April 21, 2015

Creatively speaking…

Hi.

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

I have a bit of an internet presence…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 2, 2015

Splurge

I think after I get back from San Francisco I’m going to hire someone to fix up my site because right now things are buggy and it’s kinda driving me crazy. When WordPress updated, it stopped letting me be able to add borders to and play with the sizing of images by percentages. Now it’s click and drag resizing, which does me no good because I can’t eyeball 595 pixels, which is the maximum width a pic can be to fit on my site properly. The other thing is that the plugin I use to x-post to LiveJournal x-posts to LiveJournal, but the posts aren’t showing up on my LJ friends’ friends feeds so the people I actually care about reading my stuff miss most of it. This bugs me enough that today I considered just making a post on my site with links to LiveJournal and all my social media accounts and just using LiveJournal from now on but I decided to check my Google Analytics first and it doesn’t make any sense to do that because my LJ only gets about 600 sessions per month whereas my site gets about 3k on an average month and about 10-30k during Feb/March because of Sex and Blowjob Day and my blowjob guide being linked everywhere. The fact is though, that LiveJournal is just cooler than my site, that’s where discussions are going to be had, if there are discussions to be had because basically unless you have a LiveJournal – an account, a userpic, an identity – you are just some anonymous person on the internet to me. I don’t listen to or entertain cyberghosts. If I can’t connect with you as a human being behind a screen, there’s no point in talking to each other. If you’re not going to be accountable for your words, like I am, then why should I pay any attention to them? It goes for Twitter and Facebook and everything else on the internet too. There’s only one place on the internet where I speak to the anonymous and it’s not “here”, wherever you happen to be reading this. My world, my internet bubble that I created, is not the comments section of your favourite (or least favourite)  news/editorial site. Believe it or not, there’s a community here, you just don’t see it because the interactions take place on other forms of social media now, as opposed to the comments section of my site (which has never been very well-utilized and it’s buggy too) or LiveJournal, which most people have largely abandoned for fluffy Facebook thoughts.

Have you noticed? Even my own blog posts in the last little while are much more surface level than they used to be. I think a lot of that has to do with Facebook and what’s socially appropriate to share there because of who can see it or share it or comment on it. You do it so much and self edit so much that you just start to think on that surface level automatically, which is so not a good thing!

Anyway, the only solution I can come up with for the time being to my LiveJournal x-posting dilemma is that I’m going to post an LJ poll (another reason LiveJournal is cooler than my site, it has polls) every time I make a post on my site and in that post, I will link to whatever I just posted. Then on Facebook I guess I’ll link to the poll. I mean, how dumb is all that? But that’s what I’ll have to do. (Also why I stopped manually x-posting things to Camwhores.)

How much do you think I should budget for for someone to redo my site? I guess they need to make a new WordPress theme and install plugins. I have a few names kicking around of people I could ask to do it, but they may feel obligated to just do it for free or cheap because we’re friends and I don’t want that. I don’t want to accidentally lowball them either. I want to say, “Hey, can I hire you to X for $Y?” and not offend anyone.

Speaking of hiring people to do X for $Y, as I type this, there are 3 local girls in my house washing my walls and floors and bathroom and kitchen and blinds and vacuuming. We decided to splurge and pay for a thorough house-cleaning because originally, one of Blake’s coworkers was going to be flying in from Alberta and staying with us so we were like, “this house is a mess” and arranged for the girls to come (which we’ve never done before), but the thing the coworker was coming here for got cancelled and we figured since the cleaning was already booked, we might as well just do it. I’m not ashamed to admit that keeping a clean house is not my forte and I’ve never washed my walls. Never occurred to me to wash my walls. We vacuum regularly to try and stay on top of the dogs shedding, but we live with huskies, there’s dog hair on our floors and we keep the bathroom/kitchen maintained but the only reason our shower tiles aren’t completely disgusting is because we redid the bathroom this summer and got new ones, not gonna lie. There’s no specific shower cleaner chemical in this house. We have one bottle of lemon scented Mr. Clean and that gets used on everything in the kitchen and we have a bottle of Vim for everything in the bathroom because it says “bathroom” on it. I’m not trying to brag in some weird, gross way or anything and our house is clean enough most of the time, I would just never let a toddler crawl on my floor or a neat freak/germaphobe through my front door for their own good. The former would be a little hairy sasquatch in minutes and the germaphobe would end up with PTSD.

Despite the fact that we’re supporting a local, lady-run business and that’s super awesome and I love that, I still feel weird about paying people to come clean my house. Like, this is a privilege I shouldn’t be able to have. Like I should be able to clean my own house because other people seem to manage it just fine. I don’t really have a justification for it other than the fact that I’m cool with paying someone for their time and hard work so I can do something else with my time, especially if what I’m doing with my time is making more money so I can pay that person. My friend Kevin told me a long time ago that time is the most precious resource we personally have and when people want something from you, generally it boils down to time. So what is your time worth to you?  I really doubled down on this concept after almost dying and I realized that you only get X amount of time in one life and that’s not even guaranteed. Suzi Blu had a video a long time ago where she told her viewers to “live juicy”, which is something I’ve always loved and something I try to do on my good days. I try to fill every hour of my day that I’m not working with something juicy (to the point that if I don’t, I feel bad for wasting time, something I’m trying to get over), whether it be writing a blog post, making something, creating something or doing something. Even watching a good movie is living juicy, especially if it’s at a theatre and inspires more juice. Squeeze out every single drop of life there is in every single waking minute. Try. You’ll be happier and it’s just a theory of mine, but I’m pretty sure you’ll live longer too because – duh – the juicier you are, the lower your chances of just drying out and crumbling.

Annnnnnd in the time it took me to write that, the girls have finished, just in time for my work meeting. Worth every fucking penny.

November 24, 2014

I never went to your school, I learned in a monkey tree…

Everything has been super crazy lately and today is my only day “off” between now and next Sunday, with some of those days working multiple times per day to cover people for US Thanksgiving-related stuffs. I had yesterday off technically but I slept all day because my body just needed it, I woke up, ate dinner, watched a show and basically went back to bed for the night. This is partially a byproduct of depression and winter, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as the doctors/Health Canada say. I was supposed to see Shrinklet (the “almost-shrink” who works with my new shrink, who’s technically a doctor but not a full shrink) last Wednesday to get a lightbox to try to alleviate some of the aforementioned symptoms, but she cancelled on me, so I see her this Wednesday instead.

I’m training 2 new people at work now, my last 2 having graduated out of training with me with flying colours. Now we’ve hired 2 MORE and I’m trying to get them into my morning training sessions with the other 3 I train every morning. With all these new employees, I’m pretty excited about our work’s Secret Santa because some of it will be blind guessing and some of it will be pure stalkage. :o) I also signed up for Secret Satan with the Scratching Post kids this year, which I’ve never done before. We met up with them earlier this month for lunch/brunch, as we tend to do a couple of times a year in Toronto, and as always, it was good to hang out. I’d never signed up for Secret Satan before because I’d never had enough money to do it properly and I suck at making things on a deadline. Last year’s work Secret Santa cured me of this when I made the perfect thing for the person I got and they loved it. This year I know my work Secret Santa really well and my Scratching Post Secret Satan barely at all because the last time we spoke, she was probably 16 and now she’s an adult.

The whole near death experience thing taught me a lot of things, but most importantly who my friends are. That and getting older is teaching me that putting energy into friendships is a good use of one’s time on this earth. Further to that, I have a LOT of “stuff”, so if I have to spend my money on something, I’d rather it be on an experience than another “thing”.

Last Sunday we went to the Danforth Music Hall to see Mother Mother and they were fantastic as always, but we were in the balcony and they use a lot of light effects in their show and I was literally switching between my regular glasses and sunglasses for their whole set. Then on Tuesday we were supposed to go see Book of Mormon but there was a blizzard and it took us 2 hours just to get to the movie theatre in the city closest to us where we watched Interstellar and waited out the storm instead. Super bummed about that. Then tomorrow we’re going to see Amanda Palmer, which should be interesting. It’s a “book tour with music” so I’m not really sure what that means. Her book is called “The Gift of Asking” and it’s all about artists finding funding for their projects or something. I dunno, I still say it sounds a little pyramid-y/Tony Robbins-esque but we’ll see. We had a spare ticket so we’re going with a new friend, named Liz. She’s a writer and here site is here.

The week before last, our hot water heater died and getting a new one into our tiny, shitty house was an expensive 10 day ordeal. 10 days without HOT water, I can’t even imagine what it’s like to live in a place with NO water.

I got into Touched By Fire, the remedial art show for people with mood disorders. It’s December 3rd in Toronto if anyone wanted to go, and you can get tickets here. I guess all of the artwork is going to be up in the gallery for the full month of December though, so you don’t have to go to the show itself to see what I made. I honestly didn’t think I was going to get in. I submitted the maximum allowed size and honestly, my piece isn’t perfect. I submitted it anyway figuring, why the hell not? It’s a self portrait and I’m hardly perfect either. Touched By Fire takes 20% commission so I made the price $1250, figuring I need at least $1k to get my next project(s) off  the ground and the intention with those is Touched By Fire next year and maybe…other things? I dunno, it’s totally an “if you build it, they will come” situation.

The latest rage in chez Crittenden is Magic. Liiiiiike, the uber nerdy card game that I was told the other day was invented by a mathematician, which I fully believe. Madison started it, or rather, her friends have been playing for a long time and Madison got interested, particularly when she found out that the comic shop down the street from us has Magic Night on Fridays and they stay open until like, 3am, so people can hang out and play. And people do, I mean, it’s a small town/community and there isn’t a whole lot to do here ANY night of the week. So Madison learned how to play and I asked her if she’d mind if I played too, because this is something she does with her friends and I didn’t want to intrude on a “kid thing”. She said she’d think about it and then I sort of forgot I asked until she told me this week that she thought playing with me would be fun and good for me, if we/I started going to Magic Night.

On Wednesday Madison and I went to the comic shop so I could start building my deck. We discussed things ahead of time and decided I wanted to build a blue and white deck for a bunch of different reasons, so I bought the starter pack thingy (the $17 as opposed to the – I think – $35 one) in the appropriate colours and then a ton of booster packs. I don’t think I was super lucky with my booster packs. I got a red foil guy that Madison said she’d trade for me for something I can use (I did the same with the foil that came in the starter pack because it required 3 types of mana and that’s too complicated right now) and I got 2 or 3 cards that I couldn’t use, that the store bought back from me for store credit, which Madison used yesterday I think, to get me better creatures. I have a lot of spells, counterspells and enchantments but a distinct lack of guys who do actual damage. I know one is a Planeswalker of some sort and that that’s a good thing and that I should actually have 4 of them in my deck. The learning curve is steep and I’ve still only played twice with Madison who obviously beat me both times, and I still haven’t gone through and read every single card, which is my plan when I’m finished writing this.  I’m also shockingly bad at math and that played a factor in deciding to play. When I was like, 13 maybe, my step-dad decided he wanted to learn how to spell things better so he bought a Scrabble game and we played LOTS of it and he improved, so I figure I can only improve my math skills by playing this. And of course, it’s something I can do with Madison (and Wes when he gets his start from Madison for Xmas), whom I hardly see anymore, that potentially gets me out of the house and interacting with real, live people. It’d be super cool if I end up being any good at this game and we can play teams, which I’m told is a thing. It’s also entirely possible that I’ll get frustrated with it and give Madison and Wes all my cards. We’ll see.

And finally, last Monday, Hoover Dog had a lump removed from his neck and THANKFULLY it turned out to just be a benign cyst. He’s recovering from surgery just fine, but he does ask for more ear scritch scratches because they gave him a haircut to do the surgery and I think it feels extra good without all that fur.

Okay time to make a “white sandwich” (turkey, mayo, havarti cheese and lettuce on toasted grainy bread) and read these Magic cards. Wish me luck and if you have any online Magic resources you actually use/trust, lay ’em on me! (If my site allows comments this time…which it may not, I think, because Blake keeps forgetting to upgrade WordPress.)

Peace oot!

PS. This song is so stupid but is so totally my current favourite stupid song.

May 28, 2014

Life Ain’t a Track Meet, It’s a Marathon

Holy fuck, where do I even begin? I guess I’ll begin by saying that if you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you’re probably missing a lot and will continue to miss a lot because honestly I’m too busy doing stuff right now to e-mail myself the pics from my phone that I’ve posted on Instagram just to upload and repost them on my blog to tell a story. I may post like, highlights, but I’m not going to cross-post that stuff here unless Instagram gives me a button that allows me to do so, like it does for Facebook (but not my fan page and no offence, I don’t want randoms on my personal Facebook), Twitter and tumblr, to which I cross-post lots of stuff, but still not everything. Life is 3-dimensional and social media is a reflection of that I think. Anyway, I’m using it to document life as it happens and since I’m doing that in real time, I often don’t feel the need to have to write about it in order to process the experience, which is why I started blogging in the first place. I’m not saying I’m not going to blog anymore…I’m just saying if you want a more complete picture or you’re wondering what I’m doing in between blog posts, those are the places to check. No pressure, I’m just sayin’. Because a lot of you aren’t reading this on my site where those links are like, *right there —>*

That said, there are going to be some pics in this post.

My shrink doubled my cipralex (anti-depressant), which had me taking a whole pill and then I wasn’t feeling better so she had me up it by half a pill and I was supposed to call her on Monday but I’m having serious phone phobia and honestly I don’t even know how I feel so I don’t know what to tell her. I think I’m mostly good?

 I mean, I’m not suicidal anymore so obviously the meds are working but I still kinda feel flat when I think I’m supposed to feel happy or excited or proud of achievements or whatnot so I think I’m going to ask her to up it by another half pill so I’m taking 2 pills and leave me there for a while, maybe over the summer, to see how things shake out. She’s retiring in August so I kinda wanna get this shit worked out before then.

I’m over the new car. I kinda like air conditioning. The moon roof is handy for when you’re smoking a joint in the car. The stereo is better than in the old car, which I guess I’ll start referring to as either “my car” or the “Sunnymobile”, and it came with a subscription to XM radio which I actually really like and wish I had that in my car. And his stereo is super smart and if I plug my iPod into it, you can control the iPod on the car’s nerdscreen. So that’s sorta cool. And when I call him while he’s driving I can actually hear him so that’s a bonus. What else? I dunno, whatever, it’s a stereo you (well, he) can drive.

Madison turned 16 on the 16th and she had a party with some of her friends where lots of sushi and ice cream cake was consumed. In a rare act of bravery on the 15th, I called my favourite flower shop – on the phone- which is in Barrie, and asked them if it would be possible to have 16 roses sent to Madison’s school on her birthday the next day for under $60. The lady on the phone was super nice and worked it out so that she could do a mixture of short-stemmed roses for about $50 and delivering to a school was no problem. So she asked what school and when I told her she said, “oh dear, that’s out of our delivery area” and I felt SO defeated because it took so much courage to even make this call and they really are my favourite flower shop and I told her so and I asked her if she could refer me to a shop that could deliver to Madison’s school. So she starts google-fuing within her flower system and she’s like, “geez, you don’t really have a lot of options…” and she gave me the name of a shop in Wasaga Beach that MIGHT deliver to our town but she said she couldn’t speak to their quality etc. Then she said, “what if we did it today instead?” and I was like, “wha’?” and she said, “my driver just got back and my boss isn’t in today, let me ask him if he’ll do it”, so she put me on hold and when she came back, she was excited and said he’d do it and I got excited and damn near cried and when she told me the total, I asked her if she could please add an extra $5 for the driver because that was super nice of him/them and after 20 minutes on the phone, Madison was getting roses at school that afternoon. I was pretty proud of myself for doing that when literally I don’t think I’d used the phone to call anyone outside of my immediate family in a good year or more. I just don’t use the phone, it freaks me out. Anyway, Madison liked her flowers. Her ex sent her crappier flowers the next day at school from an inferior flower shop and Madison handed them out to people.

So Madison turned 16, then the Sunday and Monday after that Blake and I got to know the new car. Then on the Tuesday, the first day I was left alone with the keys to my own car, the craziest damn thing happened: Madison and I went to the mall. In Barrie. I have never driven to Barrie, half an hour-40 mins away before and have purposely avoided it because there is lots of traffic and you have to go over 80 km/h, which to everyone else means 90 or 100 and then the road splits into 2 lanes in a couple of places and it’s just generally a more difficult drive than say, the beach, which is two turns and 10 minutes away. The mission was pretty simple: get to the mall, smoke a joint, have mall teriyaki because it’s the best teriyaki, go to Spencer’s Gifts to find accessories for our (Madison & mine’s) new car, drive home before dark.

This is my pretty perfect mall joint.
(I cheat and use a rolling machine. :oP)

For the record, I don’t drive while medicated and I don’t think anyone else should either.

I know some people say they’re better drivers while stoned and I’ve witnessed this phenomenon myself, but everyone’s different and I would never in a million years get behind the wheel if I didn’t feel it was safe to do so.

Keep in mind that I am a terrified, by the book, go the speed limit kinda driver who does everything in her power to avoid any and all conflict so it’s just not in my nature to fuck around.
I have literally never even had a single drink and driven. Like…it’s just, no.

Anyway…

That is me, in the driver’s seat, parked perfectly between two yellow lines, in the parking lot of the Georgian Mall in Barrie (that tall sign is the mall sign).

We got there and I smoked my joint and we went in.
Oh yeah, I didn’t take ANY anxiety meds during this trip.

Mall teriyaki was gotten.
I ordered and paid all by myself.
Mine was beef, Madison got tofu.

After we ate, I did take 2 Ativan because the mall apparently freaks me out more than actually driving there, and then we went to look for Spencer’s Gifts. We found it and it was sadly devoid of anything I’d ever put on my vehicle. Madison pointed out a couple of weed-related car things but that’s just asking to get pulled over and harassed and Madison and I would rather avoid the hassle. I did put a Liquid Chrome sticker on the back window though, which is the smoke shop in Barrie. That’s a little more subtle than a giant rasta-coloured weed leaf or something. And we have the Flying Spaghetti Monster “Jesus fish” on the back of the car with Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls hanging with one of John’s suncatchers from the rearview. Those are our car decorations so far. Madison has been told to keep an eye out for others. I don’t even know where you would buy a plastic/vinyl bumper sticker as opposed to a  regular sticker that’s just glossy and bumper sticker-shaped. Those are no good. I’m thinking the dollar store but I don’t think the dollar store is gonna have the kinda stuff I want to put on my car. I don’t even KNOW what kinda stuff I wanna put on my car! All I know, is that it’s really really boring, and it’s too new/I’m too poor/uninspired to sand it down and paint like my mom did with her old van. The thought had definitely crossed my mind but I just don’t have that kind of dedication and even she would probably agree it would be ill-advised. Although the idea of this car eventually being a derby car sorta made my heart skip a beat, but that would be a looooong ways off. Did buy $10 worth of crap NO ONE needs and figured I’d spent about $2.50 in gas which made me sort of freak out once I got home because with that and food that was an expensive experiment and it just completely overshadowed any “good” that would have come from it. (My mom didn’t want me to worry about it so she paid for the outing though. <3)

The next day, I decided to google a decent-looking recipe for Steak and Guinness Stew because I really like the kind at the pub but it’s like, $11 all told and you don’t really get very much. I figured it can’t be very expensive to make, so I got a recipe, made a list and went to go to the grocery store because it’s in town, so it only takes gas fumes to get there and I can park in the parking lot away from everyone else and spend Blake’s money instead of mine. He said  if I made it there, like when we were driving around in the new car breaking it in over the weekend, I told him I was scared of buying like, $300 worth of groceries if left to my own devices because I’m bad at math and I do a lot of “just in case” purchasing. So he made it pretty simple: if we needed it because it’s something we’re out of, get it and as for anything else, only get it if I think we’re going to use it in the next 24 hours. This is why I went in with the ingredients for a recipe I intended to make once I got home. And because driving alone and navigating the grocery store and paying alone weren’t difficult enough, I decided to raise the difficulty level by adding BEER. I have been in The Beer Store only once, with Madison, that one time she and I decided Blake needed beer when he got home and we carried it home as a surprise. It was 11am, I knew it wouldn’t be busy, but it is Elmvale, so that was really just a theory. Who knows what time farmers start drinking? Really though, the challenge with getting beer at The Beer Store here is that potentially the only way to obtain it is if I parallel parked, which I will flat out tell you, I do not know how to do. And I do not care that I do not know how to do it. BUT! Like I said, I’d be getting there shortly after they open on a Wednesday, chances are no one will be parked out front.

Got to the grocery store and parked a million miles away from all other cars because the less shit around me that I could potentially hit or back into, the better. Here are some pics from my trip:

I bought like, 30 cents worth of these with the intention of Madison making them for the kids to try (she’s vegetarian and likes t o try new things) but I threw them out today because forest food is super perishable and I just completely forgot to tell Madison they were there or what to do with them. Oops.

This is a shaker of pure MSG.

Blake says some of the guys at work  have this stuff at their desk to put on takeout food and I’d never seen it before in the wild AND my friend Paul had just linked to an article about this stuff and a guy who spent 30 days putting it on everything he ate and it didn’t seem to really affect him in any way, if I recall, so I threw this in the cart. More because Blake would find it funny than to actually consume because I grew up that MSG was what caused migraines and that it was super bad for you so I can’t bring myself to actually put it on anything but Blake’s been using it.

I also got these awesome corn trays for our family because Blake wasn’t there to tell me they’re dumb.
I, for one, will greatly enjoy using these because plates are for the birds when it comes to even butter distribution, which is essential.

Checking out went pretty smoothly except that I forgot to bring bags (though truthfully I bet they were in my  trunk) so I had to buy some, but other than the fact that I took 10 times longer in the grocery store to get 10 times less stuff than if I were with Blake because I kept taking pictures of things and uploading them to Instagram…

Next up was the Elmvale Beer Challenge.

I took the back street home and turned right at the library where I had to wait and could scope out the front of the beer store pretty well. Much to the delight of my lucky ass, NO ONE was in front so I just parked on the street and went in. The Beer Store is extra challenging also in that you have to ask for what you want. I thought ahead though and printed out my recipe with a picture of the exact kind of Guinness it called for, so all I did was show the guy the picture and tell him “I want as little of this as possible”. Turns out it came in 4-packs so I got that and came home, TRIUMPHANT!

The stew turned out pretty well, I thought, but Blake wasn’t a huge fan and it didn’t taste as good as the pub’s so the quest for the ultimate Steak and Guinness Stew recipe is still on.

Another day, Madison and I went to get Chinese food. This was my fortune cookie:

Twice now, Blake has shown me how to get to Penetanguishene and Balm Beach and Midland and even though I can pretty much recite the directions, I don’t feel confident enough on those windy backroads where people go way too fast. I’m working on it though. I’d really like to be able to go to Froth by myself eventually. I ordered a windshield mount for my phone and I’ve signed up for Waze and as of tomorrow or sometime very soon, I’ll have the equivalent of AAA and once all that is in place, I think I’ll be more prone to venture farther away from home because with Waze I pretty much can’t get lost. Anyway, there’s a church on the way to and from Penetang that I like sometimes so I took a picture of it last week:

Anyway, it’s taken me all damn day to get this written up between doing other things (like driving to Wasaga Beach by myself for the first time to get myself lunch which I ordered over the phone and paid for by myself), I’ve gotta take my meds, figure out what everyone’s doing for dinner and watch Bates Motel. Peace oot.

PS. If anyone knows anything about seatbelts for dogs, lay it on me.

April 22, 2014

Forsythia

I’m having a really hard time with this whole poetry deal. I find it incredibly frustrating. Right now I’m reading Collected Poems 1947-1997 by Allen Ginsberg more or less one poem every time I go to the bathroom (I’m not JUST reading it on the can) and I’m frustrated because I don’t understand why it isn’t more literal and why lines are broken up the way they are. It makes no sense. No one talks like that.  And even Allen has some pretty foofy rhymey crap, but I’m forcing myself to even read those ones because I think the only way I’ll understand why people write poems instead of prose (just say what you mean! fuck! dammit! Jesus!) is if I read it and if I don’t read it, I won’t be able to do it.

I figure it’s like comic books. I never used to understand comic books. They just didn’t make sense to me because the pacing of them pissed me off. The only comics I read as a kid were some of the comic strips in the Saturday paper, my mom’s For Better or For Worse books, which I now know are trades, and Archie Double Digests. I bought some comics when I was a kid because I thought they’d be collector’s items, and as such, I never read them (and they ultimately ended up being thrown out), but as you can see, when it came to comics I was used to reading a lot more in one sitting than your standard little flimsy paper comic. Plus all the comics I ever saw were superheroes and I have zero interest in superheroes then or now, so I just wrote comics off completely until I met Blake. (With the exception of Princess Ai but that’s Courtney Love and I didn’t like it.)

It started with the tv show LOST. Blake said, “hey, since you like LOST, maybe you’ll like this Brian K. Vaughn comic about all the men on Earth dying but one and his pet monkey”. Next thing I knew, I was nose deep in Y: The Last Man and I ended up getting all the trades of that between Xmas/birthday/Mother’s Day and I loved it. It wasn’t about a goddamn superhero, there were obviously a lot of female characters, it was an interesting story and the art was decent. I didn’t know comics could be like that. I didn’t realize that after a while some comics become trades*. I forget the order of things after that but I read the Scott Pilgrim comics because they’re Canadian and so was the movie and I started reading the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics but didn’t really like Scott Pilgrim even though they’re thick like trades (I don’t think they were ever flimsy paper comics) and couldn’t get into the Buffy ones. I still plan to revisit the Buffy ones because I didn’t read all of the ones I have, but it’s one of those “when I get around to it” kinda things. Disappointed in Buffy and Scott Pilgrim, I gave up on comics for a few years.

Then The Walking Dead TV show happened. I knew it was a comic because Blake had been reading it when it first came out, but it wasn’t until I found out that there were fucking COMPENDIUMS, (PLURAL!), I obtained those and devoured them. And it was good timing because the second compendium came out at a time where you could pick up with flimsy comics where the compendium left off, so that’s what we did. Except again, the timing of issues and the fact that each one only tells one snippet of story, it just pissed me off so we buy them and Blake reads them and they pile up on my shelf and what ended up happening was we downloaded all of them onto the iPad and I read a year’s worth of Walking Dead comics in like, 45 minutes or less, in the car, in the dark, on the way to Florida. And I think that’s how comics should be read. This one issue thing is bullshit.

After Walking Dead I tried out Pretty Deadly, at my friend Diego’s suggestion and it was just beautiful. I didn’t know comics could be like THAT! Again, I hated the pacing and since it was only 5 issues, I ended up reading them all again in one sitting after the last one came out so I could read the story as a complete thing. Because I liked that so much, I gave Itty Bitty Hellboy a try because I like the Hellboy movies and it was cute. I still have not read them, however because every time I think about reading them, I think “comics blah” because while I’m learning, due to being exposed to different things, that comics can be good and not annoying, I’m still biased against them for some reason.  Having said that, now that I understand how they work a little better, they just make more sense and my brain can comprehend them. I’m not there with poetry yet. All I’ve read so far is Allen Ginsberg, a TEENY bit of Sylvia Plath (just peeked inside the book, said, “oh dear” and closed it), I gave Walt Whitman a shot (just no), Percy Shelley (Blake’s favourite, I don’t get it) and I’ve just been paying attention to the poetry all around me, which there is actually a surprising amount.

I have a lot of doubt as to whether I’m capable of writing a poem at all, let alone one that isn’t complete garbage. I’m so petrified of not being able to do it that I haven’t actually tried. I have pages and pages of poetic snippets of things from my days but I have no idea what to do with them or how to assemble any of them into a poem. I’ve started a running list of things I could write poems about and the list is sitting at 42 items right now. All I fucking have to do is pick one and try but I stare at the cursor blinking in Word and my mind goes as blank as the page. I told Blake that I wasn’t sure, at this point, if A) I were capable of writing anything other than worthless blog posts or if B) I was capable of writing outside of WordPress, like maybe I need the clutter of WordPress to not be intimidated by the page. For the longest time I wasn’t capable of writing anything outside of the Live Journal client Semagic. I would write blog posts in Semagic and paste them into WordPress. So dumb.

In case it’s never been completely fucking evident: change freaks me out. I’m (almost) always the last person in the pool. I still use SquirrelMail because I have e-mails saved in there from like, 2003 and I’m not sure how to preserve them if I switched to gmail. I also don’t know how to make all my domain e-mails work with gmail AND SquirrelMail colour-codes all of my e-mail by e-mail address (different domains) and I don’t think gmail can do that. Eventually I’m going to have to switch to something because SquirrelMail isn’t even really supported anymore but I will go clawing and scratching.

I have one REALLY simple idea for a “poem” but it’s very difficult to execute and I’m not sure if I’m up to the task since it’s something, as far as my googlings tell me, has not yet been done.  If it were easy, it would have been done by now, I figure. I also figure I have my whole life or until someone else thinks of it for that one though. I spent most of yesterday thinking about it as hard as I could and now it’s time to forget about it and think about other things because usually that’s how the ideas come. So I guess technically I did try a “poem” but if you knew what it was so far you’d think “not really” too because it’s not yet…

Soooo begrudgingly I have Instagram. I know I ranted and raved about Instagram “photographers” being annoying with filters a while back (and I still pretty much think that) but a couple of weeks ago maybe, my friend Leora, who lives in Vienna, asked on Facebook who all had Instagram because she just made an account to document her time there. And then I watched as so many of my friends one by one said “I do!” so I decided to follow my friends and give Instagram another chance, this time looking at it more as a social networking site than just a site to share photos with shitty filters. So far it’s been okay. I like that I can post to multiple places all in one shot (if it would do Live Journal, that would be great but I don’t foresee that ever happening), the editing tools are simple and easy to use and I think square photos look nicer than the rectangular ones my phone automatically takes.

Tomorrow I see Stephanie the dietitian. According to Wii Fit I’ve lost another 5 lbs since I saw her last, which isn’t great, but right now I’m eating okay because of this cannabis strain I have, as I’ve posted about before. I’m not eating a lot but what I eat I try to make “count”. Last night I actually ate an entire hamburger with ketchup, mustard, relish and onions. Normally I would eat 1/3 of that same burger with just ketchup. Furthermore, my comment after it was gone was that it would have been better with cheese, which is what I asked Blake for originally but he didn’t see cheese in the list of toppings (I wrote “I want a cheeseburger from South St…” and since I would never ordinarily order that, he saw “hamburger”) so there was no cheese to be had. But still, I ate it and I normally would not have. So that’s good. I can’t remember if I posted this at the time, but when I saw my shrink a little over a week ago, she went over my bloodwork and my anaemia is out of control which could be contributing to my depression and the fact that I’m tired all the time. She also wants me to have them draw blood again to check my B12 levels because apparently that can have an effect too. I told her if my B12 was too low then that was too damn bad because the treatment for it is never ever going to happen in this lifetime or the next, which I told her in those exact terms. She wants the bloodwork done anyway.  Godammit.

And that’s all I can think of posting at this very moment and I think I need macaroni and cheese, so I’m gonna go get started on that. Blake’s not going to be home until like, 8pm tonight so this will be lunch and I think for dinner I’m going to either have a hot dog or a P.L.T. because I need meat and those are my options. (Newly formed food rule because the idea makes me feel like barfing: I don’t think I can eat eggs and macaroni and cheese on the same day.) Peace oot.

(*My friend Diego says ALL comics become trades. Is that true?)

October 30, 2013

Les choses que nous apprenons…

yo yo, quoi de neuf?

Blake, as a new Canadian (did I mention he took his citizenship test and he passed and he was sworn in and can vote and everything now? well, that happened), has decided to take a French class. It started in September and goes until December so it seems like they’re going to cover a lot. He has flash cards and has to do tests and shit. Honestly he’s doing really well. I haven’t heard him speak much of it, I think he’s still unsure of his accent, but he’s showed me his tests and how they do it – I think – is that the teacher gives them a piece of paper with maybe 12 English phrases on it and they’re all numbered. Then the teacher says the first phrase en francais and the students are supposed to write down what they hear. I have no idea how they’re learning things like “est-ce que” (“is that”), which sounds like “eska” (more or less). I would never hear those two syllables and think “oh, that must be three words”. It was on Blake’s test a few times so they must be learning spelling and grammar as well, I just thought Blake told me the whole class is oral/aural. Maybe there’s more to it than that. I know there’s homework involved.

As a Canadian native, I started taking French in school in kindergarten and took it up until grade 9. French is written on everything here, so I know the words for a lot of things but it’s been so long since I used or heard it that I would probably be useless in Quebec and I know I can’t watch TV in French…I’m pretty sure by December, after one class, Blake will be more fluent than I am. C’est la vie!

So this means that on Wednesdays, the kids and I are on our own for dinner and I only see Blake in the morning while I’m working because he doesn’t get home until after I go to bed.

Oh look. Here comes Madison, bugging me for Halloween costume ideas at the last minute…as long as she doesn’t go as a scumbag teenager in normal clothes begging for candy, I *don’t care what she goes as. Also she’s had months to figure this out and it’s the night before, I’m scanning my brain for fucks to give…scanning….scanning…none found!

Awww she suckered me into helping her be Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony. Damn me for having a ridiculous amount of pink clothing and a hoodie with ears that also happens to be pink! Wes, in case you were wondering, is being a werewolf. We went straight off the rack for his costume and he’s wearing a mask so unless he really wants me to I’m not going to take pics. I may have better luck with Madison.

This last week has been the pits, as far as first world problems, because we’re using shoddy wireless internet using the router built into the modem, so that’s issue #1. Issue #2 is that our ISP something something is having problems something something resolving DNS something something, which in layman’s terms means it takes me approximately 20 tries to load a webpage or upload anything because the internet won’t connect to the host. It’s like, “Connecting….” and then it says, “resolving host…” and then Chrome or whatever browser takes a shit and asks if I want to reload. Repeat literally 20 times or until you give up and try looking at it on your phone.

This DNS issue or whatever it is (Blake’s been on the phone with tech support a million times and they told us a couple of days ago to wait 72 hours to see if it got any better) really fucking sucks because I effectively can’t do part of my job because it involves a form to send e-mails to people and there’s an iFrame or something that tells me when the e-mail’s gone through. With this issue, that iFrame won’t load and tell me either way if the e-mail went through so if I click to send the e-mail again, did I really just send it again or did I now just send two? Oh. iFrame didn’t load again. What now? Possibly send three? There is a work-around I’ve found, but it takes something that already took a long time take ten times longer. What also sucks is that the site I do support for is super bandwidth intensive and I have to run it while I’m working. That’s my job. I can run it mostly okay during my early mornings when no one else is online but when we tried using the internet normally during my shift on Saturday, doing my job was just impossible so everyone was pretty much device-bound while I was the only one using the internet at all. And I was *still* having trouble. It sucked. It does suck.

 There’s also an itty bitty conspiracy theorist in me that thinks our cable company is messing with us because we have unlimited bandwidth now, just this month, and have been pretty liberal with it. But that’s probably crazy…right?

Blake and my brother just taught me how to use the bit torrents to download media and I barely even had a chance to try it out before the internet went down and then we were rendered mostly impotent. I was cut down in my youth. What kind of animals would do this to me?

Anyway, since Blake had French class today after work and didn’t come home in between and he works in the city tomorrow, the earliest he can try the troubleshooting process with tech support again is tomorrow night after taking Wes out to get candy. Like I said, my mornings are okay except for that one thing I can’t/is difficult to do, but on my Saturdays, that part of the job is pretty unavoidable so hopefully they fix our internet before then. I also have my work meeting on Friday which is through Skype so hopefully that’s not a nightmare.

So yeah, tonight we’re on our own. Madison and I each have a frozen pizza that we could eat, but Wes ate his last week so his options are grilled cheese with either Kraft Dinner or soup or neither or any one of those things alone or in conjunction with each other. Honestly, I’ve felt so barftastic today that I’m not sure I’ll eat at all, especially pizza. So we’ll see. I do have like, $50 worth of pharmaceuticals to take right now though and they should be taken with food so…yeah. We’ll see.

And with that, I think I’m off to take my pills, watch Weeds and go to bed.

PS. I mostly liked the new Carrie movie. Finally, some justice for Tommy Ross! Madison HATED the movie and says the original is her favourite movie right now. I expected to have the same reaction because Carrie (1976) is in my top 5 favourite movies and I hate two things: remakes and sequels. But nope, I thought it was actually pretty good. Nothing could ever live up to the piece of art that is the Brian De Palma film, but this new one is way better than any of the other Carrie-related efforts I’ve seen over the years. By miles.

And NOW I’m off to do that shit I said I was going to do 10 minutes ago…

(*mostly.)

October 1, 2012

If You Don’t Slow Down You’re Gonna Craaash…

So if you’re looking at my site right now, you’ll notice that all the posts from the weekend about Bare Oaks are now gone. Despite the horrible things you’re probably thinking about me due to the nature of this weekend’s posts, this wasn’t intentional and the posts are still archived on Live Journal here, here, here and here. Plus if you read them there, you get to see all the comments saying that Blake’s this huge saint for putting up with me and that I’m a horrible person because I never let him do anything. By our friends.

There was a problem updating WordPress and we had to do something with a backup that I don’t understand but the newest backup was from Friday so we had to use that. There is no conspiracy to erase anything that was posted.

Anyway…

Just so EVERYONE FUCKING KNOWS, I have no problem with Blake doing things without me. I had a problem with this specific thing. I have a problem with my spouse joining a community, a culture, possibly a cult, where I’m prohibited from participating. Especially a culture that’s supposed to be “all about family” but half our family is prohibited from being part of it unless they compromise their bodies.

And you guys say “oh but it’s only once or twice a year, what’s the harm?” but that’s how it starts. And it’s a slippery slope. He goes once and likes it so it turns into twice, but then there’s a volleyball tournament so that makes it three times, then there’s euchre night so that’s four times and then he makes friends and wants to go camping for a whole weekend – all without Wes and I. I don’t think that scenario is unrealistic. In an environment like that, you’re SUPPOSED to join the community. And then say he does, despite the fact that it would make me really unhappy, then all of his new friends are judging me and saying “poor Blake” because his family won’t share this experience with him, like there’s something wrong with us (Wes too) or “oh well, we’ll just have fun without them! Screw them and their puritanical attitudes!” You don’t think that would happen? I call bullshit. I don’t care how “loving” and “positive” and “open” these people are, that scenario is not unrealistic. And I already have massive mental health issues having to do with being judged unfairly by strangers. (I just read this paragraph to Blake and he says I’m projecting. I think this is possible, especially since it follows a pattern *I* would do when I get into something and that Blake’s never really shown. Whether I am projecting or not, these are my feelings. Also keep in mind I’m a creative person with a really active imagination.)

And then, perhaps, less realistically, what if he REALLY likes the lifestyle and wants to become a member of the club for $600/year and go as often as possible? What if he wants to rent a trailer there for that purpose? What if he leaves me for someone who wants to share this lifestyle with him full-time? Who also ascribes to the whole naturist philosophy? Who also wants to eat vegan and do naked yoga? Both of which Blake is into and I’m not.

The other thing that people failed to realize about our posts is that my post was about FEELINGS whereas his was about FACTS. Two completely different things. I didn’t ask him to post so people could take “sides” or that one of us could “win”. That wasn’t the point. The point was that Blake felt like I portrayed him as a “shitbag” in my post so I told him to tell his side of the story so people wouldn’t think that because I didn’t want people to think that, that wasn’t the point of my post. The point of my original post was to get help in being okay with his and Madison’s decision because I was trying my best to be supportive. (Although truthfully, I don’t think my original post made him look like a shitbag. I’ve read it a few times since I posted it and I’m not seeing it. Correct me if you think I’m wrong.)

This whole thing was a breakdown in communication between Blake and I. And don’t think he’s not partly at fault for this either, since so many of you seem to think he’s some kind of saint. He told me point blank on Friday that if he didn’t do this before the end of the season, he wouldn’t do it at all and that last weekend was the last time the weather would be nice enough to do some of the things he wanted to do. That gave me HOURS to decide whether or not I wanted to be a part of this or if I was okay with them being a part of this and when I finally said I wasn’t okay with the whole thing (crying, begging and pleading for him not to do this), Blake got mean. Really mean. So I backed down.

Yes, he’s been talking about this for months but only seriously for about the last month and I’ve gone back and forth as far as myself and Madison going but I didn’t voice my concerns about him going until Friday afternoon when they were going to go on Saturday. It wasn’t until it became reality, that this was actually going to happen, that I panicked and freaked out. Until then it was just an abstract thought, one I hoped I wouldn’t have to deal with because I thought Madison would chicken out and if she chickened out then Blake would go by himself, check it out and come home thinking that without his family there, it wasn’t so awesome and that it was just one more thing to cross off his bucket list, especially because he’s a cheap bastard and I couldn’t see him spending $50 to go there for just himself. That was my theory. When it started becoming apparent that my theory could be incorrect, I freaked the fuck out.

People also seem to think that there continues to be a problem. There isn’t. Blake and I are 100% okay. He’s not going to go to Bare Oaks again and it’s not a big deal. If Madison wants to go to Bare Oaks when she’s got her own car and licence, so be it (although I’m not sure they’d let someone under 18 go without their parents). It’s her body and she can choose who she wants to share it with. I’m assuming “naked night” at home will continue and I have no problem with that. In fact, prior to this whole shitstorm, I was the one who was naked in the house most often. I’ve NEVER hidden my body from my kids and I sit at my computer naked not all the time, but often and when I’m going from the bedroom to the bathroom and then to the laundry room to drop off my dirty clothes and then when I get out of the shower to get clean clothes from the bedroom, I’m naked the whole time and don’t give a fuck. I have no problems with nudity. Public nudity? I’m not sure if I have a problem with it. All evidence points to “yes” but I’m not sure. I think it’s the combination of nudity and community/culture that bothers me. I just don’t “get” the naturist philosophy and I don’t want it for my family. I think it’s completely unnatural and impractical to do half the things they do without clothes and I don’t think I’m wrong or bad or “conditioned” in thinking so, as they would accuse me of being.

I want Blake to have things for himself. I completely agree that he needs to do things to “recharge” since he has so many responsibilities at home and work. I just have a problem with this one thing. I realize my feelings on this one thing aren’t completely rational and I can’t say that I even understand all of them but they’re there, they’re real and they need to be respected. And they are being respected, there’s no problem and if Blake finds something else he wants to do I’ll be supportive as long as it’s not like, skydiving or something super crazy that may cause bodily harm or if it’s something that seriously disrupts our family in any way. I think, personally, for example, that he needs to find either a creative writing class or a writer’s workshop of some sort to help him develop a couple of really good story ideas he has in his head but he seems to disagree.

The thing is, his shrink-ordered hot yoga was supposed to be his “recharging” thing (which I had huge problems with in the beginning due to irrational fears, which I also think I wrote about here but after talking about it for a few weeks I was fine with it; I did make the condition that he didn’t make any yoga friends though, which I admit is potentially unfair of me). I didn’t realize there was going to be more things that he’d start doing without me instead of things to do with me. (Keeping in mind that we do NOTHING together. Going to Starbucks doesn’t count and neither does going to Michael’s or Curry’s, especially since it’s now been revealed that he resents me for making him take me to those places.) And part of the reason I had a problem with hot yoga was because I just knew it would lead to more things he’d want to do without me and obviously it has so my fears have been realized.

So what’s the solution? Well, there really isn’t a problem I don’t think. Blake needs to do things to recharge. I’m not sure if these things all have to be without me or not but hot yoga does. I’m fine with that. (Honestly, I think my biggest issue with hot yoga was that it’s called “hot yoga” and that it’s a sweaty activity. In my head, with that imagination of mine, it’s like sex without the penetration, like a bad music video, and he was going to leave me for some granola-eating hot yoga slut. Plus that whole slippery slope thing I mentioned above.) He’s not going to go to Bare Oaks again. That’s a good thing. We’re both fine with it. There is no resentment or hard feelings. (As far as I’m aware.) He says he wouldn’t be able to go there and have a good time knowing that I was at home and upset about it anyway.

So that’s where things stand. There are no “sides” to take. There’s not a “winner” nor a “loser”, there’s just Sunny and Blake trying to figure things out.

September 23, 2012

Sick of Us Yet?

This morning we went out to the trail and the field by our house because with the construction, that’s really the only outdoor space to take pictures and well…we took pictures. Or at least I did. Blake and Madison just posed. And listened to me bitch & moan that things weren’t working out as intended and “I dunno, just do something!” because I’m a horrible director. They did an outstanding job though and the results were okay.

I shot RAW for the first time and then Blake got me a converter because my camera doesn’t shoot actual RAW files, it shoots these stupid Canon files that my version of Photoshop won’t open, so the converter converts them to DNG files which are Photoshops stupid proprietary files equivalent to RAW. Got all that? It confused the hell out of me at first but now I think I get it and now that I see the control you have when shooting and editing RAW files, I think I’m in lurve.

Blake also showed me how to use the burn and dodge tools and I hope it’s not too obvious that I used the hell out of at least the burn tool to make clouds as dark as they really were when we were out there but they showed up almost white in the final product. I have a polarizing filter but Blake forgot to tell me to use it and I guess that would have helped with the sky. I think I would have preferred to use that than the burn tool. I get using Photoshop but I would prefer to use it as little as humanly possible. It still feels like cheating to me. (Blake and I argued about this in bed until 2:20am last night. I finally gave up and said I’d learn Photoshop stuff today.)

So yeah, this is what I’ve done all day. First we shot pics, then Blake made fresh ravioli (not from scratch though, but fresh) with awful sauce that I didn’t like and we will never buy again even if it’s on sale, then I edited pics and Blake showed me Photoshop stuff, then I had an english muffin with butter and the strawberry jam I bought at that veggie stand in NH which was just “okay”, then I got final approval on the pics from Madison which I then posted on Facebook and now I’m posting them here. Got all that?

We’re going to watch Doctor Who at 6pm, then I have to work from 7pm-11pm (which sucks, but whatever), then I have tomorrow off and the only “people” who are going to be around are the pets so maybe I’ll try taking pictures of them. Or maybe I’ll just fuck around on the internet. I haven’t decided yet. I hate “wasting” days off by being unproductive so I have to think of something.

Anyway, here are the pics. Lemme know what you think. Do they look over processed to you? I can’t decide.

This is probably the least processed of the bunch.
Mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing & didn’t want to over process.
Then I decided I didn’t care.

Sweater’s mine (my favourite sweater, actually), Docs are hers, skirt is mine (brand new, never worn by me yet) and she dyed her hair yesterday all by herself. It’s hard to tell in this pic but she has pink chunks at the front and purple at the back.

Gonna print this one & frame.

This is my favourite of the bunch.
I think Madison looks like a superhero.
I tried to crop Blake out but I couldn’t do that and keep the constraints printable.

Now that I’m looking at this one again, I don’t think I like it.

THE END.

As an aside, does anyone know anything about spam comments? Because mine are actually starting to concern me. Here are some examples:

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This is without doubt a site that people need to get behind. The problem is, no one wants to do a huge deal of reading and not have something else to stimulate the mind. This is the internet, after all. Maybe if you added a video or two to emphasise your point. Ill stick around, FOR SURE. But, I dont know if others will.” – also on the post We’re Home!

This article is fantastic! I really relate to the viewpoints you make. I plan to revisit your article so I can further process this information.” – on the post I AM UNTANGLED.

It is rare for me to discover something on the cyberspace that is as entertaining and fascinating as what youve got here. Your page is sweet, your graphics are outstanding, and whats more, you use reference that are relevant to what you are talking about. Youre definitely one in a million, great job!” – also on We’re Home!

So what the fuck right? Don’t these sound like legit comments to you? But here’s the thing, they all have these crazy e-mail addresses and they link to URLs that sound pretty spammy. So do these people hand-write comments and link to spam URLs? Because they seem fairly applicable to the posts they’re on. This has been happening for a long time now and I’m scared I’m marking legit comments as spam. Does anyone know anything about this kinda stuff?

Okay, now I think I’m going to convince Blake and the kids to go to the beach to take more pictures since the sun just came out and I want to try that polarizing filter.

August 27, 2012

So Many Thoughts…

Today Blake took me to see The Dark Knight Rises and he bought me popcorn (WITH  butter!), a giant drink and almond M&Ms because they came with the combo (I’m not a fan). Originally I was going to have to pay for my own drink, which would have been $4 – wait, hold up, I’m forgetting something important: today we were supposed to go to the Picasso exhibit in Toronto but admission was $25 EACH and then you had to rent this audio device for $5 EACH and my friend Mike, who went yesterday, warned me ahead of time that it was crazy crowded and being the last day of the show, I figured it would be in my best interest to avoid it, as much as I wanted to see it. I’m really disappointed that we didn’t go, but at the same time, I only had $60 to my name until I get paid in 2 weeks and I had to pay for Blake too, so that was the ultimate deciding factor.

Anyway, Blake said he’d buy my ticket and a medium popcorn (WITH BUTTER!) but I had to buy my own drink. Well, something many people don’t know about me is that I *have* to have a drink within reach at all times. To me there is absolutely nothing worse than being thirsty and I go to extreme lengths to avoid that particular discomfort so going to the movies and not having a drink would be unthinkable, particularly when there was salty popcorn involved, so my options were to buy a $4 pop or bring a can of diet Coke from home. Because that’s what we had. I only had $60 to my name and I had to buy things still for Squam so I asked on Facebook if anyone had ever snuck anything to a movie theatre because I never had and the overwhelming response was “yes” and that I should definitely do it. The problem was that I only had cans and I was afraid of two things: a) getting caught because of the sound of opening one and b) people in the theatre hearing me and thinking I was as ghetto as I was being. In the end, I just couldn’t do it because I would be mortified if discovered and then when I was reserved to spending 4 whole dollars on a drink, Blake surprised me with the combo he got – on him. So yay for Blake!

And just as an aside to this rambly rambly post, I totally cried at fucking Batman. I cannot even believe what an emotional wreck I am. I cry at the drop of a hat, I can’t control it and it is completely embarrassing. Also not that anyone cares about this non-fangirl’s opinion, I’m going to give it to you anyway: I think it was a really good end to this reboot. My only beef was that Bane (Bain?) was such a meathead. I just didn’t buy him as someone trained by the League of Shadows and the mastermind orchestrating the whole thing (NO SPOILERS FROM THIS GIRL! YOU’RE WELCOME!). Blake said that in the comics he was like that though so shows what I know. I just didn’t like him. I *did* love Scarecrow as the “judge” though. Cillian Murphy is so handsome. And that’s my thoughts on Batman.

(more…)

June 21, 2012

A Word From My Friend John.

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