January 9, 2013

Don’t Call It a Comeback

Yesterday morning I worked until 8am, slept until 9:45am when Blake woke me up…then actually got out of bed 15 minutes later, begrudgingly, because I had to go to the dentist in half an hour for a 2 hour appointment where they’d be putting in the post for a crown.

That’s a weird thing about dentists, or at least for me. They always tell me how long the appointment is going to be and it always seems like it’s a long time – an hour and a half for a root canal, for example – but as it’s happening it’s like, time flies. And it’s not like I’m having fun or anything but for me, going to the dentist is like mental gymnastics. I am constantly trying to figure out just what in the hell they’re doing in there having never seen any of the instruments or tools before (and not wanting to) or even ever seeing a dental procedure on TV. And the weird thing about teeth is that to your tongue and while they’re drilling them, they feel enormous, but in reality they’re super small and while I’m at it, it amazes me that two people can fit their hands in my mouth at the same time and actually be able to see what they’re doing.

I used to be absolutely terrified of the dentist, but I trust the one I have now completely, he’s super nice and super gentle and really go0d at the whole freezing thing. One more reason why I don’t want to move (although sometimes he talks about retiring, which I’ve told him he’s not allowed to just up and do without a few years heads up and a well-trained replacement because girlfriend’s got shitty teeth).

Anyway, after we got home I think I worked on a painting for a while and probably watched TV but I was hungry and we had nooooothing in our house worth taking a second sniff at and I mentioned this to Blake, who was working, and he was like, “you could always go to the grocery store, the car’s in the driveway, the sun’s shining…” and I was like “YOU’RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE”, okay not really, but can you imagine if I just yelled that at him? haha

Well, while I was working yesterday morning and it was kinda slow, I was looking through the grocery store flyer and making a grocery list because in actuality, I make a grocery list every week but our grocery store never has about half the items that are supposed to be on sale because Blake can only go to the grocery store after work and by then, all the housewives have snapped everything up and they don’t restock until like, 2am. Then, for some reason, we always end up needing groceries on Thursdays, which is the day the old sale ends and the new flyer begins so on Thursdays there’s NOTHING because all the old sale items are out of stock and they don’t stock the new items until 2am Friday morning. Plus our grocery store is microscopic and they don’t carry everything in the flyer to begin with.

So I had this list and I was like, “I am going to go get groceries!” This was partially fueled by the fact that I’d ingested 2 clonazepams and 4 Ativans to make it to the dentist and partially because I just felt up to the challenge. Also, it’s the GROCERY STORE. We go there at least every other day, I know almost all of the employees and they know us, I had a list and Blake told me too use the Visa so it’s not like I’d be checking out and the card wouldn’t work, which is one of my massive fears. And if that was the case, I had 2 more Visas in my wallet with $0 balances. Honestly I had no idea how much my list would cost, which is why we didn’t want to use the bank card.

So that’s what I did. I got in the car, backed out of the driveway, drove to the grocery store (sidenote: despite the fact that we go to the grocery store 4 times a week at LEAST and our town is tiny, I went too far down one street and turned down the wrong street and ended up going a totally stupid way BUT when I drove past Bishop Park, there was police tape around the park area and there was a reporter from CTV News on the side of the road taping a segment; the kids told me after school that someone committed suicide there that morning with the exhaust of their car). I followed my list and got every single thing on it, including sale items, plus the stuff for 3 meals and half the ingredients to make chili was on sale so I got that for Blake because he’s been making chili in the crock pot this winter, which the kids have really liked. (I think chili is disgusting, personally, but *may* eat it if it’s made with ground turkey. As a general rule, I don’t eat ground beef because it grosses me out.) The only thing for chili that I didn’t get was tomato sauce because I didn’t know what kind to get and only the kind I would use for spaghetti was on sale (and that stuff, I think, is too pricey for chili, even on sale it’s $2.99/jar). But I got crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and red kidney beans (so nasty).

I only really ran into trouble at the end because grocery stores here – and I’m not sure if this is Canada-wide or if they do this in the US too – you buy these sewn reusable bags made out of recycled materials to bag your groceries (or you can pay $0.05 per normal plastic bag) and you bring them with you every time you do groceries, which I did, but while the cashier is scanning your items, you go to the front of the cash and start bagging. Well, I have no concept of LOGIC so this is a special challenge for me that I never even though of before. The lady took pity on me though and was like, “okay put this in first, put this in THIS bag” etc and then while I paid with my card she bagged the rest of them. Then I put all the bags in my cart, went to the car, put everything in the back, took the cart back and came back to a locked car. I’m not sure how I did that though, but whatever, I unlocked the door, got in and drove home. Then I got out of the car in the driveway and went to open the back door to get the groceries out and I’d locked all the stupid doors again! How the hell I did that TWICE in a row, I have no idea, but luckily I hadn’t locked myself out so I brought in the groceries and Blake was on a conference call so I put them all away by myself too.

And that’s pretty much where the story ends. I feel a little weird writing about these “accomplishments” because I don’t exactly want praise for doing things any normal person would have no trouble doing but they are milestones for me so I feel like I should be writing about them. I mean, it’s what I did yesterday and I pretty much write about what I do every day, so there it is. Maybe it was because of the drugs in my system or maybe it was because immersion therapy is finally working, but the only time I really felt nervous was when the checkout lady was talking  to me. I am no good at small talk with strangers so I mostly smiled and nodded like a fucking moron who doesn’t know how to bag groceries. And then I felt dumb later on because everyone wanted chicken kiev for dinner (which I found by fluke in the frozen section; normally our store doesn’t carry it) and we didn’t have any potatoes so I had to send Blake back to the grocery store to get some. And it was dumb because when I was at the grocery store, I thought about buying potatoes but was afraid we already had some and if we had too many, they’d go bad before we ate them all so obviously I didn’t get any. Oh well.

So that was my big breakthrough of the week. Many brave things in one.

Monday night’s yoga went pretty well, Kelly went easy on us. I don’t remember or even know all of the poses we did but most of them were standing poses, which I’m traditionally okay at, even if I was a little wobbly from not doing yoga for 2 years. Honestly, the thing I had the most trouble with was downward dog because I have next to no arm strength whatsoever apparently. Gotta work on that. And I could do tree pose when standing on my left foot and hold the pose the whole time (as long as my hands were at my heart centre, once you tell me to spread my branches and look skyward, it’s all over) but couldn’t do it for more than a few seconds on the other side.

Today’s been pretty mellow. I watched documentaries and painted. My snow fairy is almost finished, she’s at the varnishing stage, and I’m also working on a sketchbook cover which I haven’t decided what to do with yet. I don’t have a current sketchbook so I’m tempted to just keep it but Rob at The Conservatory seemed interested when I suggested that I could make blank books with my girls on them for $25. This one was sort of a test to see how fast I could turn them around, although this one’s an 8.5 x 11″ book and I think selling it for $25 (which he would sell for more) is selling myself short because of the amount of work that went into it. If I made smaller books for the same price I think it might actually be worth it.

And now Madison’s home so I’m going to go talk to her and continue painting. Blake should be home soon, hopefully with my Zazzle stuff.

OH! Yesterday I got the call that I’ll be starting cognitive behavioural therapy starting in February. The logistics of how to get there are kinda up in the air though…

August 8, 2012

The KKK Took My Baby Away

Just to update everyone on the current situation:

Madison has finished watching 8th Fire and while I haven’t spoken to her specifically about what she said yet (and maybe I won’t because I know she’s remorseful) I can tell she understands why what she said was so vile.

Like I said before, she thought Native people were like, NATIVE PEOPLE who live in the bush and hunt with spears and stuff. The first episode (or maybe the 2nd) of 8th Fire is actually called something like “Natives in the City” or something like that and it’s about, well, First Nations people who live in cities and not on reserves. That one alone should have set her straight.

I received this e-mail from Blake’s mom this morning and I just wanted to share it:

—————————- Original Message —————————-
Subject: just a quick note
From: “Blake’s mom” <blakesmom@nunyadamnbidness.com>
Date: Wed, August 8, 2012 7:51 am
To: “Sunny Crittenden” <Sunny@sunnycrittenden.com>
————————————————————————–

Hi Sunny,
I read your post about Madison and just wanted to tell you about her visit last summer.
She went to YMCA camp for several days and it was a very diverse group of kids.
When we went to pick her up she was surrounded by many friends and many kids came up to say “good-bye” to her.
Madison was friends (as close as kids can be in just a few days) with all colors and backgrounds. She just liked people and people liked her.
You should be proud of her because you’ve done a good job and she’s a good kid with no guarding, judgement or prejudice in choosing friends that I could see.
Hug,
Brooke

And like I said to her, that is exactly what made Madison’s words so shocking! When Madison was in grade 1, there was a new girl at school named Asha. And Asha was brown. (I don’t know what ethnicity she was and I don’t think I ever met her, I just know she wasn’t white.) Madison’s whole class, and almost the whole school, was white and none of the white little girls wanted to play with Asha – except for Madison. And they became good school friends until we moved here.

So Madison ISN’T a racist (I was half joking when I called her a “raging racist” yesterday, consider it hyperbole), she just said a really racist thing because she was ignorant. Now she is not ignorant and now she will never make that mistake again. And when we go to pow wow, her mind will expand even more and I think things will start to click, especially with Kara telling us about her family history. A good time shall be had by all, although I really wish Ronny & Alex could come. :o(

Anyway, I just wanted to update everyone on the situation. Things between Madison and I are okay-ish. I snapped at her yesterday because she was being irritating while I was trying to watch something, which I probably shouldn’t have done because things are kinda precarious between us at the moment, but I’ll apologize for it today and I think things will be okay. She also made me breakfast yesterday so things are looking up.

All day yesterday, after work, I watched Gossip Girl and worked on my daisy painting. So far it’s been really challenging and things haven’t really gone as planned but I think it’ll all come together in the end.

Yesterday I sold two ACEOs! Yay! Definitely buy them now because once these are gone, I don’t think I’m going to be making any more. Not like those ones at least. I still have a stack of about 40 cards that have backgrounds and are ready to go but god knows if I’ll ever use them for anything. Maybe I should just sell the cards as they are on Etsy for like, $2 or something. I doubt anyone would buy them, though.

Squam’s coming up! Mid-September! I’m starting to get excited! I’ve been having Blake cash my Camwhores cheques in US cash to bring with me and I feel rich with all those $1 bills! haha I have procured my wings, they are so so beautiful, have a look! What the listing doesn’t mention is that they JINGLE! There are little bells under the feathers so they jingle when you walk! I love them! I also have the Squam pre-requisite fingerless gloves too (these ones and these ones), which I also got on Etsy. Unfortunately they came from a smoking home though and they REEKED so I had to hand wash them TWICE in cold water and hang dry them. They’re beautiful, but I wouldn’t buy anything from that shop again because you shouldn’t have to do that. And then I got this for my mother-in-law, just cuz. (She sails.) I gave it to her at our anniversary party and she loved it. :o) I wanted to get a tutu that matched my wings, this one in an adult size is what I wanted, but the lady said it would cost like $50 to make it and I thought that was just too much for something I’d probably only wear once for a picture.

I think I’ve mentioned this before but on the first day of Squam, my first class is a photography class called “Spirit Sessions” where the teacher is going to teach me how to use the Digital Rebel but also, since she’s a photographer, she’s going to be taking our portraits. I’m *very* nervous about this. I really hate people taking my picture because they never turn out well. I usually look either fat or retarded or both. :o/ But anyway, that’s what the wings are for. I figure if there’s going to be picture taking, I should at least make an effort. And what REALLY sucks is that I think class starting at like, 9am, breakfast at 8am and since there will be picture taking, I’m going to have to do my makeup super early in the morning and that sucks. Also I don’t know what to wear. I have lots of clothes but I don’t really have anything that I want to be photographed in because I think I’ve been photographed in most of them to begin with. I dunno. Charlie says we can go shopping before Squam so hopefully I can find something then.

Okay, I think I’m going to go finish watching Gossip Girl and work on this painting. Or maybe have a nap because my morning pills are kicking in…Happy Wednesday!

Posted at 8:58 am in: Alex , Anniversary , Art , artists , Beauty , Brooke , camwhores , Charlie B. , Creativity , documentaries , Etsy , Family , Fashion , Friends , Kara , Kids , Life , Madison , Makeup , Mom , Money , Ronny , Squam , Summer , Sunnyland , TV , Work
August 7, 2012

Nish Nish Nish

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

Here’s what happened:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So that’s that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cute, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s that.

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

April 18, 2012

Hole Reunites After 15 Years

This made me so happy, you have no idea.
Now if only we could get them to reunite FOR REAL.
As an aside, I would really like to see Patty’s documentary.

Posted at 9:19 pm in: documentaries , Movies , Music , the 90's , videos , youtube
April 4, 2012

Elevator Lady Levitate Me

O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.

Not one single ant on my desk today. GREAT SUCCESS! I WON THE WAR! In your FACE Nature!

Now that that’s out  of the way, I bring you (finally) “Menarche”.

Menarche (pronounced “men-ar-kee”, like “men-o-paws”) is a girl’s first menstrual period, which occurs usually around age 13 (that’s the global average).  This painting was inspired by Madison’s menarche experience and not my own. Mine was very negative because it happened very early (age 9) and I didn’t know what was going on, my Aunt Heather had to tell me and since I didn’t want to tell my parents, she provided the pads (I also used my mom’s o.b. tampons sometimes when I was about 11).  Like many girls who started young, I thought there was something very wrong with me when I noticed the spots of bright red blood in my underbums. And that’s the thing with menarche, usually the blood is bright red as opposed to the brownish blood you get as you age.

Yes, that’s glitter.

With Madison’s menarche, I was ready for it having had such a negative experience with my own. I started telling her about periods when she was about 4 years old and the dialogue continues to this day. When Madison came to me one day last year (luckily it was *before* I went into the hospital, I believe it was April) and told me that she thought she was having her first period, I asked her to come into the bathroom and show me her underwear. Lo and behold, there was bright red blood in the crotch of her panties, so I gave her some disposable pads to use and called Blake to pick up more on his way home from work.

That day, I think I made a friends-only or filtered Live Journal post about the event because somehow my friend Deanna knew about it and she contacted me to ask if she could go halves on a Lunapads teen kit for Madison, which I accepted and which Madison has been using ever since. Lunapads are reusable menstrual pads and I think they’re amazing. Since switching to Lunapads myself, I haven’t had any yeast infections which I used to get all the time.

I love my Lunapads and (not that I’m getting periods these days because of medication/being sick) would never give them up, but Madison came to me last night and asked if she could switch to either disposable pads or tampons and while I didn’t tell her this, I was really disappointed in her decision because I thought with starting her off with Lunapads to begin with, I was starting her off “right” and that she would always be period positive and she IS period positive, she just sees it as a fact of life and deals with it but she finds the Lunapads bulky and she thinks disposable pads would be less bulky. She’s absolutely wrong of course, and I told her that, so that’s when she asked about tampons.

I have less of a problem with disposable tampons than I do with disposable pads because tampons, as long as they don’t have an applicator, are nowhere near as bad for the environment as pads are with their plastic liners. Tampons, essentially, are just cotton. They still take a really long time to break down in the environment, but not nearly as long as a disposable pad. My issue with tampons though, is that they cause irritation and for me, they caused bladder and yeast infections roughly every 3 months, not to mention the fact that they made the pain from endometriosis that much worse.

Madison doesn’t have bad cramps or endometriosis so that’s less of an issue, but I did tell her that if she wanted to use tampons, I would be okay with her using o.b. tampons without an applicator as long as she promised to never flush them down the toilet, that they were disposed of properly and that she promised me that she would be very careful about leaving them in too long. The only caveat was that she would have to buy them herself with her own allowance because we already bought her perfectly good Lunapads, disposable tampons are not a necessity they are a luxury.

Having said that, I did offer her another solution: we would buy her a DivaCup. A DivaCup, being an insertable, has all the benefits of a tampon but none of the risks and none of the environmental impact. It is a cup that you put deep inside your vagina which collects the menstrual blood and then when it’s time to change it, you carefully pull it out, empty the blood in the toilet or sink, rinse it and re-insert it. As an added benefit, the DivaCup has no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, or yeast infections and you only have to empty it every 12 hours so she wouldn’t have to empty it at school, whereas with tampons they should be changed every 4 hours. The DivaCup is also only $34.99 whereas a box of tampons is like, $9 or $10 with tax and you may need more than one box per period. I believe the DivaCup is supposed to last 10 years so compare 3 or 4 DivaCups per lifetime vs a lifetime of tampons and financially the DivaCup is the obvious winner. Healthwise the DivaCup is the obvious winner. Environmentally the DivaCup is the obvious winner. Conveniencewise the DivaCup is the obviously winner. Obviously, she chose the DivaCup option and one will be purchased for her soon.

While initially I was disappointed in her wanting to use disposables from now on, I’m proud of her for not being squicked out about a few tablespoons of period blood and choosing the DivaCup instead of disposable anythings. This shows me that I did start her off in the right direction, even if it were a direction I hadn’t really anticipated. (I didn’t think she’d be comfortable with insertables for quite a while. She’s turning 14 in May.)

So that was last night’s period conversation with Madison. She didn’t want me to name this painting “Madison’s Menarche” but she said I could post all that I just did just to explain why I painted it the way I did. I just wanted it to be bright and shiny and sparkly and happy and “new” feeling, like the beginning of a brand new woman should be.

“Menarche” will be available for sale on my site soon.

Like I’m pretty sure I mentioned earlier in the making of this painting, it’s actually one in a pair but I haven’t even started working on the other one yet so there won’t be pics of it for quite a while. As I also think I said before, it’s going to involve crackle paste though, which I’ve never used before and I’m kind of geeked about.

In other art news, yesterday I edited video I took of me drawing a few weeks ago but I don’t really like how it turned out. The angle is all wrong. The reason I bothered editing it is to show that taping myself drawing or painting “right side up” is pretty much impossible because with that angle, you can’t see what I’m doing because I’m right handed. The only way I could show you how I draw or paint from the left side is if I had the camera around my neck because I work sideways or at a sideways angle all the time and to work straight up and down would feel completely unnatural to me and I doubt I could do it. Anyway, here’s the video:

I kinda think I like making process videos. It’s interesting for me to watch myself because I don’t even really think about what I do, I just do it. I also think, maybe, that a person might be more likely to buy a painting if they can see the process by which it was made. Do you think that might be true too? That’s another reason why I was taking pictures of myself holding finished paintings (which I forgot to do with “Menarche”, oops), it’s like…proof that I made it or something, like a signature. Especially since 1/4 of the time I make something, I forget to sign my name before varnishing and then it’s too late.

I was really good at advertising and marketing when I was in college, probably at the top, or pretty damn close to the top of my class. The guy who thought he was at the top had like, this fucked up rivalry with me that always annoyed me because I’m not really a competitive person, my philosophy is that we’re all in this together and the more we get together, together, together, the more we get together the happier we’ll be. Anyway, he took me out for breakfast this one time and was like “how come you can never come to class yet be so damn good?” and the only answer I had was – well first, that I actually wasn’t that good – that it might just be instinct. The problem though, is that I have extremely low self-esteem with most things, my own work in particular, and I find it incredibly difficult to market myself.  And then I think, because I have such low self-esteem probably, that since I’m unable to market myself well, maybe I wasn’t so great in college either. But then I think of that breakfast and think that no, I’m just crazy and have low self-esteem. I’m also on a lot of drugs and haven’t flexed my advertising muscle in well over a decade so I’m just not the shark I once was. In fact, I can’t remember a single thing from college because I just stopped caring about advertising all together. I know good when I see it and I can make good when I want to, but don’t ask me what the tenets of marketing are because all you’d get from me is a blank stare because that shit’s boring. Instinct is where it’s at.

Anyway…

Today was a dressing change day and I took a pic of my wound for you guys since I haven’t done that since February:

As you can see, there are only 3 little areas left to heal, the two smaller ones are about the size of dimes and the middle part is about the size of a toonie. After those spots are healed, I’m still probably going to have to have a covering over the scar tissue because it’s brand new tissue and as a result it’s very very fragile. Even having it brushing against my clothing would likely reopen the wound.

And I think that’s really all I had to say in this update. Madison got her grad dress today and it is absolutely gorgeous but she’s forbidden me from showing you pictures of it and the only other thing I wanted to share was this article about Madonna’s Truth or Dare, which is out on Blu Ray as of yesterday I believe and which also happens to be on my wishlist if any generous third parties were interested in buying it for me. :o)

That’s all the poop that’s fit to scoop, enjoy the video and have a wonderful evening!

PS. My Oprah tickets came today! That’s the other thing I meant to mention! On the back of them it says you can’t bring STICKS! GLAD I READ THE BACK! BOY WOULD MY FACE HAVE BEEN RED IF I’D HAVE BROUGHT MY STICK!


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January 17, 2012

I went to the hospital last night.

Remember in my last post when I said I’d been having pains in my stomach for the past few days? Well it persisted all throughout yesterday evening and since the doctor told me I should go to the hospital if it did and Blake would be in Toronto all day today, we decided it would be a good idea to have me checked out. It would be a very bad thing if I had pancreatitis again and I was at home all alone.

So at about 8:30pm or so, I packed up the iPad, my chargers, my toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, my journal and a couple of pens just in case they admitted me and off we went to Midland, which is about 20 minutes North of us and is the same hospital I went to in June and again when I had pneumonia this fall.

We got there and did intake and everything was okay. We waited about half an hour in the waiting room and then they called us into the back of the ER where I saw a doctor who asked me how I was feeling, why I was there; we told him the whole pancreatitis story and that we were there to make sure it was NOT that again because the pain was in the same place and was the same kind of pain that started the whole thing last time. He asked me if I wanted anything for the pain and I said no because I’d already taken hydromorph before I came and I didn’t want a needle (I’ve seen this doctor before and he likes to give out the morphine like it was candy). He asked if I was nauseous and I was, so they gave me Zofran which knocked me on my ass and I fought off falling asleep (they had me laying on a table on my back and the room was dim).

They wanted to check my pancreatic levels (because I guess if you have pancreatitis your pancreas juice levels go up, so you don’t have to do an ultrasound right away)  so this really bitchy nurse used the biggest needle at her disposal to take my blood as roughly as possible. Then they said it would take about an hour to get the results so I fell asleep and Blake e-mailed my mom.

I woke up at about 1am because a new doctor came in and he told us that my pancreatic levels were fine and so was everything else. He said he didn’t know what the pain could be, that it was possible it was gall stones, but there’s not a whole lot they can do about those so take some drugs and bear it the best you can and if it’s too much, come back for stronger drugs. And truthfully, the pain is manageable with the hydromorph contin, Tylenol 1 and ibuprofen, but we were concerned it was pancreatitis again, so that’s why we went. I’m not fucking around with that shit ever again, if I’m in pain, I’m seeing a doctor.

So we were out of there by about 1:30am, we went to Tim Hortons so Blake could get a coffee and a muffin because he was tired and neither of us had had dinner. I got a ginger molasses cookie and a Pepsi. I hadn’t had a Pepsi in YEARS and the first sip transported me back to riding in the carpet van with my grampa, on our way to Alliston because I was skipping school to spend the day with him at the store. He had a mini fridge in his van that plugged into the cigarette lighter and it was full of Pepsi.

Anyway, that’s what happened at the hospital. As is the way of things, I’m not in any pain today and I feel totally fine. I think the Zofran they gave me settled whatever was going on in my stomach and now I’m totally okay. Or maybe it was a gall stone and it’s passed now. I have no idea, I just know I feel as normal as normal can be. *shrug*

This morning I ate waffles while reading some of Daisy Yellow’s older posts and I found this one on art journaling very helpful so I thought I’d share. Art journaling, as I’ve mentioned before, is something I’m really really bad at. I just can ‘ot do it.

For most of my life, I’ve written hypergraphically. That means that you write compulsively. Ever since I’ve been taking psychiatric medications, I don’t really write hypergraphically any more, not like I did anyway. I still blather on on the internet of course, but I don’t compulsively write in my journal for 6 hours straight like I used to. BUT, I read these art journaling blogs, like Daisy Yellow’s (I don’t know her name) and Jazmin’s, and I get jealous because when they die, they’re going to leave behind all these gorgeously decorated journals for their family members to read and keep for generations and here mine are, all text in my crappy printing. I mean, there are a lot of them, and I think most of them are pretty interesting (and so do other people, I once sold a journal for $200 which I think was a bargain on his part) but they’re not really aesthetically pleasing. The journals themselves are nice, I don’t cheap out on those unless I have to and most of them were gifts (my favourites are by PAPERBLANKS, in case anyone ever wanted to get me one and mail it, they’re simply the best and you can get them at Chapters or any big box book store *cough*), but inside is just text text text, usually in black pen, although the one I’m using right now has pink flowers on it so I only write in it with pink pen. I have a matching blue one that I haven’t used yet and I’ll only use blue pen in that one. In fact I bought coloured pens specifically to write in these journals because that’s how obsessive I am about them.

That said, I’d really like to have beautifully crafted journals like my online art friends’ but I just don’t really know how and when I’ve tried, it’s just looked stupid. Like, it could take me all day to paint/collage/whatever a spread, which is two facing pages, but what I want to write may be TEN pages, so that just doesn’t work for me. Or by the time I’m finished the spread, I don’t feel the way I did when I started it. For example, one day I tried making an art journal spread because I’d sold a painting and in that moment, I felt successful. So I started making this spread about that but I didn’t get finished until a day later and by then, I didn’t feel that way any more and because I didn’t feel that way any more, I didn’t know what to write that would be authentic. I probably should have written what I wanted to and art journaled around it or something, but that’s not the way most people do it so that thought never occurred to me until just this moment.

It frustrates me greatly. :o/

Less Herger of Comfortable Shoes Studio, retweeted today a tweet from Derwent, which is the company who makes the watercolour pencils and the Inktense pencils I use and this is what it said:

@derwentpencils Don’t let your work become precious. Be bold, experiment, make lots of mistakes. It’s the only way to learn, and it’s fun!

(Actually, the way the tweet was worded, I think it was said to Derwent by a woman named Kathe Parker in response to them asking “what would be your best advice to someone starting out in drawing & painting?”.)

This advice is something I have a lot of trouble with and this is part of the reason why I need to go to Squam so desperately.

I’m poor. I’ve been poor my whole life. When I was little, I was NEVER EVER allowed in my mom’s art room and I was NEVER EVER allowed to touch her materials because we were poor and art supplies are expensive. Too expensive for a kid to use and fuck up with. I was given Crayolas and a pad of paper. I wanted paint but it was too messy and too expensive. I wanted to paint on wood, but it was too expensive and selling her creations was how my mom paid for Christmas and anything “extra”. I wanted to sew, but my mom didn’t have the time to teach me how. Etc etc etc. (I am not *blaming* my mother for anything here, just stating facts.)

So when I grew up and had my own house and my own “art room” and my own art supplies,  everything because “precious” because if I fucked up, I couldn’t afford to replace the materials I fucked up with. I couldn’t just throw supplies in the garbage like that. I still can’t. We have no money. When I sell a painting, at LEAST 75% goes back into buying more supplies because that’s the only way I can afford to have these things and art supplies (and Lush) are really the only things I buy myself. (Of course I bought more stuff when I had a job, I’m talking about when I don’t.) My supplies ARE “precious”. I really really wish they weren’t but they are. I don’t know how these people can pay $20+ for a 4oz bottle of Golden Fluid Acrylic paint because it’s “the best” and then just trash what they’ve made if it’s not what they were trying to do. I just cannot wrap my head around that. I buy Americana paint for $2.99 or, if I’m splurging, $4.99 for Martha Stewart, and I *still* can’t wrap my head around just trashing something if I screw up. Imperfect things really really bother me and so does waste. When I put too much paint on my palette, I use a paintbrush and scoop it all back into the bottle when I’m done, even if it’s black or white, which I buy in big bottles because I use them the most and they’re inexpensive. I just can’t waste the paint. If I were using Golden, I’m not sure I could bring myself to even squeeze any onto my palette at all, I think I’d have to like, squirt tiny amounts onto my brush or something.

Another blog I was reading that was linked on the Squam website talked about things not being “precious” too so I think this may be a concept that someone has written about in a book or something (considering most of the teachers at Squam are published authors) because it seems to be a theme within the mixed media community. I see it popping up all over the place now and I think it’s something I really need to learn. I *do* use inexpensive paint. It really *isn’t* a big deal if I mess up and have to throw away a piece of artwork. As much as it would pain me, a canvas is really only about $6 and if I fuck it up too badly, I can always paint over it, all I need to do is invest in some good gesso.

I need to start making art that isn’t so “safe”. I need to also start making art that’s just for me, like in an art journal. Don’t get me wrong, I *LOVE* my girls. I love making them, I love how beautiful they are, I almost always love the finished product and I don’t intend to stop making them, but I think I need to make other art that’s more accessible too. Or something. I’m not really sure what I need to do, honestly, which is why I’m hoping Squam will crack me wide open. I need to not be so obsessive with everything being perfect on the first try so I don’t waste anything. Like time. I need to not be so obsessive about wasting time as well. Oh god, I have so much to learn! Anyone who thinks art isn’t work can shove their opinion straight up their own ass.  Sideways.

I’m probably channeling my inner Madison by saying this, but god dammit, art is agony! I love it, I hate it, I’m frustrated by it, it makes me cry, it makes me happy, it makes me a motherfucking MESS. Maybe it’s because I’m mentally ill that it makes me so emotional but I don’t understand these artists who are just happy and make happy art and nice little YouTube videos to entertain each other and to learn from each other and here I am, sitting in a dark corner clutching my sketchbook for dear life, unable to move. I want to be like them, I just don’t know how. I’m afraid it’s just not even in my DNA.

I have no idea what my mother’s creative process is. I’ve never really actually watched her paint (except when she was teaching classes) and I’m not there on a day-to-day basis to see like, how she is mentally but in general I think she’s a happy creator in that, I’ve seen her come up with an idea and get really excited about it and have to do it immediately. I’m like that too, when I have what I think is a good idea, I have to get it down on paper right away, even if I only have enough time to do a rough sketch. Then the next day I’ll begin working on the actual piece and obsess until it’s finished. And I do it perfectly the first time almost always. I can honestly say that I’ve only wasted a half sheet of watercolour paper twice in my life (I draw/paint my girls on watercolour paper and adhere them to the canvas with gel medium) because I just do everything in my power not to fuck up because watercolour paper is expensive. I mean, in my first grant proposal, I told them that my dream was to be able to afford 5 different watercolour pads so I could work on 5 paintings at a time. That’s pretty pathetic (no wonder I didn’t get the grant), don’t you think? I currently have 2 watercolour pads and since I draw my girls on half sheets now, I can work on 4 of them at a time, theoretically (I’m not that productive).

My friend Shoshanna Bauer does these really amazing watercolours, you should check her out, I think she’s extremely good at what she does. I would really like to play with watercolours, I like how they look, but I have no idea what I would paint or how you do it. No one’s ever taught me. I’ve looked at a lot of watercolours over the last couple of years trying to dissect them, and I’ve come to the conclusion that watercolours are REALLY fucking hard! Without even trying them, I just know that they’re really fucking hard and to make anything even remotely nice, I’m going to have to waste like, a whole pad of watercolour paper trying to figure them out and that’s expensive! Or at least that’s expensive to ME! And I don’t even HAVE watercolours. I have watercolour pencils, a very small selection of them that someone gave me a long time ago, and I have Inktense pencils, a large case of them, which work very similarly to watercolours (although I don’t think you can do the “salt trick” with Inktense pencils) but I have absolutely no idea how to use them.

I’ve always avoided watercolours because of their impermanence. If you’ve been reading my blog for any great amount of time, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with my art’s longevity. I want my shit to survive WWIII, plain & simple. I varnish the hell out of everything. I use materials that won’t fade, won’t run, won’t smear, are acid-free, archival and will do as they’re told. If you spill a Coke on a watercolour painting, it’s ruined. If you somehow spilled a Coke on one of my paintings, it would roll right off and you could gently wipe it down with a damp cloth. The idea of my hard work being able to basically be erased in a matter of seconds irrationally freaks me out! I’ve varnished watercolour before, but you have to be really really careful with it and you can only use a spray. Anyway, that’s why I plan on taking my watercolours to Squam. Maybe someone there can show me how to use them.

Having said that, I think it’s time for me to talk some more about Squam, as if you haven’t heard enough…I’ve finally sat down and made a list of expenses relating to the trip and if you could spare anything between now and September, it would be GREATLY appreciated. Like maybe for my birthday, which is March 1st? Or if buying a gift is more your style, I would really like this book by one of the teachers I’ll be in class with at Squam, called Painted Pages: Fueling Creativity with Sketchbooks and Mixed Media (by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare), which is on my wishlist. That would be appreciated also.

Here’s what I’ll need (okay maybe one or two is more of a want…):

  • Tuition: $1200
  • Gas: $200
  • An apron: $12
  • Fairy wings: $20…
  • A Rubbermaid container for all my crap: $10
  • Gesso: $10
  • Gel medium: $10
  • Umbrella: $12
  • Flashlight with extra batteries: $15?
  • Bug spray: $10
  • Paint: $25
  • Kit fees: $12
  • Eating out on the Saturday night they make us fend for ourselves: $20
  • Two cases of Diet Coke & snacks: $25
  • Art fair: $75 (tops)
    = $1656

It’s a lot of money, I know this, but every little bit helps me out immensely.

I’m going to order the apron, gesso and gel medium after I post this (so I can save on shipping because I’m ordering it all from the same place and get in the habit of wearing the apron), but the rest I’m going to get over time because Squam isn’t even for another 9 months. I estimated, generously, $75 for the art fair thinking that there may be some books there by the teachers that we’ll be meeting but realistically I probably won’t buy anything BUT that. I honestly have no idea what’s at the art fair except artwork by the teachers and some of the students (which I wouldn’t be interested in, I don’t think), books and possibly some art supplies/tools (which I *would* be interested in). I figure the difference would be made up in what I either didn’t include (food while we’re on the road, for example) or what I forgot to include.

The photography class I signed up for suggests a 4 gig memory card but Blake thinks we only have a 1 or 2 gig one and that since the Digital Rebel is so old it probably wouldn’t read a bigger card if I somehow got one. :o/ He says that since it’s only 6 mpx that the card we have is fine because it’ll still hold several hundred pictures. I’d still feel better if I had another card though. I’d hate to be out in the woods, fill up my card and not have any way to clear it. I’m not lugging my laptop through the forest! I also need something called a “grey card”, but from what Blake explained to me, I think I could make one of those. We have a tripod. It’s broken I think, but still usable and it has a case. We also have an external flash and a remote thingy so I’m good there too. I’m really excited to finally learn how to use the Rebel, it’s always been way too complicated for me and Blake never uses it so it’s been sitting in a camera bag in my office for literally like, 6 or 7 years now and it’s only been taken out *maybe* a dozen times. Part of the class is that the teacher is going to take our portraits, which has me nervous because I hate getting my picture taken but I still really want one, but that means I’m going to have to get up a bit early to like, do my makeup. Just a little bit of makeup though, I *am* camping after all! (Sort of!)

For the Pages & Paint class I signed up for, the kit fee is $12 and includes 2 “gesso boards” which I have no idea what those are but apparently we’ll be using them as our surfaces and a whole bunch of other stuff that sounds pretty fun. She says she’s going to supply some paint, but I prefer to use my own and I’d like to bring Martha Stewart paints because I really am in love with them. Just a few colours. She wants us to bring LASER printouts or photocopies of photographs, I’m assuming to do gel transfers which I’ve never been able to do properly so I’d really like to learn how by actually watching someone, in the flesh, do it, so I can ask questions if necessary and really KNOW how to do it when all is said and done. I have no idea where you would get laser photocopies though. I don’t think Staples or Business Depot does things like that, do they?

Oddly, I have zero anxiety about Squam – on the surface, anyway. This morning I woke up really early because I had a nightmare about it. In my dream we were in Seattle, in a classroom overlooking a canal of some sort with buildings and skyscrapers all along its shores. The classroom we were in had big, arched windows and we were all sitting at butcher’s block tables in groups of 6. They were teaching us how to make some kind of dessert which used 3 different types of squares in a bowl, covered by some type of creamy stuff like icing or whipped cream and some sort of crushed up chocolate bar or something sprinkled on top. While half of our table was making that, my mom said to the rest of us some smartass remark about either the teacher or the activity and we laughed, but the teacher overheard, picked up our table, and moved us to the back of the class where there were no windows. The teacher refused to look at us for the rest of the class and later when my mom and I were walking down a hallway to get somewhere else and we had to take an elevator, the elevator doors opened and Rosie O’Donnell was coming out of them. We were starstruck but when Rosie looked at me, she got this really sour look on her face and said something so mean to me (I don’t know what), because she heard about the incident in the classroom, that I woke up crying. So does that mean I really do have anxiety about Squam and I’m just somehow lying to myself? Because I don’t know, I think it’s actually pretty weird that I’m not freaking out completely about either the money or going or being away from home for so long or whatever. I’ve never looked so forward to anything in my whole entire life!

Annnnnnnnd to make things even more exciting, Belinda just payed her deposit so she and her boyfriend Brian are coming too! I love Belinda! We’ve been friends online for about 10 years now, but we’ve never met! Isn’t that exciting? I’m totally stoked! Belinda is probably the most talented artist I know and I’m really interested to see what she creates while we’re there! I forget what she chose for her first choice classes but I think one of them was a writing class. I do know that if my mom, Belinda and I all get our first choices though, none of us are going to be in the same classes, which I see as a good thing because then we’ll have lots to talk about when we’re not in class. We also all signed up to be in a bigger cabin with 5+ people, which should be interesting. Brian is just coming for moral support and to take in the scenery, he’s not going to be taking classes with us. He will be staying in the cabin with us though and eating at the camp with us. I’m looking forward to meeting him. :o)

Okay, this post is over 4000 words long so I think I’d probably better shut up. Plus, I’ve spent long enough at the computer TALKING about art, now I think it’s time to actually go make some.

PS. I saw Cinema Verite last night and I loved it. I would love to actually watch An American Family since I wasn’t even born when it aired on PBS. Any ideas on how I’d do that?

October 9, 2011

The Ongoing History of Sunny & Jen

“And you don’t know how it feels,
You don’t know how it feels,
No you don’t know how it feels,
To be meeeeeeeeeee.”

- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

 So I’ve heard from Jen. Actually, let me back up a bit…On the suggestion of a couple of friends on Live Journal, I sent Jen the link to the post on Live Journal that was a duplicate of the one you’re reading now. I did this on Facebook. You can read the comments on the LJ post here, if interested. I chose to link her to that version of the post because that’s where most of the people were commenting, including my IRL best friend, Alex, whose life would also be affected by any decision I made in regards to this.

In the comments, my friend Charlie (woodoo24) and I exchanged these words with regards to simply sending her the link to the post:

Charlie:  Meh…do you want a bunch of internet people jumping in her shit?

Sunny: Well, yes and no. Does she deserve that? Yes. Does she also deserve to tell her side of the story? Yes. Are we going to be friends at the end of this? I doubt it. But I think she deserves to know, especially considering that the last communication said something like “I know you hate me for some reason…”, indicating that she doesn’t know why we haven’t spoken in 2 years.

I dunno. I just dunno. People will only jump her shit if she lets them. She can read the post and talk to me privately afterward.

So I gave her the option to message me privately, which she did this evening. Because she took the option to message me privately, I’m going to extend that courtesy by not posting what she said on my site because if she wanted it on here, she would have commented.

Without going into too much detail, she confessed wholeheartedly to the guinea pig and really made no effort to pass the buck onto anyone else. She did say that her life had spiraled down pretty far by that point (which is true), with Carolyn being in the driver’s side and Jen in the back. When Carolyn said she knew what to do, Jen believed her because Jen was very much Carolyn’s follower. Knowing Jen’s personality, I believe this. At the same time, she was in the midst of breaking up with Jesse who may or may not have been already beginning his relationship with Patricia at the time (their roommate at the time, who Jesse is now engaged to), she was in massive debt and amassing more and more every time she turned around and as I said, things were tailspinning out of control.

That is NOT an excuse. That is an explanation. There is no excuse for what she did, which she recognizes, but what’s done is done and as long as she knows that what she and Carolyn did was majorly fucked up, I can accept the heartfelt apology she gave, not punish her for the rest of her life and be friends again.

YOU may not understand this, that’s okay, you don’t have to, but the message I got from Jen tonight was from a changed person and I believe her when she says it was never her intent to hurt the guinea pig. As she pointed out: “I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12, I am now volunteering for Greenpeace, I climbed the CN tower earlier this year to raise money for The World Wildlife Fund.” This is not the profile of an animal abuser and I never thought she was one, I just thought this one incident was fucked up and until now, something I couldn’t forgive. But enough time has passed and as I said, she’s grown as a person since then (the old Jen would have blamed everything under the sun but herself), so I think slowly but surely we’re going to get back on track to being friends again. Like I said in my original post, I think that’s going to have to happen slowly though, because I have to be sure she’s not just putting on an act or lying to me or whatever. I have a pretty good bullshit detector and in the past I’ve let a lot of things slide with her, so that’s something *I’m* going to have to work on for this friendship to work.

I haven’t messaged her back yet, so she may see this post before I do, but she was “sick to [her] stomach” by all of your comments on both of the other posts so I think we’ve been successful in teaching her a lesson. Maybe it wasn’t our job to teach a lesson though, but maybe more like…we sent a message. And I think we have to be happy with that because I don’t think she’ll be irresponsible with a pet ever again – at least not while she’s friends with me. Oh and I’m happy to report that, “that puppy that Jesse and I got together is my entire world, she never goes without anything, she has a great home, she’s well trained, well groomed and the happiest little creature ever.

I think everyone is deserving of a 2nd chance, but it’s conditional. They have to have learned something or grown from it and it appears as though Jen’s done both. Granted, what she did was monumentally stupid and yes, unforgivable for some people, but time can heal most wounds eventually and I think that’s where I am right now.

I understand that not everyone is going to “get” this and some people may even look down on me from now on because I’ve forgiven her and if that’s the case, so be it. We just have differing philosophies, I guess, different experiences. Like I said in my original post, who here among us hasn’t done something monumentally stupid whether they got caught or not, whether they admit to it or not? Hell, that’s Post Secret’s bread & butter. You can’t tell me you haven’t done something really dumb or mean or cruel and wished for forgiveness, if you haven’t already gotten it. And if you haven’t, well congratulations, you’re better than the rest of us, continue looking down your nose at us from your pedestal in the clouds.

She’s sorry.
She’s learned and grown from what she did.
That’s enough for me.
By tomorrow we will be friends again.

So now that that’s off my chest, guess what? I must have misread the scale when they weighed me in kg at the hospital. I weigh 113lbs according to the Wii Fit. Guess what else? Tonight I had spaghatta nadle for dinner, with domperidone 15 minutes before eating and not only did I keep it down (this being one of my triggery foods) but I didn’t even feel sick afterward. Also I looked domperidone up on Wikipedia a couple of days ago and read about how it can cause lactation, which made me realize where I’d heard the name before: Ana Voog bought some from the internet when she was having trouble breastfeeding her first child.

The domperidone hasn’t been perfect though. On Saturday afternoon I took some and had mini donuts from the fair, followed by fries and gravy and about 2 hours later, I hurled it all back up. I don’t know if I took the drug too late for it to have an effect (Blake brought home the donuts, I took a pill and ate the donuts – well, SOME of the donuts), then I had fries and gravy like, half an hour later or if it was the greasy food itself, which is technically on the bad list. At the same time, tomatoes are on the bad list too and my dinner tonight stayed down just fine. That was the 2nd time I threw up this week. Earlier in the week I barfed up a can of ginger ale, which made absolutely NO sense considering I was drinking half a case of that a day when I was in the hospital and never had any trouble with carbonation before. In fact carbonation, whether it’s ginger ale or a Coke, seems to settle my stomach so wtf? I guess it’s just a mystery.

Okay I think I’m going to go see if Blake wants to watch Who the Fuck is Jackson Pollock? in my office while I work on my sketchbook, which is coming along nicely. I think I may actually have it done by deadline! Imagine that!

Goodnight internets. I hope you still like me tomorrow.

PS. Jen is no longer friends with Carolyn. They haven’t been friends for about a year.

February 13, 2011

Red Moon: Menstruation, Culture & the Politics of Gender

I absolutely have to see this movie.
If not own it.

WTF? Why is it $150-$250???

Edit: Here’s a blog post about it and they say it’s for sale in other countries and by the sounds of it they mean for the consumption of the “every woman” so why the fuck am I only seeing it for that crazy price?

Edit #2:

Dear Sarah Crittenden,

Thank you for your order from Media Education Foundation.

Your invoice number for this order is XXXXX.

Please retain this invoice number for reference information.

You have ordered the following:

Qty Description Unit Amount

——————————————————————————–

1 (240-I-D) Red Moon $75.00 $75.00

——————————————————————————–

Subtotal: $75.00

Shipping & Handling: $19.31

Total: $94.31

Posted at 6:07 pm in: documentaries , Menstruation , Movies
April 12, 2010

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land

So I just finished watching Food Inc., which for some reason aired on CBC Newsworld last night so I recorded it (I just find this sort of weird since I think the documentary only came out on DVD like, last week? also, if you’re in Canada, you can watch it on the CBC website here but I don’t know for how long) and while most of the contents of the movie I already knew, it really helped to give the whole thing a bigger picture and at the end of the movie it’s not “welp, we’re fucked!”, they actually give you tips on what you can do to help change things.

Two of the tips were to eat locally grown foods and to buy produce when it’s in season. So the first thing I wondered was, how in the hell am I supposed to know what’s locally grown and what’s in season? I mean, I live in Ontario, Canada, what could possibly be “in season” in the dead of February when there’s 4 feet of snow on the ground? And another thing is that, just as an example, the only grocery store in our town, the entire time I’ve lived here, has never once had locally grown strawberries in July, when they’re in season, despite the fact that we live within 3 km of several strawberry farms. Every strawberry I’ve ever seen in that store has come from California, same with blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

Anyway, we have these really annoying commercials on TV in the summer about Ontario farming with this really horrible jingle that goes, “Good things gro-o-ow, in Ontariooo!” and as soon as the thoughts above entered my head, I thought “durrrr” and Googled “Foodland Ontario”, which is like, the government “brand” for produce in this province and lo & behold, on their website is a chart as to which produce is in season during which months. So I bookmarked that, right next to my bookmark for the grocery store flyer and this family is going to make a concerted effort to only buy produce when it’s in season. If I want a BLT in February? Well that’s just too damn bad, I have to wait until March. Since it’s all grown in-province, that’s killing two birds with one stone.

Another tip from the movie is to grow your own vegetables, which as I’ve mentioned, we’ll be doing for the first time this summer. I bought enough beans, for example, that my intention is to have 4 rows total, 1 for us to eat during the summer and 3 for freezing. That won’t do us for the whole winter, but that’s just how much land I have to work with and considering that we’re doing the garden this year for financial reasons every little bit helps.

As for meat…well, we’re still going to have to rely on the grocery store for that because the organic food store in town is just too cost prohibitive. I already don’t eat chicken, though the rest of the family does and the only time I eat ground beef is in spaghetti sauce, which I’m going to stop doing, even though the rest of the family uses it to make hamburgers out of. Our dinners are still mostly meat-based, but gradually our meat portions have been decreasing and our veggie portions have been increasing, so that’s good, and we also have at least one meatless dinner per week.

We’re not gonna save the world and we’re not exactly models of nutrition, but I know we’re doing better than most of the people we know in that we’re actually doing something. Compared to say, 5 years ago, we’ve gotten a lot better as we’ve learned to do better and we’ll continue to do better.

And that’s really all I have to say about food today.

Sometime this week I’ll start taking pics of my grow-op and make my first official Keep Off The Lawn post. Right now on the living room windowsill I have cherry tomatoes, bobcat tomatoes, green peppers and purple peppers starting in beer cups. Some of them are getting too big for their Saran Wrap hats already while others haven’t even sprouted, so tonight when I replace their hats with clear plastic cups, I’m going to reseed the ones that haven’t sprouted yet because I have a feeling they’re not going to. Also, I noticed today that my daffodils are up and there are tons of little crocuses and tulips out front that I have to take pictures of before they get decimated in 2 weeks by the sod cutter. Somehow grass has overtaken about half of the front garden so next paycheque we’ll be renting the sod cutter to get rid of it so I can plant my wildflower seeds in May.

Next week is Gogol Bordello which means that also next week I’m going to be quitting smoking…again. It’s like my dad says, you just gotta keep quitting. When you start up again, if you start up again, you just have to quit again because every time you quit, that’s at least a few months worth of smokes that you won’t be smoking. I’m hoping that this time it’ll be permanent and Blake & I have decided on some things to make it permanent, namely, we’re not going to become friends with anyone who smokes until we’re both several years in the clear as far as being nonsmokers. Since we’re not friends with Wayne & Judy anymore and since they’re moving May 1st (*happydance*) and since none of our current friends smoke, there will be no temptation for me to smoke and no opportunity. As I know I mentioned when I quit last time, Wayne & Judy would practically put cigarettes in my mouth and light them for me (Blake too) and it was impossible to say no because they just won’t take “no” for an answer and they don’t respect the fact that you’ve either quit or are trying to quit. Instead, they would sit there and every 5 minutes say, “are you suuuuuure you don’t want a smoke? The pack’s right there, just help yourself,” or Wayne would toss you a smoke and say, “here just smoke it, I know you want to” and things like that. Then if you still found the willpower to say no, Wayne would sit there and basically tell you why you’re an idiot for quitting, how it won’t make a difference and how if you die of cancer, that’s just what God has in store for you, there’s nothing you can do to prevent it so you might as well enjoy your smokes while you wait.

So with Wayne & Judy out of the picture (our other neighbour doesn’t smoke), there will be no pressure and no opportunity to smoke unless I suddenly develop the courage to walk to the store myself and go get a pack, which would never happen. The fact is, unlike other attempts to quit, I actually want to quit, it’s my decision, not a decision being made for me. And I’d love to say that it’s for health reasons and while that’s partly it (I’ve developed asthma and it would be idiotic to ask the doctor for Ventolin rather than just quitting), it’s mostly financial. As a condition of me starting to smoke again last summer, I had to start paying for them myself and in the beginning that was fine because I was only smoking 2 packs a week. Since then it’s escalated to almost a pack a day and I just don’t make that much money and more to the point, the bit of money that I do make, I don’t want to waste all of it on basically nothing, not when I’m desperately in need of canvases and I’m quickly depleting my supply of the more expensive art supplies like gel medium, Weathered Wood and acrylic glazing liquid which are each about $12-15 a bottle and therefore (to me) expensive to replace. A pack of 3 canvases is about $25, also, again to me, expensive to replenish and I just started working on my last one yesterday.

So, it’s time to quit. Hopefully for good. I’ve decided to do it the day after Gogol Bordello because Gogol Bordello has me stressed out of my mind and I’m going to be around smokers that night, plus my mom that afternoon. Before I go to bed Tuesday night, I’ll be breaking and flushing all of the cigarettes I have left and that’ll be it. I’m not worried about it being hard, it’s not like I haven’t done this before, I know the first 3 days are going to be monstrous, but after that it just gets easier and I’m going to stock up on Skittles and Starbursts beforehand so I have something to occupy my mouth throughout the first week. (Insert lame and obvious oral sex joke here.)

So that’s that.

This weekend I was ridiculously productive. On Friday I finished “Ooh La La“, as I posted about, and Saturday & Sunday I worked on what I’m calling my “silly painting” for right now…because it’s a silly idea and I don’t even know why I’m doing it…and started a 3rd which is going to use the pink tinsel glitter I posted about the other day and which is going to have a fairy on it, although that’s as far as I’ve worked it through.

Something I have to say though, is that I am absolutely in love with these little storage cups I bought from Stockade when I bought paint last month. They’re the same kind of plastic cups you get coleslaw in when you get takeout, look:


I custom mix a lot of my paint colours and all of my glitter mixes and when I do so, I often have excess paint leftover that I’ve never really found anywhere to put. I tried plastic pill bottles because god knows I have a million of them, but they’re not air tight so the paint would just eventually dry out. Prior to that, I was just letting the paint go to waste, but with these little containers, I can store the it and use it for other things. In the picture, the top container is full of black glitter mixed with water and acrylic glazing liquid, the pink ones are metallic pink that I mixed this weekend, the blue is pearlized turquoise that I used for “Ooh La La”‘s eyeshadow and the purple is purple glitter mixed with acrylic glazing liquid to make sort of a paste that I used as eyeshadow on the “silly painting” I’m working on now. It doesn’t look like it in the picture, but the two pinks are actually two different colours, one’s a lot lighter than the other. One will be used for splatters while the other one will be used for hair. I should have put a coin in the picture so you could see how big the containers are. Each one holds about 3/4 of an ounce of liquid.

Anyway, they’re awesome, although a bit expensive for what they are, and you can get them here. If anyone knows where to get these cheaper and in bigger quantities, please let me know. I’m assuming you can find them on restaurant wholesale sites but they probably have minimum orders and really all I want is these cups.

Well, Blake’s going to be home soon, my paint is now dry, so I’m going to get back to working on these paintings before dinner. I hope everyone has had a good Monday and I’m sure I’ll blabber at you some more tomorrow.

August 30, 2009

Fun With Analytics

Hello internets. How are you today? Good I hope.

I realize I haven’t been much of a textibitionist lately and that it seems like I haven’t been online a whole lot and I thought I’d write a bit about why that is and then share with you all some interesting things about this website.

My neighbours are having a tough time of things right now and to help them save money on childcare costs, I’ve been watching their 9-year-old daughter in the afternoons from the time her mom goes to work and her dad comes home from work. That means that from about 2pm until about 6:30pm there are three very loud, very bored, very ready to go back to school children in my house and I’ve found that this makes it next to impossible to stick to my usual routine of making art and internetting.

Along with five other girls, plus Blake, I’ve been busy working on that TOP SEKRIT PROJEKT I’ve not been talking about since the spring and very very soon it’s going to launch and not be so TOP SEKRIT anymore. Because of that, it’s sort of crunch time and I’ve been pretty stressed out about it.

On top of that there’s getting the kids ready for school, which starts in a week, a shrink appointment on September 4th that I need to prepare for (she’s going to ask me about immersion therapy which is totally something I don’t even want to talk about right now) and my post-op appointment with the endo specialist on September 10th in Toronto. Plus I think my in-laws are going to be visiting during the last two weeks of September as well.

Along with all of the above, I’ve been working really hard to get my last series of paintings done (“Sparkle”, “Shimmer” & “Shine) and ready to submit to the Touched By Fire people for entry into the show this year, as well as writing what basically ended up being like, an artist bio/press release to be used in media for the show, which I know I mentioned previously.

In between all of that, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my neighbours, who I’ve now dubbed “my second family” because I’ve been hanging out with them so much and we also spent a day at my mother’s boyfriend’s cottage where we swam, jumped on a water trampoline thing, watched his son do wakeboard tricks and even got to see Blake on a pair of water skis. In the last two weeks I’ve had two REALLY bad sunburns back to back, which wasn’t fun. In fact, I’m still really itchy from the burn I got the day we went to the cottage.


The scratches are where I made Blake scratch the shit out of me because I was so itchy.


Blake water skiing.

So that’s what I/we’ve been up to in a nutshell. Also, I recently discovered this extremely stupid, extremely addictive video game called Plants vs. Zombies that everyone in this house is currently obsessed with. (Thanks a lot KATIE. :oP) I’m hoping that once the kids start school and my days are free again, that I’ll be able to get the paintings that I have on the go finished and ready for sale (including “Devil Girl”) and to be able to pay more attention to expanding my horizons. This is the first year both kids are going to be at school every day (jr. & sr. kindergarten was Mondays, Wednesdays and every other Friday) and I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to spend most of my time. Making art, definitely, but in between making art I’m not entirely sure.

There’s also the matter of moving, which has been on mine & Blake’s minds a lot over the summer. he doesn’t feel as though his current position within the company is as secure as it was before the economy went to shit and the number of departments closing is kind of scary, so he’s started positioning himself for a better job within the company. Right now he’s a…I dunno, a technology analyst (??) and the new job he’s hoping to get is something to do with databases. The issue though, is that the database stuff is all based out of Toronto, which is about an h our & a half away from us. This makes for a brutal commute, especially in the winter which hits our area pretty hard causing roads to often close and snow days galore. That means it would make more sense to move further south both so we’re not spending crazy amounts of money on gas and car maintenance and also so we aren’t forced to spend less time together as a family. The problem is, we don’t know where to move, what kind of house to move into, whether we want to live in a rural area or into a town or even what kind of life we want for ourselves and the kids when we do move. There are so many pros and cons to all of the above, that we don’t even know where to begin sorting it all out. But I’ll save that for another post because right now, in the immediate present, he doesn’t have the job, hasn’t even applied for the job (because the job doesn’t technically exist yet), so we’re staying put.

Anyway, onto analytics.

Like most people with websites, I run stats on mine using Google Analytics. Truthfully, I rarely log in anymore to check them out because my traffic hasn’t changed in years (2500-3000 unique visitors per month…why like, 0.01% of these people actually make contact or post comments is beyond me) and I don’t really care what people are reading or paying attention to because I’m going to post whatever I want anyway. I do find the referrals interesting, but again, they don’t really change much from month to month and I’ve found myself caring less and less as the years go by.

That said, tonight I logged into my analytics just out of boredom and found myself on the “Keywords” page, the page that tells me what people are putting into search engines to land on my site, and some of this stuff cracked me up so as I do every now & then, I thought I’d share and give a little commentary.

The #1 search criteria to find me is of course, my name. That’s a given. But I had 9 visits in the last 30 days from someone (or maybe a few someones) searching for “sunny crittenden + marketing magazine“. Hmmm. Yes, this month I was in Marketing magazine due to the Hypercube debacle, but I’ve also written articles for Marketing magazine in the past and I wonder what exactly this person or persons were looking for – the Hypercube article or the articles I’d written for them in the past. Curious.

Next on the list was “sucking cock“, “blowjobs” and “elf porn“. The former two likely due to my guide on doing just that, and the latter is because I referenced it ONCE in a blog post I made probably two years ago now when I was playing World of Warcraft. Also in the same vein there was “girl guides suck cock“, “what to expect after anal sex“, “are blowjobs good for the tongue muscles“, “cock loving nurses teach cock sucking galleries” (wut?), “does sucking dick actually turns your lips pink?“, “elderly man’s cock in my pussy“, “girls sucking own clit” (very flexible girls?), “how to put lube in asshole“, “suck head penis until blow up sperms“, “sucking cock whilst giving birth” (WTF?) and “why do some ladies don’t enjoy giving a man a blowjob“.

Below that was “sarah sunny crittenden“, which I also found curious. “Sarah”, as most of you know, is the name my mother gave me. So who would be searching for that? Three people, apparently. o_O

Oddly enough, further down the list were “suzi blu“, “suzi blu drama“, “suzi blu is a fake“, “suziblu.ning.com“, “+ suzi blu“, “disenchanted with suzi blu“, “suzi blu and willowing drama“,  “suzi blu doesn’t refund“, “suzi blu ning“, “suziblu insanity bitch” and “encyclopedia dramatica suzi blu“. (Sidenote: If you weren’t aware, Encyclopedia Dramatica lampooned Suzi pretty good a few months back.) It appears as though there are at least 8 people this month who are unhappy with Suzi Blu for whatever reason and their searches are landing on the few posts I made about my experiences with her this spring. To those who are here due to Suzi Blu, I’d like to redirect you to Marylin, the internet’s resident Suzi Blu expert.

Also interesting, yet not all that surprising, were Nissan Cube, Hypercube and Capital C searches, such as these: “cubecommunity.ca” (which launched last week I think and as suspected it’s a fucking joke), “tony chapman fake“, “can a dog fit in the back of a nissan cube“, “length of bed in nissan cube“, “capital c nissan“, “hypercube aftermath“, “hypercube contest fix“, “nissan cube bra“, “sunny nissan key code reader“, “sunny crittenden hypercube“, “tony chapman + cube” and “tony chapman + douchebag“.

Others I found entertaining were the following: “sunny camwhore styleproject“, “stileproject cam portal” (someone oldschool must be looking for me- here I am! *waves*), “thank you universe” (I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s thankful), “i am so over humanity“, “president’s choice decadent cookies” (the only store-bought cookies worth putting in your mouth, imo), “shaved my head” (neat! so did I! *high five*), “born without arms boy” (???), “cam girl documentary” (don’t even ask me when it’s coming out…it’s been in post for like, 4 years), “camwhore chali” (hey Chali, someone oldschool must be looking for you too!), “camwhores password“, “camwhores.com password“, “how do i save videos from camwhores.com” (good luck finding a password, my CW password is actually more secure than my online banking password and as far as saving videos…there are programs that record anything you see on your screen but I don’t remember what any of them are called. I think the Mac one might be Snapz?), “camwhores the documentary” (non-existent), “can risperidone slow down your metabolism” (YES and to add to its evil nature, it also increases your appetite), “memoirs of a web cam girl” (one day, one day…), “prevent hacking taking risperidone” (I have no idea what this means), “sunny crittenden selfish” (hahaha! well whatever, one person out there on the world wide web thinks I’m selfish, I think I can live with that), “well aren’t we just a ray of fucking sunshine canada“, “which pills will kill me” (:o(), and last but not least (and definitely my favourite), “sunny crittenden bitch“.

Long story short, since it’s damn near 6am, people search for weird crap and end up finding me. I’m honoured and I hope all of you new people stick around to see that there’s much more to me than blowjobs, webcams and that goddamn Nissan Cube.

Goodnight!

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