Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I suck, I know

Haven't done any blogging or art. But J did get the contraptions off his teeth yesterday - for the end of the first phase - he'll get them back in two years. His dad came home Saturday and will see him for the first time this afternoon.

Funny, J has chapped lips clear to his nose and I'd thought of skipping the picture for that reason, but opted not to. See, he missed school pictures this year due to his trip West with his dad in Oct, then was in PE when they called his grade for make ups. Oh, was I pissed when I later found out. School pictures are not an option for him, I told him. They are for his mother. And the yearbook. We we are both lacking.

So we went to Wally's for the "cheap" make up version. Ha! Instead of a $25 set at school, this was $125. In a whim, I got in a few, too. In my sweats. I figured if he was going to have a whole chapped mouth, then I could do it in sweats.

I made plans to see Lyd in Seattle at the end of February. Her best friend from HS, someone she hung out with a lot the last year or two as well, lives there. Moved up in August or so in true lesbian fashion - met a woman online and rented the UHaul within two months. Life on the edge.
Because Lyd and I have the same phone carrier and talking is free, we spend too much time on the phone. I think it's why I'm not blogging, or painting for that matter.

I'll do better and get it all together. I hope each of you are doing very well.
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

I'm also overdue for some blog reading

I'm embarrassed that some of my favorite blogs have 20 posts waiting on me to read. My Baby/EDA folder stands at 194 entries. At 200, it'll stop adding them.

I really don't want to miss any news and will try to buckle down later today. I am so sorry to have not kept up or commented. Thank you if you commented here nonetheless.

Also on the slate for today - birds and bees. They'll do the videos at school for 5th graders in a week. I watched them Friday in the school library on my own. I have been woefully shy about having an informed son, which is really contrary to my world view and I am embarrassed. I'll try to make up for it today. The school's videos and slides really concentrated on the effects of puberty, what happens with fertilization, and the types of STDs there are. The latter just curled my toes, as all viral ones were linked together and associated with things like death. Ugh.

None talked about what sex is or specifically how that damn sperm is deposited in order to meet that damn egg. I just shake my head thinking how easy the union sounds and how scared all girls (in particular) are of their own fertility. Funny how that plays out for some of us. Or, actually, not so funny.

I got an interesting email from a local woman I'd emailed maybe two months ago. She'd seen my ad much like the Indian woman did, but she was in the process of moving, seemed quite busy, so we lost touch. Imagine my surprise to get her email today saying she'd met this Indian woman (although she wasn't her type), discussed this online source, and then my name came up. Jeez, it is a small world. Apparently the Indian woman did not disclose the reason she thought she and I were so incompatible, so this woman contacted me for another go around.

It is plum amazing. I guess one or the other of them put up an ad there. I had only done the one ad, got maybe 6-8 people who responded, but only had two people I'd go out with. These two people. Eerie, huh?

I haven't decided whether or not to pursue it. The Indian woman scared me too much. I appreciate her not blabbing my personal business, but I kind of feel like she's setting me up. Yeah, I'm paranoid.

At present, I don't want to consider myself to be in an exclusive relationship with Lyd. I have this capacity (good or bad) to compartmentalize feelings and not want or demand more out of a person than I am able to accept. I have that sort of relationship with Richard as well. I love him, but I don't have to possess him. Of course, Lyd does not think in these terms.

Let me get to sleep and recharge for a big day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'm overdue for a post

You probably know that when something goes well, you just want to bask in it and not dissect it.

We all had a great time over Thanksgiving. Virgin America is supreme with their individual touch screens and ordering menu. Way cool with the technology. Going out, I watched three Housewives of Orange County in preparation. Also saw a couple Top Chef but for architecture students shows.

We got in late and stayed in LA the first night, Monday. Lyd met us there after she got of work and had lucked into being off until Saturday. Got up and went to Ft. Irwin CA to see the desert and get a satellite tour. We met up with an old co-worker of hers and spent a fun evening at her house with her family, who Lyd knew well. Drove back to her home and stayed over. Met her step dad (a chatty good old boy type) and her mother (a frenzied psycho control freak and she showed her butt for us.) I'd gotten a painting framed for Lyd and to match her room. Unfortunately, I decided to present it to her mother for their "home," although Lyd had already "claimed" it. Of course, her mother didn't claim to hear the Lyd part, promptly took something off the wall, and put mine up. I was crushed for Lyd, but you can't go up against her mother. It's freaky. Instead, I'll paint Lyd another of these particular eucalyptus trees she likes, so it'll be more personal anyway.

We went almost 2000 miles and I took almost 2000 pictures. I'll have plenty of subjects to paint once I force myself to paint from photographs.

That day, we went over to Monterey. I'd been raining pretty much the whole time we were there and continued that way. We had dinner at the Fisherman's Wharf and then drove through San Francisco wayyyy up to Eureka for about 13 hours of travel that day. I drove the few hours and made Lyd sick in the mountains; she's a primo wuss. Can't believe the speed limit was 65 on those mountain roads. I'm a good driver, but she didn't let me drive again. Instead, we had to go more like 40 when she drove. After I got home Saturday, I told her on the phone that I would be doing the driving next time, even though we drove each other crazy. She said that if I drove, I couldn't take pictures and she has a point.

From Eureka, we came back south a little to the Avenue of the Giants and the Redwood Forest. It was like entering a different world. She'd never been before, either, so it was wonderful for us all to experience it together. We took a side trip to Ferndale to see the Victorian homes and another to the coast where we saw a lighthouse and a black sand beach. Going and coming, we picked up hitchhikers - despite her youth, Lyd is a throwback - and they both reeked of alcohol. We figured out that that 20 mile stretch of road over that mountain was these people's lifeline. They had no concept of ferigners in their parts, particularly on Thanksgiving without a special meal to attend. I asked one guy if they played banjos and it went straight over his head and he started talking about hip hop. I was biting my lip.

We did finally have Thanksgiving at the only restaurant we could find open. These little towns along there didn't even have gift shops or gas stations open, each barely with a couple buildings. This restaurant had the worst service I've gotten in a while. Starting off, it took forever to order, so I sent to the manager and politely asked if maybe we'd been forgotten. She replied with a classic line, "No, you haven't been forgotten. She's just slow as Moses." It was hilarious her ragging on her employee like that.

That night, we continued south back toward San Francisco. I never sleep, but I was nodding off so badly that I couldn't help with the drive. We stayed north of the city and toured the city until 1pm the next day. We took cable cars up, then a taxi down. He went down curvy Lombard for us. The best thing was Lyd's favorite place - a museum of old timey amusements, squashed pennies, player pianos, etc at one of the wharfs.

From here, we drove back down to LA for our red eye flight. All told, I painted six small paintings, a couple of which I am happy about. Lyd would randomly stop and I'd paint where we were, then she'd keep us on schedule and get us on the road. Carrying my pastels in their new trays and bag worked well. It was easy getting through the airport here, but LAX had more kinks. The little guy was overzealous, almost dumped a tray, had no comprehension of why I would be nervous, him defaulting to the idea I must be a drug smuggler or terrorist, and broke the zippers on each side of the special pastel bag - they seem to be self correcting, but I figure they're damaged.

For anyone who stops by the art blog, Lyd does read and comment anonymously there. She's very whimsical and, if there's a nonsense comment, it's from her. She's very supportive and I appreciate it so much. Through the week I complained that I didn't have enough grayed out pastels, then I blogged it with a link, thinking my father might take the hint. Instead, she ordered them immediately. She's very thoughtful and has a great heart. She planned the whole trip and did a great job; that's usually my role and it was wonderful turning it over.

I had faith the trip would turn out well and I am relieved that it did. I'm glad we only spent one night at her house. I don't do egg shells well and admire her for being able to be the caretaker for both of them as well as her even worse princess of a grandmother, who I only saw briefly.

I really think a lot of her and am in awe of how she takes care of me and feels for me. And how good she is to my son.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Got your own back, Sista?

While you are chewing over the XBox vs. Wii debate, consider something else.

Besides packing and fearing my pastels will be dust upon arrival in CA, a strange drama has unfolded.

Last Monday or so, a woman on a dating website started a new thread saying she was disappointed in a man with whom she'd been emailing. He finally said he wasn't interested several days after she divulged that she has a bipolar 14yo son. I've seen plenty of posts about this boy in the past - he's stayed in residential facilities, she hasn't worked in the last year in order to care for him, she moved back to live by her parents so that he'd get care. Okay, the kid is troubled.

Anyway, she posted that the man dumped her because of her bipolar son. During the course of the threads with little details she'd dropped, I realized that the man was someone who'd I'd also been talking to and he seemed like a very responsible father. He seemed honest and forthcoming, a good guy. She, on the other hand, was prone to hyperbole, or that was my opinion in the past.

I responded on that thread that I'd done my bit with a troubled teen and I sure would think twice about doing it again. Maybe the guy was saying that out of experience. Mostly I was thinking that she was being a martyr playing the sick kid card and he had plenty of other reasons to reject her.

He and I were scheduled for lunch on Saturday. We had a good time. At one point I brought up the post. The post was created in a pwp woman's section which is for girl's only, but I felt that it was appropriate to discuss it, b/c it related to a guy that I had a date with and I felt that we could discuss it in an adult fashion.

As I had suspected, he said he discontinued with her more b/c he was not attracted to her - she is not h/w proportionate at all, but her picture is creatively cropped; he got a fully body picture of her to realize that. He said it wasn't b/c of her son, but she went there with him in emails. He'd merely said that he understood she had her hands full with him. Anyway, she went off and he felt her unstable, something he'd already sensed. A few days later, he considerately emailed her and asked if she was doing alright. He got a terse, "I'm fine," and that was all.

I believed him, b/c I feel like he is genuine and a good father. I do not believe her b/c I have doubted her stories before. I think she embellishes an element and completely leaves out pertinent details, then tries to garner support. She also dropped entirely too many details in her post and made it too easy for me to figure out. That's her bad.

Well, I thought the guy was okay. However, he goes home from lunch and emails her to quit talking about him. Oy! Talk about stabbing me in the back!

She then starts another thread in this pwp girl's only section, saying there's a rat amongst the group who is blabbing details. It's become a witch hunt with the posts, because someone supposedly betrayed something confidential pertaining to the sisterhood.

First, I already had little respect for this woman. Second, me having a conversation about her thread was not to badmouth her; it was to interview this guy I had a date with. Third, I am absolutely positive that others discuss things within this email group with other members.

According to some, the rat is an unconscionable attention hog, which is funny b/c the rat hasn't spoken. Others say the rat is catty - as if this (sorry) whale of a woman (very Catholic, very martyry, very repressed) were even in the same category of a person as me.

I'm usually the upstanding type claiming what I should, but I do not feel like being ostracized over either of these two. I was justified in having a conversation about something that pertained to me - as in, if he didn't like bipolar people, there was no reason to continue.

Anyway, I haven't posted there all day, so I look busy. Then tomorrow we leave, so I won't be back into the mix for a week. I hope it blows over.

Women. Maybe I shouldn't be in the girl's club. I do not understand them.

Before we leave...

I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! And that you eat hearty, but each lose two pounds. Except Aunt Becky who must only maintain.

While I'm away basking in Sunny California, which is supposed to be rainy, I have a request of you. Tell me all about these Wii things and XBox 360 monsters. I hate such, but my mother wants to get us a Wii for Xmas without J's knowledge. He has an old PS2 at his father's and it seems like the world revolves around him getting new games.

Without him knowing my mother's specifics, he really doesn't want a Wii, says XBox 360 does most things a Wii can do, plus much more. And it comes with two games now.

My mother wants me to buy it and she'll pay me back. Well, I haven't bought it yet, b/c I really don't want to front it right now.

Do you know of these things I speak? Do you have guidance?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stress regardless of season

Thank you so much for each and every comment.

My gyn/thyroid doctor had changed me to Armour in April. As always, she started low and titrated upward. It is a slow process and I want it to be slow, seeings how I've had two thyroxine overdoses already. So she raised me from 75ug to 90 on Friday. Maybe it'll work, may it'll need more.

It takes a lot of energy and mindfulness to keep track and figure out which is causing what symptom. It can make one a little paranoid about symptoms, which in itself might be a side effect due to either too little thyroxine (ie depression and anxiety) or to too much thyroxine (ie mania.)

Like Bridge said, it's nice if you can err on the side of too much thyroxine. I lost 30lbs that first year and sure could use the boost again, although the heightened anxiety is causes does not feel good. I don't like second guessing everything I say, even as I am bursting at the seams to say it!

As a side, I've had a presumably related scalp issue since August, although it's not the first time I've had it. It is broken out, kind of acne-like, but also very dry and crusty; it's painful and one is compelled to scratch it. The bumps are also along all of my hairline, but especially in the back and behind my ears. It is visible. I've read boards where many people describe this very thing and have no cause or cure. I've been wondering if it's thyroid-related, so we'll see.

In related fashion concerning confounding dosages, I am taking it slowly on the Concerta prescribed by my psychiatrist Friday; it is essentially Ritalin. I plan to begin it in a few weeks, because I don't want the change to be confounded by the change in my thyroid med, too.

I felt somewhat better on Friday than Thursday, but then I started spotting on Saturday and I figured Thursday may have been to a progesterone drop, something to which I am very sensitive. The thing is that I'd had my period (they're very light since I came off bcps and they only last 2-3 days with only 24 or so in between) just the Saturday before, so it never occurred to me that my crash might be progesterone-related.

Add peri-menopause or, I guess, menopause to the mix.

The show/demonstration thing on Saturday went well. It was fun meeting people. One lady is a lab person like me. She wants to paint, buys the supplies, mat cutters, etc to paint, then doesn't. She even had a topic in mind she wanted to paint, inquired at a gallery if they had one on this topic and they did, so she bought it instead of painting. She gave me a card in case I ever need a job, which I am glad of, with ex returning from Iraq in a month to no job. I worked for two years for the very company she began with this year as a project manager.

This lady has perfectionist's disease. She needs to just get dirty with abandon; classes would be good for her. When you realize that every painting doesn't have to be a masterpiece, it is liberating. Then, you discover that everybody has different tastes and your opinion of a painting doesn't matter if it speaks to someone else; it can be a masterpiece to them.

I've had a hard time producing art effectively lately. Either I had a chatty security guard (one session) or bad paper (four sessions) and it's gotten me down. I also post on an arts community for feedback sometimes. I try to put their advice into play sometimes and it is counter-intuitive. I wreck a piece with studio work, something that was perfectly plein air, meaning it was fresh, spontaneous, and perhaps a little bit fuzzy or stylized from being done on site with a moving sun.

Although I need to take critique, I need to maybe not respond to it. Anyway, I ruined two paintings that way, but finished two others despite that. I guess I'm 50-50 lately in responding to suggestions.

The thing that put me over last week was being criticized for my framing. I'd brought two pieces to a meeting as part of a show and tell. This woman blurted out how pastels should be framed with a spacer next time I do it - as if I were an inexperienced idiot framer. I replied that all of my stuff is professionally framed and she blurted out, "A professional did that?!" I was mortified. She said she saw no space between the mat and the painting. I said I saw a small space. A space is put there so that errant pastel crumbles will fall away and be hidden, in particular, that they not fall down the front of the mat and soil it.

Anyway, this was occurring in front of over a dozen people. She's president of a different art society and she's seen as an authority figure. And now I feared being seen as a hacker with a cheap framer. I didn't mouth off about my framer's credentials, but he does all the pastels in the area, to include my old teacher, who is nationally recognized and even won a show this summer.

I am at a loss what to do, except bring another piece next month and firmly/nonchalantly say what my framer pointed out, b/c I went by to see him on Friday afternoon. Some pastels he frames like she says, with a spacer (often just another piece of mat board) between the matting and the painting. One thing he does not like about this is that the paper isn't secured by the mat and waffling occurs. The way he framed mine is called a reverse cut and it accounts for the small gap I saw. If the mat's bevel faces inward, it catches stray pastel and funnels it behind the mat. It also serves the purpose to be in contact with the painting and prevent it from waffling. He might have done mine that way because mine are quite burnished (I press the pastel into the sanded paper, so it isn't mobile) and behave.

I am finding that through another society it is a kiss of death to be considered amateur. This happening with this society was a surprise and I was very upset. I always figured my work would speak for itself, but I don't want to be chopped off at the knees over something stupid. That night, she quashed the mood and I only got one comment on each piece. I didn't feel that they were allowed to speak for themselves.

I really hate when artists are left brained and, it seems that in a right brained undertaking, there are an awful lot of left brained people. I'm right brained, but when taxed I swing into left brain overload.

Okay, if you're still with me, we have some really good news. J is finally getting his braces off in a month. Believe it or not, it's been 18 months since they were put on. I think they'll be off a week before his father gets home. I'm trying to change J's teeth cleaning appt to be in the days between the braces come off and when his dad gets home, just in case insurance changes really quickly.

Strange to think of ex potentially being unemployed soon. Hoo boy, does that impact me. I could well be bankrupt in two months.

So how was this peek into my stressors? I can't blame myself for reacting.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pity rant

It has been a tough week, a tough two months.

This week I learned the school district is making some changes, just the wrong ones. I learned that my son has to go to the school seven miles away for six years, that he won't be coming back to the school one mile away at all, like I'd been led to believe with school announcements two years ago.

I need to calculate how long it takes to ride over 14 miles a day for six years, versus two. Simple put, it is seven times longer.

Buses are the bastions of the infidels.

This stuff has skewered me to the soul and it will take a long to get over how angry I am at the school board once again. We go through this about every other year. I feel powerless.

Some stuff has happened over the last two months that has shaken me artistically.

I go to two doctors tomorrow - my thyroid/gyn and my psychiatrist. It's not a moment too soon. My thyroid medicine is not doing the trick; look at my broken out body and see that. My new, timed-release ADD med did alright for a few days, but I'm afraid it's what is crashing me. I only started it last week, beginning with one. After a few days, I went up to two, the recommended dosage. I began feeling really good, being jovial and chatty, too chatty perhaps, but happy. The previous med I'd taken made me edgy and anxious and saying all the wrong things, so I was liking the new. On this new one, I felt good, hypomanic even, the lovely productive time that comes before crazy mania, which I do not get. I asked my therapist Wednesday if she thought it was hypomania, but she said to relax and enjoy it. Strange, b/c for all the focus it was supposed to provide, I was completely unproductive. And my mind was prone to racing.

Of course there will be no answers tomorrow. I have no faith. And the stimulation of the thyroid meds already made my hands shake. Adding an amphetamine doesn't help.

I am sick of being sick somehow and having so many confounding factors.

I'm tired of hating on myself and feeling justified when I do it. I don't want to get into how bad it is.

There's so much more, but I'll stop here.

Suffice it to say that I am prickly and depressed.

I guess the good (but scary) news is J and I going to visit Lyd for Thgvg in CA. If you'll recall, she and I are great friends by phone and email, the but second time I saw her, she came here w/out money, acted the fool, etc. A good while after that, we renewed our friendship and I care for her like I did; I fear seeing her and being turned off.

This is one of those positive life circumstances that is too stressful.

I am maxed out.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Show and Tell: Scouting for Eww?

Last weekend, the bags were distributed. This weekend, bags of food were picked up.

Just like last year, I had J for the pick up weekend. A year ago, we got a small area, two or three courts of townhouses, and we only got about six or eight bags. People lamented the economy.

This year, because of fewer people available to do pick up, we got a much larger area, several times that of last year. And despite the economy, we got over 50 bags. These two were happy, busy boys, except...

Starting out, we'd been confused by newspapers that looked like Scout bags on the elevated stoops. So many leaves made it confusing, too. At one point early on, I spotted a bag with the ears/handles straight up and J hopped up on the porch to get it.

He rushed over. He paused. He picked it up and poked. He came back down the stairs, then seized in terror, ran back to the door to deposit the bag from whence it came.

Simultaneous to that, I realized what the bag was: a stinky diaper so bad that they'd put it outside.

J, aka Mr. Clean Hands, was mortified to have any residuals on his hands, but I had no wipes. So my hair, my clothes, and my hands received all the diaper cooties.

I am still laughing.

Thanks to Mel for helping me out with an occasion to share this shite-filled story.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday Scavenger Hunt: Water

Tara chose water as our word for the week.

I'll concentrate on a few water pictures from yesterday, which was beautiful. In fact, the forecast called for a great day, so I canceled a first date lunch date (the guy is a lawyer and I'd hope he'd impress me more in person that he has on the phone or by email - he's very dry and much like the last patent attorney I dated last Spring) so I could paint. Well, I actually canceled with plenty of notice, before noon on Wednesday, and then that evening several painter friends had the same idea for Friday and invited me along.

I stopped at this location, planning to paint water. Instead, I painted up the hill to the bell tower of a church and included no water. The scene looks prettier than this picture, because the camera focused on the drapy limb thing.

^The water reflects an incredible blue, which is outside the picture frame of the sky.

^I love how powerful the clouds appear in the water's reflection.

I need to figure out what body of water this is.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Today so far, but to include the weekend

Anybody notice I'm not doing NaMoBloMe this year? It is making me so happy. I receive the emails and sigh in non-participatory contentment.

I had J's Parent-Teacher Conference this morning at 8:20. He stayed home in bed. His teacher was very impressed with him and how he has busted butt since mid-term. I wish they had some continuity in their grading forms, but at interim he had 3 Cs (his first Cs ever!) and 4 Bs. For his finals, he had 5As, a vast improvement. When I got home and showed him, he whispered, "I feel so proud." I told him to pocket that feeling for motivation later.

I got home and told him I'd take him to Dunkin Donuts for a treat, but he's downstairs watching TV instead. Booger. I needed more sugar after the past few days of gorging.

The weekend painting workshop was fun. The instructor had a great sense of humor and really emphasized drawing the first day. Okay, I might had had a crush on him. Shucks about that being married thing.

He liked my pictures and the way I had them printed light, medium, dark, and B/W, using them over and over as examples. I chose to do the first picture. It was the main example he referenced, so I got used to seeing it. I'd also printed up the red turtleneck one and an additional shot from pre-school I'd forgotten to post. The other pictures did not blow up well enough to try to use.

When I picked up J afterward, he saw the picture in the dim car. His first reaction was that it looked like him. That's the positive part. It does, however, look like a first attempt as oil painting. His face looks chalky and I have to blame that in part on the cheap Daler Rowney paints and Utrecht white they provided. When we got inside in the light, J started picking the details apart like a good little critic, but I kept falling back on the fact that it was my first attempt. I think I might try it again with my Grumbacher paints, which dry a little more slowly and have more of a sheen to them.

So, it was good and I learned a lot. I wish we'd gotten more individual instruction instead of just group art lectures. He hung out, kinda wasting time, mostly spending time keeping busy actually doing the paintings of two women. One had a lovely painting already and he put in the eyes and a few other details. The second woman, who is an officer of this art group, so I expected her skill level to be high, essentially had him do her painting for him. She'd say that the eyebrow was off, and he'd correct it. Then she'd say the hair was wrong and he'd fix it. I hope she doesn't claim the piece as her own, because he put several hours into it.

I'm just jealous. I wish he'd have put time into mine. Not really, but the personalized instruction would have been helpful.

Classes always seem to to work this way. Individualized instruction is advertised, but it all collapses into one or two people.

Which brings me to my pastel class this afternoon. I have four sessions left. The instructor is literally a clown. She is individualized, yes, giving the attention back to herself. She loves to hear herself talk. As a result, in a 2.25h class, we get about 45 minutes or less to actually paint the figure and we're always hurrying at the end or the model volunteers to stay over. Last week, she talked so much that she didn't even do a demonstration, so we had to do the head on our own.

You ever been in a class in which you wanted to kill anyone for asking a question and getting the instructor started up again? Yeah, it's that kind of class.

I noticed last week that the woman on the opposite end of the room was doing her own thing as the instructor blabbed/gestured/acted/self-aggrandized on. I took this to mean frustration. I brought it up with a lady in my painting workshop over the weekend, as the three of us take the pastel class together. Apparently others are as frustrated as I am.

Another thing that frustrates me is that the class is supposed to be nine weeks long. The instructor was going to be out of the country for one week and didn't want to fool with adding a class on the end, although I didn't see the issue. Instead, she decided it would be best to add 15 minutes to each of the other eight classes. She tried to tack it on the end of the class, but I requested that not be the case with J on his own for a little bit. I mostly wanted her to take back the 15 minute plan, but instead she tacked it on to the beginning of the class. I felt railroaded and I learned this weekend that I wasn't the only one. Taking away a class reduces the number of models and poses, which is just wrong.

Sorry, I guess this became a rant spilling over. I have yet to find the perfect art teacher, but I anticipate that I will continue trying.

I'm glad I have this blog so I don't complain on the other one. However, I will not be posting pictures of the portrait anywhere anytime soon.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Saturday Scavenger Hunt: Street

Word on the street, Churlita chose this week's topic.

Sometimes the street compliments a good sunset shot.

This busy street in Cozumel was full to taxis and horse carriages. This also shows a quiet cross street.

This roadside mercado in Costa Rica served the tastiest berry juice. It always fascinates me when buildings are constructed close to the street.

Streets on Roatan, Honduras are actually quite dusty.

This guy walking down the street on Roatan just cracked me up. I guess cotton candy needs transporting somehow.

As we were leaving Roatan, Honduras, we went this scenic route. Technically, it's a street, I guess.

They lost that day, but it didn't matter to the boy. He took his fan spirit to the street.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blogging and pictures

In the last month, I've learned that a very small percentage of the people you tell/email about your blog or that you give them a card about it actually go to the blog - even if that someone knows me well or shares significant interests. If I said one in 20, it would be too high a viewership. It's closer to one in 50, tres disappointing.

Is not the rest of the world addicted to the Internet like me?

I really like the Blogger server that blog is on. It actually saves posts as they're being typed and allows for scheduling, which actually works. I desperately wish this blog's server worked properly.

It seems that the Indian woman comes by at least every other day. She checks out all links and pictures. It still baffles me. Ha! Maybe she realizes she made a mistake, because I am at least quality enough to hang out with, oh, every couple days.

This weekend I am taking an oil portraiture workshop while J is with his stepmother. Although I loathe the idea of painting from a picture, I know it's the only way I'll get a portrait of him. I'm still waiting on the supply list and instructions, but I began choosing pictures of my son to potentially use. I've learned in that past that it's important that the face be properly shadowed in order to provide definition. I'll include a couple and you can vote on your favorite. I'm not sure if the instructions will be for just a head shot or not, so I'm including both, although I probably prefer a head shot.

1) Last Day of Pre-School

2) At our Favorite Gardens

3) Making Gingerbread Houses in K

4) His favorite place to walk and play

5) Train Display with Friends

Okay, I love this picture of him, but I have a bad association with that day.

Until doing this post, I had a clear favorite, but now I'm less sure.

I like how Picasa works with Ritz and pictures come back quickly. I'll probably have a number printed - the picture, the picture w/extra shadow, the picture with more filler light, and the picture in BW. So, I need to narrow it down a bit if I'll be getting so many versions made.

I took a series of silly pictures of him back when I had my $40 digital. I wish I could use one of them. Beyond thumbnail size, they are a blur, but while I'm on the topic, I include some here because they are so cute and I've never had a use for them before.

J's all Vogue...

Don't forget to vote for one of the top five.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Scavenger Hunt: Burn

This week's word is the choice of AlienCG. I hope I do it justice.

Oh, this burned me - careless landscapers.

Memorial Day was burning hot and this Marine was out there paying tribute in burning hot wool.

Burn rubber.

He might be fair, but I burn much worse.

Sometimes the kid burns the parent.

Sometimes, perhaps verging on all the time, the kid burns the marshmallow.

Water flowing from a volcano can create burn-like conditions.

Be careful you don't get burned.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


It was bound to happen. I came out with a Real Me website and there's someone I wish didn't know.

Remember the herpes phobia Indian woman? She stayed away for about three weeks, but something got hold of her recently, I guess. Apparently she emailed my art link to a friend in India, who clicked in via Google mail. An hour later, the hysterical phobic came and looked through several pages. I believe this was Monday wee hours. Since then, she's come a number of times, including twice so far today.

She obviously has no concept of a counter. I do not like seeing her or being reminded of what she represents. I also do not like her continued knowledge of me, because my art blog includes me posting where I am painting outside with the group probably once or twice a month. I do not want to be stalked - Internet, well okay, but please not in person. I do not want baby-killer-like Herpes signs or STD cat calls.

My dilemma is letting on to her that I can see her. Should I give away that information? I really want to tell her that I can see her, with the hopes of that scaring her off. She is generally a mild person, but I don't know if she's involved friends who will buck her up to pester me.

I knew having my name on a blog would be Worlds Colliding. Any suggestions?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Show n Tell: No gifts for this anniversary

Four years ago today, I wrote, "If I can't have a baby, at least I can have a blog." I thought I was being cheeky, not realistic.

It seems very strange that I ever really thought I could have another child. I look back and see black, but I try so hard to not look back.

I also try to not look away when I am behind a baby in the grocery line. I do not deny her when my son's 3yo half sister asks me to pick her up. I am trying to live in this world of other people's children.

In situations like this, I've come a long way. In many ways, though, I haven't. Before, I turned the infertility on myself with self-blame for the unknown, which I realized I really didn't deserve. Now I turn the infertility on myself a different way: that I was daft enough to believe, to think I'd have or find a partner wanting to and worthy enough to procreate with me, to hope it might finally work again after years of trying. Feeling foolish feels awful, as does failure.

Back when I was about 30, I once did an exercise during a lunchtime talk about the Inner Child. Me of the rare tear had to rush from the room sobbing; I could not talk to or visualize me as a little child. All I could do was cry for the naivete of that poor, optimistic little girl who was so clueless about her outcome.

I feel that way now, looking back on my years of infertility. I sob with sadness at how I put so much into thinking I might get what comes to the rest of the world so naturally and effortlessly. The grief is doubled in the sense that I am still infertile, I have no hope to ever succeed, and the hope I did have almost disgusts me now. I don't know what I would say to my Inner Infertile. Give up? Don't prolong the grief? Cut your losses, because you will not succeed?

At 46, I know I'm just too old. I manage, sometimes as if walking though water, conscious of each wave and labored movement, yet putting on the good face, even on this blog, which was a secondary infertility blog. For years, I didn't even try to put on the good face. Now, I don't know if I am wearing a mask.

I measure my community by my Bloglines lists. Used to be, I had lots and lots of people in my IF/SIF/Adopt category. Those were the people I understood and very few remain. These days, I might get 3-5 posts per day there to read, because I cannot not seek out the newly infertile to expand the list. All but a very, very few (who probably no longer blog) graduated in some form or fashion to my Babies/EDA section. Right now, there are 19 messages waiting for me, but I always have to be strong when I read that category, putting on that brave face as I am conscious of each wave and labored comment.

Thanks to Mel for hosting the Show and Tell.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Scavenger Hunt: Nuisance

I chose this week's word because of laura b. and I elect AlienCG for next week's.

My choice was based on my not being able to finish the painting of this location due to a nuisance security guard:

The picnic table, kid, computer, trashcan, fence, and silly tree in the middle are such nuisances in trying to paint the meadow beyond. At various times, the meadow had its own reflective light show.
Sunsets are so pretty, but the impending lack of light is a real nuisance.

I loved my apple tree, but the neighbors considered it a nuisance because of the messy fruit and benign bees. I only decided it was a nuisance when it almost tipped over onto the cars from the weight of too many apples.

He's such a cute widdle nuisance.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Go away, Kind Sir

I've been trying to paint this long weekend while J was gong with his dad to Tucson. Ex will be home another 10 days or so until he returns to Iraq for two more months. December. I hope life will return to normal in December and I get to stop dealing with his wife.

So, I've painted close to home, close to the place with the showy clouds from a few weeks ago. I did one Saturday of a small clump of trees. I wasn't quite happy with it, so I decided to go back yesterday, chose a different angle, decided on bigger paper which would also take longer, went a little earlier.

I was so happy with how it was progressing. I'd chosen a different angle and the colors were spectacular. Then I hear commotion and I realize I am busted. My car and I are about 200 yards into a cut through road that is apparently off limits. Well, that's what both the sign I ignored and the security guard said.

At first, he wanted me to leave. He told be to go to a park barely down the road. I asked, for future reference, where that park ended and where the restricted area began, saying, "This clump of trees isn't down there." Then I asked where I could park around there, if I could walk back over. Finally I offered to move my car across the street, where he'd indicated. Then he asked how much longer I'd be and I said 45 minutes, but definitely before the sun goes down. So he said to stay.


However, I think he had ulterior motives to dither away every bit of my allotted 45 minutes. And then some, because it was dark before I was freed.

This guy started in how he lived in New Zealand and liked the painters, how mine would fit in. Then he talked at length about living in Germany and Finland. And his various women, where they went, what they saw. Then he started in about his athletic careers and how he performed overseas. He asked if I did portraits; he wants one of a sports action picture he had. (I referred him to my pastel teacher, then he worried how much someone like that would cost.) Oh, he has Wiki entries in two sports, which he wrote down for me to check and then call after I looked. He's from the next state over and has only lived here two months. He has an Associates and a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice. And how people are racist and how bad this election will be, either way. And the economy is bad, too. And Armageddon is coming, so I should get a concealed weapon permit for while I paint outside, because one shouldn't bring a knife to a gun battle. And lots more religion. And he asked me if I could cook. And more religion.

You get the picture. I guess he's ADD and I should have some sympathy, but he fucking would not shut up. Yet he was the authority figure and I felt I had to tow the line. Oh, and I'm representing myself as an artist with a business thingy now, so I had to be professional. I'd given him my card as part of the early exchange when I was trying to establish myself with him. Yes, the man has my name, phone number, blog, and email address.

Guess where I'll be before sunset again today. Please, Good Lord of the Traveling, Religious, Athletic, Diarrhea-of-the-Mouth Security Guards, let me unto myself.

Friday, October 10, 2008


If you might be interested in purchasing anything from Zazzle this weekend - from me or anyone else - they're offering 14.92% off for the holiday.

Contact me if you're interested in my account or use the link from the sidebar on my art blog. I only have about a dozen things designed, which amounts to my paintings on t-shirts, onesies, totes, etc. I can specialize or add more as desired.

No biggie if you're not interested, but for those among us who like sales, the whole site would be a fun place to peruse.

I am placing an order myself - the sale has gotten me off the stick. I want business cards as well as shirts for J, his half sister, and me.

The items are cool b/c all customers can redesign anything on them for your needs. I wanted J to have an interesting shirt which also would serve to advertise for me. I chose one I'd created and I told him he could fool with the fonts, positioning, etc to get it the way he wanted. Of course, he "simplified" the front - took off my art company name/location and added a ginormous stencil of his name, so it looks $(#^*% military. Then the title on the back was changed into the same stupid stencil font. I had a phrase on the bottom that he left alone, but I told him I would not order the t-shirt unless it advertised me somehow, so that's stuck in tiny print at the very bottom.

Be careful what you wish for. Perhaps your customizing follies will be more fun.

I'm off to purchase and maybe make my advertising a wee bit larger on his shirt, ha! I'll take advantage of him being out of town with his dad (home for 2 weeks) and do what I please!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Yesterday's art class started off rocky because of the phone call, but the angst went away immediately. For the second week in a row, I sat in art class with a naked man. This week, the instructor demonstrated on the guy's foot. It cracked me up that a nude was needed so she could draw his foot.

When it came time for the class to do a 40 minute drawing, my vantage point was good in that the junk was hidden by his thigh in profile. I concentrated on the triangle created by his bent knee, which was draped with his arm. It was a much larger area than anyone else choose and I probably bit off more than I could chew. I had the leg's proportions seriously off, but I am relatively happy with his relaxed hand.

It reflects her style, which uses the edge of the pastel, hence you get the lines extending past. She likes this feel, as it implies dynamic motion. As such, you're feeling out your lines and repositioning them a lot instead of trying to outright draw the figure. It literally gives wiggle room. I hope I get good at it. Learning her technique makes me want to be successful at it.

Monday, October 06, 2008


It was a good weekend. It was a varied weekend. It did not end well.

I saw the Indian woman on Friday afternoon for a walk and lunch and we'd planned on Saturday night, too. She's a companion for her father and rarely gets the house to herself. He would be gone and she excitedly wanted me to come over.

She'd mentioned having purchased dental dams (oral sex barriers) after my talk, although I do not have a huge need for having or using them. I prefer action other ways and told her as much, but she insisted she wanted them.

We went to see Vicky Christina Barcelona and I liked it, found it very romantic. Afterwards, we went back to her house and she prepared a quick dinner. While it was in the oven, I put a move on her. I thought it's what I was invited there for. She rolled with it and responded, seemed happy. It was like this all evening. She had on black lace and helped me unbutton her blouse. She asked me downstairs to her room after eating. Things went very well and all was safe.

She showed me lots of pictures and, after our contact, even showed me the dental dams she'd purchased - $11 for them and $20+ to ship them overnight. I figured she was serious about being prepared! She had led me on to this point, even though she didn't have her lab results back. I figured she'd make it safe and that me being on meds was a positive.

I was gone all day Sunday and came home to an email from her saying she's too scared to continue with me, could we just be friends. In my previous email which I wrote after I'd been at her house, I had offered to use her camera to take pictures of her, to show her how beautiful she is because of some things she'd said about her body and how photos speak her language. In this rejection email, she still said it'd probably be fine to take nude pictures of each other. I was quite confused, considering that she didn't have her test results back, yet it was okay to both reject me and to have me see her nude again.

Today she called as I was leaving for art class. She'd wanted to both talk to me and to see me. I said I'd talk to her after class, so I called then. Turns out her test was negative. She cannot handle the risk, because she only wants to live in this area one more year, no ties. (That's not the kind of friendship I want, either.) However, I made it clear that the risk is known with me and she hooks up with people off of CL who probably aren't exactly honest with her. It's the second time I've been rejected by someone who would like to get their sex where they could and they simultaneously could not handle someone telling the truth. The known is worse than the unknown.

Dating outside h circles is absurd. The stigma is ridiculous. It's a fucking skin rash. Smack me if I bring dating up again.

She insisted that she was only rejecting me sexually, that she wants my company as a person and she thinks it's a valid differentiation. (I really do think she needs friends.) She also said something that floored me. She said she had no intentions for any sex to happen Saturday night. She thought we would kiss and cuddle. She never said that. I am not wired that way anyhow; touch me and I am ready. At no time, as she wore black lace bra and panties for show, did she indicate she was not interested or had other intentions. She propelled it, even if I was the one to start it in the kitchen; in fact, she commented we could skip dinner. She had professed the interest. She had made the moves kissing me a few days before. She was the one to feel me intimately on Wednesday. She invited me over during a time we'd be alone. I was following her lead.

But I am crushed at being considered an aggressor and that she was somehow reluctant. In fact, her email stated that I must have noticed her not being herself. Ha! She's an introvert who doesn't talk a whole lot, who I'd seen only three times previously, and I'd never been with her before. But she came twice, so I do believe she was doing just fine.

I loathe when something thinks I can read their mind or they change their story to cover for some remorse. When beginning with someone, I tend to be the more passive one, but I knew how much interest she had professed, how she had kissed and touched me and called me sexy.

I think she is a very confused person. These mixed signals are ridiculous. I am rejected, yet she still wants me to take nude photos of her. Absurd.

I also think she's crazy if she thought I could receive a rejection email (email! I bravely told her everything in person) on Sunday night and then potentially comfort and date her if she found out she was positive today. I was not feeling compassionate in the least after her email. How odd, that email.

She could have handled this so much better. She could have not held my hand each time we went on a walk. She could have truly waited for her results before she made intentions known to me. She could have been more clear about what she wanted Saturday night and she could have easily stopped our progression. She could have kept her fear to herself on Sunday until she knew her own status.

Prior to Saturday night, I could have just been friends. After "misunderstanding" her that profoundly concerning intentions, I don't want to take that risk again. We obviously are on different wavelengths, even though we get along and enjoy each other's company. She's so introverted, she doesn't talk much. I cannot read her mind. I cannot take the rap when she doesn't speak up; it might be even worse next time. I cannot take nude pictures of a woman who is rejecting me, as if friendly nude photo sessions were the norm, and then find she'd renege and accuse after it happened. I don't like being wrong in my judge of character and I find hers lacking.

I left it that I would think about it. Maybe I'll cool down in a few days, maybe not. I just don't do well with mixed messages, then hear, "Well, I don't want to point fingers, but..." and have that finger point squarely at me.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Kitties in pastel

With my renewed interest in the business of art, I decided that I need to compromise and not work from life all the time. The rest of the world paints from pictures, so I should adapt sometimes. I want to paint year around, so then I need to use pictures. My class, where we do nudes from life, will suffice for my live model work.

BTW, here are two of the instructor's pieces. It's an odd and pleasing way to do the human form.

She did a 30 minute demo in class, so I decided to practice a little yesterday. Well, I really wanted to get started in class, but this is one long winded woman.

Art, to me, is done outside or in a classroom. However, it's the year of change, so I'm now calling the old desk in my office my studio. Saying that makes me giggle, but it sounds perfectly official. I've had to de-clutter the desk to accommodate my supplies better, but it just keeps getting cluttered again...with cats. They seem to love pastels and a new surface to explore, lounge upon, and wreck havoc.

This is Syl.vie in my pastel field box. The foam was popular with both she and B.eau.

Here's a boys lounging shot featuring Spen.cer, B.eau, and J.

B.eau joined me yesterday evening as I used the new pastel technique on my leg. He was happy hovering for a good while.

Then he suddenly flipped over, rolled around, and screamed cuteness.

Of course, pastel clung to his back, so I had to clean him off.

Shortly after this, Spen.cer decided this new art technique needed some company.

And then Syl.vie decided the same thing.

Mem.phis hopped up here later, but scooted when he saw me go for the camera.

They're like children in competition for the latest and greatest spots.

Looking at them and at my leg drawing, it's kinda like they're sitting on my lap.

J didn't like how the foot looks. It was in the shade as I drew and he said it looks like moldy cheese. What does he know?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Went well

It was an awesome evening. She took the news well and is getting tested today. Because she uses her mother's gyn, who also knows her father, she'd planned on a walk-in clinic instead, but emailed today that she found an online clinic. She can take their script to the lab. I'm not sure if they do HSV at that lab (it's the company I used to work for and things beyond the basics are sent out), but she could have results as soon as tomorrow.

We walked around the streets of the old section of town holding hands. Me. Not being cautious. Me. We kissed on the street, a busy main drag. Me.

Now I don't feel brazen, but I do feel confident. I appreciate her strength.

During dinner, she gave me her beaded bracelet. She's also born in August; it's peridot, gold, and silver. I often wear a silver periodot ring, so it really suits me. I felt like we're going steady in HS when she put it on my wrist.

It's funny how neither one of us wants anything, but we like each other anyway and are rolling with it. I'll give her plenty of time to decide. I think I'd want her company regardless. We're going to a park tomorrow and going out on Saturday night.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Talk

I haven't discussed this in a long while, probably over a year, so it'll be news to my newer readers as well as a Public Service Announcement for others.

I guess I'm practicing. The reason I am broaching the subject now is because I need to have The Talk with my Indian friend tomorrow night. She's invited me to go away. She stated herself that she realizes the intentions that implies. It's forcing my hand, though, to tell her that I have herpes. I can't accept her kind offer (which she even later said it'd be her treat) without me being honest.

I've had it for 25 years, since my Senior year of college, and it is something I am always honest about, but there is always a timing consideration. If dating isn't going to lead to sex or anything else, I have no need to tell, although some people tell on or before the first date. If it looks like it's going that direction, I have to tell and I must do it in advance. It is not a good horizontal confession made during the heat of battle.

There are several factors at play. Approximately 25% of the population has herpes. The thing is that 90% of them don't know it or they pretend to not know that ingrown hair which keeps coming up must be something else. People are lucky with me in that I know it and will talk about it.

With so many people having herpes, there's always the chance that I'll get a, "Me, too!" in response. With the people who don't know they have it, it gets trickier. It is important for anyone with herpes who is going to engage in sex with a person of unknown status to have that person get tested; about 23% of the time the result will be positive. Remember, a routine STD panel does not test for herpes, so you have to specifically ask for it and that's a contributing factor to people not knowing. With these safe guards in place, though, the person cannot blame the new sexual partner for something that was pre-existing if an outbreak occurs. Further, fears about transmission are unfounded if positive.

With condoms and Valtrex, there is only a 1% transmission rate and it's seen as practically a cure. I, myself, prefer dating in the herpes community so I don't have to worry either about The Talk or potential transmission. Several men I've dated treated me different as sexual partners and that is insulting; one man even told me after we'd dated, "Cricket, I would have married you, if not for the herpes." Funny, I wouldn't have married any of them. I am much more a person than a silly rash.

Herpes is a skin virus. It has this strange stigma that is undeserved. It doesn't mean I'm dirty or promiscuous. It means I caught a virus, like a cold, that chose to live in a ganglion instead of going away. If you're interested in reading more, Good Virus Bad Virus is a good place to start. Just playing percentages, a hand full of my regular readers have it, whether they know it or not.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Good surprise

No scavengering. No show and telling. Well, maybe some telling.

I feel bad I don't have posts in me and I'm sure you're all heartbroken at the lack. bah

Been busy in a good way.

I learned that CDs are picky things to make and you can send them off empty to be juried into a gallery. However, they seem very cooperative, because everything you wanted there looked like it was there. Didn't know stuff didn't stick until you burned it. Windows is so confusing.

I did a pastel yesterday in my quest to do one each week. I really don't know how all those Painting A Day For A Year people do it; I could even eek out a little blog entry daily for a year, although I did come close.

Like I showed the other day, clouds are fascinating me. I like the clouds between the hurricanes, I guess. Was supposed to volunteer and paint at a festival, but prior to the time I'd had have to leave, it was cloudy and the ground was still wet from the night rains. Of course, it turned out to be a decent day, but I couldn't take the risk, especially with J in tow and a couple hours of driving. So instead, I went to a nearby park and we spent several hours poking around. He brought the laptop and watched movies, which bore such irony for me.

My version of this scene lacks the picnic tables, trash can, fence, kid, computer, and middle tree. Other than that, it looks just.like.this. (You're supposed to be laughing.) I'm working a little more on it before I do a reveal.

On another front, I have had two dates with a lady from India (she's been here 30 years) and will see her next Wednesday, too. She is living here as a companion to her father after her mother died. He wants her here and she's biding time, itching to go back to LA. With neither one of us really wanting a big relationship, it suits. She has two brothers in the area as well. None know of her sexual orientation, but she figures they suspect.

We both appreciate Chinese Astrology. She is absolutely an Earth Dog and I am absolutely a Water Tiger. We're destined to get along beautifully and be best friends. I don't believe in all that astrology crap, but sometimes it's sounds right. She is very quiet, unassuming, and genteel.

She went to art school and took up graphic design. She's been the Director of Art for a couple big name magazines you've definitely heard of. In LA, she was friends with some big names, to include people working with the movies. Friday at lunch, she told me she's going to a premier in NYC in a month. I made a big fuss over it, how much fun and fancy a premier would be, but she said she has a closet full of Indian dresses and they're pretty versatile for stuff like this. She said she'd been to a bunch in LA, but this is special because it's her friend.

She emailed me this evening and asked me to go to the premier with her! She'd just need to get another ticket; the hotel is paid for. Oh my!

She didn't say the date, so I don't know if it's a weekend I'm not parenting. I haven't emailed back yet. I have no money to be lavish or to buy premier-worthy clothes; I'm balking over a few hundred on a workshop in three weeks. She said NYC premiers are less a big deal than LA, but goodness! This film friend has movies I'd actually heard of and seen.

So I must think about it, but I must do so quickly to get a ticket. I need to get over feeling like a bumpkin.

What a curve. What a sparkly, flowing, silky curve.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm a ding bat sometimes

I began on meds for ADD yesterday.

I felt absolutely nothing different physically or mentally, except to say I spent the entire day devoted to one task and I have an incredible new art blog to show for it! I put together about two dozen entries, researched and backdated them, wrote little stories about them, plus created a sidebar with links, bio, etc.


I still have more paintings to feature, but they'll require some photography.

Perhaps one day, I'll feel confident enough to let my blogging worlds overlap. My blog used to be so much racier and full of drama, to where it mattered if people I knew/loved read it. As it is, I guess I'd rather not reveal lifestyle changes to those who don't need to know.

In the mean time, I will be ditzy, you know, one of those ADD symptoms, and be signed in over on that account and comment on your blog, because you know how I love you.

Do me a few favors:
  1. Delete my errant comment from your blog completely.
  2. Feel free to visit and stroll through the art and stories.
  3. Comment, as long as you do it without the clicky stuff leading to your blog, where I've probably commented and am on your blogroll. Go anon and then sign your name. Or something.
  4. Feed my paranoia and compartmentalized life.
  5. Don't stalk me.
Thank you very much for your kind consideration.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Decadence - what a fun word AND concept.

I'm all for simple pleasures and last week I engaged in one. I bought Bon Maman's Four Fruit Preserves.

Not only is it delicious, I am allergic to the strawberries in it and I don't care! Quelle decadence! Strawberries are my greatest forbidden fruit (hehe) and I partake of them quite infrequently, but I was in the mood to live on the edge. (I knew wouldn't have a reaction to strawberries unless I ate a tub or two.)

Next, I want to get some Marionberry from Oregon Berries. Isn't that hilarious? Marionberry!

And I want to buy some pear preserves. My grandmother who is in the nursing home due to Alzheimer's made the best pear preserves with tender but firm chunks of pears. Over the summer, I purchased a pear-lemon rind preserves in Williamsburg, but the lemon was overwhelming. In the mountains, I got a pear-cinnamon variety, but again the pureness of the pears did not shine. Amazon and Hillshire Farms carry some with pears alone, so I might begin a journey for some pear-only preserves. Years ago, I used my grandmother's recipe for making some, but mine were nothing like hers. I don't expect to find hers ever again, but it sure would be nice to get close.

The quest for pear preserves - my journey in decadence. What's yours?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Scavenger Hunt: Red

Tara chose red as the word of the day.

Ha! I look good in red, just like I look good in blue! What a wonky smile! hehe

When I get this face, I see red. Oh yeah, he has red hair. Is there a relationship?

The festival last weekend was so colorful and beautiful. In this shot, the red flag matches the origin of the dancers. The fan dance they did was about a fairy.

Enjoy your red-inspired day - nice, warm fuzzies, not blinding anger, that is.