April 21, 2015

Creatively speaking…

Hi.

I’m sort of in the process of rebuilding my life and I’m at a point where I feel I can share my plans with you.

I have a bit of an internet presence…

  1. website
  2. livejournal
  3. twitter x 2
  4. tumblr x 2
  5. friends only facebook that I’ve recently been posting more publicly with
  6. facebook fan page x 2
  7. instagram
  8. youtube
  9.  does snapchat count?

…plus a million other things I’ve signed up for and never used again. The tumblrs and fan pages hardly ever get updated, so let’s pretend they don’t exist for now. YouTube is only used to embed videos in other places, so it’s more of a utility to me than any kind of community that I have to participate in, so take that off the list too. Everything else I use and most of them have some kind of community linked to them that I am part of.

Well, I want to build a new community around myself where my site or LiveJournal is not necessarily the center of it because I don’t think either has been the center in quite a while. I want this community to be built around Patreon, and my creative life, with everything else mostly pertaining to that. But I’ll get to how I plan on using each component after I explain Patreon. 

Patreon is a website that allows me to receive monthly payments from generous patrons who wish to support my work. In return, patrons receive perks, like Kickstarter, and they get to share in the experience of creating some pretty cool stuff, which, if I don’t suck, should give them a little bit of pride of being a patron of the arts and having a hand in whatever crazy thing it it is coming into being! And yes I *am* proud of that run-on sentence!

My first project is a zine that I’m (oh so originally) titling “Textibitionism”. I haven’t really posted anything about it over on Patreon yet (that’s my next  task), but what I envision is 20 individual pieces of paper-based art which tells stories from my life and the things I care about. The original idea was to use traditional scrapbooking materials/embellishments and instead of making typically pretty layouts with smiling children or whatever those happy scrappers do, I would be, well, me. The original idea was also that I would only use materials that I already had, but I already blew that idea out of the water, bigtime. Now what I envision is a mix of altered scrapbook materials, subverted and perverted by my very being, original writings and hand-drawn illustrations. If this sounds good to you, then you should know that almost all pics of works-in-progress, process videos and discussion about this project will be on Patreon, mostly via the patron-only activity feed, which is like a blog with comments and likes. This will be the centre of my creative universe, if the Patreon model of getting money to make art actually works. (We’ll see. I’m not totally convinced. Steph the Geek seems to be doing okay so far, though. Ana Voog and Blake are also using it.) Unlisted YouTube videos, Snapchat (which is where you get videos and pics exclusive to that app on your phone) and private Twitter will be used for daily life stuff for sure, but those media will mostly be where spur of the moment creative thoughts, ideas and work-in-progress photos, things that are pains in my ass etc., will be posted for patrons.

I’ll still be using my main Twitter account and I will (hopefully) only ever have one Instagram account because switching back & forth all the time sounds like a nightmare. LiveJournal is going to continue to be used for the emotional, real life stuff while my site’s updates are basically going to be State of the Union of Sunnyland addresses, linking to everything else once in a while.

I realized when I was in San Francisco that aside from my job, there was very little structure in my life and if my job is any indication, I think I’m less productive as a result. It’s not that I don’t have ideas, I have tons of them, but for a while, whenever I tried to put an idea to paper, I’d start but ultimately lost interest for whatever reason and nothing ever got finished. “Textibitionism”, and the other creative milestones I’ve set for myself on Patreon, is the first time I’ve felt excited and energized about a creative project in a really long time so I really hope that if I make it, I’m not the only one who’s going to see it.

The big picture is that if the zine is well-received, eventually I would maybe like to build Textibitionism.com/.ca/.org where it would be for sale both digitally and hard copy after everyone on Patreon who is supposed to get a copy, does, and the site will have links to all the girls I can find still making and selling zines on Etsy and elsewhere.

The big, BIG picture I’m still working out in my head but there is one. Not giving it too much thought yet though, since so far Blake is my only patron haha

As far as adding structure to my life, today for example, I got off work at noon so I knew I was going to medicate at noon and then write this post directly afterward. I’m falling behind schedule already because I meant to have this done by 3pm but that’s okay. I bought a day planner to help me keep appointments and structure my days to be the most productive I can make them because I’m a freak and I’m happiest, the most emotionally stable and the most satisfied with life when I’m busy creating something, whether it’s writing this post or painting a mermaid. In the past, my creative endeavours have made other people happy too so I’m hoping for this whole thing to be mutually beneficial.

Now I think it’s time to forage for food. Peace oot, homies!

PS. It is a VERY GOOD IDEA to insure your camera equipment, as I found out this week when I realized my camera’s messed up after taking it treetop trekking. I got it insured a few hours before we went! *whew*

December 3, 2013

Thanks! I got it on Etsy!

I think if Etsy ever does a large ad campaign, “Thanks! I got it on Etsy!” should be their tagline. People are constantly saying to me “oooh I like your [whatever]! where did you get it?” and the answer is always, “Thanks! I got it on Etsy!” because chances are, whatever it is, if I’m getting complimented on it, I probably got it there.

I just spent the day tidying up my Etsy shop for Christmas and adding something new. Allow me to present to you the following:

This is a set of seven 4.5 x 2.7 inch rectangular stickers, featuring some of my most popular paintings.
Included are two mermaids, two princesses, an angel, a fairy and a bee girl.

On Zazzle, these stickers come four to a sheet but all of the same design, so I bought a whole bunch of sheets a while back of all the designs I had uploaded at the time in order to offer you guys a variety pack for Christmas, the idea being that they could be put in Christmas cards or used as stocking stuffers.

~*VISIT MY SHOP TO GET YOURS!*~
(Supplies are limited!)

But wait!
There’s more!

Have you ever wanted to buy one of my paintings but felt that it was too cost-prohibitive?

Well maybe this will help:

Use coupon code MARYSBOYCHILD on my Etsy shop during checkout and receive free shipping until December 16th!

Why December 16th? Because I figure that’s the latest date  to order a painting from me if you’re in the North America and still have it arrive by Christmas.

For overseas orders, I’d say the 12th of this month at the very latest for it to arrive by Christmas and even then I’m not making any promises.

Small things from Etsy, like stickers, ACEOs and zines, are sent by Canada Post letter mail and shouldn’t take anywhere near as long as paintings to arrive at their destination. The last ACEO I mailed out was going to Spain (from Canada) and it only took about a week. Again though, that was letter mail. Packages require duty and taxes etc. so they just take longer.


“Red and Gold 2/8” mixed media ACEO, 2.5 x 3.5 inches

So that’s what’s happening over on Etsy…
ZAZZLE is a whole other ballgame.

Zazzle has deals on literally all the time and unlike Etsy, you can’t create your own coupon codes so you’re at the mercy of Zazzle execs. Right now, for example, it’s “Cyber Tuesday” on Zazzle and if you use the code “CYBERTUESDAY” during checkout, you’ll receive 20% off your order, which is actually a really good deal, but it’ll be something completely different after midnight tonight.

My Zazzle shop isn’t the most well-designed thing on the planet but that’s simply because Blake and I haven’t found the time to get together and make it look like the rest of my sites yet. One of these days we’ll get around to it, but for right now it’s simply functional.

In my Zazzle shop I have all kinds of things: 1″ buttons, more stickers (different shapes and designs than the bundles I have on Etsy), postcards, greeting cardsposter prints, iPhone cases and silver-plated necklaces in about 13 of my most popular designs. And I won’t lie to you, the quality is actually really good. The greeting cards came out beautifully and I’m assuming the postcards are the same. The buttons are adorable, I have them all over my camera bag and purses. When I designed them though, I wasn’t really thinking and realistically I should have put my Etsy shop’s URL on one of the edges in mouseprint. Oh well. I’ve sold 3 of the iPhone cases, all to the same person, so I think it’s safe to assume that those look good too (I don’t have an iPhone so that’s one thing I haven’t purchased myself). The silver-plated necklaces should be like the 1″ buttons and since the 1″ buttons are great, I’m sure the necklaces will be too. And that brings us to posters…since my house is full of originals, it seemed like a dumb move to spend money on a poster of something I already own. I have little doubt that they are of the same quality as the cards, though

ANYWAY!

If you’re going to buy handmade this holiday season, which you should toooootally do, my shop is a good place to start!

Just sayin’.

Peace!

PS. Don’t forget! Back issues of my old zine, The Paper Blog, are also available in my shop!

August 5, 2013

Be Cool, Man. Christ.

Sooooooooo many thoughts, so little time.

I’ve been thinking about my grama a lot today. My mom says she’s doing really well right now. I mean, obviously she’s still dying, it’s not like she’s doing “better” than before she was diagnosed with cancer, but she’s doing better than she was when she was going through radiation and chemo and she doesn’t need someone with her all the time anymore. It’s not going to last but at least she’s having lots of visitors while things are good. Or so I hear. I know my mom and my brother visit her often and I’m curious to know what she thinks of Chad since she doesn’t really know him. When Chad was like, I dunno, 5 or 6 maybe, my grama gave him a blue lamp that was in the shape of a pencil and he didn’t like it so he said so and threw a tantrum because his present sucked. So my grama took the lamp back and it was in her spare bedroom for the longest time, she probably still has it.

Well, soon after that my parents split for good and my brother went to live with my dad/Ken and when my brother visited my mom, which didn’t happen every weekend or even every other weekend most of the time, they would spend time together, not at my grama’s. The only time my brother ever really saw my grama from that point on was Xmas. She went to his grade 8 graduation too. I don’t recall any of his birthdays being celebrated with her in the picture, but I could be wrong on that.

So yeah, I’m curious to know what she thinks of him now. It would be so funny if she left him the pencil lamp when she died haha

When I was little, we lived with my grama, my mom and I. And my grampa because they were still married then. Then when my mom and Ken got married, we lived above my grampa’s carpet store in Stouffville, beside Good Eat and across from the clock tower. It was a one bedroom apartment so my brother and I shared the bedroom and my mom and dad’s bed and bedroom furniture was in the living room. My dad was a really amazing artist. I’m sure he still is but after we moved into our first house in Greenbank, he sort of stopped drawing and never really picked up the habit again. One of his many artistic talents was airbrushing and my room in the apartment in Stouffville was painted yellow and my dad airbrushed a big rainbow and clouds on one of the walls. I used to read Robert Munsch books to my brother at night, through the bars of his crib, in whispers.

Anyway…I started this post at like, I dunno, 3pm maybe? It is now almost 9:30pm and I have to go to bed because I work at 5am. Boooooooo.

What I did want to say before I go to bed though, is that, at the encouragement of some of my Twitter friends, I’ve been persuaded to put the box of my old zines I found on Etsy for fun and profit so I just finished doing that. I figured there’s no reason not to, they’re just sitting in a box in my office taking up space. Some of you will remember The Paper Blog and may still have copies, while others have probably never heard of it because it’s not like I talk about them all the time or anything. The Paper Blog was a zine I wrote, made and mailed between 2004-2005. Only issues #s 3-6 are on Etsy though because I only have ONE copy each of issues #1 & #2 and the files for them all are now long gone so I’d like to keep those. Issue #7, the final issue, was digital and I no longer have the file.

Go to my Etsy shop, if interested!

I need another project like I need another hole in the head, but I kinda think I want to make a new zine. I was just told yesterday about this site called MagCloud which is a print on demand service where you upload your zine (or whatever) as a PDF and they print it as people order it and send it to them. Then I was also informed that Etsy now allows digital downloads, which, as my friend Less put it, is a fucking game changer. I could make an e-zine and sell it on Etsy. I’m still looking into both of these things, but you have to admit, they have some pretty cool possibilities.

Anyway, it’s now 9:35pm and I am soooooo tired so I’m going to bed. Peace oot.

February 9, 2012

DON’T You EVER.

So we went to see Dr. Hanrahan yesterday. This was taken while we were waiting:


Issues. He has them.

I can’t even remember half the stuff we talked about really. We of course talked about the fact that this Dr. Mays who’s supposed to be doing my pseudocyst-draining procedure, still hasn’t contacted us and the furthest we’ve gotten with him is an estimation of like, JUNE for the procedure. Apparently he still has people waiting from July of last year. Dr. Hanrahan said she was going to put the feelers out to try and find someone else to do it but that we shouldn’t get our hopes up because it *is* a complicated procedure.

It’s complicated but it’s only going to put me out of commission for a day, three days tops, and then I’ll be ready for my big surgery.

My big surgery is going to go fine. I’m not worried at all. I was before, but after she squished my guts all around yesterday to make sure that they’d fit where they’re supposed to, I’m not worried. She said that I should do what I can to maintain my current weight. I asked her how long recovery from the surgery would be and she said 6 weeks. But then she corrected herself and said 6 weeks of not lifting ANYTHING (her emphasis). I asked her if I could still type and stuff and she said I could and I asked her how long I’d have to be in the hospital and she said “a few days”. So not the WEEKS Siske was leading me to believe, thank god.

Dr. Hanrahan did remind me that she would be working with muscles and that there would be a lot of pain to deal with, but I’m glad I’ll at least be able to type because that’ll give me something to do while I recover. I might even still be able to paint.

Before I segue into painting, I took these pictures when she sent me for blood work.

They claim that’s less than a tablespoon.

Just routine blood work. Oh and I told the doctor about those weird pains I get in my pancreatic region now and then, those stabbing, radiating pains that sent me to the ER about what, a month ago? She said it’s just the pancreas being unhappy having those cysts on it and that there’s nothing that can be done. She wrote me an rx for Percocet, which scares the living shit out of me because I know it’s habit forming and I know I have a super addictive personality. I have just heard so many horror stories of prescription painkillers, this one in particular, causing so many people’s downfalls that I’m terrified to take any. I want to take one just to see what it’s like, but I have to wait until I’m in pain so I’m kinda hoping I’ll have one of those attacks soon so I know whether or not Percocet is going to knock me on my ass. Like, is it going to make me pass out or will I be totally fine? I’d really like to know *before* I need it so I dunno, so I just know that if I take this, I’ll need to lay down or if I take this, I’ll be fine.  But I can’t just take one, so I have to wait.

I took those pictures of blood work paraphernalia because I’m sloooooooooowly getting over my fear of needles.

So yeah, that was my yesterday. So much fun, let me tell ya. I feel like I’m forgetting something about yesterday but I can’t, for the life of me, think of what it is. Oh well.

So painting…I royally fucked up my orange tiki girl when I pasted her onto the board and I’m afraid she’s not fixable. It’s kinda hard to explain, but I kinda accidentally gave her knees. Oops. I’m going to have to give her a loooong grass skirt and if I do that, she’s totally recoverable.

The sun mandala painting is ready to be scanned, but I don’t know how to use the scanner, so I have to wait until Blake can help me  and teach me how tomorrow. Bummer. So the agenda today is working on hula girl and to try and reshoot the video I made yesterday.

Yesterday I tried to make a video of me drawing one of my girls because someone said they would like to see it. So I made one. But now that I’m looking at it, I see that the angle is all wrong and I’m going to have to reshoot it today. The problem is that I have nowhere to put the tripod for it to be on my left so my right hand isn’t in the way of the shot. But I’ll figure something out. I’ll either use what I shot yesterday ANYWAY or I’ll see what I can do about reshooting it.

I’ve decided that the colouring book is absolutely going to happen. I just have to figure out the logistics, draw everything of course, scan everything of course, lay everything out of course, and then I’ll publish it through Lulu or Amazon. I think Lulu has the most choices as far as types of paper and the covers and stuff. It’ll be a softcover because I’ve never seen a hardcover colouring book in my whole entire life, and the paper won’t be “colouring book paper” because that bleeds through with markers or wet media, so I’m going to use heavier paper for the scribblers, daydreamers and those who colour outside the lines.

I thought about whether or not I’d just draw the girl and skip making her a scene and I’ve decided that that’s probably the way to go. The kids (or the kids at heart ;o)) can draw their own scenes. They’ll probably be better at it than I am. I do think I might write a little bit about each girl though. I always envision their lives while I’m drawing them so I thought maybe I could include my drawing daydreams. We’ll see.

But this is absolutely going to happen. I’m going to start drawing it TODAY.

The other thing is that I really liked my friend Mariko’s idea of magnetic paper dolls. I was thinking normal paper dolls in the beginning but I wondered like, do girls actually play with those anymore? And they probably don’t. Plus it’ll be really hard to make sure the dresses fit and the tabs are where they’re supposed to be. Magnetic paper dolls, like these, just make sense.  But the thing is, where was I going to get those printed? There’s no print on demand company like Lulu or Zazzle or Cafepress that’ll do those and we don’t have money to pay another company up front to have them printed and then, could I even sell them on Etsy since they’re not exactly handmade? But then Mariko, because she’s a fucking GENIUS, linked me to these bad boys and now I’m obsessed with the idea of magnetic paper dolls.

If I ever get my job back, the very first thing I’m going to do is buy a whole bunch of those magnetic sheets, a new printer that I can use for both the magnetic paper dolls and prints and then I’ll be in business.

My only real concern now is A) what should I call my girls? I liked Madonna’s “The English Roses” so I would like a name like that, but I can’t think of anything and B) how do I package the magnetic paper dolls? Should I cut them out myself or leave them for the parents to cut out?

Lots to think about. The thought of real live little girls colouring in MY little girls on rainy days fills me with such joy, you have no idea. Like, I never would have imagined that was possible. And the idea is so obvious too! How the hell did I not think of this sooner?

Okay, today’s my big day off so I think I’m going to go find breakfast, do my morning pages and then get to work. This colouring book isn’t going to draw itself!

PS. OH. MY. GOD. I just had a thought. It’s too late to do it this year but NEXT year I could totally do a colour book of Valentines for little girls to cut out and give to their friends. That would make my life.

PPS. For future reference, it’s never a wise thing to tell me I *can’t* do something.

February 7, 2012

Pink Parts

Why hello there! How are you today? I am excellent, thanks for asking! The kids just left, Blake’s at work, the house is quiet and I don’t expect any nurses for the next 24 hours! I’m going to sit in my office and make art all day. Bliss!

I’m really pleased with how my new girl is coming along. Behold!

She looks way super awesome in person. She has gold glitter flecks in her eyes, which I’ve never done before but I think it looks pretty cool. In hindsight I probably should have made her flower a different colour but I couldn’t think of what colour to make it so…yeah…doesn’t matter. She’s going to have a real grass skirt made out of garden twine and her boob holders are going to be glittery brown/bronze because I couldn’t figure out how to make a coconut bra. Her background is just plant orange glitter and it’s going to look wicked after I varnish it. I’m pretty stoked about her.

So, I was reading this article on art patrons and collectors and this is something that I’ve never given much thought to, to be perfectly honest, but I think I should because this is the second time in a week that art patronage has come up in my life and I think that’s a sign from the universe to say “hey, listen up!” so that’s what I’m choosing to do.

What IS an art patron? Well, the people donating to my Squam Fund are art patrons I would think, and anyone who’s ever bought a painting would be too, right? I am grateful to have people in my life who truly want me to do what I believe I was born to do and who enable me to do just that.

A long time ago I had a friend who we’ll call “Tom” because that was his name. Tom was an art patron. My biggest one. He’s responsible for me even picking up a paintbrush and *trying* and for that I have nothing but gratitude because art has saved my life on so many occasions since. If it weren’t for him and his generosity, I would have never tried painting on canvas or even trying to make paintings at all.

Tom and I used to go shopping and it was fantastic. I would make a list of tons and tons of art supplies from Curry’s and Stockade and he would purchase it all and have it sent to my house. Then he would call me up and ask me to tell him what each thing was for. Like, he was keenly interested in how crackle medium worked, for example (I should do a tutorial on that, actually), and would ask me to explain how it worked and what I had in mind to do with it. He would ask what each type of paintbrush did or what I was going to do with purple mica powder. What on Earth was I going to do with a 36 x 24 inch canvas, etc. And it was great because I *love* talking about art supplies and I love “good mail” and I love shopping for art supplies and I loved everything about it and it was just a really high period of my life. Boxes and boxes of stuff would arrive weekly and it was bliss.

So thanks, Tom. <3

He always said that he supported my artistic aspirations because he himself was not very artistic but he wished he was and he was basically living vicariously through me. So I did what I could to give him that experience, I explained everything in excruciating detail and we would spend hours on the phone or by e-mail just talking about art and art supplies.

So that’s my “patron of the arts” story. I think he was the most traditional because aren’t art patrons traditionally the people who keep you in paint without trying to make a buck off you or claiming all your work? People who just want you to be able to create? I am a very very lucky girl.

I just also wanted to thank everyone for donating to my Squam Fund. I’m 51% there and I’m so so so excited about going! I devour their blog every time they post anything and I’m practically memorizing the Painted Pages book because it’s by two of the teachers I’ll be having while I’m there.

One cost I didn’t factor in when doing my tally is a passport to get across the border. I don’t think I need one, I’m sure a birth certificate and driver’s license is sufficient but my mom’s insisting on it because she doesn’t want to take any chances of them not letting us in. I don’t even know how you get a passport so I guess I’m going to have to Google that and I’m going to have to do it soon because I think it takes a long time to get yours in the mail. I think a passport is $80-$100. Bummer. :(

But yes, my birthday is March 1st and all I want is Squam money. <3

Speaking of birthdays, Wes is going to be *9* on Monday! Time flies, eh? If anyone felt like spoiling the greatest kid on Earth, his wishlist can be found HERE! We can’t afford to have a party for him right now so we’re postponing things until the summer and possibly taking him to Canada’s Wonderland with his girlfriend Emily.

Tomorrow morning I go see Dr. Hanrahan just to see where things stand with the procedure I need in Toronto. She’s probably going to order another CAT scan to make sure I even need the procedure, which is going to be totally fun…not. :o/

Anyway, today’s my day off. I don’t even feel like thinking about tomorrow.

I had THE BEST idea EVER the other day. Are you ready? Are you sitting down? How genius is this: a Sunny Crittenden COLOURING BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is that not the best idea ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Little girls all over the place colouring my girls would make me so very very fucking happy that I have to somehow make this happen. I don’t know if I should do a colouring book or paper dolls or maybe both? Probably the colouring book first though because that’s the simplest one to do. I don’t know if I should use Lulu.com or Amazon’s publishing thing or what though. Should I publish it myself, zine style? I’m betting Lulu/Amazon don’t get a lot of people wanting to make colouring books so I’m not sure how to get “colouring book paper” in one of  those types of books or maybe I shouldn’t use colouring book paper, maybe I should use GOOD white paper because these girls deserve the best?

I’ve gotta say, I’m kind of obsessed with this idea and I think it’s something that really needs to happen.

And with that, I’m oot. Time to have a wee nap, do my morning pages and get to work!

November 22, 2010

w00t!

I now literally subscribe to Whore magazine.
You should too.

Posted at 10:55 pm in: Advertising , Books , camwhores , Zines
September 9, 2009

The First Day of School

Yesterday was…a friggin’ day.

For some ungodly reason, I got up at 6:30am and I’m not really sure what I did between then and when the kids and Blake got up, probably internetting and screwing around on Buttercup, but after they left I decided to go over to the neighbours’ to see what they were up to. They were cleaning out their car and wanted to borrow my vacuum, so I brought it over and chatted for a bit and then I left to let them do their thing.

When I came home I don’t know what got into me but I looked at my stove, was immediately repulsed by the state of it and started taking it apart. I cleared the top of it, where the knobs are, of spices and my recipe box, then I took out the elements and set them on the counter while I pried the metal rings around the elements out (they were so filthy and stuck I needed a screwdriver for one of them – my stove came with the house and has NEVER been thoroughly cleaned) and with them, the metal…I dunno, grease catcher thingies that sit beneath the elements. The rings and the grease catcher things were BLACK, so after an unsuccessful cleaning with dishsoap, I put them all in the kitchen sink and doused them with a can of oven cleaner.

Prior to taking the last element out of the stove, I boiled the kettle and made myself a cup of coffee with this single-cup plastic coffee thing Blake has. I NEVER drink coffee, in fact I don’t really even like it, but I wanted to maintain the energy I woke up with so I figured I’d try that and it made me hyper as hell.

While the metal stove pieces were soaking, I happened to find two packs of the aluminum liners you put under the elements so the greaser catcher thingies don’t get as dirty, so score there and then I Mr. Cleaned the shit out of the wall above the stove, the top of the stove where the spices sit, the panel where the clock & knobs are and then the surface of the stove itself. Then I did the dishes from the kids’ breakfast and while I had a sink of hot, soapy water, I cleaned out my plastic recipe box.

Oh did I mention that I never clean? Okay that’s not totally true, I clean the toilet and the shower if I’m feeling industrious, but Madison does the dishes and Blake does the vacuuming and then Blake & I both take care of laundry and that’s pretty much the extent of our housework aside from lawn mowing (Blake) and taking out the garbage, compost (we have community composting, it rules) and recycling (Blake & Madison).

As my recipe box was drying, I came into my office to sit down for a minute when I realized the wooden landing, which is painted white, was looking more dark grey than anything else, so I got out the Mr. Clean again and washed that. Then I went outside and took pictures of my newest painting, which is finally finished.

After that, I went back over to the neighbours’ to see what was up and we shot the shit while they drank a few beer before Judy had to go to work. After she went to work, Wayne & I continued to sit on the deck and talk about how awesome it was that the kids weren’t there. I brought Lucky over with me to play with their dog Mandy and we just had a good afternoon. Periodically I’d come back over to my house to get another Coke Zero, take pills and check the progress of my stove parts, but other than that I just hung out with Wayne until it was time for the kids to come home.

Before I go any further into the tale of my day, which I know is oh so riveting, I have to tell you about what a shit Wayne is. We kind of have a feud.

Three days ago he opened the gate of his deck to find a dead “mouse” and apparently it was huge, he says, and he got the rake and flung it onto the empty lot next door. He kept telling me how huge this mouse was and how disgusted he was and I said “Wayne, that wasn’t a mouse, that was either a mole or a vole,” because mice, at least the ones around here, are NOT the size he indicated and our cat brings home dead voles all the time. (For those who don’t know, a vole is a small rodent related to muskrats that look like big mice except they have shorter tails.) Wayne is born & bred in Toronto and has no clue about the flora & fauna of “up north” so this isn’t the first time I’ve had to educate him seeing as I’ve lived “up north” my whole life.

Anyway, he said I was making up this whole vole thing because if such a creature existed he’d have heard about it. He claimed that was he flung with his rake was a grown up mouse and the little ones in his house are just babies.

WELL…I had my laptop over at their house yesterday to show them something on the internet (because our wifi miraculously reaches their back deck) and I got on Wikipedia and showed him what a vole was and read to him the part about how they’re 3-7 inches long and live in Ontario. Then I Wiki’d mice and lo & behold, the average mouse is about 9 centimeters long and THEN I showed him this picture of an adult mouse that I rescued from the cat last year and told him to note the size of the kernel of corn beside it.

And THEN I showed him pictures of pink baby mice feeding from their mothers and read him the part about how, as soon as they have hair and open their eyes, they stay with their mother about another week and then they’re considered full grown and even after I showed him ALL OF THIS GODDAMN EVIDENCE THAT WHAT HE SAW WAS A VOLE, he still says I’m full of crap and don’t know what I’m talking about. He is so frustrating!

Anyway, around 3:40pm Blake called me (I take our home phone over to the neighbour’s when I go because miraculously, the signal goes that far too) and asked me if the kids were home. I said that they weren’t and he said “the school called, there’s a missing kid named Tyler and they think he might have walked home with Wes,”. I guess this Tyler kid, who is the same age as Wes (6) and, as it turned out is also in Wes’ new class (and they’re BEE-EFF-EFFS), was supposed to get picked up by his parents and when they got to the schoo, he wasn’t there.

So I explained this to Wayne when I got off the phone with Blake and we set our lawn chairs in the driveway to wait for the kids. When they started coming up the street, with Emily & Alyssa, our other neighbours, in tow, we looked and there was no Tyler. So I explained the situation to the kids and asked if they’d seen Tyler and Emily said she saw a little kid named Tyler at the crosswalk near the school walking home alone. Madison volunteered to take her bike and go look for him, so I gave her my cell phone and off she went with Emily.

About half an hour later, Madison comes home and tells me that Tyler had realized that he was lost and backtracked his steps to get back to the school where they called his parents and he was now home safe. So disaster averted.

By this point it was almost 5pm, my stove was in pieces and I had a roast to get in the oven, so I told Wayne I’d see him tomorrow (today) and I headed back home to finish my stove & do what needed to be done. before I left, Wayne gave me 2 S.O.S pads to help with my task, which, as it turned out, I desperately needed and currently my arms are spaghetti from scrubbing the burnt on foodstuffs from my stove parts. But I got it done, got the roast in the oven and then I started filling out the bajillion forms each kid came home with.

People, it took me an hour and 15 minutes to fill out all these goddamn forms.

Then I signed Madison’s school agenda to confirm that she got her homework done and by that time dinner was ready (and Blake was home), so I ate and ate and ate because I hadn’t eaten all day and Madison did the dishes after dinner.

When I was done eating, I had to pee, so I went into the bathroom and stopped dead when I saw myself in the mirror. I don’t know how the HELL I did it because we were sitting in the shade all afternoon until about the last hour of being on the deck but I’m burnt again, making this the third time in a month & a half. My eyelids are burnt. I can honestly say that I’ve never gotten so much sun in my entire life, I mean, I’m kinda known for my death pallor, but right now I look like I’d been vacationing in Florida. It’s so strange, I barely even recognize myself.

After that, I said goodnight to the kids and hung out with Blake on Buttercup for a while and then it was 11pm, which is when I go next door again to fill Judy in on how the day went because that’s when she gets off of work. (I see her daughter after school and get the scoop and I tell her of Wayne’s antics and stuff like that because with the shift she’s on, she usually doesn’t see Wayne until late the next day and that’s just in the car for 15 minutes.)

I left Judy’s at around midnight and while I was absolutely exhausted, I didn’t want to go to bed yet, so I decided to go to the park across the street and swing on the swings for about 20 minutes. While I was over there, I looked out at our street and realized it was garbage night because everyone had their stuff on the curb, so when I came back over, I put our garbage and recycling out so Blake wouldn’t have to rush to do it in the morning (I forgot the compost though, oops!) and then finally, I took my burnt ass to bed.

I slept like the dead until about noon today and when I woke up, Lucky had his head on Blake’s pillow and as soon as I opened my eyes, he slurped his tongue up my face.

While today’s been a much slower pace, I did have another coffee (which I drank as fast as I could because I really DON’T like it), I made Jell-O for the kids’ lunches in little Tupperware containers and cut up celery which GODAMMIT THEY WILL EAT, as well as bringing in the garbage can & recycling bins. I was going to get industrious and clean out under the carport because it’s a huge mess that makes me crazy and my in-laws are apparently coming to visit the last two weeks of the month, but man, it’s like, 40 degrees outside with the humidex and I’m not in the mood to sweat.

Today Judy gets off work at 3:30pm, so she’s going to pick up the kids and when they get home, I’ll go over there to hang out with her and help her fill out the bajillion pieces of paperwork the school sent home yesterday (like explain to her a few of them, which were confusing, and give her our contact info for the emergency contact stuff) and then I’m going to come home and edit the pictures of my new painting until it’s time for my Buttercup staff meeting at 9pm.

*WHEW*

When I saw my shrink last week, I told her I thought I was sort of on a high, but like, a mild, good high and she told me that this was the level where she wants me all the time so she upped my meds. I’m not happy about having to take 11 pills after dinner (which make me feel barfy), but from my behaviour since she upped them, I’d say they’re doing their job. She also gave me a light box to use starting at the beginning of next month so S.A.D. doesn’t set in and bring me down.

So yeah, things are pretty good in Sunnyland right now. I mean, we’re fucking broke and that sucks, but other than that, everything’s good!

Posted at 3:08 pm in: Animals , Art , Fall , Family , Food , Friends , Kids , Lucky , Madison , Mental Health , Sunnyland , Wes , Zines

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