September 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 31, 2013

It’s just one of those days…

Another shitty song by another shitty band.

I worked this morning (YAY back to schedule!) and I have a meeting at 2pm and since I can’t go anywhere or do anything still because of my foot, I’m just going to do a lot more internetting and sharing with the class. Are we ready boys and girls?

omg a thought just occurred to me. I bet there are people in the world with Limp Bizkit tattoos who SUPER regret it now. I bet there are people with Nickelback tattoos as I type this or girls with Justin Bieber tattoos…yikes.  There’s shitty tattoos and then there’s *shitty tattoos*.

I guess there are lots of people in the world with tattoos they wish they never got, now that I think about it. That’s why I won’t get a Hole tattoo or a Nirvana tattoo, even though I know I’ll love those bands forever. Courtney Love could do something WORSE than she’s already done and make me regret the Hole tattoo and I just don’t want Kurt on my body. My friend Raymond has a Smashing Pumpkins tattoo that I really like. That one’s probably safe.

I’ve thought about getting a Canada flag tattoo but I don’t know where. A very small one. I like itty bitty tattoos for some reason.

HAHA Wes is talking to his friend on the phone in a British accent. What a nerd hahahahahaha Ohhhhh if my foot wasn’t jacked up I totally could have filmed him. Ugh. Moment’s over.

omg haha Jehova’s Witnesses just came to the door to show me an article about “what was god’s purpose for creating the earth?” and I replied, “I just think he was trying to have a good time making stuff. Thank you.”, took the brochure and the guy was like, “do you have a bible?”, “yes,” I half-lied*, “okay well thank you dear and I hope you get better soon”. God, crutches are awesome.  But those Jehova’s Witnesses, man! I *just* posted on Facebook somewhere that they had stopped coming and here they are. Like fucking psychic vultures. Ugh.

(*oh and the half-lie is that it’s the King James Version that my great grama got for free for sending money to a televangelist in like, I dunno, the 60s or something haha Like I’d ever actually read it.)

In my dream office, I want space for a canvas rack, both to store pieces and to store blank canvases. Just a thought I’d like to send out to the universe.

Listening to the Violent Femmes. The thought that Blake and Brian could play this whole album on Brian’s porch because it’s acoustic occurred to me a few weeks ago. I dunno if they tried it the last time Blake was over there because it was a Saturday and I was working so I didn’t go. I know Blake was practicing one song recently, though, but I forget which one. Bigmouth Strikes Again by The Smiths just came on. I’ve been begging Wes to learn this song, I think he’d do such a good job with it. Wes just looks at me like I’m on drugs (duh) when I suggest it though.

haha this was taken at a children’s clinic.

Godammit I have to pee. That means crawling up 3 stairs, crutching down a crowded hallway/laundry room and then maneuvering myself onto the toilet. It’s exhausting. So sick of crutches. I don’t want to miss this summer. I want to go to the beach 100 million times and play with Madison in the waves. Tomorrow is August. Summer will be halfway over. :o(

~*peeing accomplished*~

Mother Mother just tweeted that Neil Young painted the artwork in their hotel room and they also posted an Instagram pic of it.

Here’s my video of the day, which I never saw before this very moment and I guess it’s not safe for work…which is a fucking shame, man. A fucking shame. Because she was beautiful and she did a good job (or they blended her with her stand-in pretty well). I think if you can see it on YouTube it should be okay in the workplace. Anyway, here’s the video. Sound quality’s not the best:

It’s 1pm and I am literally counting down the hour until my work meeting. I haaaaaaaaate them. I just always want them to be over with and I know this is going to be a long one because…*sigh* it just will be. Then again, I always think that. Which is why I hate them.

~*some time later*~

Doot doot doot doot doot dOOt doot doot doot doot doooot
Ting thing thing, ting ting ting, ting ting ting, ting ting ting

I was just thinking about some of the people I knew in Stouffville. See, my boyfriend at the time’s father who was an alcoholic and crazy and scary, rented out rooms on the top floor of the house and one time the newest addition to the house happened to be a chef. Cannot, for the life of me, remember the guy’s name (Gary maybe? no idea) but he was super nice and one time he made us roast elk with this really lovely gravy and roasted, seasoned potatoes. One of the best meals I’ve ever had to this day. I forget the name of the restaurant/pub he worked at but it was beside the Fickle Pickle. We also hosted a waitress from Australia who I think was named Kelly, she worked at the same pub and made us a gross lasagna once that had yogurt in it because she was a freakazoid who would put such a thing in perfectly good lasagna. I showed her an easy way to shorten a skirt using a stapler.

It’s weird the things that come to you when you just let yourself zone out for a sec and let your mind wander. How some memories are clearer than others. The snippets I have from back then, from when I was 15, are so so random. I wish I’d have taken more pictures of those years. There are lots of pictures of me as a child, but hardly any as a teenager because I lived with a family who didn’t care about pictures and my poor ass didn’t have a camera. I know Ken took one of me with purple hair when I was 15 but that’s the only one I can recall. I was a bride for Halloween in grade 9 or 10 and the yearbook people took my picture but I don’t think it was put in the actual yearbook because I moved away or something. Must have been grade 10.

Jane Says by Jane’s Addiction is another song Blake and Brian could do on Brian’s porch. Just a thought.

Song of the moment.

Anyway, Blake’s home now so we have to figure out dinner etc. My vote is chicken Kiev with boiled new potatoes!

Posted at 5:16 pm in: Blake , Canada , Family , Friends , Kids , Life , Madison , Moving , Music , Raymond , Religion , Summer , Sunnyland , Wes
September 10, 2012

I am UNTANGLED.

Squam’s Facebook fan page posted this old article from the winter about having anxiety about attending and I’d read it before, but I didn’t read the comments until now. The very first commenter made reference to having a “mind/body/health crisis” that she was only “untangling” now.

And I thought about that for a little while and I did a lot of blinking and I realized that “untangled” is exactly how I feel these days. I mean, aside from being fucking petrified about going to Squam. Like, lifewise I feel finally untangled. All my medical crap is finally DONE. My 14 months of hell are OVER. And even before I got sick, my life was like a snowball rolling down a hill going faster and faster and getting bigger and bulkier by the minute and I knew I was going to crash at any moment. Right before I got sick, I basically begged my boss for a week off in the summer because I was so stressed out. But at the time, there were only two of us doing our job (plus our boss) so taking time off was pretty much impossible. And then I got sick. Really sick.

I often wonder if the pancreatitis that came out of nowhere happened because my body couldn’t deal with all that stress. The doctors and Blake and my mom and everyone keep telling me there was no reason for it to have happened, the usual reasons didn’t apply to me at all, it was just pure fluke, but still, I wonder.

Losing my mind to psychosis and being put in a psych ward made me stop believing in God. It made me think that “God” was just a delusion. Because for me God WAS a delusion. My psychosis was largely religious (and I’m not, nor have I ever been, religious), I thought God was speaking to me and telling me to say and do things. I thought I was having a religious experience and I was trying desperately to share it with Blake, to show him that God was real. But the drugs they gave me in the hospital, and the drugs that I take to this day, keep “God” at bay. Because God was a delusion.

But then when I got sick, and the way it happened, it made me wonder about God all over again. They say God only gives you what you can handle and obviously I couldn’t handle a full-time job since I was stressed to the gills, so if I were a religious person, I might think that God made me sick to force me to take a break and re-evaluate my life. My brain (that IS capable of understanding logic, despite popular belief) knows this isn’t true and that the world doesn’t work that way, but I grew up not religious, but not believing in coincidence so it’s been really hard for me to accept the fact that this was fluke. That this just happened for no reason. I also grew up thinking there was a reason for everything and as an adult, it’s been extremely difficult to curb these kinds of thoughts. I think it’s because I want there to be a reason for everything. I want there to be a higher power or several. I also want there to be fairies and yetis though, so there’s that. (And oddly, I absolutely, 100% believe in both despite a distinct lack of physical evidence of either. Fairies are smart enough not to leave a trace because duh, they’re MAGIC and as for yetis, well, it’s a big world that we’ve only really begun to explore it. Scientists find new species of birds and lizards and fish and animals all the time.)

Anne Rice has me pretty convinced that werewolves are also entirely possible. I just finished reading The Wolf Gift, which I loved. I dreaded reading it because werewolves are cheesy, but Anne Rice’s are dignified yet completely animalistic. And cannibalistic! Anyway, it was classic Anne and I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended! My only beef with it…well, I can’t really say unless I get spoilery. There’s a couple of gay characters in the story and they and their relationship is such a stereotype that I just rolled my eyes and thought, “Anne, you can do so much better than that!”. (I’m talking about Stuart and Margon, for those who have read it.) But whatever, it’s such a minor complaint that it doesn’t even matter and I’m eager to read the next installment of the series. I actually hope she writes these characters as long as she did Lestat. (Blake is listening to the Vampire Chronicles on audiobook right now. He just finished The Vampire Lestat. Mostly I wanted him to read them because the last two books of the series, Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle are so fucking good. She ended the series so beautifully that I bawled my face off, especially knowing the “behind the scenes” stuff about her and her husband. I’m also going to make Blake read the Mayfair Trilogy before the Mayfairs are introduced into the Vampire Chronicles. He has a LOT of reading to do!)

Wow did I ever stray off topic…

Anyway, I feel like the last 14 months have been a total mess, choppy waters, and now it’s smooth sailing. Maybe I shouldn’t speak so soon because as soon as you say something like that, disaster strikes, right? Well, if I can survive pancreatitis and all that came with it, I’m fairly confident that I could survive anything. Bad things may not be easy and they may take some time to deal with, but in the end, I truly feel you’re stronger for it. These days, while terrified of Squam, I feel like I can do anything. Today I almost went to the post office with Madison, even. (But there was no point in going because the Free People box that’s waiting for me there is too big to carry home with even the two of us so Blake’s going to try and get out of work early enough to make it home in time before the post office closes. Thanks Charlie!)

I just feel like when we went to the beach on Labour Day, it was like hitting the “reset” button on life. I felt so at peace when we were there, it felt so natural. Life was finally normal. Yeah, I’ve got this gigantic scar to remind me of what happened and I’m going to have a tummy bulge for the rest of my life because they couldn’t fix my guts completely, but I’m okay with both of those things. A little self conscious about the bulge because it looks like I’m maybe 4 months pregnant if you look at me from the side, but so what? Let people think what they want, no fucks will be given. After spending so much time in hospitals, you kind of value your dignity a little less. A nurse had to clean up my shit when I lost bowel control in the shower due to the fact that they’d just removed the catheter and poo bag after nearly 2 months of it being in place. This is what I mean by a loss of dignity or maybe not even a loss per se but you just value it less. It’s not like I can help this bulge, it’s not like I ate too many Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Combos* and I’m fat as a result. So why should I care if people think I’m fat or pregnant? And it’s not like I can tell people in a sentence what happened to me to make me like this either so there’s no point in trying to explain so my only choice is to let them think what they’re going to think and go about my business.

While I’m terrified of Squam, I’m excited too. I get to wear the fingerless gloves I bought on Etsy! And not feel self-conscious about them because everyone else will be wearing them too! (They are basically a Squam necessity, I’m told.) I get to maybe go swimming with Belinda. The weather looks good, but maybe not hot enough for swimming. But if it is, I’m bringing my turquoise bikini and showing the world my scar. Maybe. (I’ll bring it but I might chicken out and just wear a tank top and bikini bottoms like I did at the beach.) And I get to hang out with BELINDA!!!! One of my very best friends who I tell practically everything and have for the past 10 years, yet we’ve never met in person. And I’m pretty sure my mom’s going to like her too because I think it’s pretty impossible NOT to like her. My mom’s already insisted that she and her boyfriend, Brian, come to dinner with us on Saturday when dinner’s not provided at the camp. And I have enough money that I feel secure being 10 hours from home. And I have a friend in Vermont who has told me that if there are ANY problems whatsoever, she can come get me in a heartbeat. And I know that if, for some reason, I got stranded, between Blake and Charlie, I’d find a way home. Blake wanted me to go to Squam so bad that he was willing to drive me there and sleep in the car on the side of the road the whole time I was there (because it’s like, $800 or something to go to Squam and sleep there but not take any classes). Luckily my mom was down for adventure.

And yeah, I’m pretty scared the car ride with my mother is going to be hell. We have a looooong history of not getting along and she gets mad at me so easily and when she gets mad at me I cry and can’t deal. Because as easily as she gets mad, that’s how easily I cry. Fuck, I’m crying right now just thinking about it. The bottom of my stomach dropped out and now I’m reaching for the Ativan because I just cannot even cope with the possibility of that scenario without Blake there to mediate. People have told me to sleep or have headphones on (I don’t have an iPod so that wouldn’t work anyway) and basically ignore her but it’s a 10 hour car ride so that’s not even practical and she’s my mother, we’re supposed to be doing this together, I’m not going to sit there and ignore her for 10 hours. Plus I love the crap out of her and when we do get along, we get along REALLY well. So I’m just hoping neither of us trigger the other. I think that’s an impossible dream, personally, because it happens pretty much every time we’re together now. The further we get from me being sick and the closer we get to things being “normal”, the more ready to be volatile and jump my shit she’s become. I think my fears of a terrible car ride are not unfounded. My only hope is that she’s in a totally positive headspace and is excited about our adventure and that that overshadows any negativity she may point in my direction. And I’m going to try to do the same. Like I said, I’m trying REALLY REALLY FUCKING HARD to go into this without expectation, to not pre-judge the experience or the people I’m experiencing it with, and to just – as my mother has said since I was little – “trust and allow”. That is my mantra.

I’m also trying really hard to just let myself fuck up. I’m not so much scared of my photography class. The only thing that scares me about that class is the portrait and that there won’t be anything to photograph. We’re going to be in the woods. Where there are trees and pine needles and too many of us being noisy for there to be any significant wildlife. I’m hoping my artist’s eye will see more but right now I’m full of doubt. I like taking pictures of people but I’m scared of strangers. And I don’t want people taking pictures of me, so I can’t really be a hypocrite and take pictures of other people. Anyway I’m not scared of that class. I’m looking forward to it. My fears with this one are so minor that they just don’t even matter, it’s my SECOND day’s class that scares the ever-living fuck out of me because I’m going to create things I don’t like or I’m not proud of. I just know it. That class is not a class where you’re there to show off what you already know, you’re there to learn what you don’t and then throw it on the canvas (well, gessoboard). I don’t like experiments. I throw those in the garbage or paint over them, on the rare occasion that I actually DO experiment, which isn’t very often. I don’t do anything unless I’m fairly confident in knowing what the end result will be. I’m not a risk-taker.  And I need to get over that. I really really do. I’ve written before about my art supplies being “precious” and how that’s a bad thing because it holds me back and this is a prime example of where that kind of thinking would be pretty toxic. That’s partially why the only thing I’m bringing with me for that class from my “old bag of tricks” is crackle medium, which I doubt I’ll even be able to use because it takes too much time to dry, and all of my glitter.

And then I have this crazy, stupid irrational fear that’s been plaguing me for the last 2 weeks or so: what if I love it? What if I love it so much I want to go next year? And the thing is, I can’t go next year. I can’t afford to. And I don’t want to ask for donations again to make this a yearly thing because I’m not sure that’s ethical. I mean, I don’t think it’s terrible to want to make money from my blog and then use that money to fund Squam, but I don’t want to beg to do it, which is what it feels like, and I can’t think of any other way. The cost of Squam is over 4 months of my personal income without buying anything else and that’s not even considering expenses like food and general incidentals and “get yourself out of shit” money. So I have this Negative Nancy in my head saying, “Don’t go because you’ll have a good time and then you won’t be able to do it again and then you’ll feel like shit. Might as well stay home and save yourself the grief.” I’m not sure what to do about that. I mean, I’m definitely going of course, but I don’t know what to do about this negative self talk.

And I’m scared for after Squam. As much as I feel like right now is a new beginning where I get to start my life over from scratch, I’m terrified of what comes after Squam because what comes after is immersion therapy with Rick, who I don’t like already because he stares at me and makes me feel uncomfortable. I’ve only met the guy once, but that was my first impression. The goal of immersion therapy is to be able to take a cab from my house, all by myself, to the mental health centre in Midland (20 mins away) to take a cognitive behavioural therapy course once a week for probably 8 or 10 weeks, and then take a cab home. I don’t know how in the hell he plans on accomplishing this but that’s the plan. And I would like to be able to walk into town and go into stores and go to the post office. And maybe even one day I could drive to Barrie or the beach all by myself. (The beach would be more realistic because it’s closer and you take back roads.) But that’s a long way off. I mean, right now I can’t even leave my house by myself or even with the kids so I dunno. I haven’t really been anywhere by myself except for horrific attempts at self immersion therapy that just made my agoraphobia worse in like, 8 or 9 years.

Now I’m feeling tangled. :o(

I better stop writing before I go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. As together as I feel I am, I’m teetering on the brink of absolutely falling apart. And I can’t do that. I just can’t.

(*I am completely obsessed with these and have them for breakfast and dinner a LOT. I’ve cleared out our whole town of that flavour, all of Barrie [that we know of] and Wasaga Beach.)

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

May 31, 2012

Insert Title Here

Bonjour mes amis! Comment ca va? Ca va tres bien!

And there’s about the extent of the French language I have right there. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but Blake and I are half-assedly learning how to speak French since it IS our 2nd national language and everything. Plus we plan to go to Quebec eventually and then hopefully France as well. We don’t have French-English dictionaries yet though, which would probably be incredibly helpful. We’re working on it.

Right now we’re pouring all of our money into our anniversary party. I finished addressing the invitations yesterday and Blake’s going to mail those out today so at least that’s taken care of. Then Blake needs to make a private page/event on Facebook for the afterparty (or I will, I guess) and we’ll invite those people and then it’ll be a party!

I have no idea who all will be staying over at our house but I know Alex & Ronny will be and maybe Deanna & Lucas and maybe some of the Michigan people. Maybe some of the Toronto people. Massive vacuuming is going to have to happen before this party if we’re going to have people potentially sleeping on our floor. The plan is still to have a big breakfast in the morning so regardless as to whether or not people are actually sleeping here, they’re invited the next morning for breakfast, courtesy of Blake and his wicked culinary skeelz. I still don’t know what’ll be easier though: toaster waffles or pancakes and if we would bother with toast or not since the only egg option is probably going to be scrambled eggs just to keep things simple. Therefore, no one would need toast to dunk into their eggs. (Which is the only reason I can see actually eating toast, personally.) Waffles or pancakes are super important because we got maple syrup from the Maple Syrup Festival just for the occasion.

Planning parties is very hard and very stressful. :o/ Hopefully when we’re celebrating our 20th, our kids will plan it! (Ha! Fat chance.)

It’s gonna be fun though, depending on my level of pain. Since I’m not sure when surgery is going to be, I could be in a lot of pain OR we could schedule the surgery for afterward and it wouldn’t even be an issue. I guess we’ll just have to see what Dr. Hanrahan thinks.

So yesterday I saw this really upsetting video of these 4 years olds (I’m guessing), singing a song in church about how “there ain’t no homos going to heaven” and then not only did the adult congregation clap, they whooped and cheered and gave the kids a standing ovation. I don’t even know where to begin with that one and I’m not linking it so here’s “Running Faggot” by Kids in the Hall instead:

And then Blake told me about this crazy thing happening here where this teenage girl wanted to start a gay-straight alliance type of group at school and she was told she couldn’t. Why? Because she goes to a Catholic high school and that’s a total “no no” in the Catholic religion, right? So okay I get that but the thing is, our religious schools (or at least the Catholic ones) are partially funded by the province. By the government. And so our government has laws against hate speech and all kinds of laws against discrimination for being gay and gay MARRIAGE is legal here so this is a total conflict AND there’s a petition about a bill that needs to pass because:

There is currently a Bill in the Ontario Legislature that has the potential to guarantee that students who wish to form gay-straight alliances in publicly-funded schools must be permitted to do so.

1. We need to make sure that this Bill passes, with the protections for LGBTQ student groups in it, so that my friends and I will be able to form gay-straight alliance groups in our schools.


2. We also need to ensure that this Bill is amended to guarantee that students will be able to name their groups – so that schools won’t be able to prevent students from calling groups “gay-straight alliances.”
If Bill 13 passes, with the proper amendment, then no student will have to fight as I have to get a safe space in their school. No student will have to go up against school boards and administration in order to create a group in their school where they can be themselves and be supported by their fellow students. That will be something that schools must allow.”

I have no idea how it’s going to play out. The Catholic school board/church has vowed to “fight back”, whatever that means but I really hope our government is just like “pffffft” and swats these assholes like flies. I’m not really sure how a Bill is passed in our system, to be perfectly honest, so I’m not sure who, exactly, votes on this thing but I signed the petition and those e-mails are apparently going to the people who would presumably be voting on it so I guess we’ll see what happens? I know a well-written paper letter to these people would be more effective but who does that anymore and I think there’s a time issue at hand here, or at least that’s how I read the letter.

I understand why our government funds religious schools – I really do – but if they’re going to do that, they have to make sure those schools are teaching every child the laws of the land of this country, not just what the bible says.

But that’s just me.

It was so surreal when we were registering Madison for school and they asked us if we wanted to have our taxes go to the Separate (Religious) School Board when we were filling out the paperwork, or the public one. She was going to public school so I thought that was a strange question. We said “public” since that’s where she was going and I haven’t given it an ounce of thought until this morning.

Anyway, I think it’s fair the way school taxes (or how I think they work) are collected and used, I get why the province funds religious schools. I think the way it works is that your school taxes go directly in the pockets of the schools and the school systems based on what you check on your kids’ registration papers in the beginning. If you’re Catholic and plan to send your kids to Catholic school then I think it’s totally fair if you want your taxes to go to that school system.

Then again, I could have NO idea what I’m talking about. I’ve never read up on how taxes in this country work or anything like that, this is all based on that one question on Madison’s registration papers in junior kindergarten.

Anyway, however it works, I hope the province stops funding them if they won’t stop bullshit like trying to prevent gay students from bridging the gap between straight students and themselves. These kids are taking it upon themselves to do that because the adults aren’t making the effort. Don’t parents see the awesomeness of that? It’s like happiness friendship club where – oh my god – kids learn tolerance and compassion and understanding and they grow and evolve as people! Isn’t that like, the goal of creating new humans? (Especially at that age?) You would think lovers of Jesus would be ALL over that. But they’re not in this case, so I hope the province throws the book at them and privatizes religious schools.

But who knows what might happen?

In other news, Wes came home the other day really excited about his cereal box. I guess they’re doing a unit on media studies and the task was to make fake cereal boxes for some reason. Well, Wes got really into it and all last week he was bugging me to register DOMAIN NAMES for him based on his fake company and his fake cereal name, saying that he’d like to learn how to build a website.

I think he’s way too young to have unfettered access to the internet but as Blake pointed out, he can make a site in Notepad and save it all as .html and open it from his desktop like a website, to start off with at least. He also pointed out that we have Dreamweaver on the family computer so there’s that option too, although I find DW hard to use without the Visual Quickstart Guide. I’m torn as to whether or not I should buy him the domain name he wants to build a future site maybe, so I’ve either cut out or blurred domain names on his cereal box, as well as our phone number, which he had on there, so if he still loves this idea in a couple of years, the option’s there.

So here’s his cereal box, that he was really really proud of and wanted me to show you all:

So I took a break from posting these photos to go make breakfast (turkey on a kaiser woop woop!) and during that time, Wes was in the kitchen having his breakfast (Honey Nut Cheerios) and he asked me if I’d ever “heard” of there being prizes in cereal boxes. So I explained to him that most of the cereal when I was his age came with prizes and so he asked me what kinds. I told him stickers and rings and small toys. And his mind was completely blown. Why are there no prizes in cereal anymore?

And that’s all I’ve got for today. Happy Thursday!

PS. So Wes is all excited about his cereal box, right? And he comes home yesterday and says he’s going to start making the game pack that’s on the left flap of the box. I gave him a sketchbook a looong time ago that he has barely even used at this point so we’ve told him to wriiiiite it down. If it’s a good idea and you want to remember it, write it down. If it were up to Wes, there would be cardboard prototypes of EVERYTHING cluttering our living room. I’m really curious to see his sketchbook in about a year if he starts actually using it the way we’ve just taught him to.

PPS. There’s video of Wes explaining his cereal but I used the Rebel and I’m not even sure it’s in focus or how to bleep all of the websites he lists since it’s a .MOV file.

April 13, 2012

I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record.

I couldn’t go to the gallery opening last night. Just could not bring myself to do it. It was downtown Toronto, I had to shave my legs and armpits and wash my hair and put on clothes that weren’t trackpants and a Pixies t-shirt. Just couldn’t do it.

Instead, we went on a little adventure to Stouffville to get pizza. The best pizza in Canada. (I like NYC pizza best, but Stouffville Pizza is definitely 2nd.) Stouffville is about an hour and a half away and it’s where we used to live. It’s also where I grew up and where my grama still lives.

I was absolutely STARVING by the time we got there so we went to Stouffville Pizza first to  order, then Blake went to the convenience store beside Stouffville Pizza where he found Black Cherry and Pomegranate Jones Soda Zilch, which you would never find up here, and also 4 bags of Fizzy Skittles which we’ve been looking for EVERYWHERE but I’m scared they’re not making them anymore, then we went to the bank to get some money to pay for the pizza.

This is Stouffville Pizza, my idea of heaven:

It’s just a guy, in a room, making pizzas for the past 35 years. I forget his name but it’s the same guy, as always, just standing back there making his amazing pizzas. Here’s a crappy cell phone pic of mine, which was ham and mushroom:

That is a serious fucking pizza.

Once we got our pizza, we went to the park to eat it but it was too cold outside so we ended up eating it while parked at the park and talking about how much the town had changed. But it was weird because it was an organic change that I didn’t find strange at all, unlike the first time we went back about 4 years ago for pizza on Mothers’ Day.

We talked about how we wished we could live there again but how it’s way too expensive so we can’t. Then we talked about maybe moving to Aurora but then we went to Starbucks in Aurora afterward and it’s just a bunch of crazy strip malls now so that was out. Plus it’s expensive there too.

We talked about maybe moving to Uxbridge but then we run the risk of running into my ex’s family which would be a very bad thing for all of us.

So we don’t know where to go, not that we have the money to go anywhere but here. I only want to move once more in our lives so it’s got to be the right house in the right town or it’s not happening.

So I didn’t go to the opening and I don’t know how it went or anything like that. The gallery is called #Hashtag Gallery and it’s at 801 Dundas, Toronto. I didn’t know anyone in the show but I shared 5 mutual friends with the co-owner, which is part of why I was going to go. Their site’s not up. I think it’s a bunch of kids doing this and I didn’t feel like I had a place there. I didn’t want to be the old person at the young person event, especially when I wasn’t showing my work there and I didn’t really know anyone. My friends Mike and Lou were going but I don’t really talk to them all that often so it’s not like I would have hung out with them comfortably. I didn’t want to cling to them either and make them uncomfortable. I dunno, I just didn’t feel very welcome so I didn’t go. I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I’m not sure if I regret it or not.

We had a good time on our date in Stouffville, so I dunno. I dunno if we made the right decision. I kinda think we did. It would have been “cooler” to say “oh I went to an opening last night” but I’m just not that cool I guess.

Blake and I had a  talk in bed when we got home about two things: Phil & Lisa and my agoraphobia.

He thinks I went about the whole Phil & Lisa thing wrongly and that I shouldn’t have lashed out at Lisa when I was really mad at Phil. He’s probably right but they are two sides of the same coin and what’s done is done. I don’t feel like I should apologize to Lisa because I never lied, I just told the truth in a public forum. I will never apologize for telling the truth and I will never apologize for talking to my audience and friends about what’s going on in my life and my head, however small that audience may be.

Blake thinks I should defriend all of the people connected to Phil and Lisa on my Facebook so I don’t see any family pictures and stuff like that because it just hurts my feelings to know that even if none of this ever went down, I still wouldn’t be a part of their family. He’s probably right about that too but at the same time, I don’t want to be the one who defriends people like that, it’s just not what I do, but…I think it’s the only way to go. I don’t have a father anymore. I never really did. He certainly didn’t give a shit about me when I was born and he definitely didn’t give a shit about me when I was dying either, so what’s the point in having this person in my life if all he does is hurt and disappoint me? Out of sight, out of mind, right?

When we moved to Elmvale, I stopped having anything to do with my step-dad for a bunch of reasons I won’t get into again unless I’m asked to, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. He was a way bigger part of my life than Phil has ever been and it was easy to break ties with him. Why do I get the sense that it’s going to really hurt to break ties with Phil completely? I think it needs to be done though. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it, if I’m just going to quietly defriend him on Facebook (and the rest of his friends/family members that I have on there) and pretend they don’t exist or if I should e-mail him and just say “this is it, buddy”. But if I do that, then that leaves room for a response, which I don’t think I’ll ever get and I think it would bother me not to get one.

So I think I should just defriend him and the family and quietly detach myself from them all. Like castrating a bull in the olden days, they would tie an elastic band around the bull’s nutsack and wait until they fell off due to lack of blood supply.

A while ago, this was posted on Facebook, I think by my mother and I guess it’s going to be my new philosophy for Phil:

I don’t think he’s ever going to get his mind “right” when it comes to me but it would be a nice surprise if he did. And I guess I’ll just leave it at that.

Our talk about agoraphobia was really frustrating. He just doesn’t understand how hard it is for me to do certain things, he has no empathy or sympathy or whatever (I don’t really know the difference). He thinks I should just be able to go out and do stuff. He thinks I should just go take a walk to two houses down like it’s nothing but I CAN’T ASSHOLE. It’s not NOTHING it’s a very big SOMETHING. And he thinks that I should just be able to jump in the car and go to the grocery store. But I CAN’T DO THAT. I don’t WANT to do that.

It’s just so frustrating because on one hand I wish I could just jump in the car and have adventures but on the other hand, I’m convinced there’s nothing in this world left for me to see, nothing local anyway, so what’s the point? Where am I going to go? Nowhere, that’s where. There’s nowhere to go and nothing to see. The only thing I can do is go to the grocery store to buy food I don’t even need because I’m getting too fat or the post office to get bills. YAY. Big fucking YAY. What is the point of that?

There’s not a chance in hell I can back out of our driveway during the day with all the cars going too fast on our road and the post office isn’t open at night for me to get packages (which I really hate – when I lived in Uxbridge I got my mail in “super boxes” where if you had a package, they would leave you a key for the big box at the bottom of the free-standing PO box tower and that was GREAT. Dealing with the post office people is bullshit.) which is the only thing I would care about getting anyway. And I can’t get a lot of packages on foot, plus the post office is too far away for walking.

I dunno, I just can’t do it. Sometimes I think I can and then reality sets in and I just can’t do it and no one understands. NO ONE. Blake pretends to understand, but he doesn’t, really, or he’d have a different approach than making fun of me and trying to bully me into leaving the house.

Maybe Squam will change things. Squam is a very very scary prospect for me. I’m going to have to put on my big girl panties for Squam. Not only am I terrified of the actually getting there part (what if the car breaks down 10 hours from home? what if the GPS is wrong and we get lost?), I’m terrified of what’s going to happen once we get there. It helps that Belinda’s going to be there because at least we’ll know someone (well, my mom won’t but I think she’ll like Belinda, it’s hard not to like Belinda) but we’re staying in a HUGE cabin with like, 30 different people or something like that, practically the whole retreat happens in our cabin.

What if we don’t get there in time to get a good room near a bathroom or with its own bathroom? I’m really scared that we’re going to get there last. None of us (me, my mom, Belinda) are taking the same classes, so I’m going to be all alone in the classes I’m in and I’m going to feel like a total outsider because I’ve been reading this book called Creative Pilgrimage by Jenny Doh of Somerset Studio fame, and it’s this book my friend Alan got me where she writes about Squam and all the major US art retreats and the teachers who teach at them. A lot of the women in the book (they’re all women) are Squam teachers so I’m learning a lot about the camp while reading this book. And it’s making me absolutely terrified of going.

I mean, let’s face it, we all knew this was going to happen. That I would sign up for this thing and then freak out completely. Last week I paid the last of my balance so I’m now paid in full and there’s no turning back. In the Creative Pilgrimage book, I was reading about a Squam teacher (forgetting the name now, it’s in the bedroom) who makes her students do like, breathing exercises and physical shaking out of bad juju and shit like that and I’m just laying there in bed thinking “thank god that’s not my teacher” because I’m not really a joiner or a participator and that’s part of what makes Squam so scary to me because you really do have to be a joiner or a participator for this and that’s not me at ALL. I’m the jerk who makes fun of the joiners and participators!

I’m worried about lugging all of my mixed media crap through the woods for my 2nd day class. I’m not very strong and I’m supposed to bring a lot of stuff. I’m worried about my 1st day’s class because that’s the photography one and I really don’t understand photography AT ALL. So many people, like Blake and Katie (who wrote me this super long detailed e-mail about it), have tried to explain f.stop and aperture and shutter speed and all this DSLR shit and I just cannot remember any of it or apply any of it. I’m also worried that my camera isn’t good enough for the class because it’s too old. If I can’t make studpily large prints out of the pictures then I don’t see the point in taking them. I need to have that option whether I’m going to actually do it or not. My point-and-shoot camera has more megapixels than the Rebel. By like, a lot. I don’t have a big enough memory card.

And also, this teacher that I’m having for the photography class does “spirit sessions” (that’s what the class is called) and part of the class is that she’s going to do “spirit portraits” of us. I *hate* having my picture taken. I am SO uncomfortable in front of the camera and it shows in the pictures (unless I’m taking the picture, but even then, in recent years, I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with it). I *hate* my smile. I *hate* my teeth. I *hate* my face and the stupid expressions I make. Yet when a camera’s in front of me, I can’t help but grin like a retarded moron from the middle ages and the pictures are never pretty. Also the class starts at something like 7am so I’m going to have to wake up at 6am to do my makeup and stuff IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WOODS at an event I was kind of looking forward to not having  to impress anyone with my looks but at the SAME TIME I really do want my portrait taken to commemorate my putting on my big girl panties and having this experience so I’m totally fucked!

And then my concern with my 2nd day class, which is a mixed media painting class, is that I won’t create anything I like and that I’ll waste my time. My friend Alan also sent me that teacher’s book, called Painted Pages, which I’ve been slowly reading and luckily, I think I like her, but I don’t want to create artwork like she does and looking at the materials list for her class, it appears as though we’re going to be learning techniques to learn how to make paintings like hers. I don’t know how to put those techniques together to make something that’s mine. I guess that’s the entire point of taking the class though, right? So I’m going to have to get over that. I’ve just been reading her book and thinking that none of what she says applies to anything I would do in my own painting. I realize, however, that I’m supposed to be there to learn new things and that I need to be open to those things, but that is extremely hard for me. I’m not traditionally a person who is easy to teach anything. I’m a self-taught person. I learn my own way.

All of this, I know, is just negative self-talk and that everything’s going to be fine and that I’m going to have a great time. I’m just worried as all fuck that it’s going to be negative and being so far away from home, I’m not going to be able to escape if I need to. Especially not in a cabin with 30 other people. I don’t know how I’m going to get any alone time.

Oh and another thing, I’m going to have to get my passport and I don’t even know where to start with that. Like where do I get one and what do I have to do? I think it’s $80 to get one and I never factored that into my expenses, so I don’t even know where I’m going to get the money to pay for that.

I just feel lost in my life right now. I had this big scary thing happen to me this summer and I don’t think I’ve dealt with it AT ALL. I’ve convinced myself that there’s nothing to deal with. It happened. I’m okay now. Life is short so live it. The end. Is it okay that that’s all there really is to it for me? I feel like I didn’t really even go through anything because I don’t remember so much of it. My mom and Blake and my kids, THEY went through something, I just slept. Then I had to relearn how to walk. Then I had to deal with this wound on my stomach for months and months and months and nurses coming to the house every other day. That sucks, but at least I’m not dead, right?

On one hand, I feel like I have to be missing something, something essential that I have to work through. On the other hand, I really feel like there’s nothing TO work through because what happened didn’t really happen to ME, it happened to the people around me. It’s hard to explain.

All I know is that I’ve come to understand how many years I have left in this world and that I need to pack as much into one day as I can. It’s not okay to “waste” days. I’ve felt that way all my life, but I feel it especially strongly now that I almost died. Today I’ve done nothing except sleep, eat Fizzy Skittles and leftover pizza and write this post and I think that’s completely unacceptable because it’s a waste of a day. I don’t know what else I can do to make this day “count” but I’ll figure something out. I’ll probably paint forget-me-nots which are STILL not done. (I’m about 3/4 of the way finished but I’m using discontinued paint so I have to be really conservative with it and that’s very difficult when doing dot flowers.) I’ll probably watch a movie. Those things are not wastes of days. Those are downloading very important pieces of information that I’ll then translate into artwork. Or a post. Or whatever. As long as I’m downloading and learning and absorbing new things every day, they are not wasteful days. As long as I do something productive every day, I can justify living.

I was going to say that maybe after Blake gets home from work, we’ll go for a walk along the trail to the park down the street but if I start doing dot flowers, which I plan to start when I’m finished this post, I can’t stop because I can’t waste paint by letting it dry on my palette while I go somewhere. Blake would say that’s an excuse, but it’s not. Like I said, the paint I’m using is discontinued and I can’t get any more of it so what I have is what I have and I’m going to need every drop to finish these flowers.

And now I’m just babbling so I’m going to stop writing now. I hope I didn’t sound too whiny today, I just have a lot on my mind and I’m worried about like, EVERYTHING right now. Squam is 5 months away so I shouldn’t be worrying this early but I can’t help it. Oh and another thing about Squam is that I don’t really have roaming on my phone plan (and can’t get it without getting a ridiculously expensive plan) so I can’t really use Twitter the whole time I’m there and that’s going to practically kill me because Twitter’s like, my agoraphobia helpline. :o(

Anyway, as per usual, if you’d like to help me out financially with my great Squam adventure, that would be greatly appreciated. I still need money for gas for my mom and my passport and art supplies and food etc. The whole list is on that page, minus the passport because like I said, I forgot to factor that in when I was making the list of expenses. Oops. Despite my being extremely worried about going and what that entails, I’m also really really excited about all the new things I’m going to experience while I’m there and maybe the new friends I might make and also spending time with my mom and of course, finally meeting Belinda.

Okay I’m going now, but I’ll leave you with these two awesome things.

1. Christians “Protest” Gay Pride With Apologetic Signs

2. A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square

That’s it. Peace oot.

March 20, 2012

Thanks, Fuzz Decay.

10 Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Is Nuts

Posted at 8:32 pm in: Politics , Religion , Spring , USA
May 22, 2011

HAPPY RAPTURE HANGOVER DAY!

This is totally Photoshopped but I don’t care, it had me rolling.

Two churches located across the street from each other. At least the Catholics have a sense of humor.

Posted at 10:29 am in: Religion
January 16, 2011

I should be in bed.

I told Blake an hour ago that I was coming to bed but I got engrossed by this Salon article about “Mormon mommy bloggers” and now it’s 12:30am.

My head is killing me, my glands are swollen, my throat is sore and my eyes are burning with fever so I know I’m getting sick and I should get some sleep, especially since I have to work tomorrow (oh yeah, I work weekends now, which I’m absolutely not thrilled about, but adjusting…) but this article really got me thinking about my own blogging habits, especially since Madison learned CSS today and is creating a site of her own. (And no, I’m not telling you where it is, although some of you may have a pretty good idea and I’m pretty sure it’s Googleable. If you find it, please be respectful and remember that she’s 12, okay?)

So these Mormon ladies who blog…they have impressively designed sites and take really nice pictures (well, a few of them do, a few in the article not so much) and it’s all very aesthetic and I’m really really jealous of this. Hell, I’m jealous of non-Mormon ladies who blog and have all of those elements too because I don’t.

In the beginning, when I blogged on a website I created myself with a mix of hand-coding and Dreamweaver, with graphics I created myself in Photoshop (I was especially proud of my SunnySlut.com burlesque design that I was going to link in this post but apparently the index.html page is missing so all that’s there now is a useless index full of eBay crap my friend Nicole asked me to host in 2001), but blogging that way was difficult, especially since I was updating the site and Live Journal at the same time, eventually getting a paid Live Journal account so I could embed it into my site with javascript that never worked properly with comments and then finally I gave up because I was doing 5x the work fixing code instead of actually writing and living my life and that was when I made the move to WordPress (2007). WordPress themes are CSS and I don’t know CSS and I don’t have the time to learn CSS (but I wish I did) or the mental aptitude for retaining such nerdery so I rely on Blake’s skills to shape this blog into…what it is, which is extremely bare bones, yet functional, while I use a premade theme on my Live Journal, which gets a billion more comments and conversations on it than my WordPress blog ever does. (WordPress blog = SunnyCrittenden.com.)

Which brings me to the next thing: my site (blog, whatever) apparently gets on average about 2500 unique visitors, if I’m reading the Google Analytics correctly, so why the fuck aren’t any of them commenting here? The only comments I really get are from casual passers-by or ladies I know from art circles who come here every few months and catch up on my adventures in bursts. And the trolls of course, but they’re useless – yet dedicated! my biggest fans! – whose comments I don’t let come through because they’re just trying to negatively affect me. Admittedly, sometimes it works, but i still won’t give them what they want, which is attention, which I also suppose I’m giving them now. *sigh*

Moving right along…

So I’ve been doing this blog thing for a decade. And a lot of people have been following my antics for that long and I think that’s sort of a weird accomplishment. It kind of pisses me off to see these hipster mommy bloggers, Mormon or otherwise, get featured in things like Salon articles or The Huffington Post or the New York times and all these other places when there are so many of us who have been doing this longer and (I’m not necessarily including myself here), better. In the comments of the Salon article I linked, there are a lot of people saying that the Mormon ladies’ blogs are glossed over and not true portrayals of their lives and after reading a few of them tonight for a while, I think I’m going to have to agree, whereas myself and the ladies I chill with, we show the good, the bad and the ugly, right along with the joyous events and happy things (another confession: I know in the past I’ve been very negative in my writing because I was depressed, don’t forget that I’m A) a human being and B) a mentally ill human being). I think out of all of the lady bloggers I know, I’m probably the biggest over-sharer of the bunch.

DON’T GET ME WRONG: I am NOT complaining that I haven’t been recognized by legitimate mass media or anything of the kind, it just bugs me that old schoolers, SUCH AS myself, get passed over for web 2.0ers. Y’know? Like all these YouTube “celebrities” have their own fucking Wikipedia articles that no one argues should be taken down because none of them have really “done” anything, yet my friend Steph the Geek’s Wikipedia article was taken down several times because people complained it was a vanity article when in fact, she’s done a HELL of a lot more than these YouTube brats. Cam culture is actually this huge, sort of integral thing within internet history, yet the only camgirls I know, the forebears of YouTube itself, who have their own Wikipedia articles are Jennifer Ringley, Ana Voog and Steph the Geek (who, as I said, had to fight to keep her article up, see the discussion of it to know what I’m talking about.) And for the love of kittens, I am NOT complaining here that I don’t have a Wikipedia article so please do not even go down that road. I have done NOTHING to merit such a thing and it bugs me when people in the past have suggested I have. My only real claim to fame, so to speak, is that…fuck, I don’t even know. I don’t really think I have one, to be perfectly honest.

I’m babbling, I know. I’m sick and I’m having “racing thoughts” and I totally forgot what the point of this post was.

I do know that it involved what I like to call a “site overhaul” that I’m hoping  to execute sometime in March with Blake’s help and possibly my friend Charlie’s excellent banner-making skills. The colours will probably remain the same because they are my colours and the “feel” probably won’t change, but I’m hoping to add more graphical elements and a better comment system. (Blake’s going to hate that I just said the latter because he spent a long time making the comments system I have now…) The reason I don’t have a more graphic website, as in a website with more graphics, is because I don’t know how to add them myself, which is another thing I’m hoping to remedy. For example, my sidebars are ALL text and the reason they are all text is because that’s all I know how to do. In my WordPress control panel, I have menus and buttons and shit that allow me to add links and things to my sidebars but in WordPress, I would have no idea how to add a .png in the sidebar that links to something. When my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project gets digitized, I will have my own link on the project’s site where you can see it and where you can see my bio and pictures of my other work and things like that, so when that goes live, I would like to have in one of my sidebars a graphic from The Sketchbook Project (they are free and available), which I can link to that. Without having to ask Blake to do it.

I guess this is a resolution of sorts, to be more independent with my own…is it work? I’ve always sort of considered it work but at the same time it’s absolutely compulsive at this point so it’s just BEING. THIS RIGHT HERE is how I function, how I process my own thoughts. I absolutely cannot imagine my life without this outlet.

I don’t know if I’ve ever acknowledged this out loud, so I’m going to do so now: I think a BIG reason as to why I became a housebound agoraphobe (currently in recovery) is because on these here internets, at least in the places I frequent, I’m somewhat of a big fish. Meatside, not so much. On the internets, I have a lot of control over the environment and the interactions I have. Meatside, not so much, everything’s completely unpredictable and most of it is beyond your control. I hate that. On the internet, you can think before you speak/type (although I basically DON’T *grin*) but meatside every human interaction tends to be completely awkward, or at least that’s been my experience.

OH, y’know what? I made a phone call on Friday. To most people this is not a big deal in the slightest, people make phone calls every day, right? Well I don’t. i think the last conversation I had on a phone was with Alex maybe 2 months ago. The time before that was with Alex maybe 6 months prior to the last one. Basically the only person I talk to on the phone is Blake and I don’t even like to do that, especially now that he has his new job, which, by the way, I fucking hate because he’s not as accessible as he used to be and he’s a lot more stressed out/snippy.

And I’m totally straying from the point I was going to make in the paragraph previous to the last one, but I’ll get there eventually.

Friday I called my mom. See, I was supposed to mail my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project on Friday because that was the deadline. I bribed Madison with Lush products to get home after school as soon as possible to run my sketchbook down to the post office before 4:30pm so it would be postmarked on time and I would have an extra half day to put the final touches on it. Since parts of my book got ruined, I was stressing hardcore Friday morning. I woke up at 6:15am because I could smell smoke in the house, as if someone had had a cigarette in my kitchen despite the fact that neither Blake nor I smoke anymore, but as it turned out there was a rogue pistachio that fell from the top cupboard into the bottom of the stove’s element and that caught on fire when Blake was making his coffee before work. I was glad though, that I was up early because I start work at 10am usually and being up so early meant that I could put arms on my girls in the sketchbook and have them be totally dry by the time Madison was to run like a crazy kid to the post office with my precious precious sketchbook.

By 9am I was stressing over this fucking sketchbook because it wasn’t perfect anymore but when I went to the project’s website to get the address I was supposed to mail it to, I saw that they extended the deadline to MONDAY. OH DEAR SWEET BABY JESUS WHO I DON’T EVEN BELIEVE IN, I was SO relieved. I knew my mom was stressed out about it too because we’d been talking about in on Facebook all week (she and a bunch of her friends were all doing it too) so I posted the link to the page that had the extended deadline on Facebook so my mom would see it but then I was afraid she wouldn’t see it in time and would mail her sketchbook out anyway, so I called her in her new home with John, where she’s been living for 2 years (or maybe 1? I dunno) and where I’d never called before. And we talked for about an hour, which is the longest conversation I’ve had on the phone in YEARS. Literally. It would have been longer but I was already half an hour “late” for work (the bosses don’t REALLY care what time I start, as long as I do the amount of hours I’m supposed to during the day so it was no big deal) so I cut it “short”.

This is totally fucked up, I know, but it’s also why I see a shrink once a month, but that phone call mentally exhausted me. Like, I needed to recover from it. One meatside (so to speak) social interaction messes with me and if I have too many “things” in one day, I can’t deal so I freak out completely and need extra psychiatric medication and lots and lots of “quiet time” to come down from it. I’m strong as an ox in some respects, but a fragile flower in others. I also get obsessed with time and I have no scope of how long things take because I’ve been homebound for so long, but that’s probably best saved for another post.

So back to my whole “I’m basically an internet addict” thing. As I’ve mentione din previous posts, I’ve been using Foursquare as an immersion therapy tool, the goal of which is to rank on the leaderboards against my friends and to earn stupid badges that are not even real. It’s dumb, I know, but it works and the people who follow me on Twitter (and now Facebook) seem to like following me around as I check in places. (Although not everyone is happy about it, I know Alex filters Fourquare posts out of her Twitter feed.) Foursquare is the ENTIRE reason I spent most of my first paycheque on a $700 smartphone, which probably sounds absolutely insane to most people, but you have to factor in the fact that I *am* somewhat insane and everyone told me that I should spend my first paycheque, being my first paycheque EVER, frivolously, so I did. And I saw it as both a tool for combating agoraphobia, but also as a means to take my internet friends with me wherever I went. No matter where I was, I could read Live Journal and comment, I could check my e-mail accounts, I could even watch the naked ladies uploading cam pics on Camwhores.com from a hospital emergency room when Alex’s brother lost HIS mind. (Which is still lost by the way, but that’s a whole other post and not really my story to tell so if Alex writes about it publicly I’ll just link that if anyone cares about the rest of that story.) Now that the internet was portable, I felt more empowered to leave the house because if anything awkward happened or whatever, I could tweet about it and have 5 people tell me it’s okay or give me a pat on the back for getting through it. The phone also has the most obnoxious alarm ever created which is necessary for me to get to work on time. My phone isn’t just a phone, it’s a tool of survival. Flame me all you want for being materialistic in this regard but keep in mind that prior to this year, the most I left the house was maybe, MAYBE once a month, now it’s usually every 4 days. I still can’t go anywhere by myself, but I think once life circumstances change (long story) things will improve in that area.

Having said that, a new hair salon opened up down the street from me and I’m considering, now that I’m being forced to take a 2 hour break from work every day so I can work on weekends *grumble*, having professionals dye and cut my hairs from now on as opposed to good ol’ L’Oreal Blondissmes and a prayer. Oh yeah, and letting a 12 year old cut my hair and giving me “layers”…I’ve been thinking about this for weeks but I don’t know the salon’s name or phone number and they’re too new to be Googleable or in the phone book so until I have that name and number, nothing can happen but I don’t know how to obtain that information. I supposed I could ask Madison to write it down on her way home from school. My point though, is that I’m taking steps and if I don’t do it  my way, it’ll never happen at all so people have no place to give me flack about it. (Not that anyone IS at the moment, I’m just being pre-emptive.)

By the way, my head is KILLING me and I should be sleeping. I’m not sure I can though. :o/

So these things, plus a billion more, are what’s keeping me up right now. I probably sound manic, but I’m not, just overly thoughtful and rambly and sick. It just kills me that these “Mormon mommy bloggers” are getting like, 50+ comments on each post they make and I wonder what kind of traffic they get or why that’s happening while my blog (not including posts x-posted to Live Journal) gets maybe one comment every 4 posts. Is it maybe because their blogs are connected to a network of churchy folk and mine is sort of in limbo? Like really, who IS my audience? At this point I have absolutely no idea who I’m writing this all for. I mean, myself obviously, although I don’t re-read my own posts, and Blake reads most of it and I think my mom does too and a few “internet friends” do, but for the most part, I have no fucking clue who you people are. And I’d like to, so tell me dammit. Tell me who you are. I can tell my IPs where people live, but that’s so little information as to who a person is and what their deal is and why they’re reading that I don’t even bother to look them up anymore. Live Journal people I mostly know because they of course have LJs too and at least half of them actually use them beyond reading purposes.

A few months ago, a few months in a row, my site became unaccessible mid-month because I was reaching my allotted bandwidth usage, which was a first. I asked Kevin, my good friend and site host, why this was suddenly happening and he said that it appeared as though people were going through my gallery a lot. He raised my bandwidth usage so these outages wouldn’t happen anymore, but it made me wonder why suddenly apparently a lot of people or at least more than “usual” were going trhough my gallery which really only exists because I don’t have or use ftp software. I upload things to the gallery to link in posts and that’s literally the only reason it exists. It seems to me that the only real motivation for going through my gallery would be to get to know me better which would appear to mean that maybe either new people were coming to the site who were unfamiliar with my, uh, work, or old people were…I don’t even know. Anyone got a theory as to why this might be happening? Because I haven’t the foggiest idea and found it very peculiar. Truthfully though, I haven’t looked at my Google Analytics in a long time because the stats really weren’t that interesting anymore. Hardly anyone links me because of my Camwhores connection and unpredictability/lack of filters, particularly when it comes to FUCKING language. I know a ton of girls with sites, a lot of whom I consider good friends, but my site doesn’t fit in with theirs because most of them are porn or pay-for-porn sites and their customers/viewers don’t wanna read my shit, they just want to see tits. And sometimes I show tits, which means my more straight-laces blog friends don’t link me either because their readers only want safe for work content, so I’m kinda fucked as far as linkage. Y’know what my primary source of traffic is? Steak and Blowjob Day because I wrote a stupid article about sucking cock in like, 2002, that apparently is very helpful. My site has very little to do with sex anymore and it 95% safe for work, but I keep that article and the ones like it up because those seem to be the crowd-pleaser and are a good place to put my Camwhores affiliate links.

The reason I bring up links is because links are where traffic comes from, traditionally, yet my traffic is all mostly independent; people coming here directly from my url, presumably bookmarked. I find this baffling. WHy are they so quiet? SPEAK UP! New blood comes from Steak & Blowjob Day and Camwhores and they’re not exactly looking for fairies, angels and mermaids, pictures of kids, videos of Blake doing stupid things and 4,000 word blog posts about basically nothing so I’n guessing most of them don’t stick around. HOWEVER, these people have to be the ones going through my galleries and eating up my bandwidth so WTF?

I just find it all very confusing. Nothing I do is linear or even all that explainable and I think I’ve always been clear about the fact that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing on these here internets. Not a whole lot of what I do is really all that intentional and as I mentioned, most of it is compulsive.

~*A FEW DEEP BREATHS & AN ATIVAN LATER*~

Usually I don’t kill myself like this trying to figure it all out, I just let it BE and most of the time I’m okay like that, but nights like tonight I just want it all explained to me. I want to know who these people reading are and why they’re reading. Maybe if I knew that I could make this a better experience for them but maybe they all remain silent because they don’t want to interrupt or make me change a thing. I have no idea. Maybe they’re shy? Maybe they hate my crude comments system? WOuld it be better if people had to register to post on my site? Like have an account? Because I think that’s possible with WordPress…somehow. Like if people could post using their Facebook accounts or their openIDs or whatnot, maybe I’d get more comments? (Does this sound like I’m begging for comments? I hope not because that’s not what I’m going for here, I’m just trying to figure out why, if so many people read my crap on any given day, they are so damn quiet. What are they thinking? Why don’t they make contact? Am I an alien being viewed from the outside of a glass bubble or what?) I just wish I had some help understanding it all. Comments, maybe introductions, would help me understand it all but no matter how many times I’ve mentioned this phenomenon, nothing ever changes. The explanations don’t come.

OH! I KNOW! E-mail me! Sunny@SunnyCrittenden.com Make the subject line something topical though, like “HEY SUNNY, READ THIS!” because I delete most e-mails from people I don’t know without opening it because I don’t use anti-virus software and I’m paranoid about spam and viruses. Kevin or someone told me once that some of these e-mails I get are like “tester” e-mails where the person or company or bot or whatever that sent it would know if I clicked on it to open it or not and if I did, they would know that subject lines like that work so they’d use them on other people more often so I delete most e-mails that are suspect without opening them for that reason. Now that I’ve written that out, it sounds like someone probably fed me a line of bullshit and now that I think about it, I’ve no doubt deleted e-mails from real people who read my site. The key, I think, to getting me to open a piece of e-mail that’s legit is to use my name in the subject line or something. If anyone felt inclined yet doesn’t want to “share with the class” in the comments, totally feel free to e-mail me. I went through a phase a while back where I was getting a TON of e-mail, mostly from horny guys who had seen me naked, so I stopped replying for quite a long time to discourage e-mail, but I think I’m in a place where I’m ready and eager to begin receiving it again.

Something else I’ve been debating this week is my address. Now that I have a job, I have the means to get a PO box again, which is, I *think*, $120/year. I haven’t had one for the past couple of years because no one was sending me anything and my only income was from paintings and Camwhores, which doesn’t amount to a whole lot. My painting money allows me to replenish my art supplies and to get Blake & I Starbucks, which is right across the road from Michael’s and Curry’s (which is an art supply store that is having a 25% off canvases sale this weekend that I totally forgot about until now and hopefully I can get there tomorrow because I suddenly feel the urge to paint on irregular sizes canvases rather than square ones…holy tangent…)…and my Camwhores money is only about $20-$50/month and I usually buy my own food with it, like popcorn at the movies when Blake earns free movie passes through his work. My point is that until now, my earnings have been extremely meager and I think there are people out there who want to send me mail. It’s just this feeling I have and without going into details, I do have evidence to support this theory. SO this is why I would want a PO box.

HOWEVER.

I am of the belief that the world would rather hug you than hurt you and a large part of me doesn’t think it would be dangerous or reckless to publish not only my home address on my website but a link to my house on Google Maps so everyone can see the street view not just of where my house is but my whole town, especially if we move to where I want to move, which I happen to think is a very interesting town. My mother-in-law is probably reading this right now and shrieking in her head that this is a horrible idea and that if I do this I’m endangering the lives of my children, which is debatable I suppose; in the past she’s given us/me grief about not editing out our house number when I take pics of the front of the house. I actually DO edit out our house number 95% of the time, but sometimes I forget or I figure no one cares so I just leave it. I mean really, who wants to stalk me anyway?

At the same time, I am really really paranoid about kidnappers and stalkers. I never used to be but then I got this persistent troll whose IP is from Toronto and that made me worry a bit more. If my kids aren’t home by 4pm, I freak the fuck out and have 911 on speed dial because I know time is critical in kidnapping cases. I know Wes wouldn’t be prepared if something happened, meanwhile Madison would be because I’ve drilled it into her head that there are a LOT of strangers who know a LOT about her and that puts her at risk. I think it’s a very slim risk, but it’s still present. She and I have discussed this risk at great length and we’ve come to the conclusion together that yes, the risk is slim, and she’s fine with me sharing things about her anyway as long as she gets final approval (most of the time) and I’m getting off topic again…

So, people of the internet, do you think I should pay for a PO box that may or may not ever get used? Or do you think it’s safe to put my home address, which wouldn’t cost me any money, on my website? Is the Google Maps idea going too far? I should also mention that one of the “Mormon mommy bloggers” has her home address on her website, which I found interesting, and she’s basically doing a whitewashed version of what I’ve been doing for 10 years so…also I haven’t really discussed the address/PO box thing with Blake so I don’t have his take on it yet either. I’m just curious as to what my more internet savvy friends think of this.

And I think that’s the end of my babbling for tonight. If I continue I won’t get up in time to be finished work at a reasonable hour to make it to Curry’s to buy discounted canvases and possibly to go see True Grit AND be home in time for the season premiere of Big Love. If I don’t wake up in absolute misery healthwise…we’ll see.

By the way, this post is 4,854 words long. I think that may be a record. Kudos to your attention spans.

~*Goodnight internets.*~

December 10, 2010

The Salvation Army Sucks! But You Can Protest With Queer Dollars!

The Salvation Army is a religious, bigoted organization not worthy of your dollars (unless you happen to be a religious bigot, in which case, do your thang). Here’s why: 12

But you can fight back by printing out Queer Dollars to stuff in the bell ringers’ jars which I think is GENIUS! I just finished printing out 10 of the Canadian ones, which I’ll give to Blake to hand out if he sees any bell ringers.

Anyway, I thought it was awesome/awful and thought I’d share!

Posted at 1:38 pm in: Art , Money , Religion , winter

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