January 31, 2011

From the Mail Bag

Remember when I asked people to e-mail me just so I know that they’re actually out there?

Well, some folks did.

And I asked if I could share their words, in the spirit of maybe encouraging myself, as well as others.

I dunno, to talk, to speak up, to post, to comment.

To know it’s okay.

So here’s the first one, from “Lurker Linda”.

————————— Original Message —————————-

Subject: The lurker Linda

From: nunya@goddamnbusiness.com

Date: Mon, January 17, 2011 12:59 pm

To: “Sunny Crittenden” <Sunny@SunnyCrittenden.com>


Ever feel like it’s too late to speak up? Kind of like you should have known someones name, but you are too embarrassed to ask it after the 5th meeting? That’s how I feel about your site. I have only made about 3 or 4 minor peeps in the decade I have been reading. I don’t have a livejournal account, and I think I may comment once in a while now, but in the past I was very guarded about what I put on the web. About anything. I had an early site experience where in the first three months of my blog (before the word existed) I had a stalker of sorts. It freaked me the fuck out and I shut it down and did not return to having an online presence until facebook in 2004. And I still share very little.

But all that aside- this is what kept me coming back over the years.

I adore Courtny Love and Hole.

I had a fucked up childhood glossed over by appearances.

I have had panic and anxiety attacks

I have had a vacation to the psych ward once or twice.

I spent years leaving my house as seldom as I could.

I have a husband and children.

A cat and a dog.

I like flowers and growing things.

And well, those topics have been many topics of your site. I relate to a lot of what you talk about. I was also fascinated by your cam way back when cams were portals linked on peoples sites. Probably pre-camgirls portals. My friend had a portal and your cam was there. What made me click on yours was you held up a sign that said “sunny” and you were smiling. Every other cam that day was a boring shot of someone staring at their computer. I was also very fascinated by your confidence with the photos you took of yourself. A confidence I did not have. You were the fist person I read who shared the difficult. And it was nice to be able to read what you have been through and relate. I was so not one for group therapy and shit. Therapy off and on…but you were a lot of that for me. My therapy. Reading your struggles…relating. I didn’t know anyone IRL or online who spoke as frankly as you did. Trying to purge my past from me and grow the best I could….you were doing the same thing. I have often said to my husband that I feel extremely weird knowing so much about you, and you not knowing me. Completely my fault.

But anyway. I think you are awesome. I’m happy for your little victories; I have concern when you are down. But I never felt qualified to say anything. I agree, it isn’t right after all this time to not say anything. So, I hope this brings you an understanding of the kind of lurker I accidentally became. .=)


Posted at 6:38 pm in: blogging , e-mail , Internet , Sunnyland , website , winter
January 28, 2011

Ramble Ramble Ramble

This post is going to be done in pieces because technically I’m at work, so I apologize if it’s disjointed. Just for posterity, I started writing this at 10:30am.

Last night my mom, John and John’s son Chris were here, delivering to us a new fridge and stove. We didn’t particularly need a new fridge and stove, but John had updated his and his old ones didn’t have a home, so I called dibs for the sole reason that if we included a fridge and stove with the sale of our house, we might get more money for it. I like the fridge we have (it’s the only appliance I’ve ever picked out myself, not counting the washing machine, which I picked out too, but based on the fact that it was cheap) so we’d take that one with us, but put John’s fridge in its place when we start showing the house and then tell people the stove comes with the house too. The next house we have will probably have a stove and if it doesn’t, we’re financially stable enough right now that we could theoretically buy a new stove.

I’m still not sure about the washer and dryer though. Our washing machine is only 5 years old and the dryer is old, it came with the house. So I’m thinking we’d leave the dryer but take the washer, if the new house doesn’t come with one or both.

My mom gave me a Maple Leafs puck and I started bawling. She hugged me and I almost snotted all over her coat. She said she wasn’t mad at me for not being able to stay at the Leafs game on Saturday. I feel better about the whole thing now because my mom and John being mad at me for wasting the tickets was my biggest fear. I mean, they were a gift and the best Xmas gift I’ve ever gotten at that, too, which made the whole thing sting even more.

Anyway, I don’t want to talk about it.

Yesterday I finished reading The Colour Purple, which I loved, but I knew I would because I love the movie. The book is different of course, but not by much, it’s just the relationships, really, that are richer in the book than in the movie. For example, lesbianism between Celie and Shug is only really hinted at in the movie, but it’s blatant and more fleshed out in the book. When I finished it, I kinda felt sad though. That book won the Pulitzer Prize when it was originally published and I’ll never write anything even remotely close to being that good as long as I live. I may write a book or two before my time is up, even if they’re published on a vanity press, but I know they won’t be at par with any of the books I love and that bothers me. The solution of course, is to do better, but I’m not sure I can. I just don’t think I’m talented enough for it.

Blake is though, but he never writes anymore. I’m half-assedly (not really) working on something, but even I can recognize it as basically pulp trash that’ll probably never see the light of day. My friend Robert is casually helping me make it better though, but I’m still only half-assedly working on it (for example, I still haven’t even read the whole thing, since I started writing it over 6 years ago; I’m reading books instead).  Blake and I are brainstorming on a writing project that I think has a lot of promise, but who knows what’ll ever happen with that. We have the kernel of an idea, a GOOD idea, but that’s about it.

Speaking of creativity, yesterday 13 new canvases and 12 x 16 inch watercolour paper arrived. The canvases I got because I only had 12 x 12 inch ones and I wanted ones that were long enough to make flying fairies and angels on. The big watercolour paper is for making girls to put on the 24 x 48 inch canvas I bought a while back. I can really only work on one project or thing at a time, for example, if I’m reading a book, that’s all I can do, if I’m working on a story, that’s all I can do, if I’m working on a painting, that’s all I can do, I can’t do any other activities – except maybe watching TV – outside of the thing I’m working on. I don’t know why this is.

Last night after I finished The Colour Purple, I started reading Room, so I guess that’s my project for the time being, although at this point it’s relegated to the bathroom so it’s possible I can work on something at the same time, but probably not a writing project. I also still have to read Robert’s book, which should probably take priority over Room.

I also want to go to Michael’s this weekend and buy up all of their glitter paper because that shit is magic and I’m terrified they’ll discontinue it. It’s cardstock encrusted with glitter. I used it on the angel’s gown that I put in my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project. The stuff’s $3.99 a sheet but totally worth it, in my opinion. I have one sheet of every colour, but I want to get as much of it as I can for the painting projects I have planned for the year, the first of which is that giant canvas, except I can’t figure out a background for it or WHERE to work on it because it’s so big, so that’s why I haven’t done anything with it yet. I also don’t have a circle-draw-er that’s big enough to do big girls, so I have to get one of those too.  I’m hoping to find something that let’s you trace big circles, like the circle ruler I have, rather than the math kind of circle-draw-er because that leaves a pointy dent in the middle and my girls’ eyes will never be uniform if I use one of those and that’s no good. But now I have the right size paper and I’m going to be buying more glitter paper this weekend (hopefully) and then I have to figure out my circle dilemma.


My kwish is done and is cooling on the other side of my desk. Lately I’ve been making it with only 2 eggs, cut up shaved ham, frozen broccoli (in the bottom), a touch of salt and what I call “diet cheese” because I never really looked at the package so I’m not sure what its deal really is. I think it might be made out of 2% milk instead of regular milk or something, but it has like, half the calories of regular cheese and about 1/3 of the fat. I haven’t reduced the caloric count of this type of kwish, like on paper, mostly because I’m lazy, but I know it’s a big less than the 400 calorie kwish I originally made with regular cheese and bacon.

I’ve lost 3 & a half lbs in 2 weeks just by eating kwish for breakfast and eating less junk food.

And this brings me to….the metabolic clinic I’m in.


Okay so it’s not really a “debacle” but so far it’s felt like one. Last Tuesday I had to go to the clinic for 2 hours, see a dietitian for an hour and right after that, see a recreation therapist for an hour and it was all just way too much for one day.

The first “module” of the metabolic clinic was about the metabolism and metabolic syndrome, which all of the participants, including me, have because of our medications.  Long story short, all of our metabolisms are now slow because of the medications we’re on and that has lead us all to gain weight and in some cases gain weight AND crave food where there were no cravings before. I don’t have the craving food thing but I did when I was on risperidone and olanzapine and that’s what caused most of my weight gain, along with the slowed metabolism at the same time. I know I’ve explained this before.

So the beginning of the first clinic module was introductions, which I can’t really tell you about because everything is supposed to be confidential and I’m choosing to respect that for the most part, and just telling my side of things. After introductions, which took forever because this one girl wouldn’t stop talking, Dr. D, the shrink who runs the clinic, along with 2 nurses, did a powerpoint presentation that was like an introduction to the clinic and what we’re going to be talking about, what’s expected of them, what’s expected of us. After she was finished, we took a break so the smokers could go out and have a smoke and snacks were served (not all of them healthy, I might add, which I found kinda fucked up) and also during this time, binders and pedometers were handed out. The binders contained a copy of Dr. D’s presentation, the one the nurse was going to give after the break and a copy of the next week’s (this week’s) presentation called “My Body and I”.

They told us they wanted us to keep a food journal and to wear our pedometers with the goal being 3k steps per day, which I laughed at because, yeah right…and that was pretty much the end of the first module.

Something noteworthy before I continue though, is that there was this guy in the group who was a nursing student and he kept STARING AT ME. Like, overtly. It was creepy and I don’t know what his deal was. I mean, it’s possible he’s seen me naked on the internet and that’s the connection, but whatever it was it was so obnoxious I almost didn’t go to this week’s module.

Anyway, after the clinic I had to see the dietitian who I disliked. Her whole deal was following Canada’s Food Guide, which I mostly think is bunk. She didn’t like my high protein, low carb diet and asked that I start eating toast with my kwish so that is what I’m doing to mostly humour her. I used to eat 2 pieces of toast with my eggs before, so I know it’s probably not going to hurt me, but I don’t see why it’s necessary considering I’m not hungry after eating kwish, but whatever, that’s what she told me to do so that’s what I’m doing. She told me about the “glycemic index” and therefore I’ve been eating wholegrain honey wheat toast every day after my kwish even though I think toast is disgusting and we’re even out of jam, so all I have to put on it is margarine, which is just *shudder*.  She also said that I’m not eating enough calories in a day but she got sidetracked and failed to tell me how many calories I SHOULD be eating per day. From what I’ve read online, I need 2000 to MAINTAIN weight, 1500 to LOSE weight. I usually end up eating about 1200-1300, often less, sometimes more, but on AVERAGE, 1200-1300. I usually aim for meals to be 300-400 calories and snacks around 100 (x2). I don’t eat lunch because it’s now almost 1pm and I just finished BREAKFAST. If I ate lunch a few hours from now, I wouldn’t eat dinner.

Anyway, she was boring, judgmental, holier than thou and mostly uninformative. She’d never heard of the paleo diet, she’d never heard of the Android app “Calorie Counter” where you can use your phone to scan barcodes and it’ll bring up the nutritional information and she wanted me to eat way more than anything I’ve ever read says I should. Blake didn’t like her either.

After we saw her, we had to go across the road and see the recreation therapist, which was mostly useless too. She gave me “homework”, which I’ll scan at some point, but I still have no idea what the point of seeing this woman was. She was nice, an optimist to the core but not in an obnoxious way, but ultimately useless to me, I think. I do recreation quite well on my own, I don’t need someone to help me with that. She was talking about super longterm goals, none of which had anything to do with losing weight or getting more exercise, which I appreciated, but I don’t need her help with my art goals, which is what she focused on. (Which which which.) I’m supposed to see her again in February for reasons I don’t quite understand and then hopefully I’ll never have to see her again. I mean, we’re not even going to be living in the area by the time these “goals” come around, so they’re empty goals anyway. Like, one of her suggestions was to do local art shows in the future, well for one, I wouldn’t do that and for two, where is “local”? Anything “local” is a waste of time and like I said, we’ll have moved by the time these things roll around anyway so making them and seeing this woman is just a waste of my time. In fact, I don’t even think I’m going to go see her in February, I thought the whole thing was that useless. Nice lady, but seriously not needed. I can see how other people might need her services, I just don’t.

So that was all last Tuesday. Then yoga was cancelled. (Booooo.)

This Tuesday was module 2, “My Body & I”, which was more about metabolism and really a more fleshed out version of the first one. Staring nurse boy wasn’t there, there was another nurse GIRL, so maybe we get a different one each time.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that they take our blood pressure, weight and waist measurement before each class. I won’t tell you what my stats are but this week their scale said I GAINED a lb (Wii Fit disagrees by -3 lbs) but I lost an inch on my waist. The nurse said their scale sucked and to go with what the Wii Fit said. She also said I could gain depending on where I am in my menstrual cycle and I’m only a few days away so that’s a possibility too.

My pedometer wasn’t working properly, so I had them switch it with a new one (they come from the government) but the screen was so faint I could only read the numbers if I held it at the right angle, so I gave up on it and on our way home I stopped off at Wal*Mart and got Blake and I each new ones. I’ll give the old one back to the people at the clinic.

According to my new pedometer that actually works, I average about 1500 steps just puttering around the house. I have no idea how I’m going to double that though. (And I’m not looking for suggestions either. That’ll just piss me off.) What I need is a treadmill that I can use during my newly imposed forced breaks from work. That way I could read while I walk and I wouldn’t get sweaty & need a shower after like I do on the elliptical, which I hate and will not use because of the sweat factor and the “not being able to read while doing it” factor and the “not enough time to watch something on TV while doing it” factor. Also I just hate the fucking thing and it’s mostly used as a coat rack. A treadmill I’d actually use and that’s what I wanted to get originally anyway, but the elliptical was cheaper so that’s what we got. Blake uses it occasionally and I use it never.

Anyway, blah, I don’t have the money for a treadmill so I don’t even know why I’m going on and on about it. I have no idea how I’m going to double my steps.

And that’s pretty much all there is to the metabolic clinic so far.  It’s apparently won all these awards and stuff but so far they haven’t told me anything I didn’t already know and the only thing they’ve really said to do to lose weight so far is to walk 3k steps/day. Next week and the week after, the dietitian is going to be doing her powerpoint presentations, so we’ll see what she has to say. Also included in the group is a pharmacist, who’s going to talk to us one-on-one about our medications, which again, may be helpful for some, but there’s not a whole lot I don’t know about the ones I’m on because I know how to use the internet. But we’ll see what she has to say, I guess. She seems to be the most knowledgeable out of all the “professionals” involved in this thing and drugs are interesting to me so I don’t mind seeing her even though I have very little to discuss with her.

I’m not sure what next week’s module is about but there are 9 weeks left. On Tuesdays I work 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours when I get back from the clinic and then I make up the other 4 hours by doing 2 hours each on Saturday and Sunday. I hate working weekends, it’s really starting to burn me out, but I don’t really have a choice and I’m fortunate enough to have a flexible employer so I can’t really complain. When the clinic is done, she wants me to take 1 or 2 hour breaks every day and make up 5 hours on weekends, which is what I meant by “forced breaks”. I was really upset when she proposed this and I still kind of am because working 7 days a week really is burning me out and frying my nerves, but if I need her to be flexible to do this metabolic clinic then I have to be flexible for her too. She said that if I needed a weekend I could work my normal 8 hour shift during the week and take one, but I won’t be able to do that for another 9 weeks because of the stupid clinic.

People have told me that I could have used this opportunity to get a raise, but I trust my bosses to reward me for good work done when they feel it’s time. I’ve only been working for them for 4 & a half months.

What else? Hrm…

Blake got me a card for the new hair salon that opened up in town and after the metabolic clinic ends, I’m going to make an appointment for a cut & colour and I’m going to walk there and back myself. Or at least that’s the idea. We’ll see how it goes.

And that’s really all I can think of at the moment, so I think I’m going to look at Lush stuff while I answer work e-mails.

January 26, 2011

Fuck Shit Stack

Thanks to Jen for the vid! (Who is blamedstarlie on LJ but since I’m posting this on my site I can’t link her, like, LJ link her…you know what I fucking mean…)

Posted at 6:02 pm in: Music , videos , youtube

Ludacris vs Metallica – AWESOME

My friend Scooter (whom I know ;o)) just posted this on Facebook.
It’s probably way old but I’d never seen it soooooo…


Posted at 4:06 pm in: Music , videos , youtube

Doin’ these ones too!

Thanks to the purchase of “Snow Princess” (thank you!), I signed Blake & I up for A Million Little Pictures, which is sorta like The Sketchbook Project (same gallery) except with disposable cameras. Blake doesn’t know yet because I just did it but like The Sketchbook Project, I signed us both up for digitizing so everyone can see our pictures.

His theme is “Surviving the end of the world” and mine is “The great adventures of ?”

Anyone else interested in doing this? Or are doing it already?
Anyone I know do The Sketchbook Project?
Add me as a friend on the Art House Co-Op site!

EDIT: My mom pointed me in the direction of The Art House Co-Op’s Fiction Project, so I signed myself up for that one too! It’s sort of like The Sketchbook Project as well, except you’re supposed to add words and pictures to form a story. My theme is “Happy thoughts”.

Posted at 3:13 pm in: Art , artists , Photography , winter , Writing

Oh Yeah.

Sunday was my 9 month anniversary of quitting smoking.
Yay me.

If I can make it a year, I’ll never touch another cigarette as long as I live.
Unless Blake dies. We have a deal about that.

Posted at 10:02 am in: smoking

I’m not dead. (Unfortunately.)

I have an obsession.
I think everyone in my house now knows the lyrics to both of these songs by now because it’s all I’ve listened to for the past 4 days.

It started innocently enough, I woke up with “Magic Man” stuck in my head.
The only reason I know that song is because it’s in The Virgin Suicides.
(Brilliantly, because that movie’s brilliant.)

So I decided that “Magic Man” by Heart is probably in my top 5 sexiest songs of all time.
Don’t ask what the other 4 are, I’m not sure this early in the morning.

Then, after I downloaded “Magic Man” from SoulSeek, Blake and I started talking and I was like, “I don’t know any other Heart songs,” so he started naming some of their cheesy 80’s hits and I’d look them up on YouTube and I knew a couple, but then one video lead to another and I found “Crazy On You” and HOLY SHIT did it blow me away. I’d never heard it before, at least consciously, and at the moment it’s my absolute favourite song and I think it has the best intro ever written. (Or at least that I’ve head in my entire life.)

Listen. Loud.
It’s just like doody doody doooooo then it HITS THE FUCKING GROUND RUNNING!

So this is my obsession.
I am absolutely incapable right now of listening to anything else.
I want to hear the whole album but feel ooky d/ling whole albums from SoulSeek.
It’s not just an obsession though, it’s my current sanity.
So there ya have it.

Gotta go to work now.
Have a lovely day.

Posted at 9:41 am in: Music , videos , youtube
January 23, 2011

Sunny Shoots, Agoraphobia Scores

Hi Everyone. This is Blake. Sunny asked me to make a post about last night for her because she’s having a really hard time with it.

As I’m sure just about everyone already knows, we had tickets to go see the Leafs play the Washington Capitals last night and as I’d assume you also know, Sunny has a difficult time going to places with a lot of people. Most times we have plans to go to an event of some sort, for however much time that leads up to it, she will often burst out with statements like, “I don’t want to go” or something similar. Then we talk about it for a while and in the end, after much calming conversation, we end up at the event. To be honest, with the initial reaction that Sunny had when we got these tickets, I thought we might not even have that, but it started to creep in a couple weeks ago.

Yesterday started pretty smoothly though.  Sunny had to work until 4:00 and we were planning on leaving at 5:00. She finished work and got ready and we headed out.  She was very quiet in the car, but she was keeping it all together. It took around 2 hours to get there and find parking, but we made it. We walked into the ACC and were directed to our section.  While we were navigating the crowd, I could tell that Sunny was really uncomfortable and she said as much.  I thought that once we got to our seats and sat down, she would get into the game and would start enjoying herself.

When we got to our seats, there was about 5 minutes or so left of the first period. We checked in on foursquare (obviously) and watched a little hockey.  The intermission started and we watched some little kids play a bit of hockey and then Sunny turned to me and said that she needed to go.  I looked in her eyes and I could tell she was starting to lose her grip.

We headed for the doors and back to the car as fast as we could and then she broke down. On one hand, the crowd was too much for her, but on the other hand, she felt absolutely horrible that she couldn’t make it through the game. She wanted to. She knew that other people wanted her to. She knew that I wanted her to. Despite all that, she couldn’t do it and she felt like a failure.

We headed home and have talked a lot. She felt like I would be mad at her because I didn’t get to see my first Leafs game. She feels like her mom and John will be mad at her for not staying for the whole game when they got her such an awesome present. She feels like the whole internet will think she’s weak and a failure for not being able to do something as simple as going to an event that she wanted to go to in the first place. She feels like she wasted the tickets by not giving them to someone else who would have gone to the game and enjoyed it. She said she’d never actually realized how bad her agoraphobia was until last night.

I can’t really speak for everyone else, but I have a different perspective on all this. First and foremost, I think that an event that is important carries more stress than something that is not. This game was a HUGE thing for Sunny and because of that, going to it carried a lot more anxiety than something like going to the post office. On top of that, there was a lot more crowd to wade through than any other event we’ve been to in years. There was also no back corner to hide in away from the crowd, which is usually what we do at events. And lastly, the lights were all on.  I think all these factors made this a much more stressful situation than others things that we’ve been to in recent years.

I give Sunny a lot of credit for getting her shit together, getting in the car and eventually getting all the way to her seat. I’d call it giving up if she said, “This is too hard, so I’m not going to even try.”  I have a lot of respect for her that. Despite having so much anxiety about it, she actually got there and gave it a shot and I think the internet will feel the same way. I mean, it’s easy to look perfect if you only do easy things. Taking risks means that everything won’t always go as planned and you need to take risks to grow.

I hate seeing Sunny so down on herself for something that she can’t help. I saw her completely fall apart when she had her psychotic break. I saw her so apart that I was worried she’d never put herself back together. I’ve never been so scared in my life. Since that time, I’ve seen her struggle through a metric shit tonne of adversity and take huge steps to get her life back together. She’s quit smoking, she quit drinking regular Coke and adjusted her diet to much more healthy eating habits. She’s started making art more consistently. She’s been writing more consistently. She’s doing all that with a full time job that contributes so much to the wellbeing of our household. I could go on and on about successes in her life and I have to give her full credit for all of them. She decides on something, focuses herself and takes action to achieve whatever her goal is. Not least in her list are the steps she’s taken to get out of the house.

Every year she’s doing more and more things to get herself out in public and some of those times are without me. The Leafs game was the step that was a little too big, but at least she gave it a shot. I told her that I have no problem waiting until she’s ready and then we can try it again. It’s not something that we’ll accomplish this week, but we’ll get there eventually. Yesterday wasn’t a failure to do something she wanted to do. it was a success for making the effort rather than just wimping out and not even trying. She got to her seat, she watched some hockey and that’s certainly an accomplishment.

January 19, 2011


Today a box came.


Posted at 11:05 pm in: Beauty , hair , Lush


I’m kinda behind on my posting, as far as life things are concerned, and today’s been busy as far as work so I only have time right now to post this very brief update.

On Monday, Madison mailed my sketchbook because I was tired of it being in the house and worrying about it.
It was as “done” as it was going to get.
So it’s gone now and when The Art House Co-Op gets around to digitizing it, you will be able to see because I’ll link you.
In the meantime, the sketchbook tour starts in March, so maybe you could go see it in person.
They’re going to be taking all the books all over the US.
I wish they were coming here.

Anyway, here’s my cover:

At the back, I punched two holes (right through my damn desk, too! oops!) and installed magenta, heart-shaped eyelets to thread the ribbon through because the book was very thick and wouldn’t stay closed otherwise.

The back pages, I think there were 6 of them, I used paperclips to attach 6 business cards per page with instructions for people to take them, not just to promote my business but because my cards are like little ATCs in and of themselves and I had 2 boxes of them sitting here with all these blank pages that I didn’t have time to work on.

Anyway, it’s done and out of my hands.
Now it’s time to start planning my BIG, 24 x 48 inch canvas, which is going to be a transitory piece.
On the weekend I ordered BIG watercolour paper and that’s the next thing I’m putting on my plate.

And now back to work.

Posted at 12:20 pm in: Art , Creativity

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