Friday, November 30, 2007

Legal at last!

And I got the barcode to prove it:

Yes, this is me. Me and my own very legal copy of Adobe Creative Suite3 Design Premium. And for $1899 you can have your very own copy:


As you know, I don't like to jump into things without being sure. Especially if it's gonna cost money. This is how I justified "borrowing" Photoshop for the past number of years. I've come to realize that there's a good chance digital design is probably not just a passing fancy of mine so I'd better do the right thing.

I donate design services to church-related things quite regularly. For some reason donating illegal products to God was starting to wear on my conscience. And I figured while I had the Visa card out.... cha-ching! I may as well get Office 2007 Professional and what the heck, throw in a copy of Painter X. Happy Birthday to me. And I even bought a Christmas music CD this week. Before long I won't even need Limewire.

Now I just need to get someone to actually pay me to do something so I can write off my software splurges. Anyone need a business card or a digital face lift?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pent up anger? Over tired? PMS? Childish violence?

I think perhaps I was suffering from all of the above last night at midnight. And throw a few glasses of wine in on top of that.

To preface the story, lets back up a bit and say that we have always had a key-type door knob on our bedroom door. It's safer that way when you live with a special needs son who is left at home alone sometimes. (Yes, there are cases of coke, bags of nachos and other assorted goodies piled in the corner of our bedroom for safe keeping.) Of course we've had to get in the habit of using the lock again after 15 months of living alone. We keep the key in a secret special spot, not too far from the door for easy access. Friday night Jed was standing near me when I opened the door after getting home from work, so rather than expose the secret spot, I slipped the key into my pocket.

Saturday night Jed headed off to church and Alb went to work. I locked the bedroom door and headed off to a Christmas gift exchange party. I got a cool present. The food was fantastic and the wine was excellent. I was absolutely exhausted when I arrived home shortly before midnight. I chased Jed off to bed and reached for the key.

"Oh shitsticks on a blanket!" The key is not there. I just wanna go to bed.

I don't know what I expected Albert to do for me from 10 kilometers away at the pulp mill but I phoned him anyway. He assured me that there was no easy way to break into the locked door ... they make the knobs like that on purpose so thieves can't get into your house. I just wanna go to bed.

As I am on the phone with him I grab the hammer and some sort of metal thingy and make a feeble attempt to pry the door open but soon realize Alb is right. There is no easy way to break in. But I just wanna go to bed. So, I raise the hammer over my head and I was really quite amazed at how easily it went right through the door. Being an interior door, unlike the knob, it was not made to keep thieves at bay. The violent noise brought Jed running from his room to investigate. I quickly explained I couldn't get in the locked door. He reaches to the secret spot and says, "Did you look here for the key?" I guess the secret wasn't so secret and it was really pointless to have the door locked in the first place. I was too tired to become any more frustrated by that thought. It only took about 10 swings to get an opening through both sides of the door large enough to get my arm through and unlock the knob from the inside.

I chose a Thanksgiving themed kitchen towel to patch the hole with cuz it sort of matches the orange/copper tones in the bedroom.


The damage from the outside.




My "patch job" from the inside.

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's for a good cause.

How many times have you justified a dumb decision with the reasoning that it's for a good cause?

Oh yeah, I'll buy a $100 Harley raffle ticket for Big Brothers. It's a good cause. Just don't try to analyze what BB does with all their money, cuz all the work with the children is done on a volunteer basis. Think of the billion-dollar fund raising they do each year, and the money they make through Value Village and other sources. You'd think they'd have a enough to pay the big siblings 20 bucks an hour and still manage to eliminate the wait lists they claim to have.

And that wacky-tabaccy, or other substance. You just had to smoke (inject, inhale, ingest) it, cuz if you hadn't, your friend would have inhaled the entire thing on their own. Then you'd be at fault for their overdose.

And what about that Christmas silent auction fund raiser at the church? Man, that'll get you every time.

There were a number of times during this evening when I thought, "If they were to suddenly end all bidding, I'd be in serious doo-doo." What possesses a person to sign their name beside a "Large Boston Pizza with up to 7 toppings" and then add a dollar sign followed by a 4 and a zero? Thank God someone was stupider than I.

And what if I had been successful in my bid to bring home a set of doll furniture made from purple plastic canvas?

God only knows what I would have done with a Kinesiologist gift certificate for $50. (I don't even know how to spell the freaking word, much less know what he's supposed to do for me.)

I was disappointed I missed out on the installed remote vehicle starter - good for diesel engines.

I'm looking at a stack of items on my kitchen table that include a 18x24 mirror. A hurricane lamp/candle thingy that I'm sure I have an exact duplicate of somewhere in my basement. A gift basket of raspberry syrup and stuff. Jed is sleeping with a new stuffed puppy- the kind that comes free with the purchase of 3 Carlton cards. I paid $27 for it. And I was the successful bidder on a shampoo gift pack. The shampoo looks like someone used it half-a-dozen times then donated 3/4 of the remaining bottle. The 'hair gook' which came with it is for shiny bouncy curls. Now there's a product that'll be useful in our house - me with 2 inch straight hair. Albert with none. And Jed who rarely washes his. However it did come with a $25 gift certificate for a haircut from a salon called "DV8". Yeah, Deviate is a place I want to attack my locks with scissors.

The auction was a huge success for the church. Our household is going to have to cancel Christmas, unless someone wants to receive some syrup or a used bottle of shampoo. And I pray my cheque doesn't bounce. But it's all good. It's all for a good cause.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The evidence followed me.

Since Jed has been back at our place I've had to park my car in the driveway because all his stuff is stacked in the garage. There is room for his stuff over on the right hand side instead of on the left where my car should be, but there's been a leak in the roof. Alb priced out a new roof yesterday. Tomorrow I shall insist he gets it done.

Winter has arrived here in the frozen north. And while my grass is still green, (take that as an elbow dig in the ribs to those who still live in my old neighbourhood where I'm sure there is 2 feet of snow) it is about -10 at night.

Alb left a couple of hours before me this morning and he plugged my car in when he left. He neglected to tell me this- which probably wouldn't matter anyway, cuz I woulda forgot by the time I left. Although he didn't tell me, he did drape the cord across my rear mirror in clear view where any self-respecting driver would notice. Uh yeah. I think I probably stepped over the cord, got in my car and thought, "My car sure starts nicely, even when it's cold. What a nice car I have."

This thought was quickly interrupted when I heard a terrible unfamiliar noise as I drove down the driveway. I'm not sure if I damaged the block heater or not. The extension cord is probably slightly longer than it was before. And I proved I need my garage back - sooner than later would be preferable.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Missed another photo op.

As we arrived in Kamloops for our recent visit, my mother met us outside on the deck. The vision of her leaning on the railing while we piled out of the truck is one I will never forget. Not because the it was outstanding or unusual, but because it's the same visual we have received for the last 10 years or so every time we arrive. My mother in her seafoam green sweater. It has long since lost its $1.99 Value Village price tag and the two tiny staple holes have become stretched into openings large enough to slip an arm through. And each time we see it, it has another hole or two. I suppose if it were left long enough, it would eventually begin to look like it was made of lace. The brown splotches of hair dye make it look like she recently rolled in doggy doo. (I am still wondering how brown hair dye got on her sweater, when all of her hair shades have ranged from fluorescent orange to dark burgundy.)

About two or three years ago I went shopping with her to get a replacement sweater. It was a beautiful shade of red. It fit her perfectly. It had no stains. It had no rips. Thus it was too "good" to wear around the house, and it still hangs practically brand new in her closet.

As we were saying goodbye, I spied the well-loved seafoam sweater hanging on the back of the door. It was only about 12 inches from the utensil drawer which holds the kitchen shears. Before Mom could finish the routine instructions of "Drive safe. Watch for animals." I had the scissors in my right hand and the sweater in my left. And I lost control. I began stabbing and hacking and chopping like a mad woman on acid. I calmly replaced the scissors in the drawer, dropped the remaining seafoam shreds on the floor, and turned and walked out the door.

She'd better be leaning on the railing in a red sweater the next time I see her.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The art part was fun. The science of it however...

We are finishing up our art class this week. I don't anticipate that generations from now someone will find one of my projects stashed behind an old armoire, take it to an art auction and be able to retire on the proceeds. But it has been fantastically fun.

I've learned about colours. We don't use terms like red, yellow, orange, green and blue. It's Quinacradone, ochre, cadmium, Hooker's and Phthalo.

Never being one to take things at face value, I had to wonder why the word cadmium is used to refer to reds, yellows and oranges. I distinctly remember not cutting class that day in grade nine science when we learned that cadmium is a bluish coloured metal on the periodic table.

Yes, I admit my life is so dull that I felt the need to google it. Cadmium has 2 main uses: battery acid and paint pigment. It's a known carcinogenic, causes kidney failure and permanent respiratory damage, even in minute doses. Inhalation is more destructive than ingestion.

While I don't plan to eat my paintings, I can't help but breathe while I paint. I suddenly have an urge to do all my artwork in blues, greens and greys.

My first encounter with watercolour.



What I've accumulated.




A photo we took at Peggy's Cove



My rendition.



A mountain in Jasper or Robson Park.


Riding along towards Lake Superior


My combo creation of the mountain and Lake Superior.



Overlooking the Northumberland Straight on the Cabot Trail.


Although nothing like the original, I really like the way my sky turned out.



A fantastic view of the sunset from our campsite in Nova Scotia.


I hate the way my interpretation turned out. But hey, I'm a newbie... and I was using a lot of cadmium based colour in this project. ;)



Some practice work, using tonality.



Large trees at the old homestead where we went "hunting."



The old homestead.




I combined the homestead and the large trees. I trust not too many people will know that the big trees didn't actually grow near the buildings.

Friday, November 9, 2007

How to Build an Igloo

Building an igloo has never been real high on my list of 100 things to do before I die. As a matter of fact, I prefer to avoid any thing to do with that 4-letter S word that falls from the sky in winter. But some people like it. And they blog about their adventures. And they win contests.

You can see the winning blog here.

Personally, my vote was for the runner up blog: Bugaboo This. The pictures are fantastic, although once again, depict activities involving the S word.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Free Press! Get Yer Free Press!

We moved Jed out of the house on Abbott yesterday. Notice I didn't say "Jed moved back home." So far I have myself convinced that he has only temporarily parked his butt and his stuff here. (I'm happier that way.)

Do you know how many editions of the Free Press have been delivered in the past 15 months? Neither do I, cuz I didn't count them as we packed up his room. But they filled 3 green buckets from Superstore. And a kitchen garbage bag. And 3 grocery bags. And a laundry basket. And yes they were all inside his 10x10 bedroom. And he has no idea that the City of PG Refuse Collection hauled them all away this morning.

He has a bit of a paper fetish I think. His bulletin board is plastered with funeral service cards for people I didn't even know had died. There was a stack of bank machine deposit envelopes in a bag that outnumbered the deposits I have made in my whole life. And calendars. There were enough calendars tacked to his walls to wallpaper an entire 1600 sq ft house. I think the guy has single-handedly kept 3 pulp mills in production. So, bless his heart, I don't think Alb will ever have to worry about the mill closing.

And tomorrow, well tomorrow he starts his new job... delivering The Free Press. God please don't let there ever be extra copies.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

No Free Trip to Vancouver.

Well the e-Tourism Awards Ceremony is only 48 hours away. No one called to say my free flight was in the mail so I guess I'm not a finalist in the travelers of Canada blogging contest. I can't say that I'm disappointed in this. The mere thought of standing on a stage amongst hundreds of strangers was enough to make me want to retract my entry. But the braggin' rights woulda been cool.

I'm still rather shocked at the number of visits I continue to get on my blogs - both my one about our travels across the country, and this one which periodically rambles on about life. I'm still enjoying rambling on and I don't really plan for the project to peter out, but...

It's not like I have nothing to write about: office politics that are so serious for those involved, but hilarious to those who have a cynical detached view. Life with a special needs son who is currently overcrowding my once empty nest. Relationships that bite you in the ass when you're not looking. And the social system I'm forced to depend on, now there's one great hilarity after another. Yes, my life is one barrel of laughs and when I get a moment I'll share with you.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I am alive

I know I haven't blogged in a long time. There's been absolutely nothing funny in my life. As a matter of fact its it's been pathetically sad. But....

I am currently in Kamloops visiting my parents and arming myself with blogging fodder. I have them a little nervous about that, so we'll have to see how much salsa and canned goods they load my vehicle with when I leave. That'll determine how many tales I tell about the aging process and the effects it has on otherwise intellegent people.