September 28, 2009

Wes Cares About the Environment

Posted at 8:11 pm in: Kids , Wes , youtube

Mommy’s Alright, Daddy’s Alright

Oh dear am I ever in rough shape today. Well, I was in rough shape, but I’m slowly starting to feel better.

Here’s a little known fact about me: I don’t really drink and I have strong opinions on drinking, which I won’t get into in this post, but the fact is, I pretty much stopped drinking about 6 years ago. No real reason, I just sort of had my fill of it when I was working for Scratching Post and being on tour and everything. We were wasted just about every single Friday and Saturday and even some Sundays. The Jagermeister flowed freely, because you see, when you’re in a band you have what’s called a rider, which is sort of like a list of demands that have to be met for the band to perform at your venue. In Scratching Post’s rider they put down that the venue had to give them a 26 oz bottle of Jager and a case of beer, and then near the end they added a clause that said “the panty girl gets free drinks”. And back then, I could drink, like REALLY drink. I may only be 5 feet tall and at the time, 100 lbs, but at that point in my life, I’d never met anyone that could outdrink me.

But when I got pregnant with Wes and stopped working for Scratching Post, I just kind of decided that that part of my life was over and ever since I’ve only really drank alcohol maybe twice a year. This year was a stressful one and admittedly I’ve drank more than twice, but my tolerance is nowhere near what it used to be.

This was proven last night.

Last night Blake and Alex (and Ronny) were on assignment for Buttercup and went to a rock show in Toronto. I had to stay home with the kids. (And actually that’s sort of a lie. Wayne & Judy said they’d watch the kids if I wanted to go, but I decided I couldn’t go basically because I’m too fat and grotesque to be seen at a rock show. Yes, my self esteem is that low.) Anyway, I asked Blake to buy me a 26 oz bottle of Canadian Club, which is rye whiskey, and two 2 liter bottles of Coke and my plan for the evening was that once the kids were in bed, I’d go next door to drink and play cards with Wayne & Judy. And before someone jumps my shit for drinking and leaving the kids “alone”, Wayne & Judy’s house is literally 6 feet from mine and Madison’s now a very mature 11 and they were sleeping anyway. I was just a phone call away and would have come home in 2 seconds if anything was wrong or if the kids didn’t feel comfortable being “alone”.

That said, my kids’ bedtime is 9pm but Madison’s allowed to stay up until 10pm on weekends to read in her room, so at 9 I made sure everything was kosher with Madison and then I went over to Wayne & Judy’s to get my drink on. They re-taught me how to play rummy in a way that I’d never played before and also I hadn’t played rummy since I was about 11 years old when I used to go to my great Aunt’s house in the summers for a couple of weeks. Judy plays rummy where there are wild cards, so for the first hand, the wild card would be an ace, the second hand the wild card would be a 2, third hand would be a 3 – all the way up to king. Also, say I laid down 3 aces and a wild card, but Judy had the 4th ace, she could “steal” my wild card and give me her ace and you want to do that because wild cards are worth 20 while face cards are worth 10, aces are 15 and everything below 10 is worth 5.

Because I wasn’t drunk yet, I cleaned their clocks during the first game.

As we played and listened to CDs I made and brought over, I kept drinking. In fact, earlier that afternoon, I’d brought over two frosty mugs – y’know, the kind with liquid within the outside that you put in the freezer instead of using ice cubes – which were rather large and I was making my drinks very strong.

Now, when I get drunk, I get honest, so now Wayne & Judy know that Blake and I had simulated sex on The Discovery Channel and that I was a naked camgirl for almost 8 years. Oddly enough, they were cool with that. (I thought they’d freak.)

Around 12:30am – I think – Blake came home from the rock show and joined us for the second game of rummy. I made him a drink and made myself another drink and by this point I was pretty fucking shitfaced which caused me to lose our game of rummy miserably. I kept dropping my cards and I couldn’t follow the suits and they were all basically laughing at me.

Well, shortly after the second game ended, we were all sitting around Wayne & Judy’s table just shooting the shit and the room started spinning. And then I proceeded to barf in Judy’s kitchen sink for about half an hour. Then I sat back down at their kitchen table while they fed me water and I thought I was okay, but nope, back to the kitchen sink I went where I barfed for maybe another 15 minutes. While barfing sucks, I think it was really sweet of Wayne to rub my back as I did so, that’s a friend right there, y’know?

Post-barfing, I went back to the kitchen table and drank more water and Blake decided to take me home. The walk home is about 20 feet and they were very wobbly feet, but we got home, I was sober enough to plug in my cellphone and Blake and i just sat in my office where he told me all about his night with Ronny and Alex and the top secret stuff we’re doing in October on Buttercup. And then I had to barf again. Projectile vomiting mostly water into my toilet with such force that I actually peed my pants. Honest to god, I hadn’t been this drunk since I went to Vegas for the Camgirls documentary and this is only the 4th time I’ve ever puked from drinking. It suuuuuucked.

Once I was empty, I went back to my office and Blake helped me find new clothes as I’d gotten barf on mine and there was also the whole pissing myself thing. So I got pajamas on and was sober and empty enough to be hungry, so I made myself a roast beef sandwich, which I ate and kept down, while Blake told me more about his night.

By this time it was 4am so Blake and I decided to go to bed. For some ungodly reason, I woke up at 8am – still drunk – and could NOT get back to sleep. I was so hot that I stripped down to my underwear and just laid in bed until about 10am when I finally decided that sleep was futile, I was sober again and it was time to just get up.

I immediately started drinking water, then I took my pills, which included Tylenol 1 for my giant headache and I fucked around on the internets while feeling completely wrecked.

Wayne & Judy weren’t home when I got up and Blake was still sleeping so I just did nothing until Blake got up and Wayne & Judy came home. When they came home, I went over there and we all laughed at our evening and Wayne pointed out that I drank about 24 oz of liquor all by myself in a span of 5 hours. No wonder I puked my guts up!

So today was one of those days where you think “I am never drinking again”, but slowly I’m recovering and I’m sure I’ll be fine by tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, which I guess is actually today since it’s almost 2am, I’m going to get majorly Wayned. Y’see, Wayne has Mondays off and he gets lonely, so when I wake up, I pretty much brush my teeth and head over there to shoot the shit and keep him company. Last Monday we spent the day listening to the radio because they have this contest thing right now that’s based on the show Deal or No Deal, where you open pretend cases and can win up to $10,000 or something. Wayne’s obsessed with Deal or No Deal and tries every Monday to be the 7th caller so he can play the radio station’s version (which is called Cool or Not Cool – lame). They do it multiple times a day and every time they do it, he calls in and never gets through.

Last week when I got to his house, around 11am, he’d been waiting 4 hours for them to start the game and while we waited, I tried to get his wireless to pick up our wifi so they could have internet. I get 3 or 4 bars (out of 5) when I take my MacBook over there in their kitchen which is actually pretty strong for being in a whole other house, but I could only get one bar on their computer. But when I got their wireless working and it detected our signal (called “Sunnyland” if you must know, ha) it asked me for our WEP code/pass thing, which I didn’t know, so I called Blake at work and he gave it to me. About 10 minutes later, the radio station announced that people should call in for Cool or Not Cool and Wayne hit redial because he’d had the station on redial so he could just keep trying to get through but since I’d called Blake, Wayne called Blake and missed his chance to play the game. It’s hard to really convey how funny that was here, but I felt bad and at the same time I could not stop laughing. And the funniest thing is that after that happened and they played the game, Wayne called the station to request a song for Judy at work and they said they’d do it, so then he called Judy at work to make sure she’d be listening and then maybe 3 hours later they announced that people should call in for Cool or Not Cool and he hit redial and called Judy’s work, missing his chance AGAIN. OMG I was dying.

So I figure tomorrow is probably going to be a repeat of last Monday, with him trying to be caller 7 while I patiently rip CDs onto his computer and manually type in their track listings because without them having internet the track listings on CDs don’t show up in friggin’ iTunes.

———————

I started typing this post at around 2am and was interrupted by my friend Kevin of Camwhores (uh, NSFW) and we had a very interesting conversation. I know people are skeptical when I talk about this, but the site really is changing for the better. New things and being added, there are some new policies, some new ways for girls to make money have been implemented with more on the way and with everything that’s going on, I really feel the site’s going to recover from its downturn over the past few years. I mean, it already IS picking up and many oldschool girls have come back now that Stile is gone and things are changing, but I think that momentum is only going to increase over the next few months as these things I can’t discuss are implemented.

Oh yeah, and I’m coming back. That’s right, you heard me. Apparently by Wednesday there’ll be a webcam at my door, which means I’ll probably actually pick it up Thursday or Friday and Kevin’s going to help me figure out what cam software I need and I should be up and running and back on Camwhores’ front page by October 6th-ish.

I’m gonna be upfront about the fact that I have no intentions of doing much in regards to nudity because I think I’m kind of beyond that at this point and I’m also 50 lbs heavier than I was when I was on there before, which I’m really insecure about. BUT I’m the same old Sunny on the inside and I plan to bring back my own brand of fun and humour to the site and just have a damn good time while I do it. Hopefully everyone else will have a damn good time as well. :o)

In other news, last week I decided to take Live Journal up on their offer to monetize my journal using Google’s AdSense, meaning that there are now ads on my Live Journal. So far I think I’ve made a decent amount from this in just one week, so I’m going to continue with it and I’ll be totally honest, I love that I’m making a little bit of money for doing something I’d be doing normally anyway and that played a big part in my decision to return to Camwhores.

As I said, there are going to be more opportunities to make a little bit of money from camming and that’s money I could really use. And again, it’s just like adding ads to my Live Journal, it’s making money from doing something that I’d be doing anyway.

And the fact of the matter is, I miss camming. I was talking to Blake about it just tonight in fact. I don’t really go anywhere, as we all know I’m agoraphobic so I go to Wayne & Judy’s, which is next door, and sometimes I go to the post office or to The Beer Store with Wayne. And that’s pretty much it. Maybe once every two months I’ll go to the grocery store with Blake or when I sell a painting, which I really need to do soon (:o/), I go to Michael’s and Curry’s to stock up on art supplies. NONE of these places require me to get dressed properly, most of the time I’m either in pajamas or sweats, and I don’t even bother with makeup anymore because I just kind of don’t care. Camming made me care. Camming gave me an excuse to wear a nice top and put on some lipstick even though I wasn’t going anywhere and really, my self esteem needs that right now. Looking your best just makes you feel good, y’know?

Anyway, it’s just an avenue I’m going to re-examine and if it’s a positive thing, I’ll stick with it and if it’s not, I won’t. It’s as I said when I first started camming, “I’ll do it until it’s not fun anymore”. When I quit camming last year, it was because it stopped being fun, but now there’s all this opportunity for it to be fun again, so hey, I’m gonna give it another shot.

So that’s – I guess – my big news for the week.

Now I’m going to finish watching the movie I’ve got saved on my OnDemand thingy (Last Chance Harvey I think it’s called…it’s kind of crappy), have something to eat and then get to bed. If I sleep past noon, Wayne’ll start calling the house and bugging me to come over.

Have a happy Monday!

September 24, 2009

Living the Creative Life

Currently I’m reading the book Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspiration From Working Artists by Rice Freeman-Zachery which I actually got for Xmas this year but kinda put it on the shelf and forgot about it until the other day. What the book is, is discussions with “working artists” (including Violette, who my mom and I really dig) about various aspects of creativity and while I’m only on chapter 2, so far it’s actually been really inspirational and I highly recommend it.

Right now they’re talking about their creative childhoods, which has gotten me thinking about my own childhood and whether or not it was creative. After going outside and sitting in the sun about a billion times today, I’ve decided that yes, my childhood, while completely fucked up (if you’re a long time reader, you’ll agree), was incredibly creative but not in the ways you’d think coming from two parents (well, one & a half) who were both artists.

My mother always encouraged me to be creative and says to this day that she’s always seen art as my path in life. At the same time, for most of my childhood she had this marvelous art room that I wasn’t allowed to step foot in. She had hundreds of dollars worth of art supplies that I was never allowed to touch, especially her expensive paint brushes. She hoarded this stuff and I was threatened with the promise of broken fingers if I touched any of it.

Now, this isn’t to paint my mother in a negative light here, there was a reason I wasn’t allowed to touch any of it, just as Madison isn’t allowed to touch most of my art stuff: it was expensive and required for income. If I messed up a $20 paint brush, my mom didn’t have $20 to replace it, just as I don’t have $20 to replace any of mine. (Actually, I don’t have any $20 brushes because I cheap out and buy the student grade ones at Curry’s even though I’d prefer ones with plastic handles and natural bristles…but I digress.) But – and maybe this is part of being a creative child – I was a thief, which my mother will also attest to. When I was a kid, I was pretty much a total kleptomaniac and I’d creep into my mom’s art room after school and snip bits of ribbon or paper or buttons or wood pieces and hoard it all in my desk at school to use in art projects. I’m sure my mother knew, but she very rarely said a word.

Art class in school was almost always disappointing, in general, but sometimes we’d have these wonderful women come who were art consultants for the school board and artists themselves. The most notable and the one I liked the best, was Judith Tinkl who’s a quasi-famous textile artist from Uxbridge, Ontario and whose husband, Viktor Tinkl, is an amazing sculptor. Together they’ve created on their property one of the greatest art houses I’ve ever seen in my whole entire life and it bums me out that I haven’t been able to go see it in many years.

But back to my story…

These art consultants would come and teach us specific things, like working with clay (I made my mom a mug and I made my dad a dragon), embossing copper, which I loved and still do to this day (I made my dad a lion’s head), paper geishas and of course, papier mache everything. Because I was creative and inventive in my creations, my teachers pushed me to be even more creative and once I even won a scholarship to the region’s art camp but I wasn’t allowed to go for reasons I forget now. (I probably did something bad. :o/)

When I went to my grandmother’s on the weekends, I would make things out of stuff I’d stolen from the art supply closet at school – amethyst chips & magnetic tape come to mind – and sell them in her store, which I’m pretty sure I’ve written about recently.

My point is that the ONLY positive reinforcement I got as a child was in the realm of creativity and thus, I think it’s safe to say that yes, I had an incredibly creative childhood and that (combined with child abuse and mental illness) is probably why I can’t do anything else as an adult.

I know I’ve told this story before, but in grade 8 I went to a school in Port Perry, Ontario called S.A. Cawker and art was taught by THE BIGGEST DICK IN THE WORLD, MR. BYERS, who thankfully was not my homeroom teacher. One day he told us to create large papier mache pieces using chicken wire and to make our sculptures a play on words. Then he put us into groups and we were told to brainstorm ideas. As we all did this, he walked around the room, hovering over the groups and listening in to our ideas. He was hovering just as I suggested to our group that we do “embarrassed” and make a bear with red cheeks and a bare ass looking embarrassed (yeah I know, not the most creative idea but we were brainstorming!) and as soon as I finished explaining my vision, Mr. Byers, in front of the whole class started YELLING AT ME and he said that everything I do is socially unacceptable and that I’d never amount to anything as a result. Then he kicked me out of the class. Know what my group ended up making while I was in school SUSPENDED for putting forth an idea? A #1 with a hole in it and a golf club propped against it.

At the end of the year, right before graduation, my friend Heather and I stapled Mr. Byers’ coat to his coat rack about 500 times with a staple gun.YEAH MR. BYERS, THAT WAS US.

Anyway, it’s arguable whether or not I’ve amounted to anything, but Mr. Byers was an uncreative DICKHEAD who should never have told a kid something like that. Luckily, I’ve always been fairly rebellious and when  someone’s said “you can’t” my attitude has usually been “oh yes I fucking can” and who wants to be socially acceptable anyway? Not me.

So that’s what I’ve been thinking about this afternoon in between cleaning the bathroom, reading this book and watching the pilot of Glee (which I’m not sold on yet). Now I think I’m gonna go have lunch in the sun while it’s still warm enough to enjoy and continue reading.

Posted at 2:45 pm in: Art , Childhood , Creativity , Mom , the 80's , the 90's
September 23, 2009

ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will NEVER master the art of using a fucking script liner. Fine lines with paint are NOT in my future!

My mom taught me to mix the paint with a little bit of water to thin it out and claims that’s the key to using a script liner but I’ve never gotten it to work for me and it’s infuriating!

Right now I’m doing hair. The base colour is a metallic gold and acrylic metallics have no tooth and are very rubbery and don’t absorb paint, so usually I skip the paint and use a marker. Or at least I try to use a marker. It seems like I kill a marker with every 3 girls I do and at like, $6 a piece, that gets expensive!

I’ve tried Prismacolour Premier markers (don’t like ’em), PITT artist pens (they’re okay and smudge/waterproof but they run out fast) and my favourite, Pigma Microns, but those are the ones that die for every 3 girls I do. Does anyone know how to revive them? That’s ALL I’ve used them for, they just hate being used on this metallic paint.

Does anyone have any other recommendations on smudgeproof, waterproof, fade-resistant, archival pens? I’d like to try Sharpie’s poster paint pens but I don’t think they’re available in Canada yet and I don’t think their nibs are fine enough for what I need them for.

Stupid pens. *kicks the cat*

Posted at 1:56 pm in: Art , Creativity

Stop me If You’ve Heard This One.

Yesterday I had a Pepsi for the first time in probably 15 years and it immediately made me remember my grampa.

When I was a kid, my mom would let me play hooky from school so I could go up to Alliston with my grampa, which was about an hour and a half away and also happened to be where I was born. This was where his carpet store was and a few times a week he’d drive up there in his big blue van to make sure things were running smoothly and to do “measure ups”, which meant that he was going to someone’s house to measure their rooms for new carpet.

On the way up to Alliston, my grampa would give me a Pepsi from a mini-fridge that plugged into the van’s cigarette lighter and being a Coke fanatic, this was the only time ever that I’d drink Pepsi.

When we got to Alliston, my grampa would leave me with Flo and Bonnie, his two employees, and he’d give me some money to go to the Stedman’s store down the street and buy clothes or toys. I would do that of course, but I’d never spend all of the money. Instead, I would go to the pet store behind my grampa’s store and more often than not I would buy a small animal that my mother would kill me for bringing home. My grampa would always come back from his measure ups and pretend to get mad at me for buying the animal and he’d tell me to take it back and I’d cry and get my own way and then we’d go two stores down to have Chinese food for lunch where I’d get an extra fortune cookie because Bing, the owner, liked my smile.

When we went to Alliston, I’d bring books and toys with me and I’d hide behind the rolls of carpet , which were stacked vertically against wood scaffolding and read or play my Game Boy, drinking my grampa’s Pepsi from a styrofoam cup the whole time.

After work, we’d go to a restaurant, the name of which is completely escaping me but it was the same one every time, with Flo (who was actually my grampa’s girlfriend, although I probably wasn’t supposed to know that considering he was still married to my grama) and I would order LIVER. Yes, a child who likes liver, who grew into an adult who likes liver.

When we were done with dinner, we’d drive Flo home and then head home ourselves, drinking Pepsi along the way. One time my grampa pulled over because one flukey night we could see the Northern Lights just outside of Alliston, something I’d never seen before nor since.

Since the store didn’t close until 9pm and it was an hour and a half home AFTER dinner, I would get home late enough that my mom was too tired to give me or my grampa shit about the new pet I’d acquired so I’d just get my pajamas on and go to bed.

And that’s all I have to say about my adventures in Alliston. For now, anyway. It’s just so weird how a taste or a smell can trigger such strong memories, especially when you haven’t experienced them in a long time.

In other news…on Monday I spent the whole day with my neighbour, Wayne, because it was his day off and he wanted me to rip CDs onto his computer.

A few weeks ago, Wayne was drunk and somehow we got started on the topic of religion, which in my experience is usually a bad idea. Wayne is technically a Catholic, although I guess you’d call him non-practicing as I’ve known the guy for 4 years and I’ve never seen him go to church, he definitely doesn’t eat fish on Fridays and while he believes in God, I seem to know more about Catholicism than he does.

Wayne’s known for quite some time that I don’t believe in God, so that day he asked me what I did believe in, what did I think happened after we died and stuff like that and that’s how we got on the topic of karma, a word he’d heard before but a concept of which he’d never really considered. So I explained to him the various thoughts on karma and my own personal ones and ever since, we’ve both been obsessed with it. Me with getting him to understand the concept and him with saying that I’m “funny” because I now constantly remind him to think about karma.

I lent him season one of My Name Is Earl, which he liked (I would have lent him the rest but I don’t have them) and ever since he’s kinda been turned on to the whole idea of karma, while still not totally grasping it. he says things like “Judy and I sacrifice so much and karma doesn’t reward us,” and I’ll say “but what have you done for someone other than yourselves?” and he’ll say “well we sacrifice so Courtney can have the things she has” (Courtney’s their daughter) and I say something like, “well you don’t get a reward for parenting, for doing something you’re supposed to be doing anyway,” and he’ll sit and think about it for a bit and then change the subject.

Well, the other day I thought of a good way to explain it to him so I think he’d understand. So on Monday I said to him that I was going to explain karma and I asked him what he does when he sees a stray dog in his driveway. He replied with “I try and chase it off,” to which I replied with “and what would Blake or I do? Or even Madison?” and he said, “well, you’d probably try and trap it” and I finished his sentence with “and we’d all go through great lengths to find its owner and, failing that, we’d call animal control, do you see the difference?” And he DID. He explained back to me that doing a good deed would give you good karma and I said yes, that’s exactly it, but remember, it has to be something completely unselfish and outside yourself. And he said to me “but if you call animal control, you’re kind of doing a bad deed because then the owners will have to pay money to get their dog back”, to which I replied, “that’s not my problem, the bottom line is that I saved that dog’s life, it didn’t get hit on the road, it didn’t die of dehydration or starvation and it didn’t get attacked by coyotes. The owners having to pay to get their dog back, that’s their own karma”.

After that Wayne was quiet for a little while, which is weird for Wayne, and I could tell that he was finally starting to “get it”.

And it’s not like I’m trying to preach or convert anyone or anything, he brought the whole thing up weeks ago, it’s just that Wayne & Judy, as much as I love them, they don’t do a whole lot for other people and they don’t really think outside of themselves or their own family (we’re included in that), but now I’ve got them, or at least Wayne, beyond their normal limits and honestly, I’m kind of proud of the fact that I did that.

With my belief system, which is karma-based, all of the bad things that are constantly happening to them – which I won’t go into because it’s not my place but let’s just say some REALLY bad shit – is a result of living a selfish existence. And maybe “selfish” isn’t even the right word, I don’t know what to call it. But like, they’ll utilize the food bank, but they’ve never contributed to it. A woman at Wayne’s work raised funds so Wayne could adopt a dog for Courtney for her birthday and we’re talking $300 here, and they took that, but they’d never in a million years do the same kind of thing for anyone else. I’m not saying they’re bad people at all, quite the opposite actually, they’re nothing but good to us, me in particular, and I really do love them dearly, it’s just that they don’t seem to see beyond the borders of their own existence and I truly believe that if they did, their luck would change and their lives would be better.

God, do I sound like an Evangelical or what? Please let me stress again that Wayne’s constantly been asking me about karma since it came up a few weeks ago, I’m seriously not pushing an agenda here, it’s just that he’s interested and I think opening him up to it would be of great benefit, so I patiently answer all of his questions and explain things the best I can.

Anyway, as time goes by and as I think of more examples, he seems to be getting it and I think that’s a good thing. I even told him, you can believe in God and karma at the same time, just think of it as God giving out karma, think of it as living by the Golden Rule.

So that’s Mondays with Wayne, constant talk of karma while I’m over there doing nice things for him.

Tomorrow night Blake’s going to be updating my badly outdated WordPress install, which I’m very excited about. It’s possible that when he does that, it might fix some of the annoying things I hate about WordPress, like the fact that I can’t wrap text around images. (It works when I’m typing the entry but when I publish it the formatting goes to shit.)

This update has made me think about my site a little more, specifically about its layout and some of the things that bug me. For example, I belong to a number of Ning groups and I’d like to place their badges either in the sidebars or even on my Exits page, but for some reason when I paste in the code, they don’t show up properly and I’m not sure if that’s a WordPress issue or if it’s the theme I’m using. When I designed this site originally, I wanted a fairly bare-bones layout because most of what I do is text anyway, but as I post more and more pictures and do more and more art, I want it to be more reflective of what the site’s all about and who I am. I don’t know if I have the graphics skills required for the kind of site I have in my head, but I think Blake and I should sit down and try to work something new out in the very near future.

And thinking about layout has led me to thinking about the site itself. The thing is, most blog sites, which really I guess mine is, have titles. Yes, people use their names as their site’s title and domain, but most arty blog sites have titles, for example, The Hermitage or Ruling At Life or Broken Toyland. I’ve been SunnyCrittenden.com for a very long time now and suddenly I’m thinking that it’s time for a title. SunnyCrittenden.com will still point to this site, but I’m thinking it’s time for my name to take a backseat to something bigger – I just don’t know what that is yet.

A long time ago I wanted my site to be called “A Pocket Full of Posies”, but the domain was taken. :o/

I dunno, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about tonight.

Okay I think it’s time to retire to my Sims Bunker while I still can. I’ve got a couple of days off from Buttercup, so to speak, before we all head into the craziness of October, so I’d better take advantage of it.

Goodnight!

September 18, 2009

It’s a Boy!

I wasn’t sure when we were actually looking at the butterfly if it was a male or female because it didn’t want to spread its wings for us and when it did, I was busy taking pictures, so it wasn’t until I was editing the pictures that I noticed the pheromone spots on its back indicating that it’s a Juan and not a Juanita.

This is Juan hanging out with us on Courtney’s arm in my garden. Both girls (Courtney and Madison) let Juan crawl around on their arms and hands but Wes would only lightly touch his wings to see what they felt like.

This is the money shot and how we learned that Juan was a Juan and not a Juanita. The two black dots near the bottom center of his wings are actually pheromone glands and indicate that he’s a male. This is Madison’s hand, btw.

At this point, Juan decided to try out flying but landed on the sidewalk and flexed his wings. I was worried that he hadn’t eaten since hatching last night and about him getting across the road to the field (I see so many monarchs on the side of the road after being hit by cars :o(), so I put him on one of the cosmos in my garden to see if he’d eat it but monarchs don’t like cosmos so after I took this picture, the kids and I carried him across the road to the field where there’s plenty of goldenrod and butterfly weed, which they do eat.

This is Juan on some goldenrod:

After that picture was taken, he decided to attempt flying again and was much more successful than his last attempt, making it about 20 feet away from us into the field. According to Wikipedia, he should pretty much eat for a few days and then begin his migration to The Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve in Mexico to overwinter and find himself some butterfly ass to tap. I’m unclear as to whether or not he’ll return or if just his offspring will.

Anyway, that was our butterfly adventure. Definitely in my top 20 list of the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to witness. The kids got a big kick out of it too.

Posted at 5:54 pm in: Animals , Beauty , Childhood , Fall , Kids , Summer , Sunnyland

Juan/ita Hatched!

I took video but you may find it a little boring because it’s basically the same thing for 10 minutes and I didn’t know how to speed it up in Movie Maker. :o/ Also, 90210’s on in the background and unfortunately my digital camera has audio.

Butterflies usually emerge in the morning, Wikipedia told me, but Juanita decided to emerge at around 10 o’clock last night. His/her wings were all crinkly and curly and his/her abdomen was fat and squished up from being in such a small space for some long. I am absolutely amazed at how this transformation happened in only 18 days. I mean…it became an entirely different creature! My mind is sufficiently blown. This was actually more interesting to me than watching kittens being born. Here’s the video:

All of these pictures were taken yesterday. First is the chrysalis after becoming perfectly clear:

Next is Juan/ita clinging to the empty chrysalis as his/her wings dry.

As s/he pumped her wings to get the blood flowing through them, an orange-ish substance called meconium puddled at the bottom of the tank. Wikipedia doesn’t really tell me the purpose of the meconium, just that that’s what it is.

It sucks that it happened after the kids went to bed, but that’s why I took the video, which they watched after school. Also after school we let Juan/ita go to fly away to Mexico, but I’m still editing those pics so gimme about an hour! We got some amazing shots!

Posted at 5:19 pm in: Animals , Beauty , Childhood , Fall , Kids , Summer , Sunnyland
September 17, 2009

It’s My Sister’s First Day of Kindergarten!

Ahhhhhhhh I love her so much!!! I wish we lived closer so I could have been there. :o( I wish we lived closer so I could be there for every little thing. I love my Muskoka family beyond words and miss ’em. I haven’t even met my other sister yet, Rachael, who is 7 months old now! I’m hoping to go up sometime soon. I’d say Thanksgiving, but that’s the Fall Fair here and the kids wouldn’t be very happy about missing it. *sigh* We’ll work something out.

Anyway, here’s Raili on her first day of school. Photo taken by the world’s greatest step-mom, Lisa.

How cute is she? Ahhhhh it’s killing me!

Posted at 10:19 am in: Family , Lisa , Phil , Raili
September 16, 2009

The Secret Life of Butterflies

Juan/ita should be hatching soon, see?
I’m guessing either tomorrow or the next day.
WE’RE SO EXCITED!

Posted at 1:59 pm in: Animals , Summer , Sunnyland

Adventures With Wayne

Yesterday (Monday) I got up at around 10:30am and as per usual, I picked the crust out of my eyes and went next door to see what Wayne was up to. He was yelling at people on the phone, creditors, because that’s more or less what Wayne does on his day off besides drinking beer and doing odd jobs around the house.

I had a smoke with him and then I went back home to make a large travel mug of coffee. Wayne & Judy drink instant coffee which I think is pretty gross, especially because I don’t like coffee to begin with, but I started drinking it on the first day of school last week to give me a much-needed energy boost. We have this neat little “coffee toy” as Blake calls it, where you put the plastic thing over the top of a mug, put in a little filter and two scoops of coffee and then you pour boiling water in it until your cup is full. With the travel mug being so big, I used 3 scoops of coffee and by 11:30am, I was back over at Wayne’s bouncing off the wall.

I don’t know how it happened. For some reason I came back over to my house to do something and when I got back to Wayne’s he asked me to come to The Beer Store with him, which is down the street. He had enough empty bottles to take back for their deposits that he could get himself a 6-pack. And as I may have mentioned before, Wayne likes beer, especially on his day off.

For about half an hour he nagged me to come with him to The Beer Store and I kept saying “no” because as we all know, I’m not a fan of going anywhere, especially on foot. Finally I relented and I said “Wayne, DEAL OR NO DEAL [because he loves that show and I watch it with him all the time]. I go to The Beer Store with you and you come with me to the post office,” which is just a few blocks away and I had a small package I needed to mail. So he said “DEAL” and I went back over to my house to get the package ready while he got his empties ready.

I popped an Ativan because I was feeling pretty anxious about this excursion, put my cell phone in my bag, got my package all taped up and addressed (ruby slippers for a very special little girl in Oregon, if you must know) and I went back over to Wayne’s.

He was on the phone when I got there so I waited on the deck and popped another Ativan while he talked to someone in the middle of his backyard. When he was finished, he said “SUNNY. DEAL OR NO DEAL. We go to The Beer Store, okay? Then we go to the post office and then we go to TIM HORTONS [where Judy works] and get smokes out of the car and MY mail key, then we come back to the post office, back to The Beer Store so I can buy my 6 and then we come home.”

People. We live on one end of town and Tim Hortons is on the other end of town. Yes I live in a small town, but Tim Hortons is about 2 & a half miles away and I’m not used to walking anywhere, but what was I going to say? I was all ready to go and I needed to mail this package, so I said “what the hell” and off we went.

First we went to The Beer Store and he got money for his bottles. Then we went to the post office and I mailed my package. Then we walked all the friggin’ way to Tim Hortons where he got his mail key from the car and half a pack of smokes from Judy and then, as planned, we went back to the post office so he could check his mail and then back to The Beer Store to get his 6 before we went home.

By the time we got home I wanted to kill Wayne for making me do what we did and could barely walk and when I took off my shoes, I realized that I had a giant blister on the bottom of my left foot, another one on my little toe, one on my big toe and one on the little toe of my right foot – all because I’m an idiot and was too lazy to put on socks.

When we got home, I was starving so I came back to my house to let the dogs out and heat up some pizza while Wayne did Wayne things and when I was finished, I went over there to help him set up his computer and that was pretty much the end of our adventure.

It probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to anyone else to go to these places and walk a total of almost 5 miles, but I seriously do not leave my house except at like, 3am to check the mail, and I’m seriously out of shape thanks to all these goddamn meds and I’m actually really proud of myself for being able to do what we did. Not only did I walk that far and back, I interacted with the lady at the post office and paid with my debit card, which is something that gives me crazy anxiety, but I did it and it was totally fine, which means theoretically, I could do it again. Like, say I had to mail a painting to someone. I could probably package it up and take it to the post office either with Wayne or maybe even by myself and mail it. That’s something I couldn’t do a year ago, so I must be making progress. Right?

Speaking of paintings, you should all go check out what I’ve got for sale in The Shop in case you missed my post about it last week. ;o)

Now here’s where I ramble about inane shit. last night I finished the book The Secret Life of Bees and I LOVED IT. Yes, it was a little “Oprah’s Book Club”, as someone put it to me, but I couldn’t help it, I am in love with this book. It’s been a long time since a book affected me enough to make me cry, but that fucking thing had me SOBBING last night and I couldn’t stop reading until I was finished, which was about 5am. After I was done, I put a post-it on it for Madison saying that she should read it too, but before I went to bed I changed my mind because there’s too much in the book she wouldn’t understand. She has no idea about the American civil rights act of 1964 – they don’t teach that in Canadian schools – or segregation or racism or Catholicism or even what grits are. Hell, I’m not even totally sure what grits are. But I want her to read it nonetheless and after talking it over with Blake tonight, he said he’ll read it (it’s not a very long book) and then when she reads it, there should be someone around to explain to her the things she won’t understand.

I added the movie adaptation of the book to my wishlist last night and I really want to see it. I don’t have very high hopes that it’ll be anywhere near as good as the book and Dakota Fanning bugs the shit out of me, but I think I’ll like it and I’m pretty sure Madison will like it too. Plus, I love Queen Latifa.

Anyway, as I said, I’m in love with this book and I think Madison will be too once she reads it, so a HUGE thank you goes out to my friend Belinda for buying it for me for my birthday this year. <3

After I finished the book, I took my clonazepam like I always do before bed, waited about 20 minutes and then tried to go to sleep but no matter how hard I tried to clear my mind I couldn’t. Wanna know why? That fucking song “Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks was stuck in my head on a loop and it WOULD NOT STOP. After about 45 minutes of laying there with this goddamn song in my head, I got up and took another clonazepam (3 total) and make another attempt at sleep. That didn’t work either so after another hour or so, I got up and took an over-the-counter sleeping pill and sat at my desk screwing around on Buttercup while I waited for it to take effect. After I thought I gave it enough time, I crawled back into bed, annoyed that by this time the sky was starting to lighten and I laid there and laid there and laid there and watched the room grow lighter every time I opened my eyes to look at the clock.

Finally I got up around 7am and thought maybe eating something would help, as I often feel sleepy after I eat, so I made myself some eggs and toast and a cup of tea and ate them while I watched a bit of Breakfast Television. When I was done, the kids were just starting to wake up, so I hugged them both and got back into bed…and then Blake’s alarm went off. And he snoozed it. So I laid there not even trying to sleep because I knew the damn thing would go off again in like, 5 minutes. Of course it did and he SNOOZED IT AGAIN, so I laid there and waited for it to go off and when it did, he got up, we discussed my sleep issue and when he left the bedroom to get ready for the day I finally fell asleep.

And then I woke up around noon and couldn’t get back to sleep. My eyes felt sandy and I just didn’t feel good. I’d be cold and then hot and then cold again. I made myself some coffee to see if that would help me but it didn’t seem to.

Around 3:30pm I went over to Wayne & Judy’s to see what Judy was up to, we had a smoke and then when the kids got home from school I went back home. I did the homework check and signed Madison’s agenda and by that time it was 4pm and being Tuesday, it meant that it was time for Hug Nation, which I try to attend every week. I love Halcyon, but I was so tired that everything he was saying just kinda blurred together so all I heard was “blah blah Burning Man blah blah” as he and Andicat had just come back from Burning Man and Hal’s always juiced after that, so since I was half falling asleep, I just decided “fuck it” and went to bed. The next thing I remember is Blake coming into the bedroom to check on me and I told him to wake me up when dinner was ready, which would be about 7pm.

So I got up and ate my steak & potatoes while we talked about our day (or my lack thereof) and after that I was pretty much fine. he and I both did Buttercup stuff until the kids went to bed and then I worked on my new painting while we watched recorded episodes of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!

I didn’t think to take a picture of the canvas, which is more or less finished, until now and right now the light sucks so maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. This painting is either going to be called “The Two Sunnies” or :Sunny Light and Dark”, I haven’t decided, and it’s going to be about being bipolar. It’s, um, a very obvious painting and was inspired by Frida Kahlo’s “The Two Fridas”. (Although hers was about divorce.)

After Blake went to bed, I took a break from drawing and started writing this post. As I was writing, I was waiting for the kettle to boil because tonight was Jell-O night where I make Jell-O for Blake & the kids to take in their lunches in little singe-serve containers. One pack of Jell-O is 33 cents and makes 4 containers. You can’t buy pre-made lunch snacks for that kinda money and they all really like Jell-O so it all works out. I just use the Glad or Ziplock containers you buy at the grocery store, the little ones:

And now, here I sit. It’s 2:30am and I think I’m going to retreat to my Sims Bunker for the rest of the night. Hopefully tonight I’ll be able to sleep and have a better tomorrow.

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