus. The ligaments he talks about are the ligaments that support the uterus which is a very very painful place to have it. The fact that the bulk of it appears to be on the left side, including a large endometrioma, doesn’t surprise me as that’s where I often hurt the most. The cervix part surprised me, as that’s a new place for me, but I get these crazy, wickedly painful “crotch cramps” which are not unlike a very bad foot cramp but in your vagina and now I know why.

This is actually the worst report I’ve had to date, but with how the disease seems to behave in me, I’m not all that surprised by it either. In fact, I feel a little vindicated in that I’m not a wuss and I’m not blowing anything out of proportion and that my pain is real and justified.

So here ya go, medical nerds, knock yourselves out:

Posted at 3:32 pm in: Endometriosis , Health
March 25, 2009

Dare To Dream.

As Warren Ellis would say, “Good morning, sinners”, here’s this morning’s playlist, which the “I don’t like rap” crowd won’t be too fond of, but meh, whatcha gonna do? Can’t please everyone and this is honest to god what I woke up to this morning. My neighbours, by the way, kinda hate me sometimes.

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So, last night I got thinking some more about this Nissan Cube thing. I’ve made two posts now where I’ve made the claim that winning the Cube would help me in my immersion therapy, but I haven’t really explained my immersion therapy or how the Cube would fit in. If I were the judges, I probably wouldn’t want to award the prize to an agoraphobe, or at least I’d be reluctant to, because they want these Cubes driven and seen and well, an agoraphobe by definition wouldn’t do that, right?

I can’t find the link to the official rules at the moment, but if I recall correctly, the winners of Hypercube won’t be receiving their Cubes until July, which actually fits perfectly into my immersion therapy timeline. So perfectly that it’s actually a little eerie in that “sign from God” kinda way. (Dramatic, I know, seriously this seems more & more like a fate thing the further I get into it.)

Anyway, here’s my immersion therapy timeline, as set out by myself and which will be adhered to with the help of a caseworker:

March: Going to the end of the driveway every day to get the paper until it’s no big deal. Well, it’s no big deal anymore, so I’m already ahead of the game there.

April: Once it gets warmer, like the second week of April or so, my task is to harness my dog Lucky, whom I got to be an emotional support animal, and walk to the end of the block and come back until it’s no big deal anymore. Once that becomes no big deal, Lucky and I will walk to the end of the next block and come back until that’s not a big deal anymore. Which should bring us into May…

May: About 3 blocks away from my house is a park with an ampitheatre and at the back of it is a long trail that leads to another park in a neighbourhood. Halfway between the two parks, down the trail, is a bench and a picnic table. My goal for May is to walk to the first park with Lucky and back until it’s no big deal. Then make it to the bench and the picnic table and back until it’s no big deal. May is also the month I start working in my garden, which is extremely difficult for me due to being so exposed, so that’s another goal, to be able to work on my garden during the week, all by myself.

Also during the month of May, Blake is going to take me out so I can relearn how to drive. As I’ve tried to explain in previous posts, I have a licence, I used to be a good, confident driver, I just haven’t done it in so long I don’t feel like I have control of the car and I’m afraid to go more than 50 km/h.

June: More of me & Lucky (and maybe Hoover too) going to the park, this time taking a book and/or a picnic lunch with us and actually staying in the park for half an hour to start and ideally increasing that time to up to an hour. June is also for testing my own limits by either taking my son (6) with me to the trail in the park to take pictures or Lucky to the grocery store in town (the park is about halfway between my house and the trail) to buy dog treats. (Grocery stores are really hard for me.)

I’m also supposed to be (theoretically) walking to both the library and the post office but I probably won’t,  especially if I win a Cube, which I’ll get to in a minute.

June also means more driving immersion therapy with Blake and because I used to actually enjoy driving, I think by the end of June I’ll be golden in that respect.  Should I win a Cube, as long as I stick to my plan, I’m fairly confident that it’ll be me driving it off the lot. (Except I might chicken out because I KNOW how to drive our car and our Nissan dealership is in the south end of Barrie, which means driving on the 400 which I’m not sure I want to do in a car I’ve never driven before.)

July: I’m home with the kids, making my therapy a little different. I also may be the proud new owner of a new Cube, which would also alter my therapy. So I’ll give you both scenarios.

Immersion therapy in July without a Cube: The kids and I (and Lucky who’s technically undergoing immersion therapy himself for separation anxiety)  walk to the library every two weeks to either get books or return books. The kids and I walk to the 2nd park down the trail in the neighbourhood, again, with Lucky and maybe Hoover too.  (I’m not sure I can walk both of them, that still remains to be seen.) The kids and I are supposed to walk to the post office and the grocery store, but I don’t foresee us doing either because I get and send a lot of large packages and we won’t be able to carry them home, so what’s the point when Blake can just get it all before or after work or on Saturdays? And the same thing applies to the grocery store too, I mean why go if we’re on foot? It’s not like we can actually do groceries and it’s a long walk and it’ll be hot and we’re not gonna wanna lug home bags of food.

I think July and August without a Cube is only going to be the library every two weeks and the park when and if I get up before 2pm. (In the summer I tend to do most of my sleeping during the day because there’s no reason to be awake during the day and the nights are cooler and kid-free so I can actually get stuff done.)

Immersion therapy in July WITH a Cube: The kids, the dogs and I could go to the post office and actually bring home and mail large packages. The kids and I could actually go to the grocery store and – get this – buy the week’s groceries so Blake doesn’t have to fit that into his busy schedule anymore. The kids and I could actually go to the variety store and rent movies on rainy days. I could take the kids to McDonalds for lunch (every now & then…I kinda have a hate on for McD’s and feeding it to my kids, but we could do it!).

Night time drives around the general vicinity of Elmvale by myself in the Cube with nothing but my thoughts and my iPod. And maybe my friend Jesse who lives close enough to still be in Elmvale, but not close enough to walk to his house.

I could go to the GARDEN CENTRE. Holy crap!

During July, I think sticking to our little town of Elmvale would be best. I won’t know until it is July if that assessment will be correct, but as per my own timeline, I probably won’t be ready until August to do the bigger stuff.

August: Again, home with the kids.

Immersion therapy in August without a Cube: Pretty much the same as July. In fact, I can’t think of anything that would be different than July. Elmvale’s a small place with only so many options when you’re on foot. McDonald’s is too far for a 6 year old to walk to in that kind of heat, so is the store with the movies (which we’d want to do on rainy days anyway, so no walking). So I guess it’s just the library and the park still, except in a much hotter month.

Immersion therapy in August WITH a Cube: This would be a big month. By August I would be used to how the Cube drives and I would be more confident driving it. This means I could drive to two very important places: Barrie and Wasaga Beach.

Along with all the stuff I outlined in July for us to do, the kids and I could go to Wasaga Beach for the day on a Wednesday, pack a lunch and stay all day rather than sweat in this heatbox of a house. We could do this every single day if we wanted to. (As long as I sell enough paintings to keep us in parking money!) We could also drive to Barrie so I could buy art supplies at Curry’s and Micheal’s and guess what happens to be in the same industrial park as Micheal’s? STARBUCKS, which we could pick up and bring Blake at work on our way out of Barrie.

Something else I could do in August is go to the Wal*Mart in Wasaga Beach and do the back-to school shopping in the middle of the week, with the kids, so we don’t have to go on weekends with Blake when it’s a ZOO.  Also? If I did win a Cube and this all wasn’t just me dreaming, I could even do our groceries at Wal*Mart where things are cheap instead of Elmvale’s IGA which is tiny, never has what I want and charges much more than anywhere else. Being a family living on one income, this is a huge deal.

And know what else I could do in August? Well for one, I could drive to Barrie and pick my friend Alex up, who doesn’t drive, and we could either hang out at my house (and I could drive her home!) or we could have adventures. We could go to the drive-in as there happens to be one in both Barrie and Elmvale. Or we could go to the regular movies. OMG I JUST REALIZED! I could take my KIDS to the movies! I’ve never done that before!

God, I’m so excited by these possibilities I’m on the verge of crying.

September: At this point I don’t think it would even really be immersion therapy for the agoraphobia. If all goes as planned and I actually win a Cube, by September I won’t be a textbook agoraphobe, but I’ll no doubt still have generalized anxiety about talking to people and being out in public, so I’m still going to call it immersion therapy.

If I don’t win a Cube, my progress won’t be anywhere near what’s outline here. It’ll be slow, less fun and more painful. :o/ I won’t be driving to Barrie or Wasaga Beach. I probably won’t be driving anywhere.

Immersion therapy in September without a Cube: The same as June, except I may be so frustrated at doing the same thing over & over & over again it’s quite possible I’ll start not leaving the house again. One thing I do want to do though once the kids are back in school is photograph Elmvale. I want to show the world the main street that’s dying a slow death, but has so much potential. I want to show the whole world the alley beside the bank where kids sneak smokes. I want to show the shed behind the hair salon where feral cats live and have kittens. I want to show everyone our seasonal homeless man who looks like Santa in the off-season.  I won’t be ready in April, May or June to do any of that and I can’t really do it with kids in tow and by October I risk the possibility of losing my light, so September it’ll have to be.

Immersion therapy in September WITH a Cube: Again, I could actually do the groceries. At Wal*Mart. I could drive to Barrie to get my art supplies and with the cargo space in the back of the Cube, I could easily fit in bigger canvasses than our current car can hold and that means growth as an artist, which excites me. I could drive to Barrie and have lunch with Blake on his lunch break. (Hey that rhymed! Uh, sort of!) I could take the dogs to one of the private beaches along Wasaga that I know about and take pictures. Hell, I could just drive around with the dogs and take pictures all over the place. I love September light.

I could start my Christmas shopping. I could also feel confident in submitting art to local art shows because I have a way (besides mail, which is more expensive than driving, especially with the Cube’s fuel efficiency) to get my art where it needs to be and I have a way to actually GET to the art shows and take whatever date I want to take with me. Not that I don’t love Blake or anything, but it would be cool if Alex or Jesse could be my +1 sometimes.

But most importantly, in September? I can actually pick my kids and the neighbour’s kid up from school so they don’t have to walk almost 2 km home and get home at 4:30pm (an hour after school ends) because there’s no bus for them.

October: It’s gonna start getting colder and darker that’ll make walking places harder.

Immersion therapy without a Cube: Honestly, I don’t see a lot going on. I’m definitely going to be sick of the park by then and it’ll be cold and I won’t see a reason to leave the house. I think without a car, my progress will flat out stop at this point and resume again, pretty much from scratch, in the spring. Blake’s still going to have to do the groceries, he’s still gonna have to drive home from Barrie to pick me & the kids up, drive back to Barrie so I can buy art supplies and then we get home late enough that it’s 8:30 by the time we’re eating dinner. He’s still going to have to try & fit in getting the mail and mailing my paintings before or after work. The kids are gonna have to walk home from school. And I’m gonna be stuck in the house being miserable because there’s not much of an alternative and I’ll know that it’s going to be another 6 months of it.

Immersion therapy WITH a Cube: Along with groceries and mail and day to day stuff, I could take the kids to buy their Halloween costumes. I could also take them to Rounds Ranch to pick out their pumpkins. If accepted to Touched By Fire again this year (an art show in Toronto at the Gladstone Hotel), I may just have the bravery required to drive my own pieces down to Toronto.

Something else that never even crossed my mind until now is that starting in September, Blake won’t have to take vacation days to take me to my shrink, doctor or dentist appointments anymore. he won’t have to take vacation days to do the same with the kids, I can take them.  These are all huge things.

So I guess I’ll end this at October because it’s just going to get repetitious beyond then, but my point is that, if I win this Nissan Cube, it’ll really change my life and get me back on track to being a productive member of our family again, not to mention society as a whole. There’s no better incentive than freedom and that’s what the Cube represents to me. I just turned 30, I’m heading into a new chapter of life, a creative, productive chapter and it just makes sense to have a new ride that fits that new life.  The Cube is it.

(X-posted to Live Journal)

March 24, 2009

HEY! Been Tryin’ To Meet’choo…

This is probably my favourite song of the moment, I listen to it every day when I wake up and then leave iTunes on shuffle for the rest of the day:

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Most of this post is going to be old news for my regular readers, so I apologize in advance for that and it is also for that reason that I won’t be x-posting this to Live Journal; I’ve bombarded that place enough with Cube spam this week and they’re probably ready to string me up by my ass hairs.

So, @thehypercube said yesterday: “Show me how you’re creative… blog about your art, your music, poetry, shoe collection, record collection… surprise me!” and because I was busy at the time and didn’t think I’d get a chance to actually make this post, I sent him links to the paintings in my gallery, which admittedly was a prosaic move on my part, so here I am rectifying the situation so the guy doesn’t think I’m a hack.

Although, before I begin trying to prove how amazingly creative I am and posting, like, a billion pictures, I do want to say this: The next step of the contest is to fill out a Facebook-like profile on the website, then they pick 500 people from those and the step after that is to use this mysterious “blank canvas” on the site to blog, add pictures, add videos and do whatever you want to prove that you’re who their looking for. Therefore, I’m a little leery of making this post. I kinda feel like I’m blowing my wad by doing it because everything I’m about to post (well, most of it), I intended to blog about should I be of the 500 chosen to elaborate on myself.

So, it is with trepidation that I make this post.

I guess the first thing to know about me, if it isn’t already obvious, is that I’m hypergraphic. Put simply, hypergraphia is an overwhelming urge to write and it is commonly linked with mania in bipolar disorder, which I have, so it kind of makes sense. Every single week, I estimate that I write the equivalent to a novel between this site, my Live Journal(s), Twitter and my paper journals. It’s compulsive, I just can’t help myself, so it’s probably a good thing that I’m not a bad writer.

I go through about a notebook per month. This is a picture I took of my journals from January 2006 to October 2007. There are 21 of them.

(Click to get a better look.)

It’s hard to tell in that picture, but most of my journals (as well as my sketchbooks and notebooks) tend to have hand-painted covers:

(This is a journal I painted, most of them have my business card on the front in case of loss.)

(This is my current sketchbook. Click here to get a better look, I think it’s pretty cool.)

My current journal actually isn’t all that exciting, though. An old friend used to intern at this ad agency in Toronto called Zig and stole me two of their notebooks that say “ideas” on the front in a rounded orange font so that’s what I’m using right now. I’ve of course graffiti’d them with words of self-loathing, but that’s neither here nor there.

Something else to know about me is that I’m a domain name junkie. I just wake up some days with phrases or words in my head and think, that’d make a great domain and out comes the credit card to register them. Some I register for future profit, some for future projects, most just so no one else will register them. Here’s a list of current notables:

  • and .org
  • (which used to be my kids’ site)
  • (used to be for our Alliance guild when I played World of Warcraft)
  • (for a project that never really got off the ground, but the domain still cracks me up)

Ones I’ve let go in the past few years:

  • (my old menstrual-themed Warcraft guild (Horde) that was headed by Endometria, a shadow priestess)
  • (just a word some friends and I made up in college that meant a mixture of everything on a restaurant table to be mixed and a person dared to eat it)

Annnnnnnnd a bunch of others I’d rather not admit to and ones I’m totally forgetting at the moment. The fact is though, that I register domains a LOT and let them lapse constantly and I’m not even sure why. Luckily the friend who hosts this site for me is also a domain registrar so I get a good deal on them.

So that’s the words portion of this post, I suppose. It may be worth mentioning that I used to have a zine called “The Paper Blog“, which I sold through this site and I made a PDF book called “Textibitionism: The Paper Blog Anthology” in 2006 which was downloaded several thousand times despite only giving the secret url to about 50 people via snail mail. Word of mouth works.

I’ve also had two articles on marketing and the internet published in Marketing magazine and was offered my own column, but shortly after it was offered they laid off a bunch of staff and cut their freelance budget significantly so it never happened. I’d link the articles but I didn’t get to pick the titles and they’re really really embarrassing.

Aside from being a compulsive writer and domain register, I’m also a rogue gardener. In the spring of 2006, some friends and I tore up my entire front lawn and planted a wildflower garden. This was the original idea:

(Click to read the text.)

The entire project was documented in a (now defunct) Live Journal community called “KeepOfftheLawn”, (archived here) hence owning the domain of the same name and the whole thing was funded by seeds donated by people from the internet and the sale of Sunnyland “post-tards”, which were postcards I made of my house and decorated using the seed packets of the plants I’d started indoors in March.

(Don’t you think a new Nissan Cube would look lovely parked in the driveway beside my garden?)

So of course the weekend the actual lawn desecration took place was May 24 weekend and it involved a LOT of alcohol.

(Me & Scooter with Sondra in the background. The weekend’s pics can be found here.)

(My friend Jesse & my mom the day we planted seeds.)

And even though it was FREEZING we got it done and then I unceremoniously dumped about a 1/2 lb of wildflower seed on it all, watered it and waited. We’re now known as “the house with the garden” and get many visitors every summer who just want to look at it.

(This is the sign that I painted to hang on the front of the porch. It’s kinda large.)

(This is the walkway I built by hand. It has coloured glass hearts embedded into it.)

(Part of the garden the first year.)

(The garden summer 2007. Looks a lot like the postcard, huh?)

(Also 2007, that’s what most of it looks like.)

(Garden path lined by bachelor’s buttons.)

For the full set of 2007 pics that were taken at 6am, including a little surprise at the end, click here.

I’ll spare you the 2008 pics because the garden didn’t do too well due to less rain than the year before and relying 100% on American wildflower seed which turned out to be a big mistake as it was full of what I’d consider weeds. This year the garden will have 2 lbs each of pink cosmos and multi-coloured bachelor’s buttons dumped on it and it’s going to look fabulous.

In the winter, when I can’t garden, my thoughts still wander to gardeny things. For example, these concrete planters I designed for use in a park:

Or the infamous “teacup wall” that’ll probably never happen, but I dream of it constantly anyway:

So that’s my rogue gardening. Basically my philosophy on the whole thing is to stick stuff in the ground and then ignore it aside from the occasional watering and maybe pulling a few weeds. If it’s gonna grow, it’s gonna grow. If it doesn’t, then you plant something else next year! Simple.

Being a multi/mixed-media artist, there’s photography. I consider myself a fluke photographer in that I know basically nothing about the science of photography and I don’t use the best cameras, yet I still somehow end up taking nice pictures when I actually try. Here are a few notable ones:

(Madison aged 3. Full series can be found here but since these are scans, the colour’s a bit off.)

(Click to embiggen.)

(Click to embiggen.)

The last two of the kids (my kids) are the only pictures I’ve ever photoshopped, mostly because I don’t know how but also because I’m kind of anti-photoshop when it comes to art. You either get the shot right the first time or you don’t, none of this retouching bullshit. That doesn’t mean you’re good at photography, it means you’re good at Photoshop! Shenanigans. I know a lot of artists who even photoshop their paintings and that bugs the crap out of me.

This would be a good segue into my paintings, but I’m going to save them for last because they’re actually the most recent of my artistic explorations. (Gardening doesn’t count…I mean *I* think my garden is sort of performance art, or at least that was the point of it in the beginning, an attempt to  announce “WE ARE HERE!” and rattle the locals (we’d just moved here), but now it’s just a garden.)

One of my first artistic loves is copper tooling. It was taught to me in grade 5 or 6 by Judith Tinkl, who’s now a quasi-famous textile artist and who lives with her husband Viktor who makes some of the most amazing outdoor sculptures I’ve ever seen. (If you ever get a chance to go on the Uxbridge, Ontario Studio Tour and they’re on it, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it.) Anyway, Judith used to be a traveling art teacher for the Durham Region board of education and is the person who really made me love art. Most of my copper pieces have been ruined or given away or sold and I made most of them before it ever ocurred to me to take pictures of things, so I’ll just post “The Anger Fish” and tell you that there are two other (mediocre) pieces here:

My first experiments with paint came in the form of wooden boxes. For a while I was doing something I called “painting with fire” where I’d mix acrylic paint with hairspray, paint with it on the boxes and then set it on fire while it was still wet, which caused a burnt, almost metallic bubbled effect. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of these anymore due to a hard drive crash a long long time ago. What I do have pictures of, however, are some of the boxes that followed:

(Pretty Pink Pills, more images here.)

(Pills For Ills, more images here.)

(Performance 187, more images here.)

During my boxes phase, because I have severe endometriosis, I created this small shadow box out of plaster, copper curls and burnt matches:

(Click here for full gallery.)

And finally, this brings us to paintings on canvas, which I discovered shortly after the boxes phase. My mother’s a painter so I’ve never really been a stranger to the media, but I’d never used canvas before and now that’s pretty much all I use, although I am experimenting on wood these days but nothing’s finished yet.

My early days of painting were…experimental and a lot of them, in my opinion, not very good. So instead of wasting space by showing you all of my disasters, I’ll just link you to the gallery of older stuff and post the ones I think are okay.

(Indigo Ocean, mixed media on canvas. This was the first painting I ever made.)

(Fetal Mermaid, mixed media on canvas.)

(It’s Okay If It Hurts, mixed media on canvas.)

(It’s Okay If It Hurts detail.)

(Autumn, acrylic on canvas.)

All of the above were pre-2005.

In 2006, as you may or may not be aware, I had a psychotic break that I was ultimately hospitalized for, but during that period I created the piece I call “Camp Tampon” but renamed “Mania in the Key of Psychosis” for the art show Touched By Fire in October.

(For the full explanation of this painting and detailed pictures, please see this post.)

After my little break from reality (which led to my bipolar diagnosis and 2 years of psychiatric medication hell) it took me a long time to trust my imagination again. If you’ve never experienced psychosis, I pray you never do because it’s like being stuck in your own imagination indefinitely, like a really really bad acid trip. but worse because you know you didn’t take anything and at the same time,  you don’t even really know that you’ve broken from reality, you just think the world’s gotten inexplicably fucked up. Because of this, I became afraid to use my imagination for a solid 2 years or so. It wasn’t until my shrink and I finally agreed on the right medication and I felt I could trust it that I signed up for an online art class and suddenly it was okay to paint again.

I won’t post everything as this post is already gargantuan, but here are a few of the pieces I’ve completed during the fall and over the winter:

(Hope, for more pics click here. This was one of 3 pieces I showed at Touched By Fire in the fall.)

(Dream, for more pics click here. This was also one of the 3 pieces I showed at Touched By Fire.)

(Ennui, for more pics click here.)

(Beloved, for detailed pics, click here.)

For the full fall gallery, click here.

(Imagine, mixed media on canvas. I actually made two of these, the other in purple, for my little sister and my daughter for Christmas. For more pics, click here.)

(Mermaid Bait, mixed media on canvas. For more detailed pics, click here.)

(Inspire Boy, mixed media on canvas. made for my son’s 6th birthday.)

(Five O’Clock Abortion, mixed media on wood. Most recent piece. For more pics, click here.)

For the full winter gallery, click here.
Recent commissions can be found by clicking here.

*WHEW!* Okay, I think I’m done! Well, not really…I could do a whole other post on hair alone (I shaved my head 2 years ago and had a big green mohawk for long enough to take pics – and I did it all on a live webcam stream with about 30,000 people watching – and I’ve had hair of every colour imaginable.) I could do a whole other post on advertising schemes that have never seen the light of day (I made have mentioned that I went to college for creative advertising). I could also do an entire post just based on my sketchbooks and some of the photography and art ideas I have that I haven’t gotten around to actually executing yet because I’m a big chicken and currently have a hard time leaving my house.

The point though? I’m an extremely unique and creative person. I just don’t know any other way to be, that’s just me!

Anyway, I hope this post got me one step closer to being a Cube owner, I could really use one, but not only that, I really really want one because I think the car just fits me.

The 2009 Nissan Cube.
Canadians! Try to win one at!

March 21, 2009

More Cubey Goodness

This girl’s website, is the best one I’ve seen so far, check it out! She has a neat app on there to customize your own Cube and even got a Cube-inspired haircut! Now that’s dedication.

Here’s another picture of the Nissan Cube, unfortunately not in its natural habitat of my driveway.

I keep wondering if we get to pick the colour if we win and what colour I’d pick if I did. There are so many colours to choose from, I can’t seem to pick one, though. I saw a picture of a cream coloured one that looked pretty spiffy, but I think I’m leaning towards blue, red or green. Black’s always an option too, but if I were to win one, I’d want to stand out, so I’m thinking a colour would be best.

*sigh* Daring to dream…

I think it was the girl whose website I linked up there ^^^ who went on an outing today and took pictures of herself in wacky places like standing on top of a tank, holding up a cardboard sign that said something to the effect of “Have you seen my CUBE?” and I totally felt inferior and a little defeated over this contest because I can barely make it to the end of my driveway yet to get the paper, I can’t really do anything like that even though I have some ideas to the same effect.

For example, Blake & I were talking about the possibility of going to our local Nissan dealership and seeing if we could actually test drive one (and by “we” I mean him) and then take it to do groceries and take pictures of me with the back door open with all our groceries, to show how spacious the cargo area is and if we had time and could orchestrate it, we could take pictures of me in the driver’s seat with the dogs and take a picture of that (which I’m sure the dealership would love, but whatever) and various other ideas to that effect. But the thing is, I’m friggin’ agoraphobic and while I have all of these great ideas in my head, I’m really frustrated with myself because I know I can’t execute them and (probably) everyone else in the contest can.

I mean, I’m creative, I have the ideas, I just don’t have the means to execute them so I’m going to have to think of things within my means which I don’t think are anywhere near as exciting.

Plus, some of the people in the contest have gotten media attention and are truly advertising this thing, whereas, all I really have at my disposal is the 3,000 or so “fans” that visit this site in a month, most of whom don’t even comment. When this contest first came up I kinda thought that would be enough, but now I’m not so sure.

Blah. Low self-esteem day, I guess. Maybe I should have gone with a Facebook page, I know I can at least  get 125 people to one of those within like, 24 hours.

I think I’m also a little gun-shy about the whole thing because I’ve been in a contest a LOT like Hypercube before. Last year (or the year before?) I was part of Weiden + Kennedy’s (an ad agency, I went to college for creative advertising) contest to win a job at their Oregon office, I made a whole new site for it, bought the domain (this is why I own, as I mentioned in my previous Cube post) and was hyped about it because I honestly felt I had a chance of winning. And then I didn’t, which wasn’t so bad, I’m a good loser, but when I saw the caliber of people who did win (um, Biz fucking Stone, the creator of Twitter, hello?), I felt like the biggest jackass on planet Earth for even trying.

And this post, I’m sure, is NOT helping my chances of winning a Cube because it’s a little mopey and not the energy they’re probably going for, but again, whatever. I’m honest, I’m an open book, that’s just who I am and that’s why people read what I have to say. *shrug*

Not to play the pity angle or anything, but winning this car for (again, probably) most of the contestants is that it’s just a cool car for them to drive around, or maybe they need a car to get from point A to point B or whatever, but for me, it’s a brand new life, it’s my freedom back after being home bound for 7 YEARS, it’s the possibility of selling my work in children’s boutiques in Barrie and Toronto and driving myself to my own gallery shows, which I ultimately dream of doing and have the talent of doing as evidenced by three of my pieces being accepted into Touched By Fire in Toronto this fall. It’s going for a drive at 3am just to clear my head, with nothing but my thoughts and my iPod. It’s buying my own art supplies from Curry’s rather than ordering online and it’s having the cargo space to transport giant, heavy canvasses.

And not to be sentimental or show that I’m not the hipster, child-free type (which I think is maybe a negative with this contest) but it’s taking my kids to the beach on a Wednesday when our little house is too hot to move in. I mean, god, we’ve lived 10 minutes away from Wasaga Beach, a place I love, for 4 years now and we’ve only gone once or twice because Blake gets home too late to go after work and it’s too much of a zoo on weekends to even bother. My immersion therapy is to get me to the point where I can do that stuff and the Cube could be the tool to make it all happen.

(My son Wes at Wasaga Beach, Ontario approximately 2 years ago.)

I think the reason I’m so emo about this is because the Cube fits my criteria so well it almost feels like it’s fate that Steph showed me this contest. We could never afford a Cube on our own (or any car for that matter), we’re a one car household and I’ve been saying for years – and my shrink agrees – that the reason I stopped driving in the first place was probably because I didn’t have my own car anymore after I got married. I had my own car before I got married and Blake had his, but after we said “I do”, we had to drop down to one car for financial reasons and since Blake was the one who worked, he drove it constantly and it basically became “his car”.

Since I haven’t driven in about 4 years, I basically have to relearn how to drive. I drive our car (an extremely pathetic 2001 Cavalier which I *will* be posting pictures of during this contest) in the middle of the night up to the corner store sometimes, but I only have the courage to do that because I know there are no other cars on the road and no one to see my crappy parking job or laugh at me for going 10 under the speed limit because I’m scared to go 60 km/h.  Now to put that into perspective, prior to getting married, I drove down the 404 to the Don Valley Parkway and into downtown Toronto to go to school every day for 3 years. 120 km/h was nothing. My maiden voyage with my first car, a 1990 Beretta, was a trip from Stouffville, Ontario to Huntsville, Ontario doing a buck thirty along highway 11. Again, not a problem. And it’s that self-assuredness that want to get back.

But, once again, I’m scared. What I like about the Cube and how it fits my criteria is that it’s non-threatening and looks like it would be easy to park just based on its size and its unique windows. Also it’s a 4-cylinder so it’s not “more car than I can handle”. The cargo space is perfect for my dogs, which is extremely important because my therapy involves driving around with Lucky and/or Hoover to get used to driving with “others”, before I feel okay driving with people. And that’s the other thing about the Cube is that it would easily fit our family, particularly myself and my two kids, which of course is what I’m hoping to work up to. The Cube can easily grow with my progress.

Another thing, which I think is important, is that the Cube looks a little strange and people are going to stare at it and maybe ask me about it and that’s one of the things I fear the most: people staring it me or strangers talking to me. That’s the #1 reason why I stopped leaving the house and it’s also something I know I’ve got to get over because I know how stupid it is. In that respect, the Cube itself would be immersion therapy.

So that’s me & the Cube, now onto actually winning one…I have ideas, but until I get the e-mail that explains the whole profile thing, I don’t think I’m going to execute any of them. The issue with me is both time and the whole not leaving the house thing. Like, I could paint a pretty painting of me & Lucky cruising around in our new Cube or something like that, but that would take me like, 2 weeks, if not more. And it probably wouldn’t win me the contest. I’m thinkin’, and I’m pretty sure I covered this in my previous Cube post, that my only advantage is blogging and showing the Hypercube people the people and four-legged family members in my life. And getting them to this website to show them my paintings and prove that I’m the creative unique snowflake they’re looking for.

So I guess that’s what I’m going to do. I mean all I can really do in the end is be me. Right?

OMG So Obvious!

Blake & I can’t believe we haven’t seen this done by any Hypercubists yet!
So we made it!

Posted at 2:42 pm in: Advertising , Creativity , Nissan Cube

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