August 31, 2009

Pupal Juan/ita

Over the weekend, Juan/ita crawled to the top of the tank I have him/her in and spun its “silk pad” and then hung in the “j” shape that signals it’s almost time for the caterpillar to become a chrysalis.

From Wikipedia (which has a lot of really cool pics, btw):

In the pupa or chrysalis stage, the caterpillar spins a silk pad on a twig, leaf, etc., and hangs from this pad by its last pair of prolegs. It hangs upside down in the shape of a ‘J’, and then molts, leaving itself encased in an articulated green exoskeleton. At this point, hormonal changes occur, leading to the development of a butterfly (metamorphosis). The chrysalis darkens (actually becomes transparent) a day before it emerges, and its orange and black wings can be seen.

I couldn’t find any information online about how long it would hang in the “j” shape before splitting its skin to form the chrysalis, so I just kept it on my desk and kept watching it. This morning when I woke up, like usual I went over to the neighbour’s for about half an hour and when I came back, the kids told me that the caterpillar had started molting. I was a little bummed that I missed it, but when I looked in the tank, I saw that the transformation wasn’t totally complete yet and I snapped this picture:

At the top of the chrysalis, it’s sort of lumpy still, which is the shape of the caterpillar’s butt. The little black “stem” is actually the caterpillar’s back legs and on top of that is the silk pad attaching it to the top of the tank.

Just now, when I was sure the transformation was complete and the chrysalis had long stopped shaking, I carefully opened the lid for a quick macro shot:

I wish the light had been a bit better, but with the lid of the tank being blue-tinged, even close to my lamp and a window, this was the best I could do. I didn’t want to move the tank outside for better light because I don’t want to disturb the chrysalis any more than I have to.

I wasn’t sure how long it would take to become a monarch butterfly, which was why I consulted Wikipedia and this is what it had to say:

The mature butterfly emerges after about two pupal weeks and hangs from the split chrysalis for several hours until its wings are dry (often in the morning). Meanwhile fluids are pumped into the crinkled wings until they become full and stiff. Some of this orangey fluid (called meconium) drips from the wings. Finally (usually in the afternoon) the monarch spreads its wings, quivers them to be sure they are stiff, and then flies away, to feed on a variety of flowers, including milkweed flowers, red clover, and goldenrod.

Luckily for Juan/ita (and shitty for my hayfever), the field across the road is loaded with goldenrod, so it’ll have plenty to eat when I let it go the day metamorphosis is complete.

So that was the excitement in Sunnyland today. Other than that, all I did was wash my sheets and fold laundry. How glamourous my life is, huh?

Posted at 6:11 pm in: Animals , Beauty , Gardening , Summer , Sunnyland
August 30, 2009

Fun With Analytics

Hello internets. How are you today? Good I hope.

I realize I haven’t been much of a textibitionist lately and that it seems like I haven’t been online a whole lot and I thought I’d write a bit about why that is and then share with you all some interesting things about this website.

My neighbours are having a tough time of things right now and to help them save money on childcare costs, I’ve been watching their 9-year-old daughter in the afternoons from the time her mom goes to work and her dad comes home from work. That means that from about 2pm until about 6:30pm there are three very loud, very bored, very ready to go back to school children in my house and I’ve found that this makes it next to impossible to stick to my usual routine of making art and internetting.

Along with five other girls, plus Blake, I’ve been busy working on that TOP SEKRIT PROJEKT I’ve not been talking about since the spring and very very soon it’s going to launch and not be so TOP SEKRIT anymore. Because of that, it’s sort of crunch time and I’ve been pretty stressed out about it.

On top of that there’s getting the kids ready for school, which starts in a week, a shrink appointment on September 4th that I need to prepare for (she’s going to ask me about immersion therapy which is totally something I don’t even want to talk about right now) and my post-op appointment with the endo specialist on September 10th in Toronto. Plus I think my in-laws are going to be visiting during the last two weeks of September as well.

Along with all of the above, I’ve been working really hard to get my last series of paintings done (“Sparkle”, “Shimmer” & “Shine) and ready to submit to the Touched By Fire people for entry into the show this year, as well as writing what basically ended up being like, an artist bio/press release to be used in media for the show, which I know I mentioned previously.

In between all of that, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my neighbours, who I’ve now dubbed “my second family” because I’ve been hanging out with them so much and we also spent a day at my mother’s boyfriend’s cottage where we swam, jumped on a water trampoline thing, watched his son do wakeboard tricks and even got to see Blake on a pair of water skis. In the last two weeks I’ve had two REALLY bad sunburns back to back, which wasn’t fun. In fact, I’m still really itchy from the burn I got the day we went to the cottage.


The scratches are where I made Blake scratch the shit out of me because I was so itchy.


Blake water skiing.

So that’s what I/we’ve been up to in a nutshell. Also, I recently discovered this extremely stupid, extremely addictive video game called Plants vs. Zombies that everyone in this house is currently obsessed with. (Thanks a lot KATIE. :oP) I’m hoping that once the kids start school and my days are free again, that I’ll be able to get the paintings that I have on the go finished and ready for sale (including “Devil Girl”) and to be able to pay more attention to expanding my horizons. This is the first year both kids are going to be at school every day (jr. & sr. kindergarten was Mondays, Wednesdays and every other Friday) and I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to spend most of my time. Making art, definitely, but in between making art I’m not entirely sure.

There’s also the matter of moving, which has been on mine & Blake’s minds a lot over the summer. he doesn’t feel as though his current position within the company is as secure as it was before the economy went to shit and the number of departments closing is kind of scary, so he’s started positioning himself for a better job within the company. Right now he’s a…I dunno, a technology analyst (??) and the new job he’s hoping to get is something to do with databases. The issue though, is that the database stuff is all based out of Toronto, which is about an h our & a half away from us. This makes for a brutal commute, especially in the winter which hits our area pretty hard causing roads to often close and snow days galore. That means it would make more sense to move further south both so we’re not spending crazy amounts of money on gas and car maintenance and also so we aren’t forced to spend less time together as a family. The problem is, we don’t know where to move, what kind of house to move into, whether we want to live in a rural area or into a town or even what kind of life we want for ourselves and the kids when we do move. There are so many pros and cons to all of the above, that we don’t even know where to begin sorting it all out. But I’ll save that for another post because right now, in the immediate present, he doesn’t have the job, hasn’t even applied for the job (because the job doesn’t technically exist yet), so we’re staying put.

Anyway, onto analytics.

Like most people with websites, I run stats on mine using Google Analytics. Truthfully, I rarely log in anymore to check them out because my traffic hasn’t changed in years (2500-3000 unique visitors per month…why like, 0.01% of these people actually make contact or post comments is beyond me) and I don’t really care what people are reading or paying attention to because I’m going to post whatever I want anyway. I do find the referrals interesting, but again, they don’t really change much from month to month and I’ve found myself caring less and less as the years go by.

That said, tonight I logged into my analytics just out of boredom and found myself on the “Keywords” page, the page that tells me what people are putting into search engines to land on my site, and some of this stuff cracked me up so as I do every now & then, I thought I’d share and give a little commentary.

The #1 search criteria to find me is of course, my name. That’s a given. But I had 9 visits in the last 30 days from someone (or maybe a few someones) searching for “sunny crittenden + marketing magazine“. Hmmm. Yes, this month I was in Marketing magazine due to the Hypercube debacle, but I’ve also written articles for Marketing magazine in the past and I wonder what exactly this person or persons were looking for – the Hypercube article or the articles I’d written for them in the past. Curious.

Next on the list was “sucking cock“, “blowjobs” and “elf porn“. The former two likely due to my guide on doing just that, and the latter is because I referenced it ONCE in a blog post I made probably two years ago now when I was playing World of Warcraft. Also in the same vein there was “girl guides suck cock“, “what to expect after anal sex“, “are blowjobs good for the tongue muscles“, “cock loving nurses teach cock sucking galleries” (wut?), “does sucking dick actually turns your lips pink?“, “elderly man’s cock in my pussy“, “girls sucking own clit” (very flexible girls?), “how to put lube in asshole“, “suck head penis until blow up sperms“, “sucking cock whilst giving birth” (WTF?) and “why do some ladies don’t enjoy giving a man a blowjob“.

Below that was “sarah sunny crittenden“, which I also found curious. “Sarah”, as most of you know, is the name my mother gave me. So who would be searching for that? Three people, apparently. o_O

Oddly enough, further down the list were “suzi blu“, “suzi blu drama“, “suzi blu is a fake“, “suziblu.ning.com“, “+ suzi blu“, “disenchanted with suzi blu“, “suzi blu and willowing drama“,  “suzi blu doesn’t refund“, “suzi blu ning“, “suziblu insanity bitch” and “encyclopedia dramatica suzi blu“. (Sidenote: If you weren’t aware, Encyclopedia Dramatica lampooned Suzi pretty good a few months back.) It appears as though there are at least 8 people this month who are unhappy with Suzi Blu for whatever reason and their searches are landing on the few posts I made about my experiences with her this spring. To those who are here due to Suzi Blu, I’d like to redirect you to Marylin, the internet’s resident Suzi Blu expert.

Also interesting, yet not all that surprising, were Nissan Cube, Hypercube and Capital C searches, such as these: “cubecommunity.ca” (which launched last week I think and as suspected it’s a fucking joke), “tony chapman fake“, “can a dog fit in the back of a nissan cube“, “length of bed in nissan cube“, “capital c nissan“, “hypercube aftermath“, “hypercube contest fix“, “nissan cube bra“, “sunny nissan key code reader“, “sunny crittenden hypercube“, “tony chapman + cube” and “tony chapman + douchebag“.

Others I found entertaining were the following: “sunny camwhore styleproject“, “stileproject cam portal” (someone oldschool must be looking for me- here I am! *waves*), “thank you universe” (I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s thankful), “i am so over humanity“, “president’s choice decadent cookies” (the only store-bought cookies worth putting in your mouth, imo), “shaved my head” (neat! so did I! *high five*), “born without arms boy” (???), “cam girl documentary” (don’t even ask me when it’s coming out…it’s been in post for like, 4 years), “camwhore chali” (hey Chali, someone oldschool must be looking for you too!), “camwhores password“, “camwhores.com password“, “how do i save videos from camwhores.com” (good luck finding a password, my CW password is actually more secure than my online banking password and as far as saving videos…there are programs that record anything you see on your screen but I don’t remember what any of them are called. I think the Mac one might be Snapz?), “camwhores the documentary” (non-existent), “can risperidone slow down your metabolism” (YES and to add to its evil nature, it also increases your appetite), “memoirs of a web cam girl” (one day, one day…), “prevent hacking taking risperidone” (I have no idea what this means), “sunny crittenden selfish” (hahaha! well whatever, one person out there on the world wide web thinks I’m selfish, I think I can live with that), “well aren’t we just a ray of fucking sunshine canada“, “which pills will kill me” (:o(), and last but not least (and definitely my favourite), “sunny crittenden bitch“.

Long story short, since it’s damn near 6am, people search for weird crap and end up finding me. I’m honoured and I hope all of you new people stick around to see that there’s much more to me than blowjobs, webcams and that goddamn Nissan Cube.

Goodnight!

August 28, 2009

Juan/ita

I had a surprise visitor to my garden yesterday! The kids found him/her munching on some milkweed while they were helping me deadhead bachelor’s buttons. After consulting my friend Chali, who raises butterflies, monarchs in particular, on what to do, I checked today to see if it was still there and it was! So, I cleaned out my betta tank and made it all caterpillar-friendly and according to Chali, Jaun/ita should change into a chrysalis sometime very soon.

I’ve been leaving milkweed in my garden rather than pulling it every year for exactly this reason, but this is the first year I’ve attracted any caterpillars. I AM SO EXCITED! Hopefully I can capture pics of him/her changing, but at the very least, I’ll take more pics of the chrysalis when it’s formed.

Posted at 2:38 pm in: Animals , Gardening , Summer , Sunnyland
August 25, 2009

Shimmer

Posted at 5:48 pm in: Art
August 17, 2009

Flower Power

The view from my kitchen window:

My little garden path:

One of three pots of dwarf sunflowers:

Unfortunately my big sunflowers aren’t doing so well. :o/

Posted at 7:54 pm in: Beauty , Gardening , Summer , Sunnyland

Dog Days of Summer

Well, today’s been an interesting day so far and it’s only half over. This post will not contain pictures.

This morning we found another stray/loose dog. The poor thing, a young springer spaniel, was full of burrs and we actually “found” him because it had gone into the middle of the road, right on the yellow line, and just laid there and cars were honking at it to move. I happened to be at the neighbour’s at the time and just as we were getting up from the back of the yard to see what was going on, Madison came around the corner of our house with this dog attached to Hoover’s leash. The dog started dry heaving for about 45 seconds and then puked up yellow stuff.

This poor bastard of a dog…he was foaming at the mouth and panting heavily and just to touch him he was so hot, so I went inside and got a bowl of water for him and he drank the whole thing. Then he laid down on the grass on his side with his tongue out and just kept panting and drooling. His nose was dry as a bone.

This was around 11am and Madison wondered if the dog was hungry, so I told her to get a handful of our dog food to bring out for him, which she did, and as soon as she got within 4 feet of him and he caught a whiff, he was up and straining against the leash to get to her. We put the food on the grass and it was gone in 2 minutes. Madison wondered if we should feed him more because with how dirty he was and full of burrs, god only knows how long he’d been out in the bush (which is across the road from us) but I was afraid that if we fed him some more he’d throw up again.

Our other neighbour, when Madison was getting the dog off the road, told her that a girl in her 20’s had come up the street asking if anyone had seen the dog and she happened to tell him what street she lived on, so after we rehydrated the poor guy the best we could, Madison and our neighbour’s daughter, Courtney, took the dog into the neighbourhoods in town to try and find its owner.

This dog is the 5th stray we’ve had to return home this year, the 3rd this summer alone. Dogs from in town make their way up here because of the bush, there are lots of little animals to chase in there and things to smell and like I said, it happens to be pretty much right across the road from us and we’re the only people on our street who cares enough to catch (or coax) these dogs and try to find their homes. Luckily we’ve  always found their homes and haven’t had to call animal control, but sometimes I think we should, especially in the case of this one dog that gets out often and the fact that none of these dogs ever have tags of any kind. No municipality tag, no rabies tag, no address tag. That makes me so angry.

In this case, the dog was wearing a collar for an invisible dog fence, so I’m assuming either the fence failed or the collar needed new batteries, but either way, the damn dog should have at least had a tag with its address on it or even just a phone number.

The girls were gone for about an hour & a half, but when they got back, they were dogless and the girl whose dog it was rewarded them with $20, which they were going to split.

However…the girl had given them a $20 bill and none of us had two 10’s and my neighbour Wayne (whose head I shaved yesterday, heh)…um, let’s just say he kinda likes beer and hasn’t really been able to afford as much as he’d like to, he said he was going to borrow Courtney’s $10, pay her back when he got paid and go to The Beer Store to get a 6-pack and would then give Madison her $10 from the change.

I don’t know where the idea came from, but he somehow decided that riding Courtney’s bike (uh, she’s 9 btw) would be faster, even though his knees were practically hitting the handlebars. Have you ever seen the movie Pollock? It reminded me of the scene where Jackson Pollock’s riding a bike back from the store with a beer crate balanced on the front of the bike and he’s dropping bottles all over, except Wayne didn’t end up dropping any of his precious bottles. Apparently though, some guy yelled out the window at him as he was riding to The Beer Store, “Hey man! That bike’s too small for you!”

While Wayne went to The Beer Store, I stayed at his house and watched Courtney, my kids and the three kids down the street who showed up just as Courtney and Madison were coming back from returning the dog.

Because the kids were good and because Courtney and Madison did a good thing knocking on doors to find this dog’s owner, I rewarded all of the kids with Fudgesicles which they ate (and consequently wore) on Wayne’s deck.

Since it was hot, we told the kids to go get their bathing suits on and Wayne topped up their kiddie pool and all six kids splashed around and did what kids do, also spraying each other with the hose and having a general good time. Wayne & I figured it was probably the best way to wash the Fudgesicle off them.

The kids were in and out of the pool, going inside to get drinks and towels and telling secrets and at one point Alyssa, who’s a little trouble-maker, played a prank on Wayne where she and Courtney attacked him with cotton candy scented perfume.

Well, I thought, two can play at that game. After the kids were distracted with something else, I whispered to Wayne, “Hey, I’ve got four cans of silly string at my house…you have any objection to that?” and he grinned and said go get it, so I ran over here, grabbed and shook each can and put them in a bag which I held behind my back when I went back over.

Wayne and I stood side-by-side and I handed him a can behind our backs and I grabbed a can and then we just attacked the children. Then our cans ran out so we grabbed another one each and the kids were COVERED from head to toe in this stuff. Wes, however, was smart enough to run to the back of the yard where the spray couldn’t reach, the little smarty pants.

After that, the kids spent about half an hour picking silly string off of each other and spraying each other down with the hose to get the rest off, then they went in the pool some more, only coming out to eat some of the muffins Judy had made last night and then I officially called it a day as it was almost 3:30pm and it was apparent that the kids were getting sick of each other and had run out of things to do, plus Madison, due to the dog, hadn’t done her chores yet. Not to mention the fact that aside from muffins and Fudgesicles, my kids had missed lunch.

So, here I sit, the kids are in my living room eating baked beans, I’ve got meat pies in the oven and I can safely say “it’s been a day”.

Kids, dogs, kiddie pools, Kool-Aid, Fudgesicles, hot dogs, silly string, sidewalk chalk, sunburns and bubbles…this is summer to me. And I love it.

Posted at 4:02 pm in: Animals , Childhood , Friends , Kids , Life , Madison , Summer , Sunnyland , Wes
August 16, 2009

Wayne’s World

My neighbour, Wayne, had quite a few beers this afternoon and let me shave his head. This would be the highlight of my summer so far. We forgot to take “before” pictures (oops), but his hair was just a little longer than shoulder length before I got out the clippers.

He may or may not regret his decision tomorrow. :oD

Also? It was 35 friggin’ degrees today without the humidex.
Definitely the hottest it’s been so far this summer.

Posted at 6:12 pm in: Beauty , Family , Friends , hair , Life , Sunnyland
August 13, 2009

Sparkle & Shine

I am the worst surprise spoiler in the world. As some of you know, I’ve been working on a series of three paintings called “Sparkle”, “Shimmer” and “Shine” and when I started them, I promised myself that I wouldn’t post any of them until all three were completed but…here are the two that are done anyway (as per usual, my photography skills are sub-par and they look a whole lot cooler in person):

And here’s a pic of them on an angle so you can see how sparkly they are:

Touched By Fire‘s call for entries is right now until September 18th (I believe), so this weekend I plan on getting “Shimmer” finished (she’s a mermaid), as well as “devil girl” and I’m going to submit all four for acceptance into the show. I think I’m also going to enter “Binary Ballerina” and “Flower Girl” as well, because why the hell not? I believe I can submit up to ten entries and this is what I have kicking around, so I might as well.

Touched By Fire is being held at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto this year, which is sort of a big deal, so I’m really hoping I’ll be accepted. Last year they accepted three of my pieces, so I think I’ve got a pretty fair shot at getting in but I won’t know until the end of September.

They also have a call for artist’s stories which they want by Monday and I’m torn as to whether or not I’m going to submit mine. They want:

– Brief history of your mood disorder(s) if you are comfortable sharing
– Brief history of your art, which art form you work in, etc.
– How your art affects your mood disorder and vice versa
– Your history with Touched By Fire
– How Touched By Fire has helped or affected you or your art
– Your hope for Touched By Fire and your hope for your art in the future
– Your relationship if any to MDAO – ex. You’ve attended peer support groups, volunteered, etc.
– Anything else you’d like to share or might be of interest to the media

I don’t mind writing out my story, it’s not like I haven’t been writing about mental illness on my site for the past 3 or 4 years now, but I’m leery of the “media” part. Do I really want to be in the Barrie Examiner saying “hey yeah, I’m fucking NUTS!”? I’m just not sure about that.

Anyway, I figure I have the weekend to think about it and decide whether to do it or not. Doing it probably means automatic acceptance into the show and of course, media means more people will see (and hopefully buy) my work and those are all good things, but I dunno…I’m just leery. No one up here really knows me and I kinda like it that way, but if I’m in the paper, everyone in my little town of 1700 people will know me and know I’m not right in the head and I’m just not sure how I feel about that. :o/ Whether anyone likes it or not, mental illness carries a huge stigma and I realize I should be on the front lines fighting against that stigma but dammit, I’m tired.

I’ll probably end up doing it because it feels like the right thing to do, I’m just loathe to actually go ahead and do it. I loved doing Touched By Fire last year and this year sounds like it’s going to be even better, so I guess I’ll just suck it up and do it. *nods*

And my hamburgers are burning, so I’m just gonna shut up now and get back to my Sookie Stackshouse novel (I’m on #4).

August 12, 2009

Flower Child

Cosmos and Bachelor’s Buttons were definitely the way to go this year. High noon probably wasn’t the best time to take pictures, but I was up so I took some anyway. What’s disappointing about these pictures is that they simply don’t do the size of the garden justice. That is my entire front lawn, the rest of the grass you see to the left is my neighbour’s and the cosmos (the pink flowers) are 3-4 feet high in most places.

Not all of them are even in bloom yet, so I probably jumped the gun on picture-taking, but the Bachelor’s Buttons are starting to deadhead already so I wanted to get these done while there was a good mix of the two in bloom. I’ll probably take more pics in a week or two when everything’s blooming and the cosmos are up another half foot or so.

Posted at 1:21 pm in: Beauty , Gardening , Summer , Sunnyland
August 10, 2009

Sunny Days! Sunny, Sunny, Sunny Daaaays…

While I was having/recovering from surgery, Wes & Madison went up north to stay with my dad and Lisa. Lisa is a great photographer and took these pictures when they went on a trip to an art house of some sort that is reminiscent of the Tinkls’ in Uxbridge. (I don’t have details on it, but will get some. I love art houses. I hope to create one of my own some day.) Anyway, here are some pics:

Edit: Lisa says of the art house: “They call it “The Screaming Heads” Near Burks Falls, Ont. A school teacher whom became intrigued with the” book of Revelation” in the bible and built the sculptures in a sort of modern day armageddon theme.”

Posted at 3:12 am in: Family , Kids , Lisa , Madison , Phil , Summer , Wes

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