Monday, 25 May 2015

Trying Matters, Right?

I've been trying to make some things to take to (and wear at) Burning Man this year.

I started with an oversized random nightshirty kind of thing that I picked up at a big box store in 2013 when Connor told me I'd need something white in case I wanted to go to the "white party" or something that I never actually ended up doing.

I don't even remember if I tried it on in 2013 because I was struggling so much with the heat and nothing I'd though I'd wear worked.  I brought it along last year too but didn't end up wearing it and so this year when I started to think about what I might wear, I thought I'd try to transform some of the things I already have to make them look awesome.

So I took this shirt thing and I tea dyed it.  Which basically meant I brewed some tea with a bunch of tea bags and let it sit in a bowl and then dunked the shirt in the bowl for a while.  And I did that a few times and it had this sort of dark at the bottom, white at the top look that I thought was awesome!  And then I smudged some black stuff from one of my cooking thingies (man, I'm good with words today) that always rubs off onto things and I was like, awesome, now my random shirt thingy looks like it's been worn through the apocalypse or something and I love it!  It looked so cool and I was so proud of myself!

And then I tried it on.

D'oh.

It was... um... not awesome.  Not at all.  Utterly shapeless (I'd bought an XL because I'd figured it would be less warm in the heat if it was loose?) and once I put it on the awesome dye job just seemed kind of... weird and without a point?  So.. I got pretty upset by that.

Like, really quite bummed out.  Because I'd been so proud of myself and thought it looked awesome and there it was looking really the opposite of awesome.  Ugh.  Poop.  Boo. 

Sigh.

Fast forward a few weeks and I gently washed it (tea doesn't exactly set well as a stain, but I knew that) and borrowed a friend's sewing machine (amazing what the brain remembers from high school!) and made it a little less baggy.  It was slightly better.  And then I sliced it up a bit and may still try to do something with it, I don't know.  We shall see if I can get it to look as cool as I see in my head.

So once I got over that disappointment, and realized I did remember how to use a sewing machine (even if I can't remember how to do the bobbin thing) I thought I might try some other stuff.  Which is when someone in my neighbourhood decided to throw out some fabric.  (By throw out, I mean randomly put a box of stuff at the corner for people to look through if they want.)

I grabbed some random white fabric and cut this thing into "straps" and that thing into a random shape and I hemmed edges loosely, and sewed the straps onto the top and then I closed off the top and I was so proud of myself!  I made a shirt! For free!  I did that!  I found it and I put it together and YAY ME!

And then I tried it on.  I mean, beyond the random measuring trying on I'd done.  I tried it on in front of a mirror.

Ugh.

Not flattering.  At all.

And one of the straps falls off.

And that's why people don't just randomly throw things together.

Sigh.

I got all disappointed again, but my friend very kindly pointed out that she's had to "throw out" a ton of material in the 15 years she's been sewing.  And I reminded myself that everyone has to start somewhere.

So I'll see if I can adjust the strap and maybe it's not as hideous looking as I think and besides, as long as it's not hot, there won't be mirrors for me to see myself in and so maybe I'll end up taking my home made shirt anyway. 

Who knows.

It was just kind of disappointing to have been so proud of something I made and then to turn around and discover it really wasn't that good and that it didn't actually look the way I'd thought it would/could.

But I haven't thrown them out yet.  May just keep fiddling with them and see if anything comes out of it.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

A Normal One

Had another dream with my parents at Burning Man, but this time it wasn't a stressy stressy one.

We'd set up our tents and everything and were just sort of hanging out and doing whatever and everything had gone smoothly and for the first time the dream was actually happening in the actual Burning Man environment not my usual weird/wrong dream ones.

So things were fine and normal this time but I just kept worrying that they might not be feeling physically comfortable or not doing ok with the heat or just not liking being there and I kept sort of wanting to make sure they were ok and feeling bad that I'd sort of convinced them to come and really wanted them to like it but not sure they were.

Not a happy dream I guess, but I was just relieved it wasn't stressy or in a weird spot like the other ones.

Friday, 22 May 2015

I....

I don't really remember a time where I've done this before, but I'm supposing I have... I am near the end of a (rather large) book that I don't really understand what all is happening.

It's the second in a series that Jason recommended (and loaned) to me and I didn't love the first one but he really wanted me to give the second a try so I did and I've kept reading it even though I... don't really know what's going on.

It's a Fantasy novel so there's all that otherworldly aspect to it but there are all these characters and they're not quite the same characters as in the first novel and there are SO MANY of them with names and they're all doing different things in different places and I don't even know if they're on the same side or who the bad guys are or who I'm supposed to like?

Anyway... hoping to be done it soonish.  At which point, I'm pretty sure Jason's going to heartily recommend I read the third one because he says that's when it all clicks into place.

Sigh.

One can hope, yes?

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Daddy Mac'll Make You.... Jump! Jump!

I feel like I maybe took another leap somewhere in here in terms of my photography.

Not so much my skill, but more in terms of how I'm seeing things and my expectations for what I'm producing.

Not that that's necessarily a good thing, but it's where I'm at right now.

(And I should say, the photos that I use here, are at best, a year old, I stopped updating this particular account a year ago so these are all old photos, or older... from a while ago...)

See, my "workflow" (as they call it) has me editing a photo in Aperture (yes, I know they're discontinuing it, but I can't afford to buy anything else at the moment) and then putting it into a file either called "for review" (meaning I want to take another look at it) or "ready to go out" (meaning, I'm happy with it and feel it's ready to be published when I feel like putting a photo out there.

Except I've had a bunch of photos sitting in "ready to go out" for probably a month now and I keep just not liking them.

And then I went and looked at them all this weekend and they weren't very good.

Or, I guess, they weren't as good as I wanted them to be and I didn't want to put them out as representative of me.  I didn't like them enough for that.

It was... interesting.  An odd feeling.  Disappointing in some ways, because I'd liked them quite a bit not to long ago, but maybe a little pleasing because I was seeing them differently and not thinking they were "good enough."  I don't know.  I guess it's just sort of a jump in seeing things that I wasn't really aware I had made.

Go figure, eh?

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Um....

So I leave myself little notes sometimes to remind me of something I wanted to write about, and I left myself a note last week to write about "Mothers' Day"

Except now I have absolutely no idea what it was about Mothers' Day it was I was going to write...seeing as it was, like, ten days ago now.

So, um, it was Mothers' Day the other weekend.  And, uh... I saw my Mom.  And it was nice.  And... then I did some other stuff that I can't remember but was maybe interesting?

Yay!

*scratches behind ear and shrugs*

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Really?

Happy mid-May long weekend how on earth did it get to be mid May?

I saw Mad Max this weekend, which was fun, and very "spirit of Burning Man" kind of awesome (part of why I wanted to see it) but it was also the first time I've seen a movie in 3D.

And... I don't really get the point.  I don't see how it adds anything to the movie other than me going, oh, they filmed it so that that thing looks three dimensional.  Which, more than anything, pulls me out of the story.  Like, hey, that object is visually flying right towards me, oh, right, because they think I'll think it's real or something?

I didn't actually want to watch the movie in 3D, but it's all there was at the theatre I was going to, and I kind of wish it hadn't been.

I'm really not sure of the appeal or the point of making a movie 3D and found it distracting and unnecessary.

And far too in your face.

HERE!  LOOK!  IT LOOKS 3D!  SEE?  COOL, RIGHT?

No, not really.  I kind of just wanted to get into the story, sorry.

I don't know, maybe I'm in the minority here, but I feel like the 3D filming that I saw took away from my getting into and really enjoying the movie.  And that's kind of a bummer.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Pause!

Just have to slip out of town for a few days, back soon, play nice!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Been Marching

So randomly this Saturday there was a knock on my door.

Or... this Saturday, there was a random knock on my door.

It was the building manager lady and a pest control guy who'd been upstairs dealing with something else (silver fish)

He came in and I was able to tell him where I generally see the ants.  He sat for a bit, looked with his flashlight and apparently found a few ants.  He identified them and talked about how my place is part of a trail that's been established and that can't really be changed without them finding just another way around (that may be worse... ie my bedroom or something)  So he explained that the best thing we could try was the poison bait that they take back to the nest and... then... *sad trombone noise*

He looked at the Raid traps and liquid bait I had out and explained that when the potency was that high, the ants would smell the poison and probably not take it.  Which.... they haven't.

He also explained that at different times of the year, they're attracted to different things.  Sometimes it's high in fat, sometimes it's the sweet.  Sometimes they'll like one thing one month and then go off it and like another. 

It was really interesting chatting with someone who knows about (and respects) ants.  We talked about how they really are very cool and interesting and that unfortunately, I just don't want them in my place.  Sorry ants.

He went back out to his truck and brought back in a few different types of bait.  One, rather large grains, another a type of sweet liquid and then another different type of liquid. 

Before he'd even finished putting the second set of droplets out (he was putting them where he'd seen them as that's where their trail likely was) an ant came along, picked up one of the huge-to-them grains and walked awkwardly away with it.  It was impressive.  Both that the ant was doing it and that the bait had worked so quickly.

After he left, I sat for a while and watched as more and more ants came to the area (my window sill)  They were all most interested in one of the liquid baits and as the fellow explained, it had a low enough concentration that they couldn't smell the poison, but would still be taking it back to their nest.

(It still makes me a little sad that they think they've found yummy food and it ends up being very very bad for them, and I do wish we could just redirect them to something yummy outside instead, but these are the choices I'm making.)

The next morning there was none of that particular type of droplet left, and I don't think it evaporated... I think they took it all away, one ant droplet at a time.

So far, they haven't returned (or at least not that I see) and apparently the pest control people will be checking in with me in a few weeks for an update.  I hope to be able to tell them I've been ant free.

I'm going to keep my eye open for the types of liquid bait he used... I think they were called Opti something or Max...something, even if they might not like it next year.

But yeah, it was pretty awesome to see an expert do what they know how to do best, and see it working.

So, so far so good.  (For me, not for my little visitors)

Hopefully The End.


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Thanks For Music

Because I completely ran out of time to catch you up on the ant situation (which I know you're all waiting to hear about!  YOU CAN BARELY BREATHE, YOU'RE THAT EXCITED!) (ahem) here's a really cool song you may all already know but I just discovered.

It's making me really happy lately.


Maybe it'll make you happy too!



George Ezra - Budapest

Monday, 11 May 2015

Bringing You The Important Stuff

Hi.  I hope you had a nice weekend and if it was Mothers' Day where you are that you hugged your Mom and all that good stuff.

I did something this weekend for which I have created this P.S.A.  Yes, that's right, a public service announcement.

Do not close the closet door when your head is still in the door.

You're welcome.

I ... somehow... put something away in my closet and then as I was still looking at the thing, closed the door.  Pretty hard.  On my head.

Really?

Yes.  Seriously.

And I was on the phone at the time so I have a witness to what happened next.  Which was me swearing.  And then crying (because it really really hurt) and then crying some more while going to get ice and then cry laughing while trying to explain what had just happened because I mean really, who closes a closet door on their own damn head and it really hurt but I felt dumb at the same time and it was pretty silly but ow.

I still have a bruise.

From closing a door with my head in the way.

*shaking my head at myself*

So I wanted to make sure I let you know not to.

Get your head out of the doorway before you close it.

The end.

(Ow)

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Really?

Ok, I don't even know how to say this.

You know how sometimes you get a muscle cramp?  Like, usually in your foot when it turns the wrong way and then it all seizes up and it's like NOOOOOO!!! And you do whatever it takes to make that cramp go away?

Yeah.

Ok, so last week at Bootcamp was pretty intense.  And so last weekend I lay down on my couch for a rest.

AND MY BUTT CHEEK CRAMPED!!! 

I'm serious!  I was lying there considering maybe a nap and my butt cheek was like NOOOOOOO!!!! Death!  Cramp! 

It was not fun at the time.

Although it's mildly amusing now!

Friday, 8 May 2015

A Project

In addition to the outside stresses going on of late, I've had my own internal struggles happening.  It's frustrating to hear people say positive things about me and not be able to believe them.  It's frustrating to give a genuine compliment to someone and hear them not be able to believe it's true.  It's frustrating to believe the negative/unkind things I say about myself without a moment's hesitation.  But I genuinely don't know how to change these things.

Except to try.

And, yes, I've been working on myself for a decade or more, really.  But this feels like it is key.  So without being currently able to afford a life coach to guide me through this, I thought I'd try a couple of things myself.  A project of sorts.

So I got a small notebook and made myself write down things I'm either good at or people have told me I'm good at.  I dug out some letters a counsellor had had me ask for about ten years ago, and wrote down what my family members told me they liked about me.

It was an awkward thing.  I wrote down "I am a good photographer" and "I am a good (insert job name here)" and I stopped.  Did nothing more in the book for over a week.  It just felt impossible.

But this weekend I got about two thirds of the book's pages full.  And my plan is to just look through that book every day at least, or as often as I can get myself to and to start to build those neural pathways in my brain that will hopefully soon lead to me believing those things.  "I am a good writer."  "I am good with words."  "I am good at helping people."  I cringe to say them out loud and I do wonder if that's something to do with not wanting to seem boastful or something, I don't know, it's just weird.

I talked to Sarah, who's a talented singer and musician and I talked to Jason who's a talented photographer and I realized that they both, from a young age were told and knew/felt that they had talent, even if they got frustrated and picked on themselves.  So if I somehow missed that as a youngster, maybe I had to force it on myself as an adult?

The other thing I started doing, which may not seem related, but I think somehow is... is I started to take flattering pictures of myself. 

Because people tell me I'm attractive.  And I don't understand what it is they're telling me or why and I can pick apart their motivation instantly.  "They're just being nice, they don't have good taste, they think ugly people are attractive.... etc."  And I watched this documentary about women who are using their looks to fleece men.  (They call it rinsing.  I tried not to judge but my moral compass alarm was going off something fierce.)  And I thought, man... why don't I have even an ounce of their self confidence. 

I talked to Jason about it and he said that a) they didn't start off necessarily feeling that way about themselves, and b) they probably heard all their lives that they were pretty.

So again.  If I somehow missed or didn't believe this growing up... could I start to now?  Not sure....

But, if over the last ten years, I've managed to stop thinking I'm fat and ugly (no, really, I thought that for most of my life... sad sigh) maybe I could go from thinking I'm neutral/ok to I'm pretty?  Attractive?  Something positive?

Most of the time I see myself it's either in a mirror (which is hit or miss depending on the day) or it's in the reflection of my laptop screen (which is always always the most horribly unflattering angles and oh man do I ever look ugly in that reflection!) and I never feel good about my looks.  Or... very rarely.  Now, I'm not going to turn into a girl who suddenly spends hours every morning on hair and makeup, but maybe I could improve my self confidence...

So I thought I'd try the whole self portrait thing.  The "selfie."

Not to show anyone (cringe at the thought) but just for me.  I've never taken a selfie before, but I've seen that it's all about the angles.  So I started to try to remember to take a self potrait every day.

And then I'd choose the best (most flattering) one of the bunch I'd tried (and quickly deleted the awkward ones!) and edit it on my phone until I thought well, that photo's not too bad.  So now I have seven photos of me from seven different days and I'm not unattractive.

It's... odd.

But I rarely let people take my photo.  And if I do, I never share it.  So how can I expect to think of myself the way I think of people who put up a ton of photos of themselves on social media or around their house?  Why not try for a collection of flattering photos of myself so that I can see me the way other people present themselves?

I don't know if it'll make a small difference or a huge one or somewhere in between or what, but as long as I can keep anyone from looking through my phone (I would find that embarrassing, for people to see I've got a bunch of self shots) I've got nothing really to lose, right?

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Poor Steve

So the ants did stay completely away for a good couple of weeks there, which was nice, but I did have a couple return last weekend.

I did what I usually do, squish, wipe up and then spray the area with Windex.

And then I wondered... do the other ants wonder where that ant went?

Like, are they sitting around wondering "Hey, where did Steve go anyway?  I thought he was looking for food, he's been gone a while..."

And then I felt kind of bad for the other ants wondering where their buddy went.

Poor Steve... wandered down the wrong hallway.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Oh Boy

So, yes, an exhausting week.  And then things started to get... odd.

Kind of.

You see, I'm an organized person.  And I live in a small apartment.  So I pretty much know where everything is and things don't really go anywhere other than where they go.

Which is why I got kind of weirded out when I decided to scrub my toilet mid last week and couldn't find my toilet brush.

Because the toilet brush goes in the hallway closet.  End of discussion.

It doesn't go anywhere else and I'm not even sure if it would fit in any other places I might decide to put it, but there I was, wanting to clean my toilet (which, no, I didn't really *want* to but it was getting grungy and I figured I should) and it. Was.  Gone.

As in, not there.  Not in its spot in the hallway closet.

I looked.  Looked up and down the entire closet.  Wasn't there.

I shrugged it off and figured it'd show up the next day, no big deal, my toilet could stay grungy, it was only me who'd see it, really.

And then the next day I tried looking for it again.  Still wasn't there.  I figured that maybe the last time I'd cleaned it, I'd been stressed and so had mistakenly put it.... in the kitchen under the sink?  Nope.  In the bathroom cabinet? Nope.  Randomly in other spots in the kitchen?  Bedroom closet?  Shoe/jacket closet?  WHERE WAS IT!?!?

I started joking to people that someone had broken in and stolen it but really.  Maybe someone had broken in and stolen it?  I had absolutely no idea where I might have put it and could only conclude some kind of dastardly weirdness.

Sigh.

Then I came home late in the week and my windows were all closed.  At first I just noticed the one in my living room and figured it had... rained?  Because that's the main reason I close them, to keep torrential rain out.  But... I didn't remember doing that either.  Man, maybe I'm way more stressed out than I think?

Then I noticed my bedroom windows were both closed and that was just too weird and instead of thinking that the toilet brush thief had also broken in to close my windows and weird me out, I went to check on the bird poop I'd noticed on my window a couple of weeks ago, and yep, gone.  So, not a weird break in crazy person, just our manager forgetting to tell us to prep our windows for the window washers and nice window washers closing them (and working around my screens, sorry!) and doing their job well.

Which made me think I should maybe check for that brush again, because I was really finding it uncomfortable that it had disappeared.

So I started to take everything out of the closet (I'd taken most things out the first few times I'd looked) and that's when I found the brush fallen behind and nearly underneath something else.  It was there!  Safe!  I wasn't crazy!  No one was trying to make me crazy(er)!

But I tell you guys, it was really the oddest feeling not knowing where that brush might have gone in my not so big apartment.

I mean, really... who loses things in a one bedroom place?

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Zzzzzzzz

Last week was another exhausting one. 

I feel like I coped better, emotionally, but man was I tired.

I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning though (after my double whammy Burning Man dreams!) and was up at my regular time, not sleeping in in the slightest, a rarity for me on a weekend.  (I usually sleep an hour later at least.)

So I got up, checked some emails, and watched the sun shining and listened to the robins. 

And then, as I was contemplating breakfast, I got very sleepy.

So, sleepy in fact, that I decided I would take a nap.

Which I did.

My naps have been a bit more frequent the last while and my brain does an awful lot of sorting through things while I have them, so I think they're not so much naps as they are "recharges."

And so I woke up a couple of hours later ready to start the day. 

After I woke up.

I had two sleeps, and was still ready for bed early Saturday night.

Sleep that is restful and restorative is the biggest blessing.  And I apparently need it right now.
Please don't steal stuff from here, it's not nice. But leave a comment, why don't cha? And drink more water. It's good for you.

P.S. If you think you know me? You probably don't. If you're sure you know me? Pretend you don't. I'll never admit I know what you're talking about anyway.

P.P.S. All this stuff is copyright from then til now (Like, 2006-2014 and then some.) Kay? Kay.