September 26, 2014

NOW TAKING INTERESTING COMMISSIONS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 3, 2014

Reasons To Be Beautiful

I don’t know how I feel today.

I’m ridiculously, stupidly, unbelievably happy about this Hole reunion things that I almost can’t even think straight or even move. Like, I don’t even know what to do. I feel like I should call someone to tell them but A) I don’t think my mom would care and she’s the only person I would ever call for anything and B) I’ve already posted the Rolling Stone link everywhere I can think of.  Speaking of Rolling Stone, this is my current cam image:

This is Rolling Stone dated August 24th, 1995 and it’s very special to me for a few reasons. Mostly, Alex gave this to me and it is one of the best things anyone’s ever given me in my whole life and that is because Lollapalooza ’95 was my very first concert and my first time seeing Hole  and one of the best, weirdest days/nights of my life  and this issue is mostly about that. According to the cover anyway, because I’ve never actually opened it or read it  because I’m scared I’ll damage it. I did just acknowledge on Facebook that this was probably stupid and I should just read it because it’ll probably never be worth anything to anyone but me, but even after I posted that I still debated and decided to just put it back in its safe spot with the Juxtapoz magazine with the Mark Ryden cover that I’ve also never opened (I plan to frame both of these at some point if we ever overhaul my office…)

Hole getting back together might possibly be the best non-important news I’ve ever heard in my whole entire life and I mean that pretty literally in that I cannot think of anything I’ve ever heard that was any better and I can also say that the day they announced they were breaking up was one of the worst non-important things that has ever happened to me and I mean that pretty literally too because at this very moment, I cannot think of anything worse. And when I say “non-important” I mean, in my whole grand scheme of things. On a life level, they are seriously bipolar moments. It may seem silly but they get notable tickmarks on my life line, despite the fact I never remember the dates of anything so I don’t actually know when they broke up. I just know it sucked to be Blake that day.

It’s also a sunshiney day today, I had peanut butter and toast for breakfast even though it made me feel sick afterward (but was okay after cannabis) and I’m listening to my “Like a Hole in the Head” playlist which is all Hole, so it’s pretty much impossible for me to be in a bummer mood, but this is going to be sort of a bummer post maybe because yesterday was a good/bad day.

By good/bad I mean that it was a good food day:

There were a lot of tears before most of that food happened but it happened.
Wouldn’t have if Blake hadn’t have worked from home yesterday and drove me to Clover for a bag of chips and Flynn’s for a sandwich, of which I ate half, but it did.

The unfortunate thing though, is that a food day like yesterday cannot be duplicated for a while because the chips are bad for my pancreas, despite taking enzymes, and are just bad in general and I rarely eat them and their kind of Havarti cheese is sliced sort of thick and it’s spiced so I can’t really have that very often either because it tends to make me feel sick, as does the mayo (I like mayo a lot but if there’s too much on something I can’t eat it; often wiping some of it off isn’t good enough either, it’s either made right the first time or I don’t want it which sounds bitchy but the problem is that if it DOES gross me out too much to eat because there’s half a jar of mayo on something, there goes ALL my eating for that day because any time I think about food, until I fall asleep and forget it, all I can think about is the thing that grossed me out). I drank the ginger ale with my sandwich to help me keep it down and I figured the extra calories would make the dietitian happy even though they’re shitty calories. Ginger ale is pretty much okay any time, but I don’t drink pop with sugar and I think diet ginger ale is disgusting so it’s basically only used as a medicine to me. There’s probably not even enough ginger in it to be beneficial, it’s probably just the carbonation that makes me feel better (as diet Coke also makes me feel better but sometimes not as well as ginger ale) but sometimes it works so I just go with it.

So yesterday was a good food day AND a mostly sunshiney day but it was also mostly a bummer day because, to put it simply, there is no joy in my life. Even until today I hadn’t listened to music since Florida because I am so sick of everything that I’d prefer silence. And that makes me sad because that is a first in my life, my life has never been without soundtrack. Normally, as long as I’m awake and as long as we’re not watching TV, there is music playing because silence traditionally drives me insane because it’s never really silent and I can hear every little goddamn thing. The neighbours are having their roof done starting today and all morning I didn’t even have music on to drown them out (they’re on a 2nd story roof, but only feet from my office) because until the Hole thing I just didn’t give a single fuck about anything auditory.

I have no art and that makes me sad. My whole life every teacher and my mom and just about every adult I encountered have all remarked on my so-called creative “talent” and I have been conditioned since I was wee to feel like that’s all I’ve got. That’s the only thing that makes me worth a damn. And it’s gone.

Sick of paint.

Sick of paper.

No interest in canvas – front OR back.

Even glitter has lost its lustre.

Polymer clay didn’t really work out although I haven’t given up on it completely. Actually I have a $48 gift certificate for Amazon.com and all I can order from there is books so if anyone has any recomendations on a couple of good books on polymer clay, I’d definitely be open to them. Right now I have this one and this one in my cart but I’m scared to waste the gift certificate on something I won’t like or use so if anyone has any opinions on those books specifically, I’d like to hear those as well. Amazon reviews are terrible and I don’t count on them for much. I chose those two books because they looked the most comprehensive and had the nicest covers out of the others I found when I searched. The others were very specific like, “how to make X with polymer clay”, which I don’t really want either I don’t think so that’s why I passed over those. I’m just scared that polymer clay will just be another dead end and I’ll have wasted the gift certificate on something I’ll end up donating to the library in the end anyway.

I have no interest in photography. Part of the reason photography was fun was because the people I was taking pictures of liked to see themselves through my lens. But then Madison started getting self-conscious I think and didn’t want me to take pictures of her anymore and I love Wes to the end of the Earth and back but he is the WORST model. He likes the idea of taking pictures and he likes seeing them afterward, but he is such a massive pain in the ass that unless we’re doing something specific, forget it. I took a couple of classes and got okay at taking pictures of my family. And now I think I’m done. This is not my thing. If I need to document my life, I have my phone and my iPod and both will upload to the internet immediately which is usually what I’m going to do with them anyway. Like, I see pictures EVERYWHERE – EVERYWHERE! – but I feel too self-conscious carrying the big camera around with me and most of the stuff I want to take pictures of you either probably aren’t supposed to and/or you’d have to ask permission and I’m not down with either of those potentials. I want to be the girl who carries a camera and a Swiss army knife but I just don’t think that’s me. I don’t know how to be that person.

And like, throughout all of this, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking, “did I ever really give it a fair try?” and the answer, I feel, is “no”. So there’s that bit of fucking guilt laying in the pit of my stomach now. A couple thousand dollars worth of camera equipment and no…whatever ingredient it is I need to be that person.

My girls. My beautiful girls. I decided that what’s on sale on Etsy is what’s for sale and once they’re gone, they’re gone and there will be no more for sale. I will only make boys and girls as gifts and this was pretty much decided when one of our friends the other night told Blake that he was expecting his first child and I realized…holy shit man, so many of our friends either have babies right now or are having babies right now or are soon to have babies right now that I’m pretty sure I’m only going to paint them for girls and boys I know from now on and not until the bun’s out of the oven, hopefully starting with our friend’s son Apollo. The only worry I have with that is I’ll feel pressured to make them for everyone, like maybe people who think they’re better friends with me than they really are, or that someone might feel offended that I didn’t make one for their kid. Realistically that already happens though, so I guess I shouldn’t worry about it too much. I haven’t decided on commissions yet. We all know how I feel about them and we all know that if I’m low-balled I’m going to be seriously pissed off, so it’s probably just best if I didn’t. Zazzle shop is staying. Truthfully, I find the Zazzle stuff more interesting than the originals and so far I’m my own biggest customer. I don’t understand why more people don’t utilize that when I’ve been hearing for years and years that people wished they had a more inexpensive way to procure my work. Originals are work, man. I can’t afford to buy the world a Coke. I’m still interested in the colouring book idea although I’m sure that by the time it’s actually finished, you won’t be.

All I have right now, creatively, what I’m clinging to, are these two writing projects I’m sort of not working on at the moment simultaneously. I loved writing at Froth but Froth has shitty hours (only open until 6pm/4pm on Sundays and it takes half an hour for us to get there; even with Blake working from home, the earliest we can get there is like, 5 and by the time we get set up with food and drink and are ready to work, they’ll be almost ready to close) and Froth is really expensive. We’ve scouted out Wasaga Beach and a few other places for nice, independently-run coffee shops that don’t care if you’re there all day/night and have wifi. And aren’t full of annoying kids. All. The. Time. And actually now that I think about it, we didn’t try the Starbuck’s that’s inside the Chapters bookstore in Barrie which is tiny tiny but most people get their shit and go browse the store so if they have tables at the back that I haven’t seen because I haven’t been back there, I’m betting that might be a more adult place to write that’s open relatively late and isn’t super expensive. Sucks that it’s Starbuck’s* and the music (among other things) is terrible but Blake swears to me that he thinks that’s the best we can do. I’d love to just write at Tim Hortons but they don’t have Coke products and I don’t drink coffee. I’d love to write at the Coffee Time down the street that’s SUPPOSED to be open 24 hours but really closes between 8pm-9pm, depending on how busy it is, but I don’t think Blake ended up liking it there. Can’t remember why. That place would be good because I could maybe go there during the day if I got comfortable enough there with Blake and write without him and they have Coke products BUT! I asked Blake if he would buy me a patio table with an umbrella for our front porch this spring BECAUSE, and I DECREE:

If I am going to plant the fuck out of my front yard this summer and put in all that effort, I am NOT going to hide in my house like a little fucking mouse like I have every other year, only scuttling out at 7am when no one’s around to take pictures. NO! I will sit at my patio table on my front porch and I will drink my own Coke products and eat my own free food (or not, as the case may be) and I will write there! Whenever I fucking feel like it! Have laptop, have wifi, have diet Coke, have bong – the only potential problem here is me. And rain.

This is what I’ve got going for me right now: flowers, two stories to work on and a patio table. And I have to wait for half those things at the moment so basically until then it’s Bummersville, population: me. Apologies in advance.

I am getting more and more excited about the garden the more sunshiney days we have, though. I can’t plant anything until next month but I’ve already sent Rugg my Keep Off The Lawn 2014 flower wishlist and we’ll see what happens I guess. I’m hoping for a lot of things on it, but mostly the lily of the valley “pips” which I think are like bulbs except they’re not dormant when you plant them like the ones you plant in the fall are? Anyway, these you plant in the spring and I specifically wanted them because they are the flower of May, which is the birth month of both my grama and her mother, my great grama, the latter of whom used to lay in bed with me at night and we’d list all the flowers we could think of. Then we’d list all the birds and she’d do all of their calls (poorly). Then I’d fall asleep. She had lily of the valley in her garden and because it was both her and my grama’s birth flower, it was just around a lot growing up and it’s an important plant to my family. I don’t have any and they also happen to grow well in shade, which is exactly where I need them because so far I can’t find anything else I like that will. If I recall correctly, lily of the valley likes to spread itself around if it’s happy, I feel like my gramas were constantly giving some away, so instead of digging up the daffodils and hyacinths in the front bed in front of our living room window and relocating them for something a lot bigger like peonies (which won’t grow in shade), I want to plant the lily of the valley all around them so they’ll fill in the whole bed and it’ll look full the whole growing season, unlike now when the daffodils and hyacinths peter out by May and then the bed lays empty or full of weeds for the rest of the season because nothing else will grow there. (Speaking of daffodils and hyacinths, I just checked and they’re both up and out of the ground about an inch and a half so far, so that’s pretty cool.)

Actually, that’s only partially true. Originally these ugly things were in that bed and the first summer I was here and we did the front garden I ripped them out of the bed because I didn’t like them and planted wildflower seed instead (which didn’t grow) but then I felt really bad at this pile of still-alive flowers I had dug up and didn’t know what to do with them AT ALL so I basically ended up just transplanting them a few feet forward. So dumb. Now they’re there and I still hate them every year and wish they’d die on their own but the fuckers thrive instead and I have no idea what to do with them. Suggestions welcome. I don’t even think I could drive them somewhere, throw ’em in a ditch and wish ’em the best. I’d feel like such a terrible person, I would not be able to live with myself. But every year they grow and every year I think about it…maybe I should let them grow, cut them down and decorate random graves with them…hmmm…

Anyway, I think that’s all I’ve got in me for  today. Well, there’s one more thing but it’s its own post and isn’t about me at all or even important.

(*I like Starbuck’s. TO GO!)

January 14, 2014

Love is old/Love is new

One month until Valentine’s Day! I love Valentine’s Day! It’s probably my 2nd favourite holiday after 4/20! I love the colours! The hearts! The lace! The ribbon! The flowers! The food! Everything! And that is why I made this painting in 2011:

“Valentine” lives with a little girl named Claire, who I think is 5 years old now and continues to be some of my best work, I think. Putting her up for sale was easy, but leaving her there until she sold, wasn’t because I really don’t like selling my originals, especially ones I really like. That said, it went to the best possible home and that makes me happy. Since a lot of people inquired about it last year but it was too late for shipping, I’m pimping out my Zazzle shop yet again because I have poster prints, greeting cards, postcards and more of this painting there. AND! I just finished making my shop a spiffy banner, so you should go look at it.

Basically I’m just trying to stay busy. Yesterday journaling just made me miserable so I’m not gonna try doing that again. I have The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave to watch so I’ll probably do that at some point today. I also think I’m going to make egg salad. We bought cheap eggs (as opposed to the pricier omega-3 ones that I think taste better and have a better texture that we use for eating) to use for meringue cookies but I never ended up making the cookies and as it turns out, you only need 3 eggs for that anyway sooooooooooooo egg salad.

I guess since it’s pretty much a “for sure” thing now I can talk about the Florida trip we’re planning in March with the 4 of us. We’re going to board the dogs at this awesome kennel where they get fed twice a day, get treats 3 times a day and they can be in the same pen together so Lucky’s separation anxiety shouldn’t be an issue. The cat should be okay here on her own while we’re gone, we just have to leave out a huge bowl of water, a big bowl of food and a clean litterbox and she’ll think she’s on vacation too. Blake’s mom and husband Charlie have a house there with a hot tub and a pool and they spend their winters down there. I forget how long Blake said it was going to take to get there but it’s something like a 22 hour drive from our house straight down and we plan to do it over two days. I guess we’re just gonna drive drive drive and then when Blake gets tired, find somewhere to sleep and continue the next morning.

Personally I’m looking forward to the plethora of American junk food and cuisine we’re going to encounter on our journey. I really really like pie and Jack Kerouac wrote a small sentence in “On the Road” about the portions of pie and ice cream getting bigger the farther south you go, which is a bit of wisdom I fully intend to test.

One of my coworkers lives right on the way so even if it’s just for a gas station hug, we’re gonna finally meet face to face after 2 years of working together. So that’s cool. Oh and we’re going to see Blake’s friend Noelle and Blake’s Aunt Pat while we’re down there and maybe some more people I don’t know about yet.

So that’s happening.

Anyway, I’m freezing and hungry and have to pee so I’m gonna go fix myself and watch movies.

PS. Blake’s been trying to get me in to see my shrink before my appointment in March but no one’s picking up the phone at her office. :o(

January 9, 2014

Just like the white winged dove…

One of the most terrible things about throwing up for days on end is the severe chapped lips you get from the acid in the green bile that is the result of pancreatitis. It hurts, man, and until today it looked awful. Blistex Lip Medex in the little blue pot has been my best friend. I really wish we could figure out what caused this attack but there just wasn’t anything. I think one day I might have accidentally taken 2 extra Wellbutrin (because I thought they fell out of my medicine container, so I went and got 2 more and took them and then wondered if I was wrong in the first place and had really taken them and just forgot because that is totally something I would do) but I really can’t see that causing an attack, I’ve been taking low doses of it for years and if my shrink told me to up my dosage in the mornings by 2 I wouldn’t question it and would just do it. At the same time, I went for a kidney test the one time where I had to drink radioactive dye and they injected radioactive stuff into me and that caused a full blown hospitalized kinda pancreatic attack, so who fucking knows?

And I know what you may be thinking, what about pot? Ah yes, what about pot…I was too sick to smoke pot. The act of being vertical, conscious and breathing air induced vomiting, there was no way I could smoke pot…not until I could. Like I had to let the whole thing pass enough until I could be vertical, conscious and breathing air all at the same time for a little while without throwing up before I could fire up the bong and feel better, which is exactly what happened. I had crackers and cheese for dinner and have been having crackers and cheese for snacks every day since, but adding something new to the plate every time. Right now I’m up to 2 kinds of cheese, 3 kinds of crackers (one is multigrain), strawberries and gherkins (which don’t count as a vegetable, I KNOW MOM) and chocolate milk, although I’m kinda getting sick of that and I’m thinking I might be ready for an actual meal today but hell if I know what. As per usual. (Although typing that gave me a twinge of the ickies so maybe I’ll stick with crackers and cheese one more day.)

Monday was supposed to be my first day without kids or Blake in the house since December 20th, but the kids had a snow day and Blake stayed home in case I had to go to the hospital. Then on Tuesday he had to stay home too because our whole area was under a million tonnes of snow. (And the kids had a snow day. Madison had a snow day yesterday but Wes didn’t.) Sometime within that period, between being barfy and comatose and today, I worked on my Zazzle shop. Specifically my “Mary Jane” line of products which are prints of this painting, which I did for my Secret Satan this year:

There are all kinds of things in that section of the shop with that painting on them from greeting cards to post prints to keychains to buttons and stickers. For some reason Zazzle’s been acting up and the “Mary Jane” section will only show up for me if I’m logged in, yet the products show up under other categories so if you’re reading this and clicking links and they’re not working, that would be why. Just go to my Zazzle shop and click on the categories to the left to see what I’ve made. I think this candy tin is cool, personally. I’m also in the process of making notebooks out of all of my paintings.

And since I apparently can’t stop talking about weed enough today, I just got the call from Peace Naturals to tell me that my paperwork has all been verified and I can can a purchase pharmaceutical grade cannabis from them whenever I’m ready. So I asked the lady on the phone a couple of things. The first thing was if I could order online and she said that part of their site wasn’t functional yet so I could only order by phone. The second thing was therefore, could Blake order for me? She asked me if I’d put him down on my paperwork so I said, if that were an option I’m betting I totally did! So she looked and I did and now Blake can place an order on the phone with them. And the third thing I asked was how would I know what to order? Like where is their menu or catalogue? And she was like, make an account on our site and you can see so after I got off the phone with her I did and could, which they must have done something on their end, like manually entered my name into a database or something, because when I tried that before, they said an agent would be contacting me within 24 hours which is why I didn’t do it before (I contacted them a different way and was already in touch with an agent when I saw that so I canceled the request) but whatever it worked and I could see what they had to offer and honestly I’m pretty impressed. All strains are $6/gram, not sure if shipping is included (it is for one of their competitors), and they have a couple of low THC/high CBD strains for those whose conditions and circumstances require that and then the THC goes up from there to 19.4%. I didn’t count the total strains but from 15.27%-19.4% there were 7 or 8, so I’d guess they have at least twice that. I have to do more research to know what to buy (like, actually read the descriptions for starters) and how much I can buy at one time.

This is probably more exciting for me than for anyone else and I don’t think I want to become one of those people who does nothing but talk about weed all the time (unless I get paid to), but it is definitely in my top 5 favourite interests at the moment, especially with what’s happening in the US and Uruguay and even this new medical system that we have in Canada. I read a lot about Peace Naturals before choosing them over my other 2 options and they’re local. The farm is 16 minutes from my house. Know how I know this? Because when we were on our way home back from Barrie Saturday morning, I looked up their address on my phone and we decided to take a detour just to see the farm. It doesn’t look like anything but a farm. The only thing about it is that, as Blake pointed out, it was the only one that didn’t have snow on the roofs of their barns. So we gawked and set the GPS for home. Which took us 16 minutes. Anyway, my point is that I picked the home team. It’s a company I believe in. So far, anyway. So let’s hope they’re not dickweeds since I plan to document at least my first dealings with them, if not more. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll try to not be annoying about it.

On Sunday night through Tuesday we had a big storm and super cold temperatures and all I have to say is, thank god for neighbours with snowblowers because we got like, 2 & a half feet of snow in some places! Our area got killed by this storm, to the point where some areas are still digging out today. I was reading a news item last night before bed about how on one of the county roads near us, dozens of people got stranded in whiteout conditions and people on snowmobiles and OPP snowmobiles saved some of them, while others found help and shelter in neighbouring houses. They took them all to the firehall for the night  and the next day, the OPP and people with snowblowers and tow trucks dug out everyone’s cars that were literally over the top with snow and towed them to the firehall. What a mess! I’m glad everyone’s back at home/school now.

I was just gonna start posting about the fact that the winter blues have a hold of me pretty terribly but this is a positive post so I think I’m gonna leave it that way. Plus, as I typed “I’m glad everyone’s back at home/school now”, Wes walked in so…so much for today. Ah well. There’s always tomorrow.

December 30, 2013

Oh, Carolina what you been fed?

Above is “Raspberry” by Grouplove, as recommended by Alex and Ronny during our friend post-Xmas/pre-2014 party yesterday. Ronny said he was reading something about them or about the album (Spreading Rumours, downloading now…) where the writer said they made the best Pixies song of the last 20 years. I couldn’t agree more. The Pixies are currently touring without Kim and have new material created without Kim and I’m sorry but no Kim, no deal. Pun intended! I listened to the first song they released without her but I thought it was garbage so I never bothered with the rest of it.

In other Pixies news, I Kickstarted a big Pixies coffee table book for Blake for Xmas like, almost a year ago now? And they said they’d deliver by Xmas but like, 3 or 4 days before Xmas, they sent out an e-mail saying “sorry, not until February…” and I was like, “GEE, THANKS FOR TELLING ME THAT A FEW DAYS BEFORE XMAS” because I only got Blake 2 things and that was one of them and it’s not easy for me to get out and get something else, also I don’t exactly have money to buy more things so that was a bummer.

I also Kickstarted the game “Stonehearth” because I thought Wes would like it and their delivery date for beta was supposed to be December 1st but they e-mailed and said they weren’t ready and that instead they were going to release “alpha 1” version of the game that is super bare bones and glitchy and you can’t save your game I think on Xmas Day. I haven’t bothered to download it yet because…

…for Xmas I got the 2 newest Sims expansions so now I have ultimate power!!!!!! (For someone who refuses to play with mods or custom content created outside the Sims Exchange.) I’ve spent the last 5 days creating my family and building my house. I’m about halfway finished the latter.

Xmas was good, everyone liked their presents and we had turkey and stuffing. Actually, Xmas Day, ALL I had was stuffing for dinner, then later on I had a turkey sandwich. The next day, Boxing Day, we went to my mom’s with my brother and there was a super creepy moment there where John and I said the same random thing at the exact same time, “this ham has the texture of cat food” and it was like we were one. My mother just about had kittens, it was so funny.

I talked to my brother a lot about his girlfriend. They’ve been together for 9 months, met on a dating site, she’s THIRTY (he’s 28 ooooooooooooh la la), she’s Croatian and then at the end of the night when we dropped my brother off, I got to meet her. She’s a giant! But then again so is my brother so that’s probably good. Anyway, she seemed alright in the 20 seconds I said “hi” and “bye”. In that 20 seconds I could tell she was leagues more mature than my brother, also good.

I am SO grateful that my coworker could fill in for my mornings on Boxing Day and Friday because Boxing Day was an early morning with having to pick my brother up (and we were running about 2 hours early because Blake and I had a miscommunication) and a late night for the same reason, so I would have been useless at 5am Friday morning for work.

Not doing anything for New Year’s Eve because I never do and I have to work in the morning BUT the Winter Classic game is in the afternoon so that’s definitely in the cards. Speaking of cards, Wes is like, a Cards Against Humanity savant. This was one of his contributions last night. He’s TEN.

I made my mom a painting for Xmas but it wasn’t finished until late Xmas night so I didn’t have an opportunity to take pics of it. Well, good pics anyway. I wasn’t happy with how it turned out but she liked it and that’s all that matters. In the new year I’m going to post what I made my Secret Satan but I think she’s going to be in high demand so I’m not going to post her until I have prints etc. set up in my Zazzle shop, pending the pics I took before I shipped her off to the US are good enough.

So yeah. Happy New Year if I don’t post before then!

July 17, 2013

Cryin’ Won’t Help You, Prayin’ Won’t Do You No Good

Here’s today’s theme song:

I’ve only updated 4 times this month and it’s already the 17th. Remember when I used to post 3 or 4 times a day?

I don’t really know why I haven’t been updating. I guess I just haven’t had all that much to say. And I’m not exactly getting feedback these days so I don’t really have all that much as far as incentive. I don’t even think Blake reads anymore.

I got notification the other day that my Memoir Project book has been digitized but I tried to read it and they’ve messed it all up. Here’s the link anyway. I really only wrote about when I got sick so it’s not like it’s full of stuff you guys haven’t heard 100 times before. I also found one instance of where I should have written “too” but I wrote “to” instead. That shit drives me crazy and I wish I could fix it. I even proof-read it twice before sending it off! Oh well, what’re ya gonna do?

I have 4 days left of work hell. Five if you count the fact that we have our weekly work meeting the day after my last crazy shift which should technically be my day off. Once I’m done all that though, I’ll have 25 hours banked that I can take off whenever I need to. Nine of those hours are going to be the Saturday of the studio tour and the rest I think I’m just gonna save in case I need a sick day or in case we go to Montreal, which Madison wants to do this summer. I wouldn’t mind going to Montreal but I don’t speak very much French and Blake speaks none. Wes just started French last year so he barely knows any and we’d be relying on Madison whose best mark this year was en Francais. I hate working from anywhere other than my own desk so if we do go, I’d take some time off. But since I don’t really *want* to go, I’d feel like those hours were wasted but at the same time, if I didn’t go I’d feel left out, so I dunno.

I think next week or the week after we’re going to go see my grama. My mom says she’s been feeling well enough that she hasn’t needed people to be with her 24/7 so that’s good, but let’s be realistic, also temporary. My mom has a show to do in August so at least this is giving her some time to make product for that and prepare for it etc. My grama requires a shot of heparin in her stomach every day and I dunno who’s giving it to her since people aren’t with her every day anymore. It’s a blood thinner. When I was in the hospital, I had to have the same shot (as well as wearing compression socks, which are terrible!) and it fucking hurts. Like, first the needle part physically hurts and then the heparin itself burns and stings. It’s only like, 10 or 15 seconds of pain but pain is pain and I haaaaaaated that. My grama has to have it because she has/had blood clots in her lungs. I had to have it because I was bed-ridden and with the lack of circulation, blood clots were a possibility.

I should be painting today, since I’m awake (and I don’t intend to go to sleep until about 5 or 6pm because I have to get up at 2am to work at 3am, boooooo) but I just don’t feel like it. Plus there’s nothing to really watch and I have to watch something while I paint.

I watched The Newsroom premiere on Monday morning but I couldn’t really follow it. Same with True Blood. With the hours I’ve been keeping, my brain is just mush. Unless it’s work-related, nothing sticks. :o/

Anyway, I think I should force myself to go paint. I have my next project sketched out already so I need to work on that (it’s sort of a commission, sort of not…it’s an idea I’ve had for a while now but my friend said he’d almost definitely purchase it if I did it and I REALLY need money right now so that’s why I chose it to be next) and then I have to work on an 8 x 8 inch painting for the food bank. I get the feeling that I’ve explained this already somewhere but I forget where…on the studio tour we’re supporting the food bank as our charity and each artist is donating a piece of work to be used for a raffle/draw. Like you would buy 10 tickets for $10 (or something) and then you’d put your ticket in a basket beneath the piece of art you want and then at the end of the tour we’ll draw the tickets and whoever’s ticket gets chosen for each piece gets it. And the money obviously goes to the food bank.

I have NO IDEA what I’m doing for my piece so I suppose I should figure that out…I also have to buy a tablecloth for my display at the township office next month which I’m stupidly nervous about. That doesn’t even make sense considering I don’t even have to BE there for it or talk to anyone or anything like that. I’m more scared of my paintings being damaged or stolen.

I also have to make hang tags for the paintings, which I’ll staple to the back of the canvases. That was my mother’s idea.

I have a lot of stuff I need to do but no desire to do any of it. But I better get my shit together because all of these events are happening SOON so…yeah…

Anyway, I’ll wrap this up by saying GO VISIT MY ETSY SHOP!!! Or my ZAZZLE SHOP!!! If ya see anything ya like, BUY IT!!! :oP The reason I say that is because I need to know what I’m putting in the township office and I need to know what stock I have for the studio tour so if you had your eye on anything, you should totally grab it now!

And if anyone has any idea of what I should do for the 8 x 8 inch canvas, I’m all ears!

Peace oot, homies.

PS. One of my ACEOs was chose for an Etsy treasury this week! Check it out!

June 7, 2013

Smurf off, eh?

Yesterday was hell. Pure and utter hell. I worked in the morning and everything was fine and after work, I went back to bed and got up at like, 10:30am or so. In pancreatic pain. I’d had some discomfort on Sunday or  Monday so Blake picked me up some hydromorph contin and I started a really bland diet. Not quite the liquids-only diet you’re supposed to go on during a pancreatic attack but I barely ate anything between then and today.

Anyway, I woke up in pain and stumbled into my office to sit down, check e-mail etc. and I was just in way too much pain to even do that, so I took a hydromorph, pancreatic enzymes just in case they might help (they don’t usually but they won’t hurt me so there’s no harm in trying), Tylenol 1, ibuprofen and Gravol (anti-nauseant, so I didn’t throw the pills back up). Then I grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and stumbled back to bed.

I laid there for about 25 minutes in excruciating pain, hot and cold and sweaty and just feeling like I was dragged through an asshole backwards, when I had to get up to puke. Moving is the worst when I’m having an attack, just turning over in bed makes me want to die, like I can feel my guts touching my pancreas and it fucking hurts just having one organ slide against the other. I have no idea what organs are near what, all I know is that when my guts shift when I turn over in bed during an attack the pain is a million times worse than having a baby.

So I get up to puke and I’m hugging the bowl partially feeling like I have to puke and partially hoping I puke because maybe it’ll make me feel better (it won’t) but at the same time, I’m worried if my pills had enough time to do their thing before I barf them up.

Well, there were no pills in my vomit so that was good, but I puked so hard that I peed my pants. (TMI? TFB.) So I started crying and when I was finally done barfing, I rinsed my mouth and went back to the bedroom to put a new pair of underbums on. I didn’t bother with pants because I knew that next time I puked, it would just be the same scenario unless I was COMPLETELY empty beforehand which just isn’t possible because when you have to puke, you just have to puke. This peeing while puking thing is relatively new, it just started happening after I got home from the hospital last year. It’s just that while having a pancreatic attack, I vomit with such force that I can’t help it.  When I’m sick, like with a stomach flu or whatever, it doesn’t happen. Just during pancreatic attacks. I dunno why.

Without going into more detail than I need to because it’s really just more of the same, I spent all of yesterday in bed, only coming out of my room to throw up. I don’t remember Blake coming home. I remember at some point he got me a glass of ice water and my night time pills (and Gravol so I didn’t throw them up). I think that was around 7pm. Then I laid in bed some more and slept a bit, then I got up I think around 11pm because I finally felt sort of better and so I sat in my office and checked e-mail while Blake got ready for bed.

I woke up this morning still in pain, but nowhere near as bad as yesterday. And really, this attack was not as bad as any of the others so that’s encouraging I guess. The only thing I can point to as far as a cause is that on Tuesday, we had macaroni and cheese for dinner (like, baked macaroni and cheese with real cheese and milk, NOT Kraft Dinner) which I had leftovers from on Wednesday for dinner. This never used to be a trigger food but it’s been a possible factor for the last 2 attacks and this time I was really careful; I took 3 pancreatic enzymes each night. During the 2 attacks prior to yesterday, I did not take enzymes before/after the mac & cheese so this could be why those attacks were worse than this one. The other thing I’m thinking is that traditionally, Blake’s bought medium cheddar to make it and I asked him to start using old cheddar instead because I thought that’s what my mom and gr. grama used. And then mac & cheese becomes a trigger food.

SO, I’m gonna bite the bullet and try macaroni and cheese again maybe next week or the week after using medium cheddar, with enzymes, and see what happens. After an attack, I have to rest my pancreas as much as possible, hence the 2 week window. Macaroni and cheese being a trigger food is NOT COOL AT ALL. It is one of the only food that, up until now, I’m almost always in the mood for. I rarely get sick of it and when i can’t think of anything to eat, that’s my go-to staple. So it’s really going to suck if I can’t eat it anymore. :o/ Not like my fat ass needs it but, y’know…

Speaking of my fat ass, check out this slip that Blake bought me the other night. How gorgeous is that? I ordered the pink one so it would go with this sweater in the winter and I dunno what yet in the summer:

Unfortunately I’m not built like the model on the Free People site so wearing it as is, over top of anything bodycon or skin tight is sort of out of the question. I’m definitely going to have to try and find a white or pink skirt or something to wear underneath it, even with that sweater because the sweater doesn’t cover my bum. Unfortunately everything I own that would work for that purpose is black and that piece is too delicate for black. It needs white. I dunno, I’ll find something. There’s an ivory mini dress that would work on my Free People wishlist if anyone felt so inclined…. I wish I could get the slip in blue too, because this piece is literally my favourite of all their new stuff and blue’s more versatile but I went for the pink first because I suspected that it would sell out of my size first. I ordered a medium so neither colour has run out of my size yet, but the large in pink has sold out already so I suspect the medium’s not far away.

Anyway, I love it. :o)

On Wednesday we went to see my grama with the kids. She looked okay, better since the chemo is out of her system now. More alert, more “up”. I’m not sure how that is compared to her every day but she seemed to have enjoyed the visit and when we said we were going to leave because we had to have dinner and stuff, my grama said she’d pay for dinner and that we could eat there and take the leftovers home, so Stouffville Pizza was called and pizza was had.

At one point, my grama pulled me into her bedroom and handed me a basket of rubber smurfs and I said, “I can have these?” because I had told my mom a while back that if I had my pick of anything of my grama’s to have, it would be those and she said “just one” so this is the one I picked:

Meet painkiller addicted junkie artist smurf.

She also gave me a full-sized plush smurf, which honestly I had no interest in but she wanted me to have it so I took it anyway. I wanted the little rubber ones like the one above because when I was little, she collected them and they were my favourite thing to play with at her house, where I spent a lot of time. Smurfs were also our family’s mascot for the smash-up derby in Minden at Thanksgiving when I was little and we used to enter. There were usually smurfs painted on the car or a stuffed smurf crazy glued to the roof of it. I think I’ve already written about my grama and I going to Minden for Thanksgiving every year when I was tiny until I was about 13, but for those who don’t know, my grama’s next-door-neighbour and friend was Mike Baker, the son of Wes Baker, my son’s namesake. He bought property up north in a town called Minden and started building a house there by hand and every Thanksgiving weekend, on the Saturday, Minden has a smash-up derby. And as long as I can remember until I was maybe 12 or 13, Mike and our family would enter a car in the derby and I’m not sure if we usually won or not but I think we did. All I know is that in October in Minden in 1984 was VERY VERY cold. Now, thanks to global warming, it’s not so bad (and I’m so sure smash-up derbies are great for the environment!)

I remember being like, 3 years old and sitting in the backseat of my grama’s car in a full snowsuit in between heats, freezing my ass off while it lightly snowed. My grama had brought hot chocolate in a thermos and I remember being very very happy. Thanksgiving in Minden used to be the best holiday. My cousin Jeff who was maybe 2 or 3 years older than me I think came up with his mom, Eunice, and often his sister Janet, who would sometimes bring a friend or two as well. I think there were other kids there too but I don’t know who. Janet died the summer I was sick. I don’t know how she died, I just know that while I was in the hospital dying, so was she and obviously I’m here to tell about it and she’s not. Eunice used to babysit me so I was really close with Jeff and Janet when I was little.

During the first few years of going to Minden for Thanksgiving I think Mike only had a basement. I’m not even sure there was running water. Instead of getting turkey, we would have fried chicken, that I want to say was Dixie Lee, but I forget now. Eventually there was a whole house built, including a kitchen, so we’d have chicken on the Saturday, derby day, and my grama would make a turkey on the Sunday and then we’d come home Monday. Jeff and I would play our Gameboys together and all of us would go for walks in the bush. Once we dug up an oak tree and transplanted it to my grama’s house…which is now someone else’s house. :o/

For the derby, we would only enter one car but we’d have multiple drivers for the various heats. Mike drove; I remember my Uncle Bill driving, his son Billy eventually and also my Aunt Sandra’s husband John drove a couple of times. I think there were other people too but no one I really knew. Eunice may have even driven in it at one point, they had a “powder puff” heat just for the ladies (ugh) so she might have. I’m pretty sure my grama never did. I have no idea what my grampa was doing for all of those Thanksgivings because I don’t remember him being there. (He may have gone to my Aunt Judy’s  for T-giving because she did T-giving at her house up until my cousin Kim died.)

Anyway, I’m not sure how it got started, I should have asked her, but I think I remember my grampa getting her the small rubber smurfs that I used to play with when I was a kid, like the one above. I don’t know how they came packaged or if they came packaged at all. I’ve never seen any “out in the wild”, so to speak. Since I only got to pick one out of the two dozen she had, I thought that one was the most fitting for me. I played with junkie artist smurf the most when I was little. He was always married to Smurfette. (My grama never had a real Smurfette though. The one she had was a knock-off with green skin.) I didn’t marry a dude with green skin, but he does have a lot of tattoos and I did become an artist when I grew up, so that’s why I picked junkie artist smurf.

And I suppose this is a good segue into the next topic…the stupid Artist Studio Tour this fall.

We have decided to take moving off the table for now and work on getting our house ready to sell next spring. There aren’t any houses we like right now in the area where we’re looking and the idea of having our house on the market freaks me right the fuck out. Everything about moving freaks me right the fuck out. The good news is that the real estate agent who came to look at our house, said we could sell it for like, SIGNIFICANTLY more than we bought it for, especially after we do everything on the list, primarily re-doing the bathroom (re-drywalling one wall, installing a shower insert and fixing the plumbing behind the tub faucets because they leak), painting part of the one of the living room walls where it’s bare wood due to us putting in the new window, painting the trim of the house and potentially taking down the shutters on the front of the living room window and putting up ones that fit better because the shutters that are there now were put there for the floor-to-ceiling window that used to be there, but we replaced it with a waist-high bay window after Lucky broke the big one. The other thing is that we re-did our mortgage a couple of weeks ago and the bank manager lady said we’re eligible for a mortgage 3 times the size of the one we have now. Not that we’d buy a house that expensive but it’s nice to know that we can afford a century home with a bit of borrowing cushioning on top for added peace of mind.

So. That means we’re going to be living here in September. When the tour is. And I got the e-mail this week from Mike saying “hey guys, our meeting’s next week!” and I reeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaalllly don’t want to go. I don’t want to go because we decided during the last meeting that June 30th was the deadline to decide if you’re going to be in the tour or not and I’m sure that’ll be reiterated during the meeting. And the fact is, I don’t think I have $75 between then and now. I’ve been trying to be super good with paying down my credit card, which has me living on abou $50 per paycheque. This paycheque was only $45. And that’s the pits. I mean, the good news is that I don’t really like, NEED anything. The spending money I keep in my bank account after paying my credit card isn’t allotted to anything and it gets primarily spent on food. I suppose it wouldn’t be completely irresponsible to spend $75 on the tour since I’ll have gotten 3 paycheques this month so I guess I have a little more money to work with.

But still that’s $75 I highly doubt I’ll make back. Plus what I’m going to have to spend on business cards.

Speaking of business cards, as an aside, when I went to see my shrink last Thursday, Sue, the receptionist, for the second time, told me that my painting that I gave to my shrink and put in Touched By Fire this year that is on display at the mental health centre gets a lot of compliments and that people inquire about buying it all the time. And she asked me if I had any business cards that she could pass along when people comment on it. And I kinda hated that because I like to keep my shrink life and my internet life COMPLETELY separate. My shrink has next to zero idea of anything I do online. She knows I blog, but like, I don’t even think my shrink is on Facebook. She’s not very tech savvy, so the topic has never really come up in the 7 years I’ve been seeing her.

Well, my business cards are like ATCs (artist trading cards). On the front is a picture of a painted girl – several different styles because I use Moo and you can get as many designs on a pack of Moo cards as you want – and on the back is the URL to my Etsy shop, the URL to my main site and I think my e-mail address. I have both full-sized Moo cards and the mini ones, although I haven’t bought business cards in at least 5 years so I only had one full-sized business card, which I gave Sue, and about 5 or 6 mini cards.

I also felt compelled to tell Sue that the paintings take me about 2 or 3 weeks to make and because they’re so labour intensive, they’re kind of expensive. A lot of the people who go  to the mental health centre I do are on disability or Canada pension – fixed incomes – and I kinda wanted to give Sue a heads up because I don’t think the average clientele there can afford my paintings. If I wasn’t making them, I couldn’t afford them either. Hell, hardly any of the people who come to my site can seem to afford them either. I don’t think my prices are unreasonable, not for original paintings, as opposed to prints, because y’know, I’d love to make more than $2 an hour, but they are how much they are because my time, my ideas, my efforts are marketable commodities. I just suck at actually marketing them. (Truthfully I put zero effort into it though outside of my own site so that’s partially my own fault.)

So. Guild meeting on Wednesday and I pretty much have to make my decision to be in the tour or not by then. As far as anyone but Brian knows I’m in and I’ve said all along, I’m in, and now that we’re not moving I have less of an excuse to not do it.

I’m scared of being paired up with someone. I don’t have a public studio so I’ll be paired with someone who does. I’m really REALLY hoping I can display at the library because it’s only 2 minutes from our house and the kids can come in and out and Blake can come in and out and I can come in and out, but if I’m paired with someone out in the middle of nowhere, the kids can’t help and Blake will HAVE to stay with me the whole time. And I won’t be able to leave. If I get paired up with someone, they’re going to want to chat all day and chances are I’m not going to want to but I’ll feel obligated to because this person is opening their home to me to help me sell my work. And I don’t want to be rude, but that would cause me great anxiety. I hate the role of “guest”.

I’m scared of dealing with “the public”. I hate talking about 3 things: myself (go figure), sex (also go figure) and I hate talking about my work. People ask me questions all the time about my paintings and I have absolutely no idea what to tell them. Like, after Touched By Fire the lady who runs the organization behind it called me and asked if I had more work because there were a lot of people interested in it who were disappointed that the piece I put in the show this year wasn’t for sale. (Which was pretty stupid because all of my work is ON THEIR FUCKING SITE, supposedly “for sale” yet I’ve never been able to figure out how you actually buy anything on there and I’ve definitely never sold anything there.) So anyway, she calls me and asks me this and I give her the URL for my Etsy shop and then out of nowhere she asks, “what is your inspiration for these?” and I was completely dumbfounded because no one had ever asked me that before. My genius answer was “Toddlers & Tiaras“. Which is partially true. In the beginning, they just came out of my imagination, but then I started watching Toddlers & Tiaras and that show inspired me in 3 ways: 1. it made me come up with several dress styles, 2. it made me come up with several different hairstyles, hair colours and eye colours/eyeshadow colours and 3. the girls on that show is exactly whose bedroom walls I want to see my work on. Sadly, the show’s become pretty extreme in its views so I’ve stopped watching (and I watched half of an episode of Honey Boo Boo, which is also garbage) and my girls just come out of my imagination now, not really inspired by anything explainable. At least saying I was inspired by Toddlers & Tiaras has an quasi-interesting story behind it but telling someone that the scrapbooking aisles of Michael’s makes me damn near wet my pants is NOT what they want to hear. It’s the truth though! But it’s not one many can relate to so it’s a terrible answer for that question. I can’t even think of other potential things people might ask me because I’ve blocked past conversations out of my brain and thinking about it is practically panic-inducing. But I need to think about it, I need to be ready.  I need to have answers ready for questions like the inspiration one and other things they might ask. What would YOU ask an artist at a studio tour? Has there ever been anything you’ve ever wanted to ask me about my work but just never bothered? The more relevant questions you guys throw at me, the better prepared I think I’ll be. No rush though, the tour’s not until September.

I’m probably going to have to take the Saturday off of work. I work 9 hours on Saturdays. That’s a pretty huge chunk of change out of my paycheque that will not be replaced no matter how many paintings I sell (which I don’t anticipate to be many). If they do put me in the library though, I could be there from opening until I start work at 2pm and then Blake could stay there until it’s over at (I’m assuming because last year’s brochure doesn’t say when it starts or finishes) 6pm. Then I would be present all of Sunday.

Another bonus of being at the library is that I would be able to take credit cards there. I can have my laptop hooked up with my Etsy shop open and if people liked a piece but only had a credit card, they could purchase it on Etsy, minus the postage, and I could just give it to them. Anywhere else, I would have to be cash only. Cheques bounce and people are hard to find after something like this so those are completely out of the question. (How do I tell people I won’t accept a cheque?? Cuz, that’s like saying you don’t trust them, which is true, I don’t, but you don’t want them to think that…)

A snag with the library is that I may not be able to hang anything on the walls. Which would be problematic since everything I make is to be hung on a wall.

I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DO THIS. *panic*

The other thing is being involved. I don’t like going to the guild meetings because it’s almost painful how it’s one step forward, two steps back. At the same time, not only do I have nothing to contribute but I’m glad I don’t have anything to contribute because then you’re on the hook for something and that is crazy panic-inducing.

My work is going to be on display at the township office for all of August and I’m going to have tour guides in my display. That’s what I’ve committed to and that’s all my mental health can allow me to commit to. Hopefully that’s enough.

In about half an hour, Blake and Madison (and Blake’s friend Charissa) will be starting the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. It starts at 7pm and ends at 7am and neither of them had a nap today. I told Blake that if he woke me up in the morning that I’d cut him, so he’s going to come home and sleep on the couch until I get up. I really wanted to go with them tonight to take pictures but I still feel like shit because of the whole pancreas deal, I’m on a crapload of hydromorph contin so I’m chemically dozy at the moment and probably couldn’t pull an all-nighter if I wanted to. Plus I work tomorrow and I figured I could sleep from 8am, when they would be getting home, until 2pm when I started work and would probably be okay until the end of my shift at 11pm but with this much morphine in my system and only 3 people on the team (the less people you have, the more time you have on the track and the less able I am to get home if necessary), I didn’t want to gamble on it. Also, it’s currently raining and is supposed to rain off & on all night. So yeah, I stayed home. However! If you would like to sponsor their poor soggy asses, you can click here to do so! I just reloaded the page and they have DOUBLED their donation goal since the other day when it was looking like they wouldn’t even meet it! Thanks, family and friends! Your donations mean a lot to us right now, especially since my grama’s really happy that we’re doing this (I say “we” like I’ve actually done anything other than trying to use social media to get donations. HINT HINT.)

Now I think I’m going to finally watch this TED Talk I’ve had open in another tab since 6am but never got a chance to watch until now. Then since all I’ve eaten and kept down in 3 days is a lone, single spring roll, I’m going to make a bagel sandwich for dinner, watch Magic Mike since Blake’s not here to make fun of me for watching it a second time (the 1st was in the theatre so it’s extra stupid), eat chips, read my book and go to bed.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Peace oot, homies!

PS. Mike, the guy who runs the artists’ guild, is a photographer who also does commercial fine art printing. I don’t have prices yet but he can take pics of my paintings that actually do them justice (in theory) and he can print giclees of them. Any size I want. So these are the questions:

– Most of my paintings are approx. 12 inches x 12 inches. How big should I offer the giclees?
– Open edition or limited edition?
– How much would you be willing to pay for a signed giclee print? Or would you be willing to buy one at all? If not, why not? (I ask because there are posters in my Zazzle shop that so far no one’s touched but a poster is a far cry from a signed, limited edition giclee.)
– Since each print would be too big to mail flat, I would have to use mailing tubes and those cost money. I haven’t priced them yet so I’m just guessing $4-$5 as a ballpark with double that for actual shipping costs. These costs are unavoidable so they obviously factor into the final price.
– Which current pieces of mine would you be interested in buying a print/prints from?

I just kinda want to get a feel for what people might want now that this is a possibility. I dunno if it’d even be worth it since I have no idea what he charges for taking pictures and like I said, no one’s bought the inexpensive posters from my Zazzle shop so I don’t even know if anyone would want these. I can tell you right now that a print would probably have to be about $40-$50 because I have to pay Mike to take proper pictures of them, whereas the posters, which are lesser quality obviously, are only around $20. The posters are nice though, I wouldn’t sell them if they were crappy, but a giclee is signed on archival fine art paper using archival dyes and is something you’d want to get framed, whereas with a $20 poster, it’s okay to just stick thumbtacks in the corners.

Anyway, lemme know your thoughts.

March 20, 2013

Dogs Were Barfing, Monkeys Laughing

Ugh. I feel sick. Ever since I got y’know, super sick, food and I just aren’t friends more often than not. I don’t even know the last time I ate a meal where it wasn’t followed up by Gravol. (That’s a Canadian anti-nauseant. It’s dimenhydrinate and I literally take it at least twice a day.) I just ate left over pizza from Pie and an orange and I basically want to die right now.

ANYWAY…

My copper angel is finally finished. Here she is:

More pictures available on Etsy!
Greeting cards, postcards, stickers, buttons, posters and US postage stamps available on Zazzle!

Yesterday we did our taxes and then we went to Wal*Mart and got new cookie sheets, new pizza pans, a new pot, Easter candy “for the kids” *cough*, the new Walking Dead game and one of the Batman Arkham games for the SexBox, something I can’t say because Madison might read this and it’s for Easter…uh….Blake got speakers for his computer because he didn’t have any and I think that’s it. Then we went to Pie and got a ridiculous amount of food, including their “salty balls” which are little balls of deep-fried dough covered in garlic butter, bacon, flakes of fresh parm and aioli and they are heeeeeavenly. We’d never had them before and since I think I’m pretty much over their pizza and pizza in general because I eat a fucking lot of it, that’s probably what I’ll order from now on. I also tried their mac & cheese which was alright but they put this weird brown stuff on top that’s about the texture of sand that I really really didn’t like so I probably won’t get it again. I did have it for breakfast at 4 o’clock this morning though but still, that gritty stuff on top was just a truly vile texture. It wasn’t even what I’d call “crunchy”, it was “gritty”, like eating fish tank gravel. *shudder* Then we followed it up with Dairy Queen because WE FUCKING COULD and then we came home and I took pics of my painting and then played the Sims 3 University (don’t ask me how it is because I’ve only played it for 39 minutes so far and I haven’t actually gotten a Sim to university yet because my main was knocked up until about half an hour ago) while Blake tried out the new Walking Dead game which he says is “stressful”. I have major issues with zombies, a real love/hate thing with them, so since he’s characterized the game as “stressful” I’m not sure I’ll actually play.

Speaking of The Walking Dead, I’m about 2/3 of the way finished compendium 2 (HOLY SHIT CARL – I’m not a regular reader of comics but HOLY SHIT) and can I just say that I was kinda annoyed that they seemingly told everyone “DON’T MENTION THE SPECULUM” on The Talking Dead this week? That was hands down the creepiest part of the “torture chamber” and they had the props guy on a segment talking about all the tools and he literally mentioned every single thing on the table BUT the speculum. I mean, come ON, if you’re gonna go there, fucking GO THERE. Even just say “this is a speculum, it is used to investigate body cavities”. That is ALL YOU NEEDED TO SAY! I’m betting that 95% of the male audience had no idea what that was or why it was the creepiest thing they INTENTIONALLY put there! (Nothing is on TV by accident, Todd McFarlane even said that.) Surgical needle & thread? Pffft. Gas mask? Please. Bone saw? Old hat. CREEPY SPECULUM IS CREEPY. Chances are though, that’s as far as they’re going to go with it. This show has yet to really shock me and even the comic during this portion wasn’t that graphic. I guess we’ll see!

So we have a new friend. His name is Brian and he’s a comic book author and illustrator, among other things. This is his blog. He is a very interesting person who I don’t actually know very well and I’ve never actually spoken to but who seems like a pretty cool person I don’t hate (always a plus) so I added him on Facebook and Twitter. My friend Rob from The Conservatory said we’d “get” each other and from what Blake tells me (because they had beer together on Monday night) that’s probably true to a pretty ridiculous degree. I don’t know what was said in confidence that night or what’s okay to say publicly or anything like that so I won’t elaborate just yet but let’s just say we’re on the same spectrum. Rob described him as looking like “a young Gandalf”, which I think is pretty accurate. He’s also a former Live Journal junkie, so he comes with a certain degree of auto-cred. (Says the girl with a permanent account…LJs are cool.)

Tomorrow is stupid CBT. I hate CBT. I resent the fact that I apparently need it. I resent the fact that I have done ONE fully completed thought record and I have to complete 49 more to even begin having supposedly balanced thoughts automatically. Momentum has been slowly leaking out of me since January and now I’m just about completely deflated.

And now I’ve upset myself so that’s all I have to say. Bring on the Ativan.

Also I just saw this on Facebook & thought it should be posted here:

February 18, 2013

“Golden Girls” is finally finished!

More pics can be found over at Etsy and greeting cards, postcards, postage, stickers, buttons etc will be available at Zazzle in about 24 hours!

The ONLY thing I don’t like about this painting is that the paper I used for the middle part of their dresses contained real metal I think and it oxidized when I varnished the piece, which is why there’s a green hue to parts of them. I still think it looks okay though, it’s like a patina. This painting is definitely in my top 5 favourites that I’ve done and it all started with a trip to Michael’s, as the best paintings often do. The flowers are by Martha Stewart and I’d actually had my eye on them for a while but didn’t know what to do with them until I saw those two new papers in the scrapbooking aisle.

My two replacement jars of Triple Thick varnish came via UPS last week so I pitched the bad one I had left and used the new stuff on this piece. The difference in texture between the old product Michael’s sold me and the fresh product straight from the factory that DecoArt sent me was pretty crazy. The bad stuff was thick and sticky like crystallized honey and the new stuff was more the consistency of liquid honey. Anyway, they were still super nice to send it to me and I’m grateful because the stuff’s $10 a jar and replacing two jars for me would have been a burden.

My grama has a room at the hospital now and I guess my Aunt Sandra’s husband, John, and their son Tyler are going to visit her today. My cousin Haylie didn’t get up to see her on Sunday as planned because the roads were apparently bad. I think my mom’s been there every day since she was admitted and probably my Aunt Sandra too, so at least she’s not alone. As far as I know, no one’s asked her if she wants to see me yet but if she does, I’m going to try and go on a day when no one else is scheduled to visit her. I know firsthand how shitty the days are when no one can visit or they can’t come at visiting time or they can’t stay until visiting hours are over. I was pretty lucky in that I don’t think there was a day I was in the hospital where no one visited but there were definitely days where people couldn’t come until later or they couldn’t stay until visiting hours were over. My grama has a pretty big social circle so I expect that she’ll have a lot of visitors, but at the same time, she’s pretty proud and may not want people to know she’s there. I can see it going either way. Now that she has a room, I’m thinking about sending flowers. She always says roses are a waste of money when carnations are just as nice and last a lot longer so I’ll probably send those, if I send any at all. The hospital in Midland doesn’t allow flowers in their ER (there’s a sign that says so) so it’s possible that hospitals don’t want you sending flowers anymore. I dunno. I just feel like I should be doing something, I just dunno what. I’m not sure what she has there to keep herself busy when people aren’t visiting but someone should make sure she has crossword and word search books and magazines because hospitals are fucking boring. At least I had the iPad to keep myself busy but she wouldn’t know what to do with an iPad even if we got her one. I dunno. One day at a time. I think my mom said tomorrow morning she’s having the bronchoscopy to see what kind of cancer is in her lungs. I think that sounds terrible.

Blake ordered my new phone on Friday and I’m pretty fucking stoked for it to get here. I went with the Samsung Galaxy Note II over waiting for the new BlackBerry with keyboard because I wanted more screen space and the BB keyboard would take up 1/3 of the device. Also on Thursday I think, we went to the TELUS store and I played with the Note and loved the stylus. I’m going to whip people ate Draw Something, I tell you whut.

On Saturday I downloaded the new Tamagotchi app and on the first day I managed to kill my Tamagotchi so I started over and let me just tell you, this app is fucking obnoxious and eats your battery life worse than GPS because it’s constantly running in the background so you know when your Tamagotchi needs something. I’m going to half-assedly play with it until I kill this Tamagotchi and then delete it.

Anyway, I don’t really have a lot to say today so I think I’m gonna go paint and watch stuff on Netflix.

February 10, 2013

Steven Moffat is a Dirty Stove

It’s Sunday and it’s my day off and Blake is watching Sherlock, which I think is a dumb show because there are like, no female characters whatsoever, nothing I can relate to. Also the guy who plays Sherlock gives me the willies, he’s just completely unappealing both in look and in character.

We’re taking a break from Breaking Bad. We’re on season 4 but I’m just on Breaking Bad overload and can’t stand to watch any more of it. There’s only so much “yo” and “bitch” I can handle, no matter how attractive the person may be who’s saying it. Madison & Wes have been watching How I Met Your Mother, which I could never get into even though I really like everyone who’s in it. A little known fact about me is that I pretty much hate all sitcoms or anything with a laugh track and I kinda hate cartoons. I guess that’s two facts. I tried watching Ren & Stimpy last year because Ronny had lent me the DVDs and I really loved that show when it aired. It didn’t hold up though. I didn’t laugh once. Not even during my favourite episode (the one where cousin Sven comes to visit). So basically cartoons are dead to me because I don’t find them enjoyable and never really did, Ren & Stimpy aside. Like when I was a kid, I would much rather watch live action TV like Sesame Street or Mr. Dressup than cartoons. Another thing is that I don’t really like comic books and I think the two things are probably related. There are comic books I’ve enjoyed, like Y: The Last Man and I really want to read the Walking Dead comics, but in general I’m not a huge fan. I have all of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer trades but I haven’t read any of them. I keep meaning to, I just never get around to it. Maybe I’ll take another look at them later today.

Right now I’m waiting for paint to dry, which is of course, the story of my entire fucking life. I feel like I’m constantly in a holding pattern, waiting for something, but what that is, I have no idea. There’s a hole inside of me that I desperately try to fill with various things but nothing ever sticks. I think a lot of people do the same thing.

This morning Blake and I had a long talk about the fact that I’m not retarded. Sometimes I honestly get really scared that beyond mental illness there’s something very wrong with me, like I’m stunted. I don’t understand a lot of things or maybe it’s not that I don’t understand them, it’s that I don’t want to understand them so I reject them and push them out of the sphere of my consciousness. The older I get, the harder it is to keep myself entertained and that makes me really really sad. I used to be so easily entertained by everything that it really bums me out that this isn’t the case anymore. I have a macro lens, for example. I should be entertained by small, every day things, which I used to be, but now unless it’s extraordinary I just can’t bring myself to care. (I’ve used the macro lens 4 times since I got it in the fall. I am so blessed to have this expensive tool but I can’t get myself into the mindframe of macro.)

I dunno. Once again I feel like I’m losing my mind. There’s just too much happening right now. Seasonal depression is kicking my fucking ass, I have my work meeting every week which is super stressful but essential and I have CBT. Jury’s still out on how I feel about CBT but it’s not just CBT, it’s getting ready and taking the cab, it’s dealing with people, it’s feeling retarded because you don’t understand the words coming out of people’s mouths, then it’s taking the cab again. That probably doesn’t sound like a full week for most people but for me it’s like climbing mountains all week just to cope, let alone retain knowledge and find things to be excited about and actually enjoy life. Right now the name of the game is survival and self-preservation until spring.

At the Artists Guild meeting, they were talking about possibly renting one of the empty shops in town and letting some of us display our work during the Maple Syrup Festival in April. I don’t know if I want to do that. I would have to take the day off work (unpaid) and I probably wouldn’t sell anything so I don’t see the benefit. Theoretically I could be there in the morning before work and then I could maybe get Blake to stay with my stuff and take it all down until the end but I don’t know if he would want to do that either. The other potential issue I see with doing that is that if I sell too many paintings in the spring, I won’t be able to make enough for the fall Studio Tour, which I think I really want to do. So I dunno. I’m a slow painter, man.

Speaking of painting, I just put “Three Fairies” up for sale on Etsy. This one’s twice the size I usually work in (12×24) :

More pics are available on Etsy. :o)

I hadn’t put it up for sale when I made it because I didn’t know how I’d ship it, but Rob at The Conservatory assured me that I could ship it safely and told me how so I figured I might as well put it up on Etsy and see if anyone wanted it.

Another thing I was wondering was about prints and about Zazzle. Mike, the guy who runs the Guild, has a photography shop in town but he also has this badass printer that can do giclee prints. So I was thinking I could take my paintings down to his studio, photograph them properly and make prints out of them and if I did that, would any of you be interested in buying any? If so, what size? Paper preference? Limited or open editions? I don’t want to sink money into prints if no one is going to buy them. I’ll have to pay Mike for studio time, printing and then I’ll have to buy mailers for the prints and depending on their size, that could be difficult. On the other hand, you can get posters and prints of most of my paintings on Zazzle and I’m pretty pleased with the quality of the stuff I’ve gotten from them so far so I think it’s okay to just use that as prints. The only downside is that they’re not giclee and they’re not signed. So I dunno.

Anyway, I think I’m going to go have a bath and check out those Buffy comics. I’ll leave you with some not so great random pics of my children that I took last week:

Wes is going to be *10* on Wednesday!
His wishlist can be found here, if you wanted to get him something!

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