August 6, 2014

Whose house?

I’m sort of frustrated with my front yard ditchweed garden. I feel like a planted SO MUCH SHIT and nothing I actually planted ON PURPOSE decided to grow as they have in previous years! I have a few theories on this. The first is that poppies are finicky little pricks. The second is that there’s too much grass in the garden now for certain things to grow, so they just didn’t get enough sun right from the beginning and grew retarded as taller things stunted them further. The third is that I need to give up on planting any type of cosmos that aren’t your standard pink and white ones because they just do not grow in my yard. I thought if I planted LOOOOOOTS of fancy ones in favour of regular ones, some would HAVE to grow, but nope. As with previous years, they did not and neither did the few regular ones I planted either due to problem #2.

Having said all of that, nature’s done a pretty okay job at giving me a base to work with for next year and next year I think I’ll be going back to American Meadows for my seeds because everything this year came from Vesey’s and they don’t have the quantities I need or the variety. American Meadows has better descriptions/information and has a lot of seeds that some people might call weeds, but bees, birds and butterflies call “food”. The bees like the Bachelor’s Buttons usually, but mine only grew to be about 4 inches high and maybe only about 30 flowers total out of a billion and a half seeds:

Nature, however, had another plan for the bees and somehow St. John’s Wort (as identified by awesome tumblr people) has made its way into the garden in little yellow patches. It’s done flowering now so I don’t have any current pics, but here’s one I took a few weeks ago. It was impossible to take a pic of it WITHOUT a bee!

Stunted cosmos.
These are normal ones, not fancy ones because only normal ones will (well, used to) grow.

So much Queen Anne’s Lace!
I need to find something NOT YELLOW that can co-exist with these because they grow tall, fast!

My best guess is that these are Black-Eyed/Brown-Eyed Susans but I honestly have no fucking clue.

These and the Queen Anne’s Lace were the end result of the wildflower mixes that were originally planted when we removed the sod.

Removing the sod that’s grown back (well, next spring) is out of the question because that’ll also remove what grew this year, as well as any flowers that may be the type to flower one year but not the next or whatever. Getting rid of a lawn is serious business, man. I don’t see how we could have done it any other way (with a sod cutter, 8 years ago) so now, like I said above, the name of the game is to find seeds that will co-exist with all this yellow, white and grass that can also be food for fauna. I’ve got a year to plan, so I don’t need to figure it out now, but after seeing what’s been the strongest to survive blind weedings and mowings, it should give me a good idea of what to look out for. Also I think I might ask my favourite seed-nerd, Ana, for a little help.

When I went into the garden this morning to take these pictures, the first thing I was greeted with, though, was SUCCESS. I purposely plant milkweed in my garden for the monarchs to lay their eggs on and sometimes at the end of the summer, if we’re lucky, we’ll find a couple of caterpillars ready to pupate and I have a special terrarium that I use to watch them turn into butterflies. It never gets old. It amazes me every single time. Well, this guy/girl was the very first thing I saw when I went outside today:

She’s big and probably ready to pupate but I like to wait for the caterpillars in the later summer/early fall because I know for sure when those ones are about to pupate because the milkweed starts dying. And when the milkweed starts dying, the caterpillars are like, “welp, buffet’s over, better get to work” and then they begin to pupate. With the caterpillar above, she’s big enough that I could put her in the terrarium with a few milkweed leaves and she’d pupate shortly after they got too wilted to eat because a lack of food can trigger the process if they’re close to it to begin with.

I am by no means a caterpillar expert, this is just what I’ve learned from experience (and I’ve never had a caterpillar or butterfly die before).

What I *didn’t* know, is what this guy is:

I think it’s a milkweed tussock moth.
I found two of them on the older milkweed stalks and that article says monarchs prefer younger plants, which is good to know because I’ve just let the old ones grow back. This fall I’ll rip out the old ones, which I have to do anyway because they’re in the way of my second heliopsis, which is this:

And that’s about all I have to say about my garden.

Honestly, that’s all I really have to say I guess. I had other stuff but Wes and I have started playing Warcraft together again and it’s about time for us to do some quests. Saw Guardians of the Galaxy and Maleficent on Sunday night at the drive-in. Both were awesome. I am now leveling a resto druid on a PvP server named “Iamgroot”. I’m hoping people will think I’m cute and not kill me…

July 2, 2014

Blake ate the misshapen fortune cookie.

Not sure I’m capable of a full post. Like. With paragraphs. I may just delete this line entirely.

I thought I was okay and then I saw this (which is awesome and I will read later, but you should read NOW…this post is a bummer and can totally wait) and it was like someone sucked all the air out of the room and I couldn’t breathe.

At least she waited until she probably knew I was done working or maybe she just waited as long as she  could, but this morning I got the first dated e-mail.

You can tell how serious or important something is by whether or not my mother’s dating the e-mails in the subject line.

Grandma. July 2 2014

Not unlike the e-mails people got 3 years ago this summer, “Sarah. July 2 2011”, events to which I had already been thinking about very recently, and as I figure I will for probably the rest of my life:

big sudden decline
grama (except she spells it right)’s been on oxygen since Thursday
increasingly more oxygen
now triple

{sarah reads: GRAMA CAN’T BREATHE, SHE MUST BE SCARED.}

palliative care asap
ps. no internet at grama’s. you may not hear from me until tomorrow.

Sarah pulls up her grama panties, e-mails back something pithy and decides priority 1 is that I e-mail work, tell them, again, that this time, for real this time, it’s gonna happen. I will need time off. I will e-mail with more info as I have it, here’s my schedule, thanks in advance. Luckily I am friends with everyone I work with, on some level anyway, and I’m not too terribly worried about work because I don’t think people have funerals on Saturdays and what are the odds she’ll die on my worst day? (Pretty good, actually, if the history of our relationship is any indication but it was work and I included our boss so I didn’t wanna get slap happy and umb out of shock or whatever, as I may be doing right now.) Time off no questions asked only happens for death and Xmas. I know my bosses would work my shifts if necessary. Both of them.

I am totally completely babbling but see? I’m wearing my grama panties. Work. The responsibility. The money. Priority 1. God I could throw up. I may throw up. The day is young and I am severely undermedicated. I’m betting my mom e-mailed her work/money/responsiblitiesthatarenotmygrama people before she e-mailed me, Blake and my brother. (Or she was wise enough not to take anything on in the first place.) We all have it, whatever it is. It’s AWFUL! No, scratch that, this is one form of crazy my brother was spared. My brother probably e-mailed her with “whatever you need, just tell me, I’ll be there” and like, wanting to be in the trenches and I guess I said that too, sort of, but my response may have included a colon, lowercase o and right parenthesis in succession. I also know for a fact that I am mentally incapable of going to palliative care and I don’t think anyone in the world would hold that against me. Or anyone who remotely mattered, anyway.

I got that far in my thoughts this morning before I had to stop. I thought about taking all my shit outside and working on my garden painting, y’know, IN my ditchweed butterfly wildflower keep off the fucking lawn garden as planned, or as I had planned all morning until I got that e-mail, but suddenly the rain expected at 1pm just had me making idle chatter with a friend who wanted to talk about weed (obviously) while I watched this awesomely shitty Lifetime series that is now on Netflix called Witches of East End and I had just finished the series 1 finale, knowing full well that season 2 was not on Netflix, and may not even exist so I had to come online to know, did it get cancelled? Because it was just SO awesomely shitty that I couldn’t imagine/really hoped there would be a season 2. I got as far as “set to premiere on July 6, 2014” on the Wikipedia page, stopped reading because I literally want to know nothing, and flipped to Facebook because okay, TV is over, now what?

oh. hi there “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire“.

welcome, sheer fucking panic because I didn’t even think of clothes.

And then I came here because I couldn’t even get past the first paragraph of the article before having my worst panic attack in recent history.

I am good for one day of public viewing, unless it’s okay to wear the same thing multiple days in a row or it’s okay to wear white/off-white. (Is it?)
Madison will need clothes. As long as it doesn’t rain, we can work around her Docs.
Wes will need clothes from the ground up.
Blake would prefer no clothes, but has a few suits to choose mix/match/dowhateverboysdo from.
He will need shoes, an expense he’s needed for a while that I keep telling him to get that now he can’t put off. Although my grama might, if overhearing my inner debate as to whether or not he can get away with his orthopedic sandals, say, “oh! I don’t need it, I don’t need it”, because that is absolutely the very thing , when last I saw her, she would say. Ball’s in his court on that one. I’m wearing Docs.

Just texted my brother to make sure he has a suit. He’s a grown man, I probably don’t have to ask him this. Too late. Can’t take it back.

John & Chris are good.

That is all my people.

Everyone else can find their own canoe.

June 10, 2014

Deep, confusing waters.

So guess what? Right now, right at this very moment I am writing this blog post from Woodland Beach, which is near my house and and a woody area before the beach with boardwalks and picnic tables, some in the shade (like where I am now) and some in the sun. I can hear the beach behind me and why it’s behind me and not in front of me is because I like to be able to see people coming down the road and coming onto the beach from this access point. I don’t like strangers behind me. Also the picnic I’m sitting at has a closer seat to the table on one side and one farther away from the table and I tried that, facing the water, and that distance away from my keyboard was just uncomfortable.

So yes. I am writing from the beach. This makes me pretty fucking happy, to be perfectly honest. I have 2 hours of parking and 2 hours of battery life on my laptop so chances are I’ll have to finish this at home, maybe even tomorrow.

I got my phone mount for my car and this has lead to multiple trips to multiple beaches using Waze, each with their own unique benefits. Like this one I can write at, for example. I can sit here and write while the kids swim. That’s awesome. Then when my battery dies, I read my book. It’s all good. Anyway, I’m not a “baby Wazer” anymore, I’ve driven over 100 miles so I’m a sunflower on the map now. OOH LA LA!

The first place I went with Waze, was to Blue Sky, a restaurant in Penetanguishene that I really like. The decision to go there was made because it’s the only place in Penetanguishene (which is farthest away from us in the opposite direction of Barrie) I felt I could theoretically sit down at, order a meal and pay and not completely freak out.

When I came down the street Blue Sky is on, there were only a couple of spaces on the street to park in but they all required parallel parking and I just cannot but even Waze was telling me to go behind the building. So I did and there were 3 spots, 2 occupied. So I parked there, smoked a joint and went around the corner to find that people had left and there were 2 empty spots right in front of the restaurant that I could have just pulled into and I thought about moving the car but I’d just smoked a joint and didn’t think it would be a wise decision, even though I could prooooooobably navigate that after medicating.

I go inside the restaurant and I wait to be seated. Every time we’ve ever gone, we’ve waited to be seated and a waitress would tell us to sit anywhere and we would. So I stood there and waited. I waited while 2 waitresses walked past me several times and completely ignored me. I waited like, 10 fucking minutes and panic started to creep in and I almost left but I found the teeniest bit of courage and the next time a waitress walked past me, I said, “excuse me? where may I sit?” and it was a younger girl and she was kinda snotty and she said, “you can sit wherever you want”.

I picked a table in the area where you’re surrounded by windows on 3 sides, which is always where I like to sit but it’s usually way too busy. I ordered a Diet Coke and peameal and eggs and played with my phone until the food got there. I ate some of it. I really like their peameal, which is why I go there when I want that, and eggs are eggs are eggs, but their homefries are SO lacking and they don’t have Heinz ketchup on the tables, both of which annoy the shit out of me. I didn’t even know ketchup existed that WASN’T Heinz (even fast food places use Heinz for their ketchup packets!) and I’ve never tried the kind they have (I forget what it’s called) but the jar is just a gross shape and the label is completely unappealing and like, if we’re in a situation where I don’t know it’s not Heinz, like when restaurants just have the plastic yellow and red bottles for mustard and ketchup, in my head that shit’s all Heinz.

I finish eating and I go up to the front to pay and the snotty girl rang me in and I asked her where I could find a bank machine because I saw something cool on the side of the road that you needed cash for. She told me there was one across the street at the convenience store that charged a $2.50 service fee or there was a CIBC and TD bank up the street. I asked her if it would be cool if I left my car parked behind the restaurant while I went to the TD and she told me that was fine.

Now.

I’m LEAVING my car at Blue Sky to walk up the street to the TD bank. Google map that shit. That is a long goddamn walk for someone who DOESN’T on a cold day up a hill the whole way but she didn’t tell me that. She knew I was leaving my car and walking to the TD bank. She should have said, “you might want to take your car with you because it’s not really walkable” but she did not. Holy fuck, I was dead by the time I got back to the car, but whatever I had my $20 bill and could get the super special thing I saw on the side of the road on the way home that I’ll post about another time.

See this is the thing, I’m DOING so much that I just don’t really have time to sit down and spend a whole day composing a blog post like I did before.

Anyway, that was my adventure in Penetang.

Friday was a PA Day for Wes and Blake said I could go to Wal*Mart and get a $50 prepaid Visa to use for parking at the beaches, so Wes and I went to Wasaga Beach to do just that because I didn’t want to go by myself and Wes wanted to spend his allowance. First though, he had to find out how much money he had in the bank, which meant stopping at the TD bank in town. There was a spot sort of down the street a bit from the bank where there would be a laneway and a no parking area in front of me and a car behind me, so all I had to do was pull in and back up. I tried, a few times, and couldn’t get myself the appropriate distance away from the curb to save my life. As it turns out, I was the appropriate distance from the curb legally and everyone I know just parks too close. There’s parking around the back of the bank so I just parked there.

At Wal*Mart I saw this awesome lamp that would be perfect for my office that was $25. I put it in my cart. Then I put it back. Then I put it in my cart again but before we went to the checkout I put it back because I just didn’t have $25 to spend at ALL, let alone on something like that. Wes got himself a pair of sunglasses and a chocolate bar and I got Milkbones because they had a giant box on sale and I wanted some for in my car anyway. As it turns out, Wal*Mart doesn’t sell prepaid Visas (weird) but the Foodland across the street did (weirder) so we went there.

Wes and I are cool.

When I got home, people wanted to know if I got the lamp because I Instagrammed it and I told them that no, sadly I did not and a friend of mine basically told me I needed it and sent me the money for it. I think putting the lamp back was like, good personal karma or something for doing what is financially responsible for once in my life and I got rewarded for it.

After Madison got home from school, we went  to the beach for a while and then we went to Wal*Mart to get the lamp. Where it was a LOT busier than it had been that morning and I basically had a panic attack and we had to check out posthaste. Wal*Mart is not a place I feel comfortable in most of the time but I think being there without Blake at a busy time was just too much immersion therapy.

Awesome lamp.

With all this driving and with all the things I plan to do, I simply do not make enough money to maintain this level of curiosity and to keep doing some things that, as it turns out, I really really like doing. I really really like packing a lunch and bringing a book and a joint and spending two hours warm at the beach but parking costs money and gas costs money and I was barely making it paycheque to paycheque BEFORE I had my own car. A couple of friends who have wanted to encourage me and who I guess like this “new” Sunny have sent me unexpected cash gifts/donations and I just wanted to say that that is SO SO SO appreciated and I am beyond grateful. I’m not asking for donations right now, so don’t get me wrong, but if anyone else did feel so inclined, there’s a donate button on the front page of my site or you can send me money through Camwhores (I think you can do that without being a CW member but I’m not sure). That said, I asked my boss if I could have some float hours if I could find places where I might be needed and she said that was totally okay, so I’ve found 2 hours a week that I can work extra and right now I’m trying to determine if I can regularly do that or if it can only be a sometimes thing. [From this point forward, I’m writing this today, Tuesday, June 10th. Couldn’t finish the whole thing at the beach.] Also this pay period, I ended up working 8 extra hours so I’m doing my best to be financially independent. The fact of the matter is, I have the job I have and work the hours I work because that’s what I’m capable of. I tried doing my job for 40 hours a week in the beginning and I just couldn’t do it. A few weeks before I got sick, I told my boss that she either had to give me some time off or I was going to have to quit because I was burning right out. After I came home from the hospital and was well enough to work again, she offered me 20 hours and that’s been perfect. I can commit to 20 hours a week. I can stay sane working 20 hours a week (99% of the time). My schedule is GREAT and even as much as I fucking looooooooathe Saturdays because that’s my marathon “do the same thing for 9 hours straight” day, it’s actually not that terrible as long as I am 100% aware of how the day is going to go, re: family and coworkers, and I usually am.

As I mentioned, Blake paid for me to get a $50 prepaid Visa, figuring that that would actually work out cheaper than a parking pass because that is 12 trips to the beach, if I only stay 2 hours. He doesn’t think I’ll go to the beach that often but I’m pretty sure I will, especially once the kids are out of school and we’ll definitely be spending more than 2 hours there. Blake thinks I’m dumb for paying for parking even though at this point, I’m just sitting in the car. We argued about it and he told me to do whatever I want and to not complain when he can’t afford another Visa right away. He thinks I should just do my thing and not pay and if a parking enforcement person comes by, I can pretend like I just got there and go pay or I can move the car somewhere else. There are 2 inherent problems with that and 1 moral one. First, pretending I just got there and paying would only MAYBE work once because they’ll see me there again, probably in the same spot, and I say “maybe” because when I get there, I push the driver’s seat back, tilt the steering wheel up and set my lunch up on the passenger seat. No one’s going to believe I just got there if I’m reading a book and I have half eaten lunch on the passenger seat. Secondly, when I get there, I pay for parking and then I smoke a joint so I can eat my lunch when I get back to the car. It may not be SAFE for me to just move the car somewhere else (where?) or go to another beach if someone comes around. The best part of being able to legally smoke weed is that if anyone bugs me, I’m RIGHT! And that goes for parking too, I want to be RIGHT when they smell the weed and check my parking ticket which DID happen last week, that exact thing. I am a person who seeks to avoid any and all conflict. And finally, it’s just dishonest!

Then later that day, I opened a spare fortune cookie I had on my desk and stopped worrying about Blake thinking I’m dumb.

So! My new favourite thing is packing a lunch and writing or reading at the beach while listening to music but I can’t think of good portable (and healthy) lunch things. Yesterday’s lunch was a multigrain tortilla with lots of spring mix, “herb and spices” havarti cheese (because I’m trying to live a little!) and roast beef. I also had a small bottle of orange juice and goldfish crackers. So I think that was a good lunch, but that’s only one lunch and I can’t have the same thing too often or I won’t like it anymore. Sooooooooo if anyone has cold lunch ideas, lay ’em on me. I’ll probably think most of them are disgusting  but maybe some will be good!

The garden is in a really ugly stage right now because my spring bulbs are still in the process of dying and I can’t cut their tops off yet, the wildflowers are only maybe an inch tall and you can’t tell them from the weeds EXCEPT the dandelions are growing fabulously. Most mornings I’m working, I’ll go out into the front yard when I’m done, water the sunflowers, Lily of the Valley and foxglove and pull dandelions for 10 or 15 minutes. That, plus Madison’s help, has kept the dandelions mostly at bay. I thought I was going to lose one of my foxgloves (I only have two) because the weather just wasn’t good enough to plant when I got the shipment of live plants and even though I watered them, once the foxgloves got planted, they just did NOT look good and then the one got down to ONE green leaf and I was sure it was a  goner but just watering it every day brought it back to life and now everything in that bed is thriving. Planting the Lily of the Valley with Madison was a moment. That’s like, our family’s maternal lineage flower. The old “Grow Dammit!” sign got warped and moldy so I’ve decided we need  to make a new one. The old one was done on canvas, which does piss-poor outside, just so you know. The wood frame warps and the canvas will grow mold. This time I got a gessoed hardboard that should hold up a little better and while I haven’t asked her yet, I’m going to ask Madison if she wants to help me design and paint it.

On Sunday we took the kids to Cora’s for the first time. Because Cora’s is about 45 minutes away, I usually medicate on the way and that usually does me, but because the kids would be in the car, that wouldn’t be a possibility, so I smoked a bowl before leaving the house and brought a joint with me for afterward. Wes wasn’t a huge fan of Cora’s but Madison was. I finished my food first, which is easy to do when you eat the least and they were almost done, so I went out to the car to smoke my joint while they finished and paid. So I’m sitting in the car with the window down and this car pulls into the spot beside me. I’m thinking, “fuck fuck fuck” because Cora’s is very much a family establishment and I assumed the person beside me would be a mom or dad with kids. I just looked straight ahead and kept smoking, sort of glancing at the car beside me out of the corner of my eye. A guy gets out of the car with a little girl and he happened to have dreads so I relaxed a bit seeing as he was likely one of my people. “Is that a joint?” he asks. “Sure is,” I reply. “Niiiiice,” he says and walks away. Made my stoner week.

Annnnnd finally, Madison got her G1 licence (learner’s permit) yesterday and is now licenced to drive with one of us in the car with her. We took her for her first drive yesterday in a parking lots and I only screamed once.

That’s all the poop that’s fit to scoop! Peace oot!

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!)

March 25, 2014

What’s your damage, soldier?

Woke up this morning at 4:15am like I always do, got up and went to the bathroom without turning the light on and as soon as I start peeing, I start gagging. I grab the garbage can to my right – in the dark – and sat on the toilet barfing into this garbage can on my lap almost until it was time to start work at 5am. Then working from 5am-8am went like this: answer 5 e-mails, run to the bathroom to throw up or just dry heave for 5-15 mins, repeat.

Blake put me to bed at 8am and I woke up about an hour ago (11:30am-ish) with pain in my pancreas so this is the beginning of a pancreatic attack. I’ve taken hydromorph and now that I’m not working I can medicate with cannabis so if I can keep the nausea/vomiting and pain under control, usually things won’t escalate.

What did this? From what I can tell, because I now have to write down every single thing I eat, it was simple cheese sauce from a packet on broccoli last night. I eat frozen Green Giant broccoli and cheese sauce all the time with no issue but lately the texture of their sauce has kinda grossed me out, so I wanted (what I call) “real” cheese sauce on real broccoli. So that’s what Blake made me. And now I kinda wanna die a little.

But hopefully with the hydromorph and cannabis it won’t escalate further.

I was screwing around with polymer clay on the weekend because I have an idea for a big clay project and I wanted to make sure polymer clay was the way to go. I hadn’t used it since I was a kid and man, this stuff has gotten so much nicer in the last 25 years! I remember the old Fimo was SO HARD and you had to work it in for like a million hours until your hands cramped up to be able to work with it, then they introduced soft Fimo but it was more expensive and too rich for my 10 year old blood. Then I lost interest in it until Sunday when we went to Michael’s and I spent the gift card my mom got me on the colours of polymer clay I needed to make a couple of little guys, which we burnt because we screwed up the math and our oven runs hot :o/…

…that mouse was supposed to be elephant grey and baby pink. Anyway, making them was fun and I definitely want to proceed with the bigger project once I work out some of the logistics and play with the remaining clay to figure out how best to bake it in our wonky oven. I’m also going to invest in an oven thermometer at the suggestion of a bunch of my friends on Facebook, just to see how far off our oven is and how it cycles. My friend Mark – the one from the UK with the neat fish tanks, not the one who bought a forest in Nova Scotia – found this really good series of blog posts about baking polymer clay, so once I get my shit together and really get into this project, I’m definitely going to re-read those and maybe seek out more resources. The more info the better.

What I haven’t figured out yet is how to fund the bigger project. Polymer clay is pretty expensive and not really in my budget and I’m going to need a lot. I only bought this stuff to screw around with because my mom gave me a gift card for my birthday and there was nothing else at Michael’s that looked interesting. I didn’t know it would lead to IDEAS. If I’d have known that, I would have stuck to scrapbook paper! I still need to figure out if I’m capable of executing it with the oven we have anyway and I have so much on my plate at the moment that I just don’t even have the desk space right now to work on it so it’s a far ways off.

The gift card though, oy! We get to the cash register and she rings up our stuff, scans my coupon on my phone and swipes the gift card and it wouldn’t work. Long story short: The customer service lady worked for 20 mins to get the gift card to work in the machine and it wouldn’t, 1-800-MICHAELS is not open on Sundays for them to check the balance and when the lady peeled the sticker off the back to reveal the PIN # the paper came along with it, ruining the legibility of the numbers. Finally the lady just GUESSED the PIN # and it went through! The lady had never seen a cardboard gift card before and said she’d tell corporate that they suck. I was so so so fucking thankful that Blake was with me and handling the transaction because I was kinda freaking out. I knew worst case scenario was that I’d have to pay for my purchase, which I had enough money to do, and my mom and I could work it out. I figured she kept the receipt for the gift card because…that’s my mom…and I only spent as much as the gift card was for so somehow it would work out, but the fact that people kept trying to get in line behind us (we were at the customer service desk) and the lady kept having to tell them to go to another register was freaking me out and I wanted to melt into the floor. When she guessed the fucking PIN though and it went through, for a fraction of a second there I think I might have believed in God. At the very least either her karma was good or mine was or something. But nah, it was just a flukey “win”. And she was GREAT for persevering. That’s good customer service, that’s the kind of customer service we provide our customers at my work (which I happen to think is excellent on its own, but especially when compared to most other companies’ customer service). Michael’s had kinda been on my shit list after they sold me old varnish that fucked up a painting and the cover of a sketchbook (which the varnish manufacturer made good on, because DecoArt ALSO has excellent customer service) but I think we’re square for the time being.

Last week I bought myself flowers because they were just so beautiful they had to come home with me, and they’re still going strong. They’re Gerbera daisies, which are actually more related to sunflowers than daisies, according to Wikipedia:

Aren’t they crazy beautiful?
Isn’t my desk crazy messy?
I should just put all that paint away…I may just do that.

In discussing the first day of spring the other day, my friend Rugg reminded me that prior to me getting sick, he had helped me, for my birthday, turn my front yard into a wildflower garden and my back yard into a vegetable garden. This year he asked me if I wanted to plant and it had been something I’d been thinking about now that we’ve decided this is our forever home, but not very seriously because I just don’t have any money and Blake doesn’t care so it’s not like he’s going to give me any. We have decided that we’re not going to have a vegetable garden again because it’s too much work when the grocery store is down the street and sells fresh Ontario produce that’s pretty affordable, but Rugg bought me these hanging planters for tomatoes to grow upside-down, you’ve probably seen them on TV, the spring I got sick so we never really got to use them. I planted them and everything, but then I got sick and no one looked after them so they shrivelled up and died. They’re pretty neat though and you don’t have to weed them, so we figure we might as well. Fresh tomatoes warm from the sun on a PLT is one of life’s greatest joys, so I figure we should probably give it another shot, if only for that possibility. Other than that, all I know for sure is that I’ll be planting the usual cosmos and bachelor’s buttons out front – wait, back up…

…this spring, when the daffodils and hyacinths come up, I’m relocating all of them to the garden that’s in front of our front porch (where only hyacinths grow now, I think) and if there are too many to do that, then I’m just going to plant them randomly throughout the front yard because that’s where all of my little spring flower bulbs are. The reason I’m relocating them is because I want the garden beneath my living room window to be cleared out for peonies because after the daffodils and hyacinths die down in like, the end of April/beginning of May, I can’t get anything other than dandelions to grow there because it’s too shady, it’s right under a big maple tree. I haven’t actually researched whether or not peonies would work there, I just think they will because I’ve seen peonies growing in shade before so some varieties must be able to. If not, suggestions for something LIKE peonies would be welcome if anyone knows anything about gardening! (Keep in mind where I live though…)

Another idea I’ve been thinking about is turning the former vegetable garden in the back into another wildflower garden with more of an emphasis on butterflies and the possibility of a bird feeder in the middle. I want to get one like this, on a pole, but I’d need my mom and John’s help with the pole because I don’t even know where you would get one of those or how you would put it in the ground. All winter I’ve been buying suet balls and we’ve been tying them to the branches of the tree out front. We’ve had little chickadee guys, a woodpecker-looking guy who may or may not be an actual woodpecker because we’ve never actually seen him peck wood and a bunch of different types of black birds. The kids, and even Blake, have all liked watching the birds and I like watching them too if I’m in the kitchen or sitting on the rocking chair in the living room while I talk to Blake at his desk. I’m not sure we’d feed the birds in the summer, they eat the wildflower seeds anyway, but we’d like to feed them in the fall/winter/spring and you can really only give them suet balls in the winter because suet is animal fat so when it’s too warm, they fall apart. Just another idea.

Something else I know as a definite because Rugg and I have already discussed it is sunflowers. Lots and lots of sunflowers. And of course morning glories and moonflowers to grow up the stalks, among other places! Yeah, I have plans and ideas…I just have to get them all in one place and organized because some things will need to be ordered immediately, like peonies, and planted early inside, like tomatoes. Sooooooooo I’m gonna stop babbling and go do that. I also have to make sketches for the polymer clay project. Things they are-a-happenin’.

PS. Madison dyed her hair red yesterday after school…at school in the girl’s bathroom because she’s banned from using hair dye in our house since she bleaches or dyes everything in the bathroom and we just had it redone and we’re in the process of painting the whole room white. So she bought hair dye at lunch and started dying it in the bathroom at school and when she got to the rinsing part, she had her head under the sink, which she said was barely dripping water on her because they’re all water-saving faucets (haha), when a lady janitor came in and said, “oh you’ll never get it done that way” and lead Madison to a janitor’s closet down the hall where she could use a hose and wash the dye down a drain hole where it matters not if she gets dye anywhere. She’s overjoyed that she can now dye her hair again and I’m happy for her, but I REALLY wish she’d use gloves when she does. Right now she looks like she murdered someone…maybe she has…hmmm….

December 3, 2013

Trying to make ends meet, trying to find some money then you die…

It’s 4:30am and I just woke up. It’s almost time to start work. (Realistically it’ll take me all morning to write this.)

Blake and I have been talking a lot about life and we’ve come to the decision that we’re NOT going to move and that this house, despite its faults, is going to be our forever home because Blake only has to commute twice a week now (which was the main reason we were going to move in the first place), Madison’s going to be out of the house in a couple of years and Wes is going to follow shortly after so once they’re gone, it’s not like we’re suddenly going to need more room. It’s just going to be me and Blake and the dogs (Madison’s taking her cat when she moves out and another one will not be gotten).

Yeah, this house is not even remotely close to my dream house, but it’s redeemable and now that I know we’re here to stay, I can do certain things I couldn’t do before, like potentially the “teacup wall” or bringing back the wildflower garden (or a version of it). Sometime soon Blake’s going to have a dishwasher put in. I asked him if it would be possible within the next 10 years to put a roof on our porch so it would actually get used and he said that was a definite possibility.

We’re eligible for a mortgage 3x the size of the one we have now and we looked at a lot of really pretty houses that I’d love to live in, but there’s no point in getting a mortgage bigger than the one we have now for a house that’ll be too big in a few years and honestly? I don’t really want to have to clean a big house.

Once the kids are out of the house and it’s just us, we really only need a “home base” rather than a fancy house that impresses people when they see it. We don’t know what the future holds, obviously, but I haven’t seen much of this world and I kinda thought traveling might be a possibility, once the kids reach independence, and traveling is expensive. I’d rather have a small, functional house with disposable income for things like travel, as opposed to a nice, big, fancy house where your only option is to sit in it because you can’t afford to do anything else.

I’ve been saying this whole time that I wished we didn’t have to move because I like being 10 minutes from the the world’s longest freshwater beach and my whole mental health support network is up here, so this decision is not unwelcome.

Do I wish we had a nicer house? Of course. But now that we don’t have to be “safe” because we’d planned to sell the house one day, we’re free to do all kinds of things to it to make it the one we want to live in. I don’t know what all of those things are yet, I haven’t thought about it (we only made this decision a few days ago) but now that my imagination is free to go there, it’s gonna go there.

The teacup wall, as some of you probably remember, is something I came up with a long time ago, pretty much when we first moved to this house in 2005 and it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to over the years. The original idea was to cut off the backs of teacups and teapots and stick them to the wall using something like maybe stucco or some other type of “outdoor wall cement” but now I’m thinking a better idea would be to leave the cups and pots intact so the morning glories and moonflowers have more room for their roots. Also cutting a teacup in half is probably a really difficult thing to do, especially when you don’t even have a saw. I’d still have to drill a hole in the bottom of each teacup for drainage but all I need for that is a masonry bit and I just watched some stoner kid make a bong out of a Patron bottle and a masonry bit, so if that kid could do it, I’m pretty sure I could too. Or Blake could. I think what I should do is put up sheets of that wood that has all the little holes in it, prime and paint it and then wire the cups and pots to that with stainless steel wire. Where I would get stainless steel wire or if that’s even a thing, I have no idea, but I would hate for the wire to rust and then 10 years from now my cups start popping off the wall.

Before I can do the teacup wall though, this whole room needs to be rebuilt. My office actually used to be a carport but they made 3/4 of it another  room because they put in a gas furnace and didn’t have anywhere else to put it (the house had electric baseboard heaters previously). The problem, though, is that we doubt this room is legal in any conceivable way. They used chipboard for the outer walls. CHIPBOARD. We’ve had nothing but problems with the roof in here leaking because since this room was never meant to be a room, let alone a heated room, they didn’t vent the roof/ceiling properly so the warmth from this room causes ice dams on the roof which fucks it up. That’s going to be the next big project: fixing the roof. Again. This time though, I think we’re going to see if a metal roof is possible.

Since this room used to be outside, the whole length of it to my right has vinyl siding on it which means that hanging anything on that wall is pretty much out of the question. And that sucks. So when we rebuild this room, that’s coming off and we’ll put up drywall.  Then we’re going to try and find something creative to do with the furnace. Obviously it can’t go anywhere else, but maybe we can build it in and make built in bookshelves around it or something.

Another thing on the list of things to do, since this is now our forever home, is improving the lighting in this house. You rarely see the inside of my house because the light, or lack thereof, in this house sucks, especially in the living room. We already plan on painting the living room, including the ceiling, so we’ve decided that when that project rolls around, we’re going to look into built-in ceiling lighting because as of right now, there isn’t any and it sucks relying on two yellowy lamps to light the whole room. I’d also like to put a ceiling light in the hallway because there isn’t one there either.

Something else I’ve been thinking about now that we’ve made this decision is the Springwater Guild of Artists and Artisans and next year’s studio tour. After the tour, the guy who keeps everything organized for the guild asked us to let him know if we’d be interested in doing the tour next year. I replied with a polite, “No thank you,” for a couple of reasons, the biggest being that we weren’t sure if we’d be here next year. But now we know we are.

The thing is though…it’s $50 for membership into the guild and for that you get to attend meetings to plan the studio tour, you get one picture on the main page of their site and one picture on your bio page on the site, that also has a link to your site or your shop or whatever you want (I link to Etsy directly from there). To be in the studio tour it’s $75 on top of that. I’m not getting any traffic whatsoever from the guild’s site to my Etsy shop. I sold 4 greeting cards at the studio tour, which I think totals $32 – minus the processing fees for two of the cards because the lady paid with Visa. I also volunteered a lot of my time and energy for the project with pretty much no return. Another “benefit” of being in the guild is that sometimes opportunities arise like when I had my work up at the township office for all of August, which are cool, but others aren’t so cool. (I have a really really hard time forking over cash for “exposure”…)

Financially, this is a no-brainer. This year I lost money on the whole guild thing. However, I am part of this community now for better or for worse (after 8 years of living here haha) and maybe this is really stupid, like throwing money down a hole, but I think paying $50 to be in the guild is sort of like…helping out your community? Or something? I like that the guild exists, even if it doesn’t really benefit me at this point…maybe it will one day? Does that make sense? And as far as the studio tour, I’m still thinking at this point it’s a tentative “no”, but we’ll see what I create between now and May-ish, when I have to decide. Who knows? It’s quite possible the studio tour isn’t even going to happen next year. Also, in the new year I plan on making smaller paintings (8 inches x 8 inches) with a lower price point, as well as a couple of batches of ACEOs, and I’m wondering if I had those at the studio tour this year, if I’d have sold any of them. I had two ACEOs on my table for sale, the only two I have left, but I don’t think people really knew what they were or what to do with them, especially since they’re the same size as my business cards, which resemble artist trading cards. I think if I were to do the tour next year and have ACEOs on my table, I’d have one or two in small frames as a suggestion as to what to do with them.

I just think, maybe, now that I know what to expect from the guild, from the people in the guild and the studio tour, that maybe I should do things differently in the new year. We’ll see.

And like I said to Blake a few weeks ago, maybe a better idea would be to take the $125 I’d be spending on the guild and studio tour and try running some Facebook ads. I don’t even have to do it to know that I’ll get a better ROI.

Like I said, we’ll see.

April 18, 2013

The Whacky Morning DJ Says Democracy’s a Joke

Since I’ve been up since about 2am and seem to be wired for sound with nothing better to do, I decided to get out the tripod I’ve never used, throw on some mascara and see if I could get the camera remote to work even though I’ve never used it before. I had to get out the manual because I couldn’t figure out how to turn on live view (it’s one button, duh) and since my camera has a swivel display, taking “selfies” (oh Blake’ll love that) was pretty easy. Then I went outside and took pictures of flowers since the rain had stopped. (We had quite the thunderstorm earlier.) So here are my pics. Be kind.

SRS SNNY IS SRS.

Lucky shot. ;o)

You can really see my trache scar in some of these. The middle pinky one was the actual hole, the four silvery “corner” type ones were from the actual trache mask.

The flowers Blake bought me.

Dunno what these are.

Dunno what these are either. They might be the same things as above, only not open yet.

Same things.

Soggy crocuses.

No idea.

Hyacinth.

So that is what I did this afternoon. Brian is going to be here in a minute because I am giving him comics and then I have my work meeting and then? Then I am probably going to have a nap because I’ve been up off & on since about 2am and I am going to crash & burn verrrrrrry soon. I think some of these pics I’m going to have printed out at Black’s. Some for Blake and some for my grama.

Also? Another reason I want to move is because there is NOWHERE in this house to take pictures. That is the ONLY place with decent light and there’s a goddamn air conditioner and a drill/saw set in the way. And that’s an ugly chair.

August 7, 2012

Nish Nish Nish

So my daughter’s a raging racist and I’m having a really hard time being her friend right now. (Yes I know you’re not supposed to be their friend, but I am both friend and parent to Madison and that’s just how it is.)

Here’s what happened:

On Sunday or Saturday, I was talking to my friend Kara on Twitter about the whole Gala Darling/xoJane controversy (long story short: Gala Darling is a really obnoxious popular blogger who was just hired on as xoJane.com’s beauty editor…a few years ago, she posted photos on her site of herself in a Native American/Canadian feathered headdress which, as most of you are aware, is cultural appropriation and a hugely massive mistake for a white person to make. When this was pointed out to her in comments, her response to the controversy was to turn comments on her site OFF and pretend it never happened). Kara is Cree so I was asking her questions about the headdress because I was wondering if you could wear one if you made one yourself and it was more “gay pride parade” than “traditional”. (The answer is still a big NO).

Anyway, I actually read a lot about First Nations issues and I spent most of Saturday (in between working) trying to keep up with all the comments on xoJane. All like, 900 of them. And then I’d start clicking links left in the comments and get deeper and deeper into it. SO, by Sunday morning, I was still talking to Kara about it and somehow we got on the topic of pow wow. I casually said, like, “hey I live half an hour from a huge reservation, we would totally go to pow wow if you wanted to,” to which Kara replied, “They’re having a pow wow this month!” and she sent me the link and now us, Kara, our friends Heatha and her boyfriend Tim are all going to pow wow on the 26th.

Madison woke up. I said “Hey Madison, guess what!” and she said “what?” and I said, “We’re going to pow wow!” and she started asking questions about where it was and how much it cost. I told her it was $10. She asked who was paying because she’s obsessed with both our finances and her own. I said we were. Then she said, “Why is it $10?” and I said, “Well it’s like any performance, you pay to watch and participate.”

And then she said, “Why do they want money anyway? Wouldn’t they rather have like, beaver skins or something?”

I lost my ever-loving shit right then and there and I haven’t really spoken to her since because I’m just so disappointed by her saying something like that. I sent her maybe 6 e-mails with links to sites about our First Nations peoples and cultural appropriation since I had them all open in tabs anyway and then, at Kara’s suggestion, I made her watch 8th Fire, which is a 4-part documentary series by the CBC about modern First Nations peoples and their issues and successes and it’s REALLY well done, I hope they expand the series, honestly.

Anyway, as of yesterday afternoon both Madison and Blake had watched the entire series but I have no idea if she actually learned anything or not because her tactic is, since I’m mad at her she’s going to be mad at me right back.  I’m going to have Blake talk to her today.

Initially, I was pretty upset by what she said because it was just such a vile thing to come out of MY kid’s mouth and it really just blew me away. How could this be her view of Natives? How is that even possible, especially when she went to Ottawa with her class in the spring and they saw a Native performance or something like that (I’m not totally sure what it was, to be honest). What are they teaching the kids in school about our Native population? Nothing, apparently. This doesn’t surprise me sadly, because their school is a total joke. The ONLY book Madison’s class read last year was the goddamned Hunger Games and IT WAS READ *TO* THEM BY THEIR TEACHER! They’re 14! And then, get this, they took a class trip to see the fucking movie because yeah, that’s way educational right? Also Blake asked Madison’s teacher mid-year to not let Madison use a calculator in math because she doesn’t know her times tables and her teacher was all, “yes, yes, I will” but that was a fucking lie because her teacher was lazy and didn’t seem to want to actually teach this year. I have so many more examples of the absolute fail of that school, but I won’t get into it now. It just really bothers me that they’re not learning about Natives in social studies or current events or whatever they have. The crisis in Attawapiskat should have been a topic of discussion, at LEAST. Or even a little history lesson or SOMETHING.

Anyway, she’s really pissing me off with this whole attitude she’s developed where “tee hee! Being ignorant is cute and funny! *wink*” Like, when she said what she said, I blasted her with like, 10 facts about Native people all at once and she was like, “oh okay cool, anyway…” and completely dismissed me and now she’s doing everything in her power to stay willfully ignorant. She doesn’t see why she has to “learn about this stuff” if “they’re going to teach us all this stuff at pow wow”. Um, that’s not what pow wow is and if you’d read my fucking links, you little shit, you’d know that and additionally, IT IS NOT A MARGINALIZED PERSON’S JOB TO TEACH YOU NOT TO BE IGNORANT. Kara, saddened by what Madison said, has volunteered to give her some Native 101 when we go to pow wow and I think that is incredibly gracious.

Yes, Madison is still a kid. Yes, she thought a reservation and a conservation area were the same thing. Yes, she thought Natives were naturalists and that they lived in the woods and built wig wams and shit and that’s what they’d need beaver pelts for. I get that she just has no clue and that it’s my job to teach her. That’s what I’m trying to do, but she is fighting Blake and I tooth and nail on this and I don’t understand why. Maybe she’s just embarrassed that she said something so stupid and wrong and her instinct is to lash out instead of educate herself? She’s SO defensive, saying “GOD, I KNOW now, can you please shut up about it?” after watching one episode of 8th Fire, like that was going to tell her the whole story.

Blake just informed me that Madison actually has one more episode of 8th Fire to watch, which makes me seethe because Madison got extra special fun time yesterday (Blake put up her badminton net and he and the kids and the neighbour kid played for hours) and then she followed it up by having pop (which we never have for the kids, it’s a treat) and reading a book all night instead of just watching the goddamned show. It’s only 45 minutes long!  Mark my words, she will watch it even if I have to keep her eyes open with toothpicks.

So that’s that.

In other news, I lost 15lbs last week. I Wii Fatted myself on Friday I think and it said I’d lost 15lbs and I’m now 122lbs total. On the day of my surgery they weighed me and I was 130lbs so hey, that’s an improvement! Most of the weight that came off was fluid from surgery but obviously there was more than that in there. I’m still full of fluid like in my abdominal area, it’s still really swollen and hard. When all is said and done, I’m not going to have a flat belly, they just couldn’t push all my guts back in where they were before, my guts had gotten used to being out and about, but that’s okay. It’s still a huge improvement. I wish my scar was a little more hardcore. I wish they just would have cut my bellybutton out because it looks fucking stupid and then there’s that whole third nipple thing that is NOT going away. I can’t really complain though, I guess, I mean, do I even have that right?

I do think it’s pretty cool that I now fit into my pink Camgirls documentary yoga pants which haven’t fit me since 2006.

Oh that’s the other thing: eating. I just don’t do it. EVERYTHING or even just the THOUGHT of everything, makes me feel really really sick. I’ve been living on roast beef sandwiches and egg and cheese sandwiches on everything bagels but even those have lost their appeal. I just have no idea what to eat that won’t make me feel sick because just thinking about food makes me nauseous, usually. Yesterday I ate half of a roast beef sandwich for lunch and then I had about 4 bites of Mr. Noodles (ramen) for dinner. The day before that I didn’t eat anything.

So that probably has something to do with the crazy weight loss too.

We’ve decided definitively not to make plans to buy the house next door to my mom for a bunch of reasons that are probably really obvious. For one, I don’t love the house and if I’m going to buy another house and live in it for the rest of my life, I want it to be something I love. Two, living next door to my mom would just have way too many challenges. For example, what do I do if my kids are over at her house and my grama shows up? I asked my mom this question in the hospital and she got shitty with me, saying she’ll have whoever she pleases in her house which had nothing to do with my question and she was obviously agitated by the conversation so I just dropped it. If we can’t even have that conversation without her getting hostile, this whole thing just isn’t going to work.

The other thing is that, my mom and I are getting along *now*, but what about in 5 years? 10? We have a long history of fights and it would suck to have to move again because of that. Blake suggested that we look for a house in the same town, but I’m not sure that’s a good idea either. What happens if we get in a fight and then we have to see them at the grocery store or the post office or wherever all the time?

The kids still want us to move there. Blake still does too. I just think it’s a bad idea. I will admit that Xmas morning with my mom and John and the kids could be pretty great though and would only be something we’d do if we did live next door to each other. :o/

But speaking of my mom, look at these little garden bugs John makes:

Cute, right?

He actually makes all kinds of garden creatures out of vintage and recycled parts. They’re pretty cool. I can’t remember the name of his business off the top of my head (something to do with a foundry or a forge or something?) or the URL to his website, but if I remember it, I’ll edit this post and add it because the creatures are pretty neat.

See all that milkweed in the picture? That’s all I grow now. The butterflies like it. *shrug* Our vegetable garden is an absolute write off. No one watered it so everything died in the heat we’ve been having. Same with my window boxes and hanging planters. Therefore I give up. I’m not gardening anymore. I just don’t care. Maybe by the time we have our forever home I’ll care again.

Sunday morning I had a terrible dream where Blake left me because I accidentally dropped his iPhone in the sink and I was so upset that I woke up crying. :o( I hate that, it just sets an awful tone for the day. Also Blake doesn’t even have (nor want) an iPhone.

I tried painting last night and it was pretty much a disaster that I’m going to have to fix today. *IF* it’s even fixable. Blake downloaded all of last season’s Gossip Girl for me so my plan is to watch that all day and paint. But first I’m going to have a nap because my morning meds are kicking in and right now I’m fighting to stay awake.

I hope you all have a wonderful, sunny day. :o)

PS! Everything in my Etsy shop is ridiculously reduced, so go take a look! There’s literally no room left in this house to hang any more paintings so I have to clear them out. Also the stuff I have in my head right now is a little different than paintings past so I kinda want an empty shop and a clean slate before I start adding new stuff.

Also, I’ve decided I’m not doing Touched By Fire this year. The submission deadline is September 2nd (I think) and I just can’t have anything ready and photographed by then. I mean, I could if I really wanted to, I suppose, but I don’t feel like working on the kind of stuff they’d want to see. I’ve said it before but that show is all about mental illness and they want the work to reflect the turmoil of that and man, I just don’t paint that. I got better. And they don’t want “better”, they want “tortured” and that’s just not me. I have an idea for a painting that would probably fit the show and be accepted but I don’t feel like working on it so I’m just not even going to try to make the deadline.

And that’s that.

Edit: This is from my mom, apparently I was wrong. (To be fair, these bugs just appeared at my house from my mom’s house so I assumed John made them): “um…John didn’t make those cute bugs…..fireflys actually….to give credit where it’s due and deserved….
http://www.blackcrowforge.com/fireflys.html

June 21, 2012

Polaroid 300 Camera With Holga Macro Lenses

This is my (poor) attempt at there being something mildly useful if you google “how do I use macro lens holga polaroid fuji” that ISN’T a link on where to buy the camera or the lenses because if you’re googling this, clearly you have the lenses already.

Since this is going to maybe be the first in a series of posts about the various Holga lenses for the Polaroid 300 camera (which has an identical Fuji counterpart and the lenses are actually made for that) I’m going to start off with my Polaroid setup.

Admittedly it’s pretty sweet and I am not worthy of it* seeing as I’m not a professional photographer and I have no idea what I’m doing, hence why I was googling how to use the lenses.

I have: the Polaroid 300 camera, wide lens, tele lens, fisheye lens, 6 lens macro/closeup lens set and a set of different filters I could add, which I haven’t even taken out of the box yet. I believe these are all the lenses you can get for it.

So to start, Polaroid pictures are low quality and instant and distinct and that’s what makes them fun. The lenses, to me, takes Polaroid photos to the next level by making the Polaroid camera do things it wasn’t exactly intended to do. Or at least I think that’s the theory. The downside to them is that Polaroid film is expensive, over $1 per photo, so experimentation isn’t always practical. And unfortunately, with this camera and these lenses, you’re probably not going to get the results you wanted the first time.

On with the show!

This is the first photo I took with the Polaroid camera and as I wrote, I didn’t use any of the lenses and I set it to shady since we were inside and that lets in more light than cloudy or sunny. This photo was taken in my office and in my office there are 2 lamps and a window, it was NOT this dark at all. This is the main thing I think you really need to know about Polaroid or at least this camera in particular: you need a LOT of light, as much light as possible. Your pictures are going to be dark otherwise. The other thing to know is that with this camera, you cannot turn off the flash. Also? When you look through the eyepiece and think you’re setting up your shot correctly, you’re not because what you see through the eyepiece and what the lens is seeing are two completely different things. You have to shoot with this thing blindly, by positioning the lens itself whatever distance away from the subject the lens says on the front.

The subjects for exploring the closeup and macro lenses were these flowers on my porch, which I call “fire things” and also yellow petunias, in case you’re ever unsure as to what you’re looking at.

I started off with the closeup lens which says on the front of it “subject distance 250mm” so I actually got a ruler and positioned the eye of the camera 250mm away (which is 25cm btw, almost a full ruler) and this is what I got. Obviously the first time I forgot to set the lighting but the next attempt turned out okay. My beef with this lens is that it made the image curve around the edges almost giving it a fisheye feel and I really don’t like that.

Next, I put on the 120mm lens and this is the result I got. The first photo, obviously I forgot to set the light again and it was when it was sunny out (the default setting is shady) so it washed everything out. Oops! WIth the second one I’m not really sure what happened. Obviously the quality of the image is better but the light isn’t. The day was sunny with a mix of clouds and I was in the shade half the time and half the time in the sun but I’m not sure if the 2nd pic was taken when the sun was behind a cloud or what. I just don’t remember.  I do know I was 120mm away from the fire things though.

Finally the macro lenses! First I decided to use the 60mm macro lens and as it turns out, this is my favourite lens of the bunch because it gave consistent results by placing the lens exactly 60mm (6cm and a cm is about the width of the tip of your little finger) from the subject. When I took the 1st set of pics I didn’t know it would become my favourite though.

I’ll just say it: the 30mm lens is a piece of garbage and a complete waste of film. I spent so much time trying to get it to work when I could have been testing other lenses or taking pics of interesting things, but no, I just had to try and figure out why it wasn’t working, which I never successfully did and wasted way too much film. I treated it the same as I did the other lenses and at first, I had it 30mm from the subject which is how I got the above pictures. The last one of course is almost successful, but it’s too dark and warped and not at all what was intended.

This is what happens when you get in the sunshine and get closer and closer to a petunia:

Blake’s attempt was 3cm away. Mine were kissing it right up close, literally touching the lens and 3cm away. I don’t know why the lens didn’t like the fire things but took to the petunias better. The light was better for the petunias in both mine and Blake’s case but that can’t be the only difference. If it is, someone will have to explain it to me.

And finally, at the suggestion of Jeck, I did what i’ll call “Jeck’s Dime Test” where I laid out a track of dimes 1cm between each other. There were 5 of them, even though I knew all 5 wouldn’t show up in 1 picture, I wanted to make extra sure this was going to work because it’s a good idea. Then I placed the Polaroid with both the 30mm lens and the 60mm lens using their respective distances away from the first dime, as indicated by the front of each lens, and this was the result:

The light was exactly the same, I literally took the pics each like, 10 seconds apart (long enough to switch lenses). So my conclusion is that the 30mm macro lens is just FUBAR and not even worth using, but the 60mm is actually pretty good if you have the right light. I didn’t really get the purpose of the closeup lenses but maybe their usefulness will become more apparent when I play with the wide and tele lenses in the (hopefully) near future.

I mean it’s a fact that the naked, base Polaroid 300 is a total piece of garbage but it can be improved with these lenses. I just have to figure out what each lens does and how that translates to an actual photo because I’m honestly not sure. Blake says he can tell the difference between a pic shot with a wide lens and one shot with a tele lens but I don’t think I can. I played around with each lens when I first got my camera and 5 packs of film and I don’t really see what they do. I need to experiment with them some more in better light because I didn’t intend to share the pics or do tutorials or whatever the hell this post is, but it was fun. I had a good time trying to figure out the steps you have to take to finally get a successful picture with 1 set of 4 and I’ve decided that there’s no point in me taking the Polaroid to the hospital because I’ll never have enough light to take very good pictures with it.

That said…

…I plan on making this camera and these lenses my bitches between now and I dunno, Squam? So mid-September? We’ll see how it goes, I’m not exactly crazy full of money and like I said in the beginning, Polaroid film is expensive. To literally buy me film so I can do more posts like these, click here! Because that would be awesome! If you’re reading this post like, I dunno, 5 years from now and there’s no Polaroid film on that list, I’m betting there’s a tip jar link on my site that would be equally as awesome if you found this post useful in any way! (Who knows? Maybe someone might!) Or you could purchase something from my Etsy shop!

THE END

(*Blake compared my Polaroid setup as Pizza Nova in the grand scheme of pizza because he’s totally offended I’d say I’m not worthy of Pizza Nova. I’m just saying I’m not necessarily qualified to write a real tutorial…)

Edited to add: On the lenses it says something like “subject distance 30mm” and this is NOT like focal length on your typical lens, it literally means have your subject 30mm (3cm, about an inch) away.

June 18, 2012

Googleplex

So many things on my mind these days. Surgery primarily. I am scared shitless.

Our garden is failing. The tomato plants that were doing so well on my window sill just shriveled up and died when we transplanted them to the garden. No idea why. The peas are doing good but Blake needs to stake them really soon or they’re going to grown into a tangled mess and the pea pods won’t form properly. Not sure what the carrots and onions are doing because I’m not sure why are carrots and onions and which ones are weeds. I guess we’ll see!

But yeah, veggie garden’s pretty much a bust this year, which is okay because I’ll be having surgery and can’t look after it anyway.

My hanging planter looks HORRIBLE and I dontt know why. I got Madison to deadhead it and we’ve been watering it pretty religiously so I dunno what its deal is. Maybe it’s just too windy where I have it or something, it’s definitely unhappy.

STILL haven’t planted my “fire things” and dealt with the front garden. What needs to happen is for the beds to be raked out, the irises in the front yard dug up and transplanted to the garden in the left of the front of the house, which is where I got them from (originally I was going to try and grow sunflowers in that bed, which is why I transplanted them to begin with), the “fire things” and petunias need to be planted in the front CAREFULLY as not to disturb the milkweed I’ve got growing in the front beds because the monarch caterpillars eat it. Madison’s going to be doing the planting and Blake is going to be doing the transplanting, it’s just a matter of when because we’ve been busy as hell lately and I don’t see things slowing down any time soon.

This Saturday was the Central Ontario Geocachers Spring Fling 8 and the theme was pirates. Because “pir 8”. Get it? Yeah. Arg.

So we did that and it damn near killed me but dammit WE DID IT and we got all 8 event caches and I’m still wearing my event bracelet because for some reason, I usually leave those on for a long time after the vent. I dunno why, I just do it. Like for weeks. I’m talking about those little papery-plastic bracelets they give you at events/concerts/shows. This one’s green and it has the COG logo all over it.

Spring Fling was…an experience. I don’t even know where to begin…I can’t really be truthful and nice at the same time when talking about this so it’s probably better that I gloss over a lot of what happened on Saturday. Let’s just say that these people are REALLY REALLY REALLY into geocaching and while I like geocaching and stuff, I will never be like these people. At something like Spring Fling, I can dress up and play the part and have all my trackables on me and stuff but when it’s over, I go back to my life and my other activities and whatnot, but most of these people DON’T. Geocaching IS their activity, their only one, and that’s definitely not me in any way, shape or form, so I kinda don’t get that. Like the whole “geocaching is my life” thing. I just don’t.

For example, one of the booths at the event was for a store that supplies ONLY things for night caching. You heard me. NIGHT caching. Traipsing through the woods AT NIGHT, looking for treasure using a GPS. That does not sound like a fun time to me! That sounds really really scary and not at all ideal for taking pictures of any kind! But there are enough people in the world who DO think that sounds like a good time to support an entire business dedicated to just that one thing. The people who are into night caching, generally speaking, ONLY do night caching. They’ll pick up caches during the day here and there, but they plan trips specifically to night cache the way we do to day cache.

I don’t get that. I mean, I get it, like the concept, but that being your hobby, sometimes going so far as to say that night caching could be the thing that sorta “defines” them, I don’t get that. Different strokes for different folks & all, I guess but what I specifically don’t understand is that you only have one hobby or activity that you’re into. And that it’s this super nerdy thing. Don’t get it.

That’s not to say that night cachers are BAD in any way or that I don’t like people who night cache, I’m just saying that I don’t understand only having one hobby, essentially. I try to have my fingers in as many pots as I can while still being able to give each thing enough attention to make it worthwhile.

We met a lot of interesting people at the Spring Fling though. We met Fababoo who is the person who made Wonderball, which is my favourite cache so far. He was really nice, he was dressed up as a pirate. He also gave me an orange screw on a tiny gold safety pin. Not really sure why he had that on him (he was trying to be dirty by asking me if I wanted a screw) but I pinned it to my bag. Speaking of my bag, not one single person noticed my trackable patch on my bag. :o( I pointed it out to one woman but she hasn’t logged it yet. I think maybe my bag’s pattern (damask) is too busy and people just don’t see it. I’m going to have to put it somewhere more noticeable.

Wes and Fababoo’s son got along really great all day so they invited us to sit with them for dinner. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

The actual geocaching was pretty hellacious. I didn’t see the piece of paper with all of them on it so I’m not sure what the terrain rating was on any of them but there was one where we were going up and down hills that almost did me in. It was near the end of the day so I was pretty tired to begin with but Jesus fucking christ was that ever awful. I had to keep stopping because my legs were just on fire, my head was throbbing from sunstroke and I was pretty much hyperventilating. Awful. The other caches were pretty easy though pretty far apart. I felt bad because there were some people on the COG forums asking for a ride to the event and some people offered them rides and yay everything’s happy, right? Well no, because if you didn’t have a car, there’s no way you could have done all 8 of the event caches because some were as far as 8km away in one direction and 6 km away in the other direction. You could not have done that on foot, so I felt bad for people who may have come by way of hitchhiking or whatnot and who wouldn’t have had access to a car. I don’t think that was fair. Or maybe that’s just how a Spring Fling works, I dunno, I’ve never been to one.

Blake talked to a lot of people because he’s on this Blackberry group so he knows all these people and talks to them pretty much every day etc. so he knew folks. I didn’t know anyone so I didn’t talk to anyone. Neither did the kids. Oh we talked to Paprika but that was the only person I really knew.

People camped out at the campgrounds (Paprika ran the camp) and some people stayed in hotels. In fact one of the caches was in the garden of the Comfort Inn. It was a wooden pirate ship where you lifted off the top and inside was the log and items to trade. Obviously that cache is probably not going to stay there, all exposed and out in the open like that. It would get muggled for one, but also the wood would warp and stuff. I’m not sure how they’re going to work that one.

The event seemed really disorganized to me, like I didn’t know what we were supposed to do at any given time and neither did Blake so that’s why we just did the event caches. They were all pretty cool. A few were ships, one was a cannon, one was just a big bucket with a lid in the woods full of toys and stuff. No micros that I can think of. One was glued to the bottom of a rock.

My favourite part of the day was sitting down and drinking water. Wes said it was “the best day ever!” and Blake had a good time (not sure about Madison) so that’s what matters. I have to work the next 3 Mondays to make up for taking the day off which sucks, but I’ll live. One down today so yay!

Yesterday I did absolutely nothing. It was a grey day and by the end of it we were having a thunderstorm, but Blake, the kids and Madison’s new boyfriend, Devon, went geocaching yesterday afternoon. They got first to find on both of the caches they went after, which is sort of a big deal in the caching community, especially since it was their first FTFs. They asked me if I wanted to come (I was napping when they left) but I wanted to keep sleeping so I said no. I think if I’d have known they were going after FTFs, I might have gone, but I didn’t know they were doing that so I just kept sleeping.

I didn’t do a single thing yesterday though and I hate that. For me to feel okay with the Universe, I have to do at least one  productive thing per day and on days where I don’t do anything productive, I just go to bed feeling wretched. :o( We watched 3 episodes of Doctor Who and Blake says that counts as being productive but that’s input, that’s downloading, that doesn’t count. He doesn’t even know.  Only output counts….usually. I do have “download days” where I just decide to be a sponge and follow link after link after link all day and just absorb every piece of new information that comes my way. That counts as being productive because it’ll translate to output eventually. But it has to be purposeful. You have to do it ON purpose. Just casually watching 3 episodes of Doctor Who doesn’t count. (This is Sunny Logic.)

I said this weekend that I didn’t like Amy Pond or Matt Smith’s Doctor. Both are now growing on me and I’ve decided not to give up on the show. Originally I was going to leave it be because they hurt me so badly (you know what happened…I’m trying to stay spoiler free here)  but now I think I’ll keep watching. The last episode we watched was something like “The Vampires of Venice” and it was pretty good, admittedly.

I’ve decided that I am going to TRY and do a series of posts about the Holga lenses for the Polaroid 300 camera. I am *not* a photographer. I do not understand how a photo is created or how a Polaroid camera works. All I know is that it’s basically the simplest camera you can buy and that the photo quality is only a little better than shit. I know this because I used it, I shot a few pictures of things without a lens and out of the 3 I shot, only 1 was any good and it was a total fluke. So okay, a Polaroid is like a webcam it needs a lot of light. Good to know! I would write that in my first post about the Polaroid 300 camera! Because that’s the first thing you need to know if you’re going to use these lenses. Using them indoors is pretty much the dumbest thing ever unless you’re going to only be shooting Lego men under a lamp (which could be interesting, do it!) or you have professional studio lights which…if you have those? Why are you even bothering with Polaroid? I’m sure you also have a super crazy expensive camera and lens and flash so…I dunno, I just don’t see professionally lit Polaroid shots very often. That could be pretty cool too, now that I think about it. But I would have to see a scanned in Polaroid shot with a black background. Meaning: place your Polaroid photo on your scanner, then place a large piece of black paper on top of it, kinda like a reverse-mat, a background; maybe sign the black part in white or silver or gold pen or marker(optional), scan, crop as you see fit and then…I dunno, start a blog with the best “fine art” Polaroid shots ever? As sent to you by readers? Or a Live Journal community? I bet that exists, actually. I should check that out. One with the best snapshots would be good too because I firmly believe you get at least one good shot no matter what in every pack of film and seeing those good, likely fluke, shots would be a pretty cool blog too. I’d look at that one when I was bored as well. I’d probably submit to it a lot haha I am FULL of ideas today! Take them, they’re free!

Anyway, I am going to undertake the task of there being SOMETHING useful that comes up if you google “how do I use macro lens holga polaroid fuji” that isn’t just an ad for somewhere you can buy the lenses because obviously if you’re googling that, you already have the lenses. Ideally the “something” that comes up is my present and future posts on the subject, the latter of which would be in more of a tutorial or informational format that will be boring to anyone  but me (because yay I get to *finally* play with a Polaroid camera!) or anyone who googles that. And I hope the posts will be helpful to anyone that comes across them because film is expensive and getting shots that aren’t so great really sucks, especially when you’ve invested in buying the Holga lenses.

Plus there’s also the fact that I’d be doing this with or without blogging about it, so I might as well blog about it haha and for that reason my plan is to use the 40 pictures I have here (veeeeeery frugally) for the tutorial post(s) and then buy the 9 packs of film for $99.99 deal on Amazon for the hospital (plus some left over obviously, for maybe more tutorials?) because I think that’s actually a fair price + we can’t find anywhere to buy it locally. Or I’ll just get the 4-pack for $56.40 if I don’t have very much money whenever I buy the rest of the film for the hospital. (I’d just rather pay $1.11/pic as opposed to $1.41/pic though, but what are ya gonna do?)

Unfortunately the weather for the next few days is gonna be kinda crappy so I probably won’t be able to start right away but I definitely want to start soonish. Maybe after dinner (which I’m eating right now, yay one-handed typing! woooo!) one of the children and I will take the Polaroid out and work on the macro filters because those are the ones I was trying to google originally so at least I can do the tutorial on that before I inevitably (according to Blake) get tired of the idea and go do something else.

So I suppose I should finally wrap up this post and finish my dinner! But before I do, I want to leave you with these words from Jax about Facebook and this video which is literally the most beautiful expression of joy I have ever seen in my entire life.

Peace oot!

PS! I totally forgot that everything in my Etsy shop is significantly reduced to help pay for the camera I’m taking to Squam! So check it out!

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