March 5, 2014

So my shrink just told me she’s retiring in August…

I’ve been seeing her since 2006 and she’s the first shrink I ever met that I didn’t hate immediately.
This old shrink to new shrink transfer process could get messy…

January 28, 2014

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Before I write anything else, I want to share with you a statistic from the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) that I just saw on Facebook: 42% of Canadians are unsure whether they would socialize with a friend who has mental illness.

That just fucking kills me.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and today is Bell Canada’s Let’s Talk Day where they’ll donate 5 cents for every tweet or retweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk (or a photo that they posted on Facebook shared) toward mental health initiatives across Canada. I wasn’t sure if I was going to say anything about it because I feel like ME saying ANYTHING about mental illness is just beating a dead horse at this point but that statistic really bothers me. Maybe I haven’t said enough? Or am I just preaching to the choir?

I also saw a statistic today – from @Stats_Canada, a satirical Twitter account being serious for a moment – that 1 in 5 Canadians will experience some form of mental illness in their life. I’ve also known the American statistic that 1 in 4 people have some form of mental illness for a long time and I don’t think it’s changed so saying it’s the same for Canada, those 42% of Canadians who are unsure if they wanna be fraternizin’ with the crazies PROBABLY ALREADY FUCKING ARE OR THEY THEMSELVES *ARE* THE CRAZY PERSON AND DON’T EVEN KNOW IT YET. And I only even say “probably” because I suck at math, it’s probably certain fact.  (I say I suck at math but honestly I could probably figure out what % of unsure Canadians are the 1 in 4 crazy person if I tried REALLY hard…it would take me a really long time, but I bet I could get there eventually. Anyway, who has time for that?)

My friends are probably half and half crazy people/neurotypical and we all get along so that’s really all I care about. I was super lucky that I live in an area with excellent mental health services that are completely free and accessible, that I have a supportive spouse with a job that has a drug plan and that my friends are who they are and definitely not part of that 42% who are unsure, nor the other % (again bein’ lazy at math AND Google, but hey, knock yourself out if it’s important to you) that said they would not socialize with a friend who has mental illness.  Without all of the above, without the excellent support network I have in place, I would probably be dead with no word of a lie.

Ain’t that a happy thought?! This wasn’t supposed to be a bummer post, I swear! Well, I guess it sort of is. Depends on your perspective…

On Saturday I started 2 hours early and stopped 2 hours later than usual to help out a coworker who had plans, which meant I didn’t stop working until 2am and I personally think Saturday is the busiest goddamn day. If it isn’t it’s gotta be up there because I don’t stop once I’ve started. I only get up from my chair three times per shift so I can keep ahead of our dear and lovely customers whose e-mails are all equally valuable to us and keep on top of the other things my job includes. I have help for one hour so I can eat dinner with my family but even while I’m eating, I’m doing one-handed things for that hour and still only manage to eat half of whatever it is before it gets cold. This isn’t about how Saturdays suck though. This is about how Saturday really COULD HAVE sucked, but luckily the universe held off on fucking me over until Sunday morning.

Sunday morning I woke up before anyone with writing aspirations as Blake had shown me Microsoft Office 2013 Friday night – in particular OneNote – and Skydrive and I was suddenly crazy-inspired to start organizing and working on a story that I’d gotten 43,000 words into and sort of gave up on. Because as we know, that is what I do. That was all I could think about on Saturday while I worked, how to organize this beast of a thing in OneNote on Sunday and how much easier that could hypothetically make it to actually make progress on and how THAT is actually FUN because even if it amounts to NOTHING it feels productive and productivity is fun!

However the universe had other plans. My laptop screen was black and said “a disk error occurred. Press ctrl alt del to recovery”. For someone who uses the internet a lot, I am NOT a computer savvy person so I decided to wait until Blake woke up in case he knew some magic password that would make my computer happy and do what I needed it to do. In the meantime, I tweeted the error message to which the response from the Twitterverse was “uh oh” and @paladin677 said “best case scenario, just a few files needed to boot are corrupt. Worst case, the hard drive is corrupt and non-recoverable.” This made me very unhappy, but I’ve only seen a few things in my 12 years of knowing him that Blake couldn’t fix so I remained optimistic. Besides, I got through shitty Saturday and had Sunday and potentially Monday to come up with a solution because I didn’t have to work. Also, I do have a desktop on the same desk that has all my work bookmarks for situations like this, so if I had to I could use that, but a laptop for working and writing on – which was all mine was good for anyway – is really important to me so I was really hoping whatever the issue was would be fixable or we could get a new laptop as soon as humanly possible. (My birthday is coming up and stranger things have happened.)

Blake woke up and bravely pressed ctrl alt del and we watched the black screen as white letters scrolled past as it did…things…I don’t know/remember/care what things I think it was going through boot files? And then it got stuck and it stayed there and then it said it failed. Blake rubbed my back, gave me a hug and said, “is it okay if I take this in the other room?” which may SEEM like a total over exaggeration but he did and it was a fair question as I have a tendency to need to maintain order and ritual and can be particularly attached to certain things, especially things that I deem essential, so the fact that I wasn’t freaking out , despite the fact that I hadn’t backed up that machine in QUITE some time, was probably freaking him out a little.

Honestly though, that machine was ridiculously slow at performing even the most basic tasks so we had literally been talking about wiping it Sunday anyway and reinstalling Windows – except we were going to back shit up first. The only thing I could think of that I’d lose of any “value” that I didn’t already have backed up was my large collection of carefully curated animated gifs. I figured I’d live.

So he takes it in the other room and does more things and says he hopes it’s just the hard drive because he couldn’t read the one in my laptop or recover any of its data with his wizardry. We were going to go have coffee with Ronny and Alex in Barrie anyway so we just waited until it was time to do that and since we had gotten there a little early, we just stopped into Staples where Blake bought a new hard drive.

When we got back, he put the new drive in and the computer worked again. HOORAY! THE DAY IS SAVED! He installed Windows and we also installed every program I use for work and writing and we started transferring my “My Music” folder to the newly formatted laptop over the network which was going to take a really long time so in the meantime I started taking stock of what I’d really lost…and then I started freaking out because the Word document I use for work with all of my approved language that I’ve built up over the last 2 years that is essential to my job had NOT been backed up anywhere. I had e-mailed it to myself last January (because that’s backing things up, right?) but we’d had a million meetings since then and I’d added a ton of stuff. For some reason I’d thought I’d backed it up more recently than that…somewhere…but it could not be found so I had to e-mail my coworkers for help rebuilding mine, based on the one I’d e-mailed last year. That was the only super bad thing and again, I caught it Sunday night so I had all night Sunday and all day Monday to rebuild a new one to the best of my ability before needing it to start work this morning.

The good thing that happened is that I’ve rediscovered this writing project that I’d so given up on, I’d literally given Madison the raw material – because I know it from beginning to end and have it all written down – and told her to go nuts and write the rest. She never did and gave it all back and it’s sat on a bookshelf in my office – the hard copy, all my notes and drawings – ever since. The latest copy we found (because I hadn’t backed that up either) was 43,000 words and missing two chapters that the hard copy had so I’m going to have to retype those by hand but that’s still not a big deal because I’ve spent long enough time away from the story that I’m going to have to start reading it and fine tuning it from the very beginning with fresh eyes, which will be so much easier and fun with OneNote. And Blake set me up with Skydrive, which is a cloud type thing Microsoft offers so my Word documents will never NOT be backed up again and that’s pretty cool. Oh and the laptop runs a LOT faster now, so, bonus.

And that’s my serendipitous laptop story! Geez, last week I was using Excel, which I find confusing as fuck and this week I’m all OneNote and Skydrive. All these crazy technologies! (That have apparently existed for a long time…)

In other news, my depression seems to have lifted somewhat since I thought I was a danger to myself a couple of weeks ago. I see my shrink tomorrow to talk about it and I think I’m okay for right now but if she thinks I should up my anti-depressants then obviously I’ll do that. Honestly, and this is going to sound so so stupid and I cannot even believe I’m admitting to this “out loud”, one of the biggest things that’s been keeping me going is Doug Benson’s YouTube show Getting Doug With High. It started in October and it’s a 45 minute talk show that starts at 7:15pm EST (4:15pm PST) Wednesday nights and it stars Doug Benson, of Super High Me fame, who has on comedian guests and at 4:20pm PST, and for the next 45 mins, they all smoke weed and Doug asks them questions, like their “High History” where they talk about their experience with marijuana. I dunno, it’s just funny…mostly stupid, but also funny. Like, Sarah Silverman’s been on the show and Aubrey Plaza, for example. Most of them are people I’ve never heard of honestly, because I don’t really follow stand up comedy, but it’s just this dumb funny little internet show that I discovered by accident at the height of my depression and basically I watched a couple of episodes every day until I didn’t want to kill myself anymore! YAY! Now it’s the height of my week, as sad as that statement may be, but I watch the recorded show on Thursdays because I can’t get live YouTube on my TV and at that time usually Blake and I would be watching something together on the TV. So Thursdays are good because I only have to work 2 hours and there’s a new episode of Getting Doug. :o)

Speaking of weed, I just read this interesting article about the language of pot and how it’s going to change with the legalization and mainstreaming of it. The article says, “Domestic strains, at first top-end luxury items, gradually took over more of the national market, so that a kid buying on the street in New York would be just as likely to order by strain name as a medical client in Mendocino County, according to Travis Wendel, an ethnographer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.” which I highlight because Blake says “most people smoke pot”, in that most people do not know the name of marijuana by strain, they just buy “pot”. I begged to differ said that the times have changed and that by now the average person, especially the average person BUYING pot, can name at least one strain of it because I can guarantee the guy they’re buying it off of didn’t just tell them it was “pot”, he gave them some crazy name whether it’s real or made up. That’s marketing. The average person may not have the connections to actually GET the strain(s) of pot they know of, but they know at least one. So tell me in the comments, whether you’re a pot smoker or not, can you name a strain without googling? How about two strains? Or maybe you don’t know any at all. Lemme know either way because I’m curious.

The other thing that’s kept me relatively sane the last couple of weeks is the recent discovery of Flynn’s Traditional Irish Pub in Penetanguishene. This place is special because there are SIX WHOLE THINGS on the menu that I would not only eat, but actually probably really like. What their website’s menu doesn’t have is their little sandwich things that I think they call “flying toasties” or something like that that are just a panini, really, but everything in the sandwich has flavour unlike practically every other sub place, deli or other restaurant I’ve ever been to. Their rye bread isn’t just the usual white rye bread, it’s marbled and herbed. Their havarti cheese isn’t just havarti cheese, there are flecks of things in it, which normally I’d be completely against but I was halfway through eating one before I noticed so whatever! The lettuce isn’t iceberg or even romaine, they use spring mix, which is exactly what I’d use at home. The mayo’s pretty standard and really so is the turkey, but the way it’s all put together is currently my favourite thing ever. Blake said the reuben was pretty good but he really really liked their french onion soup. We both want to try their prime rib but it’s $22 and we don’t have the cash right now. I’ve never actually had prime rib before but I really like roast beef and I really like steak and everyone tells me prime rib is somewhere between the two so I can’t see what I wouldn’t like about it. I’d rather go two times and have shepherd’s pie one time and potato and leek soup another time than go once and have something I’m not sure I’ll like, though, so prime rib will have to wait until there’s more money. Also that place is super busy on Friday nights. The first night we went there was a Friday night and they asked us if we had a reservation, which we didn’t because it’s a pub…in Penetang…never dreamed we’d need one…but then again, it’s a pub…in Penetang. It’s probably the fanciest place in town or at least the fanciest we’ve seen there so far.

The whole reason we even stumbled into Flynn’s was because the restaurant we discovered in Penetang in December (on the hunt for new food places), the Blue Sky Restaurant & Tavern, was closed until the 26th. My guess is that the owners went to Florida, but who knows? They don’t have a website but there is a google+ page where people have left good comments. No menu though, which is a shame because that’s the greatest part about Blue Sky. I have no idea of the history of Blue Sky, but here’s the history I’ve created in my mind: upper management dude in big corporation decides he’s unhappy with life so he’s going to pursue his two passions: cooking and nature, so he moves up North and opens a restaurant where he cooks whatever the fuck he wants to because he’s the boss and the portions are gonna be BIG, none of this bullshit, sissy crap you see at other restaurants; THERE WILL BE TO-GO CONTAINERS FOR ALL. Their menu is like one weird stream of conscious list of eclectically put together foods, none of which I can think of right now. Despite having this huge, crazy menu, there are really only three things on it that I’ve found that I like so far (with the possibility of a few more) and they do all three really well. The first is peameal and eggs. The mark of a good restaurant to me (well, that kind of restaurant) is how good their breakfast is. If their breakfast is good, the rest of their food probably is too. If it’s just so-so, as will be their food. If it sucks, well, why would you go back? This isn’t a concrete rule, it’s just something I’ve noticed over the years and Blue Sky’s breakfast is awesome. Blake loved it because they had actual corned-beef hash (which you don’t find around here a lot) and not only was it good but it was plentiful and I thought their peameal was excellent. Also I have a weird thing with eggs, some I like and some I don’t. They can all be prepared perfectly but depending on what the chicken was fed, the taste of the egg is going to change. Most restaurants use large, white, factory-farmed eggs, whereas at home I buy the omega-3 (also factory farmed – but fed better!) eggs and there is a definite taste and texture difference. That’s the egg spectrum for me. I don’t know where Blue Sky sources its eggs but they were pretty close to the omega-3 ones. If they got them from an actual farm in Penetang, it would not surprise me in the slightest. Their homefries were disappointing. They were basically boiled potatoes on a plate and not even ketchup could save them. Two outta three things o the plate ain’t bad though. The second thing I really like there but can only have very rarely sometimes because as far as my pancreas is concerned, I’m playing with fire, is their perogies. They’re like 7 or 8 potato and cheese perogies that I think they boil first, then they arrange them in a circle with one in the middle on a plate, pour shredded marble cheese on top of them, throw onions sauteed with chunks of bacon on top of THAT, then put it all under a broiler to melt the cheese and serve. How fucking evil is that? You definitely get an order of those to share with someone because they are deadly. And of course the third thing Blue Sky has, that they do better than any restaurant I’ve ever been in, is their clubhouse sandwich. I can eat in any restaurant that serves a traditional clubhouse sandwich. I don’t want any fancy chicken breast or garlic and lemon aioli (especially both on the same sandwich, gross), just the usual. If I know the people at the restaurant really well, I may ask them to substitute peameal for bacon because I think that’s better and when I was a teenager I used to hang out at this restaurant called the Fickle Pickle that had a chicken salad clubhouse that was pretty fucking awesome. Then the chef quit and they stopped serving it. ANYWAY, Blue Sky’s clubhouse is good because they give you all white turkey meat without even asking (it’s happened twice now so I don’t think it’s a coincidence) and it’s meat from an actual turkey as opposed to deli meat, they’re not afraid of mayo, it’s on every inner surface of bread and they’re not stingy with the tomatoes. In this case they use romaine lettuce which is actually what I would ideally want on a clubhouse (as opposed to the spring mix at Fynn’s I was raving about), but it’d be good even if it was iceberg.

So basically Penetanguishene, Ontario is magical because I can eat there! And actually LIKE what I’m eating and paying for and who I’m paying it to! Next on the list of magical Penetang restaurants to try is Phil’s Casual Dining because I’d really like to see just how casual it really is. With a name like that, there’s gotta be something pretty amazing on the menu. (That said, Double Happiness in next-door Midland, Ontario is the worst Chinese food I’ve ever had. More like Double Crappiness. The name sold me and I was completely deceived! Blake said he knew something was up when there were no actual Asians in the restaurant working or eating.)

Anyway, I’ve just spent way too long vomiting 3500 words at the screen instead of working on or organizing any real writing so I think I’d better go medicate so I can eat dinner when Blake gets home. Madison said she was going to make herself a grilled cheese and Wes said he was going to make himself soup. I’m going to show them both up completely by making the same for me and Blake using WHOLE GRAIN BREAD (the horror!), real havarti and marble cheeses (as opposed to Black Diamond processed cheese slices!) and I’m actually going to use a POT and nice bowls for our tomato soup (as opposed to dumping soup in a Tupperware container, adding water, vaguely stirring, microwave until lukewarm – this is how Wes makes soup). Now you may be thinking, “if she were a good mom, she’d make that for the whole family rather than letting her kids make their own crappy dinners,” and I would argue that I asked them what they wanted an hour ago and that is what they told me because they were too lazy to help me think of anything else for Blake to pick up on his way home for dinner that wasn’t take-out. When Madison (who is 15 and can make a hell of a lot better meals than this) said she’d make a grilled cheese, I even asked her if she’d show Wes how to make one for himself while she did it so he could make one right after her but he didn’t want to learn/didn’t want that and said he’d rather make himself soup. They both basically told me they’d make their own dinners so they wouldn’t have to stop what they were doing and think for ten minutes. They’re old enough to only be asked once and to make their own dinners sometimes, as garbage-esque as they may be.

THE END.

November 8, 2013

Flotter plus, bouvillon moins?

This blog post is 2 years old and I’m pretty sure I’ve posted it on my site before, but I know for a  fact I posted it other places so some of you may have already read it. If not, read it, then come back here.

But my first wish is that you’d wake up and start steering your life toward where you want to be.” – Joe Peacock

But what if you have absolutely zero idea as to where you want to be? I have literally ZERO life goals right now for probably the first time in my life. I can’t think of a single one. Not even one. Oh, “don’t die”. That’s about it.

My job is my job, I don’t love it or hate it (but I do think I’m good at it and I’m grateful to have it) but there’s no room for advancement so there’s no life goals to be had there.

I make paintings “whenever I feel like it” or whenever I’m inspired. You can’t make a business plan around that. Furthermore, I haven’t sold a single solitary painting since November 19th of LAST YEAR. (Thanks, Robin.)

I’ve pretty much decided I’ll never be a full-time nor long distance driver ever again. I’ll drive to the grocery store and the post office by myself and maybe even to the Wal*Mart or dollar store in Wasaga Beach if Madison’s with me, but that’s IT. I know I have the ability of driving longer distances, on busier roads, at faster speeds but even with Blake right beside me, telling me what to do and after taking all the Klonopin and Ativan available to me, I still spend the entire time in the driver’s seat crying, gripping the steering wheel so hard with both hands* that my nails go right around it and dig into the fleshy part of my hand and all I can think of is “when is this going to be over? When do I get to be done? How long do I have to do this to be able to say that I tried and then have no one bug me about it for a while? Or hopefully ever?” Maybe I’d feel differently if we had 2 cars, but we don’t and if I crash the one we have, we’re pretty fucked. Also? Over the last 2 & a half years, I have been through MEDICAL HELL and the last thing – the very very very last thing – I want to go through is another medical trauma as a result of my own shitty driving or my delayed reaction time when it comes to someone else’s.

I. Hate. Driving. I cannot handle the stress and responsibility and truthfully, I don’t remember 75% of the rules of the road. I got my licence when I was 20, after taking Young Drivers (Canadian driver’s ed that gives you a discount on your insurance) and drove to Toronto for school almost every single day for 2 years. But 2 years driving experience is NOTHING!  It’s not even a “blip!” in the grand scheme of my life. Might as well forget that ever happened. I’ll keep renewing my licence in case I ever change my mind but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I just think I’m done. It is literally the most stressful realistic situation I can think of. The whole time I’m just in sheer panic and all I want to do is close my eyes and pretend to be somewhere else…but that would get me killed.

I’ve hit a brick wall with photography. I no longer want to have a photography business. I just don’t like my pictures. I didn’t take a single picture with my DSLR in all of September, only once in October and those were just snapshots and then Madison wanted me to take pictures of her after school today but just looking at the previews on the camera, I don’t think any of them are worth posting, let alone printing. The whole reason I liked photography was because I could document things but we never do anything worth documenting and the kids were my inspiration, Madison in particular, but she’s got some body issues happening and she just doesn’t want me taking her picture these days (yet she’ll sit at my desk where the light’s better and take “selfies” with her iPod for hours) so I’ve stopped asking. I’ve just put the camera away on a hook behind a door with no real plans to pick it up again any time soon.

I have not and will not be applying for an Ontario Arts Council grant this year. I thought I was going to, I’d planned on it, but when I looked at my body of photography work so far, I was too embarrassed to send any of the pictures in and I was going to be applying as an “emerging artist” for money to go toward a photography project I’d really like to do. The bulk of the money was going to be spent paying a part-time female assistant with a car. (For this project, it needs to be a woman.) The rest was going to be used to purchase lights and pay for gas. I am 95% confident that I could execute this project successfully if given the funds to do it but I don’t think I can convince the OAC of that by my shitty sample pictures that are basically only of my kids, my husband and my pets. I’m completely uninspired by my surroundings. I thought about shooting some pics to specifically use as my sample pics but there’s just not a whole lot that’s interesting to me around here. I’m sort of at the point where I dread taking out the camera because I’m either ultimately not going to end up doing anything with it except to put it back and I’m not going to like the pictures I take so it’s just going to frustrate me and make me sad.

The application deadline is December 1st so I have a bit of time, but I still don’t think I’m going to bother applying. They’ve already rejected me 4 years in a row as a painter, I think largely due to the fact that I have like, no exhibition record. I’ve been in Touched By Fire 3 times and I suppose I could add the studio tour to the list since I EXHIBITED lots yet sold nothing, but still, that’s painting. My photography idea will never happen. :o/ Anyone got $5k laying around that they don’t need? I’ve thought about maybe doing a Kickstarter type of thing but I can’t think of incentives, aside from prints, and what is the final goal? If I say my final goal is to show these pictures in a gallery, people aren’t going to give me money because photographs in a gallery do most people no good. There’s no benefit. A book? But how many pictures would I need to fill a whole book? Because the pictures I want to take are super tricky, semi-illegal (trespassing), and it’s gonna take a slick-talking assistant to get “models” (who are actually just random, normal women) to do what I need them to do and where.

Cryptic, I know, but this idea is my baby and I would be absolutely devastated if someone stole it. I’m so protective of this idea that I can’t even ask any photographers for advice because when it comes to ideas, I don’t trust anyone. Especially photographers.

So yeah, I just don’t know up from down these days. Every day is grey. All my plans for this year and next have disintegrated.

As I posted about previously, I didn’t submit anything to Touched By Fire because the whole thing was a clusterfuck from the beginning. First there were $20 submission fees, which counted me out. Secondly, they’ve switched domains inexplicably from touchedbyfire.CA to touchedbyfire.CO. This is suspect to me. THEN they got a sponsor (Deserres) who agreed to cover the submission fees which is fine but at that point they didn’t even have a venue. So long story short, I did not submit. I didn’t feel I had anything to submit to an art show that prides itself on showcasing how fucked up all us mental patients are. My glitter girls are happy. They don’t want happy, they want tortured, mentally ill people and they want their work to reflect that. So fuck it. Who needs a remedial art show anyway? OH! That was the other thing I wanted to mention. Tickets to get into the event? $20 per person. Isn’t that fucking ridiculous? Every other year it’s either been free or $10, so wtf.

I’m lost. I have no direction. Every grey day is the same. I do nothing. I have nothing. I am nothing.

PS. Feel free to head on down to Sunnyland Studio to see what I’ve got in the shop. Unfortunately the Xmas season is upon us…

(*I have never EVER and would not EVER drive with less then two hands on the wheel. 10 and 2, people. The only time my hand MAY leave the steering wheel for 10 seconds is if I’m getting a drink from a BOTTLE because with cans, you have to take your eyes off the road to look at the can and make sure you turn it around so you can actually drink out of it. This is too complicated and for me, too dangerous, so bottles all the way.)

July 22, 2013

Sunshine in a Bag

I’m not having a very good day so far.

I can NEVER AGAIN cover for someone at work the way I have been. I’m basically off my meds right now as a result and I’m kinda losing my shit. I took my PM meds last yesterday at like 6pm, slept until 12:30am, took my “morning” meds and then when I was done work at 5am, I took 2 extra loxapines so I’d be able to fall asleep and I slept until about 9am and when I woke up, I wasn’t sure what I should do because I shouldn’t take morning meds *again* right? But now I think it’s probably a good idea…I’m gonna call Blake and see what he says…

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Blake’s coming home and we’re going to call my shrink because I AM LOSING MY SHIT.

I’ll finish this later.

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I can’t even articulate what’s wrong, just SOMETHING is wrong. I can’t stop crying and I just feel WRONG. I don’t feel healthy, I’m fidgety, I’m uncomfortable. I thought a shower would help with the latter but it didn’t. I just can’t cope with the tiniest things. I watched last night’s True Blood and cried all the way through it. I don’t know if it was me? Or was last night’s True Blood extremely emotional? LIke am I seriously losing my fucking mind? I’m afraid to watch The Newsroom.

I don’t know what to do with myself. I can’t play Sims. I can’t watch TV. I can’t paint. I can’t read. I just can’t concentrate. And I don’t really do anything else so I can’t even think of anything else I would do.

Last night was my last night working crazy hours so I should be relieved right? YAY I made it through! Except I didn’t. Obviously. I’m FUCKED UP.

I’m also on day 1 of my period so I’m sure that’s helping.

I e-mailed my mom at 3am and told her that I didn’t think I could come see my grama on Wednesday because between working all these crazy hours (which would be normal hours for a normal person, probably, but I’m not a neurotypical person) and my brother AND my grama, I didn’t think I’d be able to deal. But then when I woke up, I felt more or less okay so I e-mailed her back and said that I’d changed my mind. But she hasn;t written me back and may not because I don’t know where she is or if she has internet.

Anyway, yesterday we were at this mega-toystore called Mastermind Toys buying a gift for one of Wes’ friends, which is one of my favourite places on Earth. And I got these:

I also got this little guy whose name is “Wishful”, for my bag:

It’s hard to tell in the pic but she’s a unicorn.

And yesterday I also drove and that made me extremely emotional too, which I think was a warning sign for today. Like I should have seen this coming.

What else?

Oh, I’ve been driving Blake crazy with Snoop “Lion”‘s new reggae album, which, to be honest, I only really like 4 songs on. “Here Comes the King”, “Lighters Up”, “No Guns Allowed” and I think “La La La” is the best song on the album, which is pretty crazy considering it’s a b-side that was never meant for the album and  you can only get it in the deluxe version of the album from iTunes. (Which no, I did not pay for. Please.) I also downloaded Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” which is stupidly catchy and Avril Lavigne’s “Here’s To Never Growing Up” which I *did* pay for because no one on SoulSeek had the explicit version.

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So Blake came home and talked me down from the proverbial ledge and I took 2.5mg of Olanzapine (Zyprexa) to calm the fuck down and he said that at 3 or 4pm I should take my psych meds but not my sleeping ones and take my sleeping ones at 7pm like I normally do. He thinks the issue is that I took my meds too close together, not too far apart but that if I wait until normal med time to take everything I’ll be pinging because it *will* be too far apart.

So yeah.

I have a work meeting in an hour so I have to get my shit together. Blake has his immigration test tomorrow. Wish us both luck.

March 27, 2013

Blow a Kiss, I’ll Make Ya Feel Better

In regards to yesterday’s post on creativity, see this set of comments on Live Journal and feel free to join the conversation either here or there or wherever you happen to be reading this. I just miss the intense rush of ideas I used to get when I was manic. Medicated, I struggle with ideas. I have to work to come up with them. Before I was medicated, they just came to me 10 at a time and they HAD to be created, it wasn’t even optional. I would have to stay up for 4 days in a row just to get them all finished. That is what I miss.

I love my girls. I love making my girls. But they don’t excite me the way other things have in the past. Hell, they don’t excite YOU the way other things have in the past, but that’s okay because I’m making them for me, not you. What baffles me about my girls is that so many people have said to me “I’d buy one if they were cheaper”, so I opened my Zazzle store.  There you can buy a poster of just about every painting I’ve made in  the last 3 years, but I’ve yet to sell one. All I’ve sold there is 2 iPhone cases – which are big ticket items, don’t get me wrong – and I think some stickers. I ordered greeting cards, buttons and stickers and the quality was pretty excellent. I wouldn’t sell anything that I thought might be crap. The mugs I ordered weren’t quite right so I took those out of my shop, but I’m pretty confident in the printed paper items. I just don;t understand why no one’s bought anything there when it’s all so cheap, relatively speaking.

And it’s not all about selling or anything, I don’t care so much about that, I don’t run an “art business”. I stopped trying to make art a business a long time ago. (But that doesn’t mean my work doesn’t have value. It does.)

That’s just what I see most artists doing: they find what they’re good at, their technique, their thing and they make a million of them. Then when they get sick of doing that or they’ve exhausted all possibilities, they do something else. With my girls, I’m not there yet. I’ve still got another million ideas for them. I just think that I could be doing something else at the same time, something more experimental. I just don’t know what that thing is yet because my little dick brain is totally impotent thanks to anti-psychotics.

I have a drawer full of metal, so I could do more things like this. I have copper and brass and possibly some silver. But tooling metal is HARD y’all. I learned how to do it in grade 5 and I made this kick ass copper lion that I gave to my dad that’s probably lost for all time now…

OMFG I JUST HAD AN IDEA.

And this post ends now.

March 26, 2013

The absolute worst part about being on meds.

I miss mania.

I miss staying up for 4 days straight and just creating in the most primal way imaginable.

I miss making things like this.

Or this.

Or this.

Or this.

Or this:

I’m so homogenized now.

Sometimes – secretly – I think it’s all a big conspiracy to keep me tamed.

Like I was a threat that had to be put down.

But I know that’s not true. I do.

Except that’s how it feels.

To be a shell of your former self.

February 11, 2013

In Heav-in, Everything Is Fine

You & me both, Hannah.

I’ve been up since about 3:30am. I dunno why I woke up at that time, I just did. I don’t know what I was dreaming about but I woke up with the sentence “we should have taken it to the edge” in my head. No idea what it means. I went to bed at 10pm after Walking Dead so if anything, I should have slept in. I’m not tired right now but my eyes hurt like they just haven’t been closed long enough in the past 24 hours, gritty, and my head is starting to hurt probably as a result.

I tried going back to sleep a few times but ultimately gave up at 5am. Then I watched last night’s Girls while I worked on my “golden girls” painting (not the old ladies) and started working out the idea for a new one. When we went to Michael’s last month I got a bunch of new papers for dresses and among them was this gorgeous matte and metallic copper damask and right above it was glitter cardstock in pretty much the same shade so I got them both with the idea of making a copper angel. I’ve made 2 angels in the past, a light skinned one and a dark skinned one and each of them have different wing shapes. The light skinned one is the only one of my paintings that I know for a fact belongs to a child and the dark skinned one is Madison’s favourite. Both of them though, are gold, because when I think of angels, I think of halos and halos are gold, right? And religious icons are often gold, the crosses and shit and there’s a lot of gold in the Pope’s robes sometimes etc etc etc, I just thought angels should be done in gold. But these papers are so beautiful and they really wouldn’t work for a fairy or a girl in a ball gown so an angel in robes just made sense since I really only do the 4 types of girl (angel, fairy, mermaid, princess) and then while I worked, the song “Pennies From Heaven” came into my head, so that’s what she’s going to be called.

When I do my backgrounds, I usually pick 3 or 4 complementary colours for the splatters with the main colour as the first layer so it shows through the crackle. Then I mix up to 4 different types/colours of glitter for the final background layer. The thing with copper is that not a whole lot goes with it, so I’ll be accenting the piece with a grey-ish green like the patina on really old copper and probably the metallic “espresso” that I have, which I’ll also be using for her hair. The green glitter is chunky and the copper glitter is fine. The piece may or may not have actual pennies on it, I’ll decide that when it’s almost finished. I use mulberry paper for my angel wings because it looks like feathers and I just so happen to have some in a peachy colour that’ll look good with all the copper.

This is what the angel looks like:

That was actually my SECOND drawing of the day because while I was unable to sleep last night, I still wasn’t totally all there so when I selected the papers (which is usually the first thing I do, but sometimes I pick the glitter first) and decided on what I was going to make, I knew in my brain what I was doing but my hand did something else completely and the first drawing I did was of a girl in a ball gown. I’ll use her for something else, but I was so annoyed that I spent over 2 hours drawing the wrong thing because there I was thinking I was being super productive and happy to be so and then my work amounted to nothing. At least I didn’t get to the shading stage, then I would have been flat out pissed off.

Anyway, while I worked on those two girls and started the process of making the background on the canvas, I watched the movies What To Expect When You’re Expecting (pretty much what I was expecting), one called The Fever with Vanessa Redgrave which was just weird and basically one long monologue and then I watched The Woman in Black which I thought visually was really well done but I am so over horror movies. They do nothing for me. I used to be really into them but now I just find the whole genre boring and predictable. I don’t even know why I watched that one. Probably because my friend Robert said it was the scariest movie he’s ever seen. I knew it wouldn’t be the scariest movie I’ve ever seen and I figured I probably wouldn’t even like it, it was just on the movie channel so I watched it.

I sent Mike from the artists guild all of the stuff he asked for for the website. This is my bio (Blake wrote most of it):

Sunny grew up in York and Durham Regions surrounded by art. Throughout her life, she has experimented and expressed herself using many different mediums from crayons to t-shirts to assemblage. Sunny moved to Elmvale in 2005 and works out of her home studio, kept company by her family and pets, loud music and way too much blogging.

Predominantly, Sunny currently works in mixed media painting, combining acrylic and watercolour paint and along with the masterful use of glitter she creates dream infused, magic-inspired fantasy girls. Her work is available online at http://www.SunnylandStudio.com

Blake’s also joining the artists guild as a supporter as opposed to an artist/artisan and that way he can come to meetings with me and be a part of things. So that’s cool.

Today it’s grey and rainy and all the snow is melting. Yesterday Blake and I went to the beach just because we’d never really seen it in winter and I’ll be editing the pics from that probably later today or tomorrow. Then Blake made teriyaki in the crock pot that looked pretty gross so I didn’t have any. When we were making the grocery list on Saturday (or more to the point when he and Madison were making the list while I was working), I told him to go on my Pinterest and find things he could make there and buy the stuff for that so he got the stuff for beef teriyaki (which I normally love but his sauce was really thick and dark, like molasses; they liked it though), beef & broccoli stir-fry and the stuff for me to make chicken soup which theoretically I should have done today but I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate cooking so much and it’s my day off and I don’t wanna. I realize putting stuff in the crockpot isn’t really “cooking” but it is to me because you have to chop all the stuff and cook the chicken and well, fuck that. That is not on the agenda, especially since if I was going to do it, I probably should have started 2 hours ago. Oh well.

Okay it looks like my paint is dry so I’m going to get back to work on this angel. I hope you’re having a quacktastic day.

November 15, 2012

So Much For That Idea

So I took my meds at 6pm and was drowsy by 7:30pm so I went to bed. And then I woke up at 12:45am, unable to fall back asleep. It’s now 2:24am, I think I’m up for the day and this day is going to be very very long.  :o/

For some reason, I can’t stop thinking about Cloud Atlas. Maybe it’s because I can’t decide what to read right now. (I’m debating between re-reading Life of Pi so it’s fresh in my mind when I see the movie or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Non-fiction really isn’t my thing, but The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has been recommended to me by several people now and I have the book so I figure I might as well read it.)

So I’m going to talk about Cloud Atlas, both the book and the movie, and it’s going to be super spoilery, so I’ll put it under a cut…

(more…)

Posted at 4:33 am in: Blake , Fall , Insomnia , Medication , Misc. , Movies , Work
November 14, 2012

I Don’t Really Have a Whole Lot To Say…

…because all I accomplished today besides work was dinging 62 with my shadow priestess and doing 39 minutes and 47 seconds on the treadmill (burning 137.5 calories and walking a whole kilometer) while catching up on New Girl with Madison…but I wanted to share these two really good things I saw on the internet today.

1. Some Thoughts and Musings About Making Things for the Web by The Oatmeal

2. AYearWithoutClothes.com
(If Tumblr pisses you off and confuses you like it does me, here, I did you a favour and linked you to the beginning. Oh and if it wasn’t obvious, this blog is not safe for work.)

I have to go to bed in an hour like a chump because I’m covering for someone else at work tomorrow and need to be sharp as a tack. Normally I get up around 4-4:30am, check e-mail, look at Facebook, whatever, until it’s time to start work at 5am. Then I work my shift and if I’m still tired, like I was today, I’ll go back to bed for a couple of hours.

Tomorrow I don’t have that option so I took my meds an hour early and hopefully the loxapine will have kicked in by 8pm so I’m actually asleep by 8:30pm. This is the plan. However plans like this never seem to work out for me so, ever the optimist, I’m expecting tomorrow to royally suck. That’s why I vowed to make today as fun as possible.

Tomorrow night is Touched By Fire. I have a lot of thoughts about Touched By Fire this year and the fact that this is going to be my last year doing the show, but I’ll save that for Friday. Charlie’s coming to the show with us and we’re going to The Keg for dinner beforehand, so I guess tomorrow won’t suck completely.

Okay now I’m going to go eat ravioli out of a can for dinner and convince Blake that we should watch an episode of Revolution before my night is over.

September 28, 2012

PURE ENERGY! JOY JUICE! INNER PEACE!

So remember when I told you about Squam and I said my photography teacher, Thea, who is an amazing person that I love to death, sprayed us all with flower essences? Well, I realize that aromatherapy is an unproven pseudoscience, but I swear on my children’s lives that when Thea sprayed me with Pure Energy, Joy Juice and Inner Peace I felt amazing after feeling worthless, scared, sleepy (because of my morning meds), uncreative (which apparently isn’t a word and I used to have a great word that meant this but now I can’t find it by googling – dammit! Edit: “prosaic” is the word I was looking for!), nervous, anxious, unsure, shy  etc etc etc and basically just feeling like crap that morning. I went from a crying mess to feeling calm, peaceful, inspired, enthusiastic, energetic and ready to learn. Part of that as Thea herself, probably most of it, but I’m convinced that the flower essence mists helped tremendously.

Aromatherapy may be unproven, but I think it works for me, so I ordered my own Pure Energy, Joy Juice and Inner Peace from Lotus Wei, which just arrived this morning and I was so excited I immediately sprayed myself and Madison and Blake with Joy Juice and Wes with Inner Peace! Then later, as I started to get tired from being up since 4am, instead of having a nap I sprayed myself with Pure Energy and I’m super awake and ready to kick Lightroom’s ass! (I’ve been trying to learn it for the last 3 days and I’m finally – FINALLY! – at the part in the book where we actually get to tweak the photos. My only beef with the book – well actually I have a few but this is my biggest one – is that he uses keyboard shortcuts exclusively that I’ll never remember because there are so many of them. I really wish he’d also tell you where to click and stuff instead.)

As a bonus for saying in the comments on my Lotus Wei order that I learned about the mists from Thea, they threw in 3 “serums” worth $35 each of the same names as the sprays I ordered absolutely free! The mists you spray directly onto your face and the serums you use basically as a perfume. I haven’t used the serums yet but they look like they’re oils. I think I’m going to keep them in my purse because the vials are pretty small (10ml).

When I got the e-mail that they were giving me the serums for free, I replied back and told the lady my story about my mental health issues and how that manifested at Squam and how the mists really helped me and she gave me a coupon code for 10% off my next order! How nice is that? (And also good marketing obviously, but I think it’s mostly just them being nice.)

There were also 3 stickers that came with my order. One is pink and says “SPREAD GOOD ENERGY”, another is blue and says “INNER PEACE IS POWER” and the third one said something about recognizing your impact but I gave it to Blake and I don’t know where he put it and he’s not here so I can’t tell you exactly what it says. I put the other 2 on my laptop. :o)

Wes just left for a sleepover at his friend Tommy’s house and before he left, I sprayed him with some Joy Juice because that kid could use a little extra joy. Remember when he used to say all these positive things and I’d post his quotes all the time? Well now, at the tender age of 9, he’s like, pretty jaded a lot of the time. He never takes risks, he never challenges the status quo and when we do, he thinks we’re weird and wishes we were “normal” (although come to think of it, Madison was the same way at that age so maybe it’s just a phase) and the only fun he ever has is playing video games (all of which he’s played for a million hours at this point and now he’s playing the same ones again because we don’t have any new ones) and when we go geocaching, which hasn’t be very much lately. Plus there’s that whole depression thing which was an issue last year but which hasn’t seemed to have carried over into this year yet, thankfully. He’s generally liking grade 4 so far and seems to come home in a good mood (he’s especially enjoying French, which he thought he’d hate) but for the most part, he’s sort of a Debbie Downer who doesn’t join in with our family reindeer games. I love him to death, but he kid really needs to relearn his sense of wonder and his ability to see the joy in every day life. I’m not sure how to help him do that. I started the whole gratitude journal with him last year but over the summer we forgot about it and had other things to deal with, but I’m thinking maybe we need to start doing it again to maybe try and change his perspective on life.

Anyway…all in all I’m pretty pleased with my purchase of flower essences and the whole family is too. They were expensive, being distilled essences and organic, but considering how much we pay for pharmaceuticals, I figure this is just another mental health expense but one I can share with the whole family. They suggest spraying yourself or using the serums 5x a day but I don’t think I’ll use them that much, just when I feel I need them. That way they’ll last longer.

In my next order, I’m going to get Quiet Mind and Inspired Action. Quiet Mind dissolves tension, quiets the mind and helps you sleep soundly, so I’d use this one before bed. Inspired Action says “get it done; stay motivated, clear & decisive” so I’d use that one to help me get myself prepared for leaving the house. Joy Juice says “more laughter, joy, playfulness & fun”; Inner Peace says “feel relaxed, calm, confident & comfortable with yourself”. Pure Energy says “energize, revitalize, protect from others’ stress”.  The only one I don’t have a use for is Infinite Love which says “enhance or attract love; be kind to yourself”. Actually, maybe I could use it for the last part…I’m not very nice to myself. :o/Maybe it would be good for low self-esteem days? I dunno. It’s last on my list anyway.

I figured I should stick to the ones I knew worked for me for my first order since the mists are so expensive but now that they’re here and I feel AMAZING I’m pretty definite that I’m going to get the rest of them and use them for as long as I can afford to. (Which I can’t….at all…..but I’m sacrificing restaurant/fast food/junk food and cheap DVDs from Clover (the Korean variety store) to get them.)

And that’s really all I have to say. Obviously I recommend them highly and I dunno, maybe if you tell them that I told you about them, they might give you some kind of deal. (Although I doubt I’m that influential, but maybe!)

Now I’m going to eat Kraft Dinner with Madison for lunch, who is camped out in my office playing Harvest Moon because her Gamecube controller finally came and today is a PA Day and then I’m going to get back to learning how to use Lightroom. Despite it being completely foreign to me I actually think I might like it better than Photoshop. You can do more things with it and it’s super customizable. I just have to get the hang of it.

So that’s it. Peace oot!

(This is me feeling peaceful. :o))

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