Spirit, the evolution of a painting

18 10 2010

When I paint, I forget that stuff goes on around me.  People I’ve known my entire life barely get recognized and I just zone out.  They call and say “whatcha doing?”  “I’m fucking painting.”  “OK, go do that.  Love you.”

This time, I’ve tried to keep (and sorta failed) in touch through facebook with the progression of the painting.  Ah well.  People who know  me know that when I paint, know that at least I’m being quiet and staying out of trouble.

So, here’s the progression of Spirit – 36″ x 24″ mixed media on canvas.

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No, it’s not done.  I’m going for a graphic novel style and decided that the text area needed to be redone.  Also, the photos are out of order, but you’ll figure it out.

The background is an oil wash.  The blue dove motif is acrylic.  The main structure of the white dove is done in Sharpie oil paint pens then I switched back to acrylic for the shading.  Most of the detailing and border is done with paint pen.

Soon… my little dove.  We’ll work together again.


unwarranted self importance

27 06 2010

My theme for the weekend (and probably the coming week) is unwarranted self importance.  ED pages aren’t SFW, so don’t click this.

When I mentioned this to my family today at Sunday dinner it really shocked my mom.  About 70% of us have birthdays that coincide with major natural disasters and terrorist attacks.  My point is that there are only 365 days in the year and they’ve got to pick SOMEONE’S birthday to kill upwards of 1,000 people.  One family does not hold the reins of fate.  (and if we did, why do we not have more money?)

My personal moments of USI:

  1. Shaun totally kicks ass restoring pipes and creating replacement stems for broken pipes.  Pictures tomorrow (and hopefully a happy customer!)
  2. I cleaned the birds’ cage today and now they won’t sleep in their nest.  They’re nesting under the water bowl.
  3. The pizza guy last night said “what kind of birds do you have?”  Shaun said “how’d you know we had birds?”  The guy pointed at some wire shelving temporarily placed in front of the garage and said “’cause of those cages.”
  4. Our birds would fall through the slats.  They’re like finches but aren’t.
  5. In the time I spent talking to my brother yesterday I got a sunburn.  My brother really doesn’t talk that much.  I am just that sensitive to sunlight.
  6. Nola keeps sucking on my elbow.  I’m going to have a hickey.
  7. This is the most awesome video ever and you should watch it.  We need to harvest crabs directly after this event.  (It is SFW but not in English.)
  8. Spooks, our oldest cat, wants to be held like a baby and loved on unless someone is looking.  Then he’s all “don’t touch me bitch.  I don’t know you like that!”
  9. Trazadone and phenergen look identical.  Mixing them up leads to very weird results.  Being I never did drugs as a teen, THAT was a new experience.
  10. I asked God to make my body act “bad” so I wasn’t a liar in front of my doctor.  It did but now I have psoriasis inside my ear canals and sinuses.  It IS officially psoriasis and not “flaky skin” because a specialist said it.  The doctor also said that cardiologists were idiots because they were basically plumbers.  I agreed.
  11. Then later I got my ass chewed by a former cardiologist and had to smile and nod.  I didn’t tell him that it took a rheumatologist to diagnose psoriasis because he’d tell me I needed a dermatologist.
  12. In both instances, I was told “just put some hydrocortisone cream on it.”
  13. My brother saved a dog’s life but I still don’t know how.  Apparently it grossed out everyone at the clinic he works for which is impressive in itself.
  14. I’ve been listening to a lot of B.o.B and that makes me want to IM my brother (BoB) constantly and be like “hey this BoB guy is talented, yo.”  I don’t know if he insists on the second capital anymore.  My brother, not the rapper.
  15. My 6 yo niece was saved into the Kingdom of God today.  I thought God’s manufacturer warranty lasted longer than that but apparently it helps to buy the extra coverage.  (Is that GAP insurance?  Does Medicaid cover that?)
  16. As I was leaving the grocery store today a lady walked by and said “yeah, she was THERE and she is fucking crazy.”  There being the restaurant 2 doors down.  “FUCKING CRAZY, I TELL YOU.  FUCKING CRAZY!”  I figured if she could be that loud, I could ask questions like who is she?  How is she related to you?  Is she still there?  What’s the difference between plain ole crazy and fucking crazy?  Why are you wearing a dress without shaving your beard first and still walking around yelling that someone is fucking crazy?
  17. If I were Inside The Perimeter, that last question would be irrelevant.
  18. Because OTP, having a beard and wearing a dress is acceptable as long as you shave first.  Have some respect.
  19. The answer to the last three is “because in GA, it’s illegal to buy alcohol on Sunday except for by the drink inside a restaurant.”  If people could go home and get drunk after church there would be no excuse for bearded, dressed people to be out on Sundays.  Thank you Sonny Perdue for watching out for our Family Values.
  20. The women in my family look so much alike that when I found a black and white picture of someone at a formal event, none of us can say for sure who it is/was.
  21. I don’t plan on leaving my house next weekend because these lake people are IDIOTS.
  22. The two happiest days in a man’s life are the day he buys his boat and the day he sells it.  There’s a word for people who own boats: SUCKERS!
  23. The world is going to end in 2012 but Shaun didn’t know why.  I had to clue him in on the joke.
  24. He’ll never live that down.  Mainly because if I told anyone on HIS side of the family I’d just have to explain it AGAIN.
  25. I’ve yet to tell him about the next to last pope.

Why are you still reading this?  Want to tell me your USI list?  Yes you do.  Start typing, bitches!

prettier in hindsight

21 06 2010

Almost 10  years ago and more than 20 lbs lighter, this is me.  Shaun and I had taken a trip to the island where my family lived.  When we were young and had disposable income, we could do things like drive down for a long weekend.

This trip happened to take place just a few days after a hurricane had blown through.  The ocean was beautiful and turbulent.  Normally, it’s calm and only the most determined surf off the coast.  It was too beautiful to ignore so we set off walking down the beach, looking for shells and little sea animals that sometimes get washed up.

Several years before, we had come across a sea turtle that had been washed ashore and pecked on the neck by some scavenging bird.  We collected the little guy into an ice bucket we stole from a hotel with ocean water.  Then we went to the police station to see if a conservationist could come get him.  In a small town on a small island, the police are the ones who know who to call.

On this trip, however, there wasn’t as much debris – there were just HUGE waves.  (Huge compared to normal – I know other places put our little patch of ocean to shame.)  I couldn’t help it – I dove in and started body surfing, leaving Shaun with the camera.

It was wonderful, but even then my body had started it’s course towards this dis-ease.  I had been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse.  I needed to sleep about 14 hours a day.  I would throw up if I was in the sun for too long.  I wasn’t even 21.  Instead of being young, beautiful, and fabulous I was busy making contingency plans.  Carefree and spontaneous were (and still are) words I didn’t understand.

No matter all that – I kept surfing.  After four or five waves I was getting very tired and decided to go after one more ride then go back to the hotel for a nap.

I dove in and started swimming out towards the waves.  That was the one that caught me – a riptide.  I remember being pulled towards the bottom and my brain started the emergency procedure protocol: don’t panic, relax, swim parallel to the shore.

Initiate survival tactic #1 – don’t panic.  I realized then under the water that I didn’t care very much if I came back up.  I wasn’t suicidal.  I was just at ease that if my life was at an end, that was ok too.  The pain, the fatigue, the grief, the losses of infertility – that would all be over if the ocean kept me.  I saw the swirls of the waves enveloping me and supporting me.

In normal circumstances, I’m terrified of drowning.  Of being pressed from all sides and powerless to reach the top for a breath.  The thought in my head during this was “one breath and it’s all over.”  Instead of terror, I felt relief.

I don’t know how long I was under but the ocean didn’t want me.  It spat me out literally at Shaun’s feet.  The wave pushed me into something solid and then there was a flash.

The flash of a camera held by my husband.

The ocean gave me back to him and it didn’t even take my hat.  That ocean is a pretty cool guy.  I’d like to see him again.

Things it’s not

29 04 2010

Note to the internet: this post is not going to be as awesome because I can’t find my humor folder.  Why?  It’s due to lupus.


The blood work that the doctor who does not suck did came back perfect – except for one thing.  Lupus ANA: positive.

We knew it was some sort of auto-immune going on but I had my money on rheumatoid arthritis.  Shaun and I had been joking all week that if it came back lupus we were going to shit bricks.  So, it came back lupus.

LJ ended up shitting the brick, though.  Seriously, the turd I had to save the toilet from was the size of an orange.  That’s bigger than my fist!  I’ve never known such huge turds could come out of such little people.


Anyways, yesterday I forgot my face care routine.  I got out of the bath and stood there staring because I knew I did something next but couldn’t remember what.  This is why OCD exists – it’s so that when your brain fuzzes out, you know where everything is.  Mess up the routine and you end up forgetting to tone then moisturize.

I had to postpone the cardiologist appointment (due to lupus) and the appointment person said “bless your heart.”  I wonder if she sees how cute that is, working at a cardiologist and stuff.  It’s probably good though.  It was starting to settle in that I may end up with a pacemaker (due to neurocardiogenic syncope) and I was starting to freak out.  MVP is the most annoying disease you’ll never die from, but that possibility is crazy.

My dad tried to tell me once that I was adopted and I just laughed.  I’m his daughter all the way from the beautiful but near-sighted eyes (our prescription are the same) to the places we hurt.  He’s had serious kidney problems since his early 20s, so now my mom is asking that he be tested for lupus too.  It may be good, again, I never had any genetic children.  I seem to be a genetic mess of problems.

So, what now?  From what I can tell, not much will change (due to lupus) except that now we have a new joke.  Take pills, lay down when hurting or tired, and do what I can on good days.  Read to take my mind off of the pain.  Grab life by the balls and live it.

The What? List

26 04 2010

I think my sister has been praying for me lately so I haven’t been saying the fuck word as much as I normally do.  We’re just going to call this the What? List.  Okay?

I know companies didn’t plan to lose their minds right about the time I decreased the dose on the psych meds.  Some companies need to fire the ad people taking the psych meds because apparently only people on crazy high doses of SSRIs… really just don’t give a damn.

Either no one cares or the psych meds have this virus that goes off when you start to cut down on their profit.  This virus starts streaming “everything is made of suck and fail” at subconscious levels.  Especially things that are in your own head.  The new phone this weekend – doesn’t suck.  The AC being fixed in the house – not sucky!  My brain knows this and unknows it at the same time.  It’s how Time is “hacked” by 4chan and acknowledge it AND write a follow up a year later AND people actually took credit for doing it!

You crazy people know what I mean.  On to the list:

Benadryl Y’all decided to change your box to back to the 1978 color scheme right at allergy season?  Are you kidding?  There are hundreds of pine-sperm covered people in the aisles yelling “WHERE IS THE DAMN ALLERGY MEDICINE????  Oh, I thought that was Pepto Bismol.  Damn.”

But then, you really did it, Benadryl.  You put the type of pill included in the box at the very bottom in a very un-shelf friendly position in this of hot pink.  The normal pill is hot pink. THE PILL I’M LOOKING FOR IS CLEAR! Why? I’m allergic to the dye.  Who told you there was a such thing at 6 pt font?

It used to say “Dye-Free Benadryl” on the box in big letters at the top but no.  Us people ALLERGIC to the dye in the ALLERGY medicine have to hunt through every effing box at the store to find the ones we can take without swelling up.  It’s at the bottom, in the back, because seriously – who isn’t immune to red dye #40 already?  It’s 2010 people – we’re made of red dye #40.  If you go to the hospital for a shot – they’ll give you a syringe full of… clear benadryl.

Needless to say, when the zombie apocalypse comes, my house will be the only one stocked with dye free benadryl.

Apple*:  …proving to the world how many different flavors of suck there really are.  Just look at the news.  Really.

And it sucks even harder that the clock I want for Mother’s Day has an iPod dock in it.  IT’S A FUCKING AWESOME CLOCK BEING PERVERTED BY THIS APPLE SHIT!  Damn fruit infecting every piece of furniture or gadgetry I own!  There’s no way I could buy enough iPods to plug all the fucking docks I already own.

Target: Y’all got real good at creating designer lines in little parts of your store no one shops then putting those lines on SUPER clearance for $3 each.  That’s why I love you.  I don’t love you for signing up to put out these little lines that should be on the clearance rack the instant they hit the stores.  Kinda like WalMart joining Miley and Max Azria (WTF?) but cheaper.

I’m looking at you Cynthia Vincent for Target.

The Nook at Barnes & Noble – and all eBook readers in general:  No, I don’t want to know if it can play FLASH FILES.  Please tell me you did not call your manager down here to show me the Nook and how it flashes. I don’t care if it blings and I don’t want a mirror.

I want to know if the screen goes black between pages.  You know, flash?  I understand we’re still in the early generations here but could they have found a better screen?

People who like books normally know how to read.

Books are made of words and words in a row make sentences.  Sentences in a column make a page.

People who like books turn pages.

Now, I’m not going to buy one of these THINGS until the Epilepsy Foundation puts their stamp on it.  Can you say migraine trigger?  Until then I’ve got a PDF viewer and a netbook.

And you iPad people give me a break!  You know it’s awesome that you have a great screen but I bet Steve Jobs will break in your house himself if you download a single thing from Project Gutenberg.  Even though it’s perfectly legal he’ll send the magic powers of doom to your device to fry its little chips.  Because if you own an Apple product he wants everything to be Apple branded and iGutenberg just isn’t catchy.  That, and how dare something be free to the public domain!  OMG, PIRATES!

That’s why they have a picture of an old ass Palm on their front page that is obviously SOMEBODY’S and isn’t a ripped off stock photo from the manufacturer’s page.  It’s because of crazy legal frenzies between the EFF and Apple being the shit our newspapers is made of.

The end of the mall with Spencers and Hot Topic:  Alright now, if you put too many idiots with single digit IQ scores in one place we’re going to get a vacuum effect and that’s going to be a HELL OF A MESS TO CLEAN UP, YOUNG LADY!

Normal people have to take drugs to get that level of suction going!

And why did some bitch randomly walk up to me and say “awesome, I love ICP too!” Now, Insane Clown Posse could have fathered you, child – back away from the old people please.  Who is apparently me, who actually saw the horrorcore/metal core/rap core phenomena take place.  I’m still not sure if she meant the tattoos or the white wife-beater I was wearing or what.  I could have sworn I walked out of the house styled more like Eminem and less like ICP, but hell, I fucked up the make-up again!

Then the kid who sold me my new phone (and was obviously an Apple fanboi and very flagrantly stoned) said “cool… tattoos huh.  What’s it say? Arson huh?  Like to blow shit up and burn stuff?” How do I know he was an Apple boy?  He told me when he told me the Android phone I was buying from him was a piece of shit and he sold it on the street after a week.   He switched the subject when I declared myself firmly on the Google side of the sea.

Being it was Sunday, I spared him the ridiculously short answer (back to tattoos and off the apple shit, keep up) and gave him the mid-length answer.  “It’s based on Acts 2:2.  In the Bible.”

“Oh… wow… hard core stuff.  You know you can hold fire in one spot with rocks and like stuff.  You got to keep it small.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “otherwise people start thinking you’re a crazy person who walks around really excited about stuff that’s illegal.  Like arson.  And they’re always picking up rocks for their “circle” and talking about keeping it small enough to hide under a bushel or a basket or something.”

“YEAH!” He’s realizing he’s at work right about now and it’s noonish on a Sunday in the Bible belt.  “I wouldn’t want to be a crazy person.”

“But crazy people are more fun to watch!”  After that, he kind of shut up and gave me the side-eye.  That’s right bitch.  I just bought a Samsung.  I do deserve the side-eye.

*Apple also seems to have all the smart service people at their Genius bar in their stores.  Really.  They diagnosed Shaun’s dying iPod and hooked us up with a new one within days.  Days!

And none of it had to do with the fact that his wife took it in for “service” and it ended up being 26 days out of warranty.  The look I gave them did not say “wow, sounds like an expiration date to me.”  I absolutely did not say a word about at least being able to fix a dead hard drive in a non-apple product.

Really, they were really awesome.  I almost wanted to buy one but then I’d have to rethink my gas guzzling SUV and I”m not ready for that kind of commitment.

the saggy pants debate

15 04 2010

I figured I’d take part in the saggy pants debate being I live in the land of crunk.  Everyone’s heard the strange topics on culture, race, maturity, independence, fashion, blah blah blah blah blah. Scenester, hipster, gangsta, whatever… pants sagging is EVERYWHERE.

I am also a citizen of the internet.

And on the internet we have a few rules (other than the 40 or so posted ones – I’ll list them as a footnote.)

In internet-land, if you fail hard enough, you win.

Immaturity is encouraged.

Everything is more awesome when a girl does it.

In my own personal addition, I’d like to point out that if guys had cooler drawers, the sagging may be that much more awesome.    Let me demonstrate with a couple of pictures:

In this picture, we see that girls do it better.  Girls have more awesome undie options.  And while totally immature, I wouldn’t mind my dad seeing it at all.

(It also demonstrates that I got my ass gene from my dad, but that’s another post.)

In the close-up, another point is made.  Wearing an elastic band around the broad part of your ass isn’t that comfortable.  This is also my FAVE pair of pants and I don’t need my XL ass gene stretching out the waist, so after this demonstration, I pulled my pants back up.

My vote?  Pull your pants up unless you have totally awesome boyshorts on.  Then, take pictures, and THEN pull your pants up.

For the curious, here’s the rest of the rules of the internet:

DIY fur coat repair

26 02 2010

Here’s my disclaimer:  If it’s a real expensive coat, you may want to consult a professional.  This one my sister got from Goodwill so I wasn’t about to find a fur specialist when I had teh Google at my fingertips.  Besides, I fix everything myself.  It’s the best part of being a geek!

Here is the finished result.  This coat started out as a relatively inexpensive rabbit fur coat made in China.  It’s jacket length and zips up the front.  It’s still incredibly warm (wearing it makes you wish for fur blankets on your bed.)

The problem:

When my sister gave it to me, it had a panel of fur that had separated from the inside seaming and was just flopping about.  Go ahead.  Look real close and see if you can tell which panel it was.

If you had the coat on, it was the middle front panel to the left of the zipper.

I started looking very closely at the inside to see what had happened to make it separate from it’s neighbors.  Rabbit is a very thin material so machine sewing and serging like was used on this coat is very ineffective.  Like I said – it’s a cheap coat made from sub-prime furs, but still, you can’t beat finding something like this at Goodwill.

The leather side of the fur had torn away from the serged edge and would not hold any sort of stitching.  Every time I even got close to it with a needle, it would rip again.

The solution:

Very carefully, I used Steam-a-Seam and a piece of hemming lace to strengthen the leather.  This is the part that was tricky.  I couldn’t touch the iron to the leather without singing the fur or scorching the leather.  Logically, I didn’t think steam itself would hurt it and I needed just enough to set the glue on the steam-a-seam.  I had Shaun hold it open with the lace in place and I blew steam at it holding the iron about 2 inches away from the leather.  I repeated this until it seemed like the glue had set the lace into place. (If you don’t have a man with tough man hands, then find an assistant with gloves.)

Next I let it dry and cool for a couple of hours to make sure the glue and lace were nice and secure.  After it was, I was ready to sew.

I got a very thin, short needle and some coat grade thread in a khaki color.  All the fur on the top panel, I pushed up.  The fur on the bottom, I pressed down so I was only getting the leather with its lace backing into the stitch.  Then I pretended I was a doctor suturing a wound.  (Or an upholstery repair-person working with very delicate fabric.)

The trick was to make sure the lace held the stitching and not the leather.  In total, I used about 6 “suture” style stitches in a 6 inch area.  After I was sure the stitching would hold, I brushed the fur back into place and pulled out the camera!

I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out!  I’ve worn it several times since then and it still seems as strong as the day I worked on it so hopefully it will stay.  I have not found a single person yet who can tell just from looking that it ever needed repair.

Here are some close-ups: