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.

January 31, 2015

2.5 Hours ‘Til Work

I kinda like working on Saturdays now, where before I used to dread it and referred to it as “a marathon, not a sprint” because it was just me vs. thousands of unhappy people for 9 hours but now during my shift, I have three trainees who don’t necessarily make my day any easier but at least it’s not so damn lonely anymore. Two of the trainees are new people to me, both dudes, and I’m potentially going to meet at least one of them, if not both, when we’re in San Francisco.  Actually when we’re in SF, I’m going to be having a work meetup with those two hopefully, along with two other coworkers. The cottage that we rented has a backyard and I’m hoping whatever day we do this, it doesn’t rain so we can all sit out there because the cottage itself is pretty small and you can’t really like, talk and hang out and socialize at a restaurant. So that’ll be cool.

I went to my shrink on Monday and we decided not to mess with my meds until I get back from SF, but she wants to get me off of clonazepam (I take 0.5mg before bed and 1.5mg before a work meeting) because she says I’ve been on it too long and it’s not good for me. I told her I was totally fine with that if she had something to replace it with. She suggested cognitive behavioural therapy and I just about lost my mind. THIS is what I did with my cognitive behavioural therapy certificate of completion and sums up my feelings on the subject:

She pretty much wants me to stay on Cipralex despite my sexual dysfunction, but is willing to try Prestiq/Effexor instead. She has this neat book with all the drugs in it, or maybe just the psychiatric ones, and it has charts with percentages of victims/patients who experienced whatever side effect. All of the other anti-depressants available to me made 30% of patients gain weight (not doing that again) except Prestiq/Effexor. Ten percent of people on both Prestiq and Cipralex experienced sexual dysfunction. So it could help or it might not. *shrug* Cipralex is a fantastic anti-depressant, so it sucks that it causes this issue for me. Hopefully Prestiq is better.

Speaking of sex, yesterday morning my friend told me about this awesome deal Amazon had, which was 60% off LELO vibrators and I ended up getting the exact one I wanted, which is $229 on LELO’s website, for $145. Deal of the year! All the camgirls swear their undying love for LELOs and my little bullet, the same one my friend Quimm Anaheim sent me like, oh god, 6 or 7 years ago now because she felt bad at my state of toylessness, is finally starting to die so I’d been looking for something to replace it with. I’ve never learned the trick to the whole g-spot deal, so I guess we’ll see what happens. The idea is to use the LELO *with* the Foria in San Francisco, ideally blowing my head off. :o) We’ll see…

Something we’ve gotten into recently – don’t laugh – is Magic: The Gathering. See, we live in a REALLY tiny town and the only thing to do in this town on a Friday night is go to the dive bar, go to the sports bar, or play Magic at the comic shop which doesn’t close until midnight, minimum. All the cool people in our vicinity choose the latter. It started with Madison and then Madison said I should play so I walked into the comic shop with the intention of spending $35 building a deck and I walked out of there about $120 lighter…Then Blake started playing and Wes has a deck that Madison built him for Xmas which is all wolf-themed, but he doesn’t really play with us. He usually goes to the comic shop when we play there, though, just to watch. I’m too green to play at the comic shop, but I did participate in 2 of the pre-release weekend events (sort of). I first one was on the Friday and you got your box which had 4 or 5 packs of cards in it, 2 or 3 of them from the new series being released and one a seeded pack of better cards (theoretically) so you open those and make a deck with those cards and then you play a Magic tournament with those decks. I was on board because I liked that everyone was on a level playing field, no one had like, uber thousand dollar cards or anything, so I figured I actually had a chance of not losing horribly, but then I realized that I would have to play with people I didn’t know and Blake or Madison wouldn’t be with me while I was playing to help me (because I’m still pretty new and I still don’t understand attacking/blocking/logic), so I just opened my packs there, as was the requirement, and dropped out of playing in favour of going home. The deck I made that night was black and white and actually pretty solid, I even pulled a planeswalker, so I probably could have done well but my anxiety was through the roof. I had to work on the Saturday so I couldn’t take part in the 2 events that day but Blake and I did take part in the “two-headed giant”, I think they called it? Where Blake and I were a team against another team. That was good. We lost both of our games, but I wasn’t anxious at all and I didn’t feel like such a n00b. I made a red/white/black deck that day and then when we bought our box of boosters on release day, I built on it further and now the stupid thing is a ridiculous 75 cards that I haven’t played with enough to pare down yet.

I think I’m a long way away from being able to play Magic at the comic shop but it’s something to work up to, I guess.

Oh, and did you know that one of the characters in Magic is trans? Her name is Alesha and she smiles at death. Before even knowing about that, she was pretty much the reason I decided to stick with the red/white/black deck. It’s not because she’s any uber kinda card or anything, I just liked her name and I pulled the promo foil of her.

Anyway, it’s now a half hour until work so I’m going to medicate and eat something and get on with my day.

PS. I don’t think all of my WordPress posts are x-posting to people’s Live Journal friends lists. They do show up on my LJ though (and my site) so if it feels like you might have missed something, check there.

PPS. I made a page on my site about weed.

PPPS. What are you listening to right now?

January 26, 2015

Shrinkage

Hi.

I have to see my new shrink in 3 hours, which means we have to leave in a little less than 2 hours and I’m not sure if that’s enough time to fit in everything on my mind but I’ll do my best.

At my last shrink visit, we discussed getting me off of the Loxapine, which is an anti-psychotic I’ve been using to sleep for about 3 years that’s apparently not only not that fantastic for your liver but one of its side effects is this neurological issue called Akathisia which is the inability to sit still, pretty much. It sounds really dumb, but on a scale of “excruciating” to “dear god just please kill me”, with pancreatitis at the high end and endometriosis and childbirth at the low end, Akathisia would actually be closer to pancreatitis. It’s not painful, per se, but it’s almost like there’s high voltage electricity inside you, like physical calories, that can only come out or be expressed through your arms and legs by jumping jacks or running on the spot or just finally, because you’re completely exhausted and should have been asleep hours ago, plain old continuous contortion in the dark in your bed while you cry and feel guilty for keeping your husband awake (or hating him for being asleep). The only thing that we found consistently worked was me overloading on sleep meds (which we had no idea were causing this in the first place) and having Blake drive me around the beach until I fell asleep, like a baby. These episodes would begin shortly after I took my sleep meds (but again, we never made the connection) at about 7pm and would continue until I passed out around midnight. Which really fucking sucks when you work in 4 or 5 hours. This had been happening, mostly in the warm months, about once every 2 weeks or so since I started taking this stuff and I never knew what was happening. The sensation of this “electricity” is a lot like when your foot falls asleep and in waking up, AFTER the pins & needles phase, the one right after that where if someone were to touch your foot you’d punch them right in the fucking face. You know the one. It’s shocking, right? Almost painful but not? I dunno how to describe it other wise but it’s like a constant pressure of that and the need to relieve it. So hard to explain and I am so happy that my new shrink connected the dots on that one so hopefully now that I’m not taking the drug anymore it won’t happen any more. It hasn’t so far and it’s been like, 2 months.

Something else I thought of while writing this is that I didn’t experience acute Akathisia as often this summer/fall as I did the previous year and I think that’s because this summer/fall, I changed my routine so I don’t take my sleep meds Fri/Sat/Sun and I stay up until between 3am-never making art and hanging out with some of my cyberpals in a top secret location. It would make sense that since I started taking less of it, the issue didn’t happen as often.

I’m so annoyed I didn’t catch this myself because I’m usually really proactive about researching the meds I take and I know I looked Loxapine up when I was first prescribed it but nothing bad happened right away so I just never put two and two together. I never  told any doctors about these episodes because they were simply so bizarre and indescribable and FLUKEY that I was convinced either “this is not a chronic thing and it’ll just go away” (lie) or if I tried to describe it to a doctor they wouldn’t take me seriously.

Stopping the meds should make the symptoms disappear, although in some cases it can take years for it to stop completely. I’m pretty confident that I’m done with it though. Not worried. Now I’m taking Trazodone to sleep instead and so far everything’s been a-okay.

Next thing on the list to discuss with my shrink is getting me the FUCK off Cipralex because, while I’m actually pretty happy and it’s good stuff, I’ve only had *maybe* 3 orgasms in the last 8-9 MONTHS, which is starting to drive even me, the sexlesss wonder, absolutely crazy so it’s time to find something new that doesn’t break my clit. I was told to give it 6 months for the side effects to go away and it’s been long enough, this is not just gonna go away.

Speaking of genitals, I had my pap smear a few months ago and told the nurse who did it that my endo is starting to become a problem again (yay, right? of course it is…) and since I now have a mesh in my stomach holding everything together, I can no longer safely have laparoscopic surgery and I’m not willing to have a hysterectomy, so my options now are painkillers and taking the birth control pill continuously so I don’t have any periods anymore. She understood as she had endo and went the hysterectomy route and from experience, she agreed with all of my reasons for being against it at 35. She left a note for my doctor about a prescription for birth control and he called it in the next day, Blake picked it up and I started taking it. It’s Tri-Cyclen Lo 28, but the first thing I did was ditch the sugar pills because I didn’t want to accidentally take any of them and long story short I’ve either been spotting, full on bleeding or leaking brown tissue and fluid since I started taking this shit so I need to see him pronto to get me on something else. I don’t think the nurse fully explained in her note what I was doing or why I was doing it because if she would have, I’m pretty sure he would have put me on something different. I think these pills are like, baby birth control pills for teenagers. I really wanted to ask my doctor for Marvelon 21 because that’s what I was on before and it did the job of keeping my periods at bay (not pain-free but period-free most of the time), but then I read this page about it and now I don’t think it’s a  good idea. I’m 35 and I have had a blood clot (when I was sick, I had a clot in a vein in my spleen – god it is so gross knowing that *shudder*) and I don’t smoke cigarettes but I do smoke weed obviously and I’m not sure if that’s the same thing as far as clots are concerned. I just need something that’ll stop my period and not kill me, kthnx.

I need all this shit figured out pronto! Because! Dammit! I wanna get laid in San Francisco! There’s this stuff you can get in California called “Foria“, which is weed spray for your pussy and I plan on shelling out seventy-nine American dollars to be sorely disappointed haha BUT! It’s for science! And I’m on holiday! So whatever! Truthfully, I’m skeptical about it for myself because as I’ve explained before, eating or vaping weed doesn’t do anything to me so I’m not totally convinced it’ll work subdermally either, but hey! Cool if it does! And if it doesn’t, I’m sure if I leave it in SF, Steph will put it to good use. :o)

Well, I guess I better go get ready to see my shrink. Peace out, homies!

January 6, 2015

Fetus Balloon and Other Things

I finished an art video last night and left it uploading overnight, so it would be ready for people to see in the morning. It’s called “Fetus Balloon”, here it is:

It’s a bit dark because my office is a bit dark, but I’ve got a lamp on my desk now so that should solve the problem in the future. I don’t really care if anyone watches them, I like watching them, and I just bought a video setup to make them, so expect more.

I realize I haven’t been updating a ton lately and most of that has to do with the fact that I’m not feeling particularly “writer-y” these days. I’m feeling more…I dunno, visual I guess. In the video, you’ll  see that I’m painting on a pad of watercolour paper. I’ve decided that paper is going to be my only substrate for the entire winter. I thought about limiting myself to only using Inktense pencils but I just couldn’t do it. I used them in the painting in the video but so far nothing I’ve been able to do with them has looked better than my usual acrylic paint so I’ve decided to do the opposite of limiting myself and anything, as long as it’s (relatively) flat, fits on that paper and won’t fall off when I file it in my portfolio, is fair game.

Here’s what I did with the first sheet of paper from the pad:

I’m so used to painting and working in layers that carefully leaving white space as not to mix your colours was really really difficult. Also there are no caucasian fleshtones in the whole tin and I have the really big 72 pencil one. I dunno, still playing with them.

When I go to San Francisco next month all I’m bringing as far as art supplies is this pad of watercolour paper, the Inktense pencils, brushes, brush basin, 3 Pigma Micron pens, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, exacto knife for cutting eraser, ruler and circle template, gel medium, acrylic glazing medium and 6-8 two oz bottles of acrylic paint, colours to be determined, but Santa’s Flesh, Snow White and Lamp black are definitely going to be in there.  I know it sounds like a lot but it really isn’t since almost everything is small or light and it’s NOTHING compared to the resources available to me in within the room I currently sit. So, during that trip I *am* limiting myself to that and whatever Belinda brings with her/buys while she’s there if she comes. We’re gonna sit around and watch movies and make bad art. It’ll be awesome. Steph’s also taking me to a restaurant that ONLY serves fancy macaroni and cheese, which I gotta tell ya, I’m pretty damn excited about. We’re going to see where Steph lives (in a bitcoin-fueled cyber hippie love commune), which should be interesting. At some point we’re going to hang out with Blake’s sisters and their kids, two of which Blake has never even met. They live in Lake Tahoe so they’re going to drive into SF and then I dunno what. On my actual birthday, my friend Kat is throwing me a birthday party and then driving us to the airport the next day (unless we just get a cab cuz it’s gonna be like, 4am). I’m trying to arrange a meetup one day with all the people I work with who live out there, but I’ve never actually met. So that should be pretty cool.

I’m going to SF because I figure by the end of Feb/my b-day, I’m going to be a wreck. The SAD officially kicked in this morning despite doing light therapy 3 times every morning for the last two months. San Francisco has warmth and sunshine and a MACARONI AND CHEESE RESTAURANT and friends. The place we rented has a pretty nice kitchen so we’re going to order in from this food delivery service that has all kinds of weird produce and organic meats. And I’m sure we’ll hit up a grocery store at some point. (I loooooove American grocery stores.) Blake’s going there to see his sisters and work on his book and be warm. I’m thinking about maybe getting a tattoo while I’m down there but I haven’t decided yet. I want to have my scar accentuated somehow because it’s fading, but I haven’t come up with anything yet. I don’t want to tattoo the actual scar though. I dunno, was just an idea. I want to buy THE most touristy godawful bong I can afford that says San Francisco on it, if I can find such a creation. I’ve been assured that such an item has been spotted once or twice so, I’ll be on the lookout.

Almost bought plane tickets to Vegas last week because my work can get us free tickets to AVN which is a big porn convention at the end of the month. Didn’t end up doing it because unless we could have rented a place with other people from work, we couldn’t afford to stay anywhere. I guess there’s also an electronic gadget convention happening at the same time so all the hotels raise their prices. Flights were pretty cheap, though. Plus doing that at the end of Jan. would mean only 3 paycheques between now and San Francisco and I want to save as much money as possible for that. This year would have been ideal to go to AVN because it’s their 30th anniversary so I bet there would be more than the usual amount of free swag. Oh well.

What else? Well, Madison has her learner’s permit and is learning to drive. She has two part-time jobs and spends all her money on Magic cards, something that she has gotten all of us into because the only shop worth going into in our  town is the comic shop and they have Friday Night Magic until 1am or longer, depending on how things are going.  My deck is white with a bit of blue, but I’m thinking about switching to a straight white deck when the new cards come out later this month. I guess we’ll see what I pull (I’m buying a full box of boosters and so is Madison).

Other than that like, all I do is work. I may play Sims 4 today though because I haven’t touched it since it first came out and I have no plans for today. Spending the day either in my Sims Bunker or farming in Warcraft and eating pizza sounds pretty damn good to me.  So that is what I am going to do.

Peace oot.

December 4, 2014

No and I don’t know.

Yesterday was Touched By Fire.

I finished work at noon and had between then and 3:30pm to roll enough joints for the night, figure out where to eat, co-ordinate all this with my mom and get myself ready, which not only often involves multiple wardrobe changes, but more importantly, well-timed pharmaceuticals, and I was freaking at twelve-oh-one because I didn’t know where to start. I started by rolling joints and listening to bad hip hop because medication of all kinds is the most important thing to not leave the house with and I’ve been known to take a VERY long time to do this, even with a rolling machine, so yeah, started there. As I got to about my 2nd (of a planned 5) joint, Blake got home with lunch from Fresh-A-Fare, which I had really really wanted when I asked him to bring it home half an hour prior, but since I hadn’t had a ton of time to actually medicate between then and when he got home, my stomach just wasn’t ready for it so we ended up leaving it in the fridge for Wes for dinner if he wanted it, which he would because it was a ham and cheese sandwich and turkey with wild rice soup and he eats like me, so he’d be all about it.

As Blake ate and I rolled, we watched Once Upon a Story in Wonderland because it’s free on this trial Netflix type deal we have right now, and when the episode was over, Blake went to the bathroom to start getting read and I so, so stupidly checked e-mail and Facebook. And that is how I learned that my friend, Jeff Depew, the drummer from Scratching Post, had passed away. As some of you know, I was sort of the band’s first unofficial mascot/panty girl/merch bitch who did a lot of touring with them and became very good friends with everyone involved. I was/am shocked and saddened by the news of Jeff’s passing and however it happened, it is my hope that it was peaceful. I found out at around 2:30pm and had to be out the door at 3:30pm. At first I almost didn’t go. Just didn’t feel like partying or having a good time or being social. Then I almost went in overalls, which in hindsight I probably should have, it’s what I’d originally wanted to wear, but I settled on the same thing I wore on our attempt to see Book of Mormon, which had been thwarted by a blizzard so the outfit had never been seen before.

It took me half an hour to do my makeup because makeup won’t stick to tears, no matter how much primer you try to use. I’m a very simple lipstick-top-lid-eyeliner-one colour of shadow-mascara kinda gal. Makeup usually takes 10 mins, tops.

Anyway, traffic was hellacious and it was becoming apparent that we’d be late, so I texted my mom who said they were running late too, which I figured because that’s how my mother rolls. We get to the parking lot and it’s 100 km away from the restaurant we were meeting at and it’s blowing snow and I’m in a skirt. That walk made me so unhappy, especially since at the time my mother kept texting me from the restaurant about stuff as I’m trying not to get hit by cars or drop my phone or get it wet. Finally I literally told her to “stfu lol” and eventually we got to the restaurant.

We went to this St. Louis Grill place that I don’t think I’d ever bother with again unless I had to. Typical chain, with tiny across-from-Skydome Toronto portions and prices. I did eat a piece of macaroni and cheese wrapped in bacon and deep-fried that was pretty wonderful but I forgot to bring enzymes with me and really really should not be eating something like that anyway.

After eating, we went to the show. I went there. I saw that my painting was in the very back corner in the dark where it belonged. I looked at everyone else’s stuff, some good, some not so good but overall WAY better selections than previous years, then I parked my ass at the bar where I could see people looking at my painting (but turned my back to it because I couldn’t look) and see when they did the speeches. Speeches were uneventful except that this year there were prizes and our old friend from town here, Brian, won an honourable mention in his category and his girlfriend won best of show for her category.

After the speeches and awards and stuff, the place cleared out pretty fast. It wasn’t like previous years at all. See, something happened. I don’t know what but last fall there was some drama surrounding the show and suddenly touchedbyfire.CA was NOT the place to go, but touchedbyfire.CO and there was a mad scramble to get sponsors and find a space. It seemed like too much drama for me so I didn’t enter. This year it was run with the same group as last year and I noticed a lot of familiar artist faces missing, which seemed odd to me. I mean, this show has its regulars and I didn’t see two of its most prominent ones represented there last night. The bust for Rebecca Burkhardt, the person in whose remembrance this event takes place, was also missing, or at least I didn’t see it anywhere. Her dad was there though.

Before we left the show, Blake and John went around the room to see if anything had sold and only 2 things had, one being the most inexpensive piece in the show.

While the quality of work this year was definitely better, the experience wasn’t. There was no printed catalogue, which is really the only reason I go, just printed postcards with instructions for people to use their phones to take pictures of the QR codes beneath them or whatever they’re called, to pull up basically this page. That makes sense for the paintings being up in the gallery for a month but the show should have had a printed catalogue, especially since if I sell my piece, I’m giving them 20% and I want certain things, like show catalogues, for them to deserve that 20%. There were also no name tags for artists which was a mixed blessing. Every other year I turn mine around as not to be identified but this year I was trying to get up the courage to actually speak to people, to sell that damn thing, and them approaching me first would have been better.

The show’s been running 8 years, my first time was the 2nd year and I think I’ve been in it a total of 5 times. Last night marked only the 2nd time I’d submitted anything that was actually for sale and I really really need to sell this piece or make money from it somehow, in order to complete my next project before I get frustrated by money and logistics that I give up.

Anyway, here’s my painting and what I wore and how far away I was away from my painting at all times. THE END.

PS. I also invited my brother and his girlfriend to dinner and the show but he never even replied. I have no idea why, I haven’t done anything to him and we haven’t had a fight, so wtf? This hurts me a lot more than it should and was on my mind all night.

PPS. If you want to buy my painting, help me make BETTER art and see my awesome artist statement, click here.

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.

November 6, 2014

Yeah, I’d rather be a hippy than a hipster, what!?

Well, I *was* gonna show you a picture of this cool, old, US army truck that’s parked like a sculpture near my house but my gallery program doesn’t seem to want me to upload anything to it for some reason so I guess I’ll have to get Blake to take a look at that later to see why it’s not doing what I need it to do. Whatever, imgur for the time being. Behold, this awesome truck that I love so much I actually pulled over and trespassed on this person’s lawn/field to show you, which, for someone undergoing immersion therapy, is sort of a big deal.

I submitted a painting or, probably more aptly, a mixed media assemblage to Touched By Fire but I don’t think I got in because they originally said we should be notified by November 3rd if we did and I haven’t heard anything. That was before they extended the deadline until October 31st though so who knows? The piece I made was the biggest size they allowed so I knew my chances of getting in were pretty slim, especially when submitting so late in the game. Doesn’t matter though because I like what I made (but think I could have done better, of course) and it lead to two BIGGER ideas that I’m completely in love with and in the process of trying to make happen. The first part is waiting at least 3 weeks for samples because this shit is srs bsns, and within that 3 weeks, coming up with a solid budget which has been a lot harder to pin down than I originally thought it’d be. I’ve never spent this much money on an art project before though so I’m trying to be as accurate and frugal as possible but I’m dealing with wholesale minimum orders that I’ll only be able to meet ONCE so if I’m short on what I need, I’m screwed and I am THE WORST at math. I’ve asked many people to help me with the math and of the 15 or so answers I’ve gotten, including on Reddit, they’ve all been different. Vastly in some instances. I figure Reddit’s answer is probably the best jumping off point because if the ONLY DUDE THAT ANSWERED ME was wrong, he would have been downvoted or some other dude would have come in with a bigger dick to tell him he was wrong. Anyway, it’s been challenging but I’m pretty obsessed with making it happen one way or another, it’s just the “one way or another” I’m still figuring out.

I met my new shrinks on Monday. Yeah, shrinkS. Plural. I’m so lucky, I get two. The main one, we’ll call her Murphy Brown, immediately wanted to switch me from side-effect-free ziprasidone/Zeldox – my main anti-psychotic, the foundation of my mental health pyramid – with Abilify for no reason whatsoever that I can see except maybe she wants me to gain 30 lbs, which is just the tip of the iceberg with that drug. Fuck that and fuck her. It took me MANY YEARS of trial and error and metabolic syndrome, that outweighed any mental benefit of any drug, to find the right meds and right now I’m maintaining so fuck the fuck right off. I don’t have a nickname for the other shrink yet and she’s a doctor but not a full doctor and still in training or something? She looks about my age. I told them that S.A.D. has started kicking in, meaning that “we may need to go up by half a pill on my cipralex” at some point like my prior doctor said we may have to do and it’s not like this shit doesn’t happen EVERY SINGLE YEAR LIKE CLOCKWORK OR ANYTHING. I asked to borrow a lightbox, I’m going to use it – again, please fuck off with your bulldozer parked so close to my crystal castle.

So that’s how that went. I see the shrink-in-training in 3 weeks. I have no idea why or what I said to necessitate that. Hooray. Thrilled, I am, to have the privilege of answering 50 more random, nosey, irrelevant questions. Oh, that’s another thing, Murphy Brown suggested I stop drinking Diet Coke because it’s “SO MUCH CAFFEINE” and she said if I didn’t believe her I could look it up. Well. I did. When I got home. According to the fucking Mayo Clinic, a cup of coffee has 95-200mg of caffeine and a can of Diet Coke has 23-47mg which means that I consume on average the same amount of caffeine in a day as one cup of coffee, so again, I tell you, Murphy Brown please go fuck yourself.

I’ll stop now. Needless to say, the first visit was not a positive one despite the fact that I went in there with nothing but positivity because life’s going pretty good and good things are happening.

Like I said a while back, I’ve been working a lot. I now work 7-9 hours/day as opposed to 3. I’m still training people. Working all these new hours has enabled me to do something I’ve never done before: paid off my Visa. Then as soon as the final payment cleared, I immediately maxed it out by buying myself and Blake plane tickets to go to San Francisco for my birthday. Why San Francisco? Because Steph the Geek is there in her 20 Mission hippie commune. Because Sapphire is there. Because my friends Kat, Sarah, Quelyn and Erica are there. Blake’s sisters and nieces (whom he’s never even met) are close by in Tahoe. And it’s a medical state. With weird food we can’t get here. And it’s my birthday. So that’s why.

The plan is pretty simple: we’re gonna rent a place in the Mission District using airbnb with (ideally) 2 desks or work surfaces and a kitchen, that has a backyard or courtyard and we’re going to order crazy fruit and organic meat from this website Steph uses and basically just hang out with whoever and each other. Blake’s going to work on his book and I’m sure I’ll find a way to entertain myself.  We’re also going to rent a car and go to Tahoe. Not sure if that’s going to be an overnight thing or not at this point though. On the actual day of my birth we’re trying to have some sort of get-together with everyone…somewhere, because we’ll be leaving for home the next day. I don’t care about Alcatraz or the bridge. I would like to see some painted ladies. I wouldn’t mind seeing the other ocean. omg will there be tidepools? I’ve never seen a real starfish. I dunno, I just figured by the end of February I’ll probably be wanting to slit my wrists so somewhere sunny and warm (to me) with some of my closest friends seemed like a good idea since I suddenly realized it was a viable goal. And I realize I’m now in debt again, but it won’t take too long to pay off and I was pretty proud of myself for essentially saving up all of the money to do this. Or at least take the first step and order the plane tickets.

I have to figure out how to carry-on both my laptop and my camera because everything I’ve ever read/heard has said not to pack them in your luggage. Hrm. I dunno about this traveling stuff.

This week the new Anne Rice book came out AND the new Mother Mother album did too, so honestly, it’s been a pretty good week. Cried a little this morning, convinced that it was going to be a bad day, but it wasn’t. I also got the Lena Dunham book to read for myself, with context, what happened with her sister rather than rely on sentence fragments and the one excerpt the media’s been primarily focusing on to come up with my own opinion. My friend Tay also mentioned that Lena Dunham’s also said some racist things in the media about why there are so few minorities on Girls, which I guess I missed. I follow her on Twitter but like, as much as I follow any celebrity, which means I only read like, maybe 1/10 of her tweets. Anyway, I was interested in her book before all this but when I went to get the Anne Rice book, the Dunham book was only $20 and there was one copy left, so I was like, “fuck it” and added it to my pile, which also included Gone Girl, High Times and a magazine called Canadian Art that looked interesting.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANYWAY, it’s time to take my PM meds, find food, watch American Horror Story and go to bed. Peace oot, y’all.

September 26, 2014

NOW TAKING INTERESTING COMMISSIONS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 17, 2014

I was not a cool kid. I was a ghost.

I work a lot. That’s what I’ve been doing. My grama died in July, my shrink retired in August and just as life was normalizing, I asked for extra hours at work now that I have a car (which I got)  but we also hired 3 new people which means working overtime to train them. On top of that, a couple of Sundays ago, when I was in Militiagan for a wedding (more on that later), my boss messaged me on AIM and asked if she could have a word with me, freaking me out completely  at first because I thought I fucked something up and I hadn’t worked since that Friday morning so for it to have cropped up now, I figured it must be something pretty bad that she’d spent time talking to other people about. I wasn’t far off the mark about her talking to other people, but it wasn’t anything bad. She told me that there was one aspect of our job (our job is not just e-mail, it’s many things) that she thought I did a really good job at and she wanted me to sort of be like, the expert/final decision-maker/manager of this one thing. So that was really cool and I felt really good about myself (although part of me is terrified that she only thinks I suck the least at this thing because I also probably do it the least and now that I’m doing it MORE my fuck up rate is going to go up too). She told me that this would take effect immediately and it would mean that my workload would increase but that was okay because she gave me 9 extra hours per week that she wanted dedicated to this task. BUT I’m training and I can’t train people unless another senior person is working with me (or it’s really difficult to) because while training, it takes at least 10 times longer to get the work done than if I was doing it by myself so even with help, I fall behind on my regular tasks and I don’t have time during my regular shift to do my new task the way I think it’s supposed to be done so that means staying an hour-hour & a half past the time I’m done training, which was overtime to begin with. (Why, yes I *am* proud of that run-on sentence…) In a span of about 6 weeks, I went from working 3 hours a day to 7 minimum, which may not seem like a lot to people who work the standard 40 hours a week but for me that’s a lot.

Having said all that, honestly? Mostly I’m having FUN. I’m being CHALLENGED. I imagine this is what it feels like when people who like working out work out. All 3 new hires are personal friends of mine and I thought it was already pretty sweet working with the group I do because we’re all friends outside of work as well. I mean, I’m getting paid to hang out with my friends on Skype all morning in my pajamas and tell them about the job I love WHICH I NEVER GET TO DO WITH ANYONE BUT BLAKE and he only understands like, 75% of what I bother telling him. (Better than the 5% of his job that I understand, however.) Due to the nature of what we do, who we do it for and who we do it with, we’re just supposed to talk about our jobs as little as possible outside of the company which suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks because our jobs are ridiculously interesting (to me), so it’s awesome to finally be able to be like “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! PORNO PORNO PORNO!!! XXX!!!” while listening to 80s & 90s rap at 9am. (That is the soundtrack of Sunny’s Porn School.)

My work day still starts at 5am though and doesn’t usually “end” (*cough*at all*cough*) now until, well, 2:30pm for me today. And to compensate for having to be “on” and a fully functional cyborg that early, for that long, I’ve been trying to go to sleep around 7:30 or 8pm so right now it feels like all I do is work, talk about work, talk to work friends, hang out at the site I work for and go to sleep tired as fuck, but I guess I’ve done more than that. Not much more, though.

Like I said earlier, we went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago in Militiagan for Blake’s cousin Helena and fiance Bill, which isn’t his real name. His real name is something super Albanian and unpronounceable so I guess they just call him Bill. They’ve known each other since they were 14 and now they’re 30, so that’s sort of cool. The ceremony was crazy religious and almost entirely sung. There was incense involved, which the priest did at Blake’s grama’s funeral too and I thought was cool and I tried to get video of it but the priest is actually like, this HUGE conservative guy who frowns upon anything newer than last century and there were a couple of signs saying “no cell phones” but Blake’s Aunt Pat was inconspicuously taking pics beside me with hers so I got a short clip of the dude on Instagram but not what I wanted. Oh well, so not the point….anyway, during the ceremony they blessed this and that and the President (no shit) three times, in English AND Albanian, all while singing a call and return with the priest and some lady and his incense shaker had bells on it and made clanging sounds and the whole thing seemed to me like he was trying to get God’s attention for a sec and get him to bless the marriage. There was some heavy old school bare foot and pregnant shit in the vows, but what I noticed in the ceremony is that the priest STARTED with, “do you take this man to be your…?” etc and they did their “I do’s” FIRST so everything after that they technically didn’t agree to in any legally binding way (not that a wedding is “legally” binding, but y’know, if this was a deal with the Devil they could get out of it on a technicality by traditional mythological standards).

I’m not going to post what I wore because I think I looked like crap. I also think me and Blake’s step-monster were the only blondes at the whole event.

At the reception, we got sat at the “cousin table” (and not with Blake’s dad and his bitchfaced wife, who got stuck sitting beside the priest all night heh) and I got to meet all of Blake’s Albanian cousins who have all grown up and have since left Albania for greater things, I guess. Blake’s cousin Shirley is a dentist living with a dude named Stiig who’s an engineer for Rolls Royce in Norway. Blake’s cousin Nonda and his wife Eva live in NY and have two little kids. They met in Albania and came over a while ago. Blake’s cousin Livvy is like, an international free spirit party girl type who lives somewhere in Europe too but I forget where. I wanna say Prague? Not sure.

What kills me about Blake’s Albanian family is like HOW into family they are. It’s so weird to me because my family isn’t like that at all. It’s hard to explain, but like, Blake just met these people for the first time since he went to Albania when I think he was 18 and they were weirdly close considering I’d never heard of these people before that day and I’m pretty sure this was only Blake’s second time meeting them in person. I’m pretty sure you could ask a favour from practically anyone in the room and they would oblige just because you were related and vice versa. There was a lot of hugging and picture taking like, with people who barely knew each other but they were related so HEY LET’S TAKE A PICTURE! NOW LET’S TAKE THE EXACT SAME PICTURE WITH 5 MORE CAMERAS FROM 5 MORE STRANGERS! It was weeeeeeeeeeeeeeird, man. Weird. It was the biggest display of pronoia in action I think I’ve ever seen. Just a whole lotta people conspiring toward good things for a whole lotta other people simply because they’re related somehow.

My family is more…strategic, political, hostile, a little phony and now, extremely small. Almost non-existent. And I don’t foresee that changing any time soon. God, honestly I’m not even sure I have the energy to have it any other way, so whatever. I haven’t talked to my brother since my grama’s funeral because I don’t know what to say to him. I’ve exchanged 2 e-mails with my mom, pretty much the same thing.

At the end of the wedding, there was a coney bar set up because when Blake’s grampa came to America, he opened a coney dog restaurant called George’s Famous Coney Island and this restaurant was the foundation for just about everything in that ballroom. I thought that was pretty neat even though we left before it got set up.

Other than that, the only thing I have to report is that I broke down and bought Sims 4 even though I had initially decided not to get it because I’d heard nothing but bad things about what WASN’T going to be included, but I was bored and I’m a sucker so I downloaded it and while I’ve only had a chance to play it three times, I think I like it. It’s VERY bare bones, a lot like OG Sims, and I kinda like that because the complexity of Sims 3 got so ridiculous with all the expansions that I lost interest in it a long time ago. The emotions system combines with the Sims’ needs, so for example, if my Sim is angry or tense (emotion) AND has to go to the bathroom (need), the interaction “take an angry poop” appears. “Wants” contribute to emotions. Anyway, I’m having fun with it so far and I have high hopes for future expansions.

Annnnnd I’m tired and have to go to bed soooooo peace oot. *yawn*

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…

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