Saturday, 3 December 2016

A Little Light Distraction

In your understanding... how do zombies... zombie?

As in, do you think they are a virus? Do you automatically become one when you die or do you have to be bitten to become one?  How did they first start? 

And why do we assume they're going to make noise?  How?

I feel like I've asked this before... perhaps I have...but srsly.  What do you think?

Thursday, 1 December 2016

The First

Here we are at the start of a new month.

A month that has.... a lot of feelings in it, around it, because of it....

May you be well this month, both emotionally and physically.

May you find joy and calmness.

May this month mean the best things it can to and for you.

Be well, my friends.... be well.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

One Of Those Internet Thingies

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth? Honestly?  I can't remember.  Food of some kind?  Sorry, I'm assuming this answer is meant to invoke naughty responses.  Gum.  I'll go with gum. (Now I'm realizing I haven't drank enough today either.)

2. Where was your profile picture taken? Watcom Lake, Washington State (did I spell that right?)

3. Do you play Pokemon? No.  But I will admit I am currently playing Pokemon Go.

4. Name someone who made you laugh today? Well, I'm typing this yesterday, but ok.  Jason.

5. How late did you stay up last night and why? About two am.  I'd had a really rough week and weekend and Jason suggested I watch Eddie the Eagle and I did, even though I started it late.  Then I read for a bit.

6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be? I'm going to go with Hawaii although I'm not really sure.  Somewhere sunnier.

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks? I don't think so.  Under stars, which is way awesomer.

8. Which of your friends lives closest? Technically Jason I think.

9. Do you believe ex's can be friends? Yes, but it's not always possible and can be complicated.

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? Neutral?  Right now I can't even think what it tastes like.

11. When was the last time you cried? Today.  (Probably will today today too, so by "today" here I mean yesterday today)

12. Who took your profile picture? I think it was my friend M.

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of? Jason.

14. Was yesterday better than today? No.

15. Can you live a day without TV? Yes.

16. Are you upset about anything? Yes

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? Yes

18. If you could have any job/career, which would it be? A combination of being paid for my art/writing and helping people with reiki and (not quite) counselling (coaching?  listening? I dunno) 

19. Are you a bad influence? I don't think so.

20. Can you Tag 3 friends you think will fill this out? Well, no, not here.  But I would love if anyone wanted to answer a random number in the comments :)

Monday, 28 November 2016

Dude

I don't even know how to begin to talk about the state I've been in this last week.

"Existential crisis" works fairly well as a summary though...

"An existential crisis is a moment at which an individual questions the very foundations of their life: whether this life has any meaning, purpose, or value." - Wikipedia

That. 

And no, this isn't depression, although it certainly has resulted in that sort of a feeling this is just frigging... everything.

So... after begging Jason to come over yesterday and talk talk talk and listen listen listen to and with me I'm exhausted and was just about to go to bed when my phone alarm reminded me "blog"... so... here's a post. 

"Strawberry Fields" keeps running through my head.... "nothing is real."

But hey, tell me about you.  What did you get up to this weekend?

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Copy Pasta

Good spam email today! 

(Got caught in my spam folder but I thought I'd share)  SO REALS!

My Dear Sir, you are greeted by U.S. Customs & Border Protection contact Center! Your package #UPS8364342 was DELAYED at import. A info of the administration is contained in the short report below.
Package type    Electronic devices
Purchase method    VISA **** **** **** 1423
Event time    11/22/16 11:27 PM
Detention status    Presence of radioactive metals (Li-Po)
You gotten this notice because Your mail address specified in the customs declaration to the parcel. Please contact us as soon as possible! Addresses and phone numbers are specified in the report.



Oh man... my radioactive electronic device is causing some problems at the US border and has turned me into a Sir.  OH NOES!

I mean, a info of the administration is contained and everything you guys.  Plus, they know it's me because my email address specified in the customs declaration to the parcel.  So you know, it's gotta be real. 

Also, I wonder what I ordered!!!  Should probably call to find out.  I bet they just need me to pay a customs fee or something.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Grumble

The digital program learning isn't going all that wonderfully.  (Sigh)

First day or two was trying to get over frustration with the tablet itself.  So when something wasn't working the way the tutorial I was watching suggested it should, I had no idea if it was me, or the tablet, or the program, or the computer and well, that resulted in not much more than giving up.

Jason found me a link to a patch or something and I know that often it's little things like you have to plug the device in before you open the program.  Or, in this case, I discovered, using the buttons on the stylus, you have to have the stylus pointing down towards the tablet and there is a touch of a delay.

But, ugh, part of my frustration is that I don't want to be learning ALL THE THINGS, I just want to do a few things.  So back to the "beginner tutorials" I go but there are so many gazillions of things to learn to do and I have no idea where to start or where to find the tutorial that will allow me to do that one thing I would like to try and so I'm kind of, right now, at a point of well.... this isn't much fun.... and I can't actually do anything.

I think a hands on course/class might be helpful so perhaps I'll look for that, but there's also a part of me that is wondering about just returning the tablet and kind of giving up, or just reverting to doing very very basic, simple, could have done this twenty years ago type things.  With my finger.  On my laptop's track pad. 

Sigh.

These programs have far too many parts and bits and aspects.  And while I'm sure a great many people enjoy having all those options, I, right now, do not.

*grumble*

Thursday, 24 November 2016

And, Finally, Mystery Package

I vehemently dislike being around people at this time of year.  Namely in stores, malls and parking lots.

The angst and frustration and unhappy energy of people as this holiday season approaches gets more and more uncomfortable for me, so I stay away, and I also try to have my shopping done by now. 

More and more I've been ordering online at this time of year and so a few weeks ago I made my main holiday online purchase.

I ordered a certain book for my Mom that I've been getting her since I was a kid.  (A yearly day to day quote type of thing) And so that was one of the main things on my order.  It arrived a week or so later and I mentally crossed that off my list.

And then late last week there was a package left outside my door.

Hmm... what had I ordered and forgotten about?  Hmm...


The package was hand labelled... and stamped all over it was "Grom the office of undeliverable mail, Canada Post."  Huh?  I hadn't mailed or shipped anything?  And was that an Amazon logo printed on the box?  What was this?

I, of course, left my groceries to melt on the counter while I carefully cut open the tape on the box.

A note inside... "Hi, we're glad we found you!  We had to open this box to find your address inside.  Next time, write your address on the top left hand corner so we can return your mail to you when it's undeliverable. Thanks!  Canada Post."

I what?  Who? 

What on earth had I sent, and I always put my return address... don't I?

I pulled aside the paper and there was a(nother) copy of the book I bought from my Mom.  With the Amazon receipt and gift printout and everything.  (Where they got my address from)  Huh.

I'm sending the book back to Amazon as we speak but the whole thing is a little bit of a mystery to me.

Did my address sticker from Amazon somehow come off or was it unreadable?  Did Amazon get notification that my package didn't arrive and so shipped me off the second (one that I actually got?)  Did they try to deliver it at all?  Where and when did Canada Post discover it was undeliverable and what does that mean anyway?  I am still oh so very confused.

But it all worked out anyway.  My Mom will get her gift and, well, I got to open a mystery package.

The end.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Next Mystery Moment!

I'd forgotten my "energetic oddness" with the light that was really just a burning out lightbulb when I was making dinner last night.  But, suddenly things got weird again.

I was tidying up while things were finishing cooking and I heard a tinny song playing.  (You know the sound when there's a radio on but it's far away so you can hear it but have to really listen?)  The only radio I have in my house is my bedroom alarm clock and sometimes I get the A.M. and P.M confused and I figured that the alarm had (somewhat quietly) gone off but as I walked from the kitchen towards my bedroom to turn it off the music stopped.

Hmm....

Got back into the kitchen and there it was again!  So I headed into the bedroom to double check and no.  No alarm clock going off.... figures... it was far too quiet for that anyway.

Headed back to the kitchen... listened... yep, radio quiet noise....  Where on earth was it coming from?  My phone?

Checked that and my laptop and no.... Not an open browser window or anything....

Plus, when I left the kitchen, the radio seemed to stop.  Was it something I was broadcasting by being in a certain place in the kitchen?  How?  What?  Why?

And can we just pause for a minute to be thankful that this didn't happen on the same night as the mystery lightbulb?  I might have lost my poop if it had!

So, there I am, standing in my kitchen trying to figure out what could be picking up radio signals that were being amplified by where I was standing.  Because by then, I'd discovered that if I got to either edge of the kitchen area, the noise would stop... there was a certain spot, just by the sink where it was most noticeable.  I tried to concentrate on where the sound was coming from because it had to be in this room.  But... what?

I thought through... and my bottom kitchen drawer is a bit of a hold all and I opened it up and ta da! my wireless headphones.  With some sort of something or other happily playing through them.  Geez.

Even though the base was turned off and they'd been quietly away in the drawer for a couple of weeks (or so) I guess I had forgotten to turn the headphones themselves "off" and somehow they were, with my body's help, picking up something, from somewhere.

I could have listened, but sound waves and radio waves and wireless and stuff all kind of freak me out so I turned them off and went happily about my way, glad I'd finally figured out what on earth was making the noise!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Thing

I have a few other random stories from Burning Man this year that pop into my head from time to time and I'll get to telling you about them, but for right now, I have to tell you about the amusing (now) things that have happened the last week or so!

First of all there was the haunting.... duh duh duuuuuuuh!

You know how you can watch a scary show or something and get yourself all psyched up and freaked out?  Yeah, so that's where I was when my power started flickering.

I ignored it the first time, but then, for some reason, I got it in my head that it was some kind of... not natural phenomenon.  I texted Jason.  "My light is flickering.  THERE IT GOES AGAIN!"

"I'm freaked out.  Help!"

And as we texted I got more and more freaked out... what if it was a haunting or entity or some kind of energy and what should I do and he said look, just calm down, if it's something like that then you freaking out isn't going to make it any better which made me freak out even more and then he said "Or you could just change the lightbulb."

Oh!

I laughed, mainly at myself, and got up and turned off the light in question and the flickering stopped.

No odd energy trying to send me a message, just... a dying lightbulb.  Heh.

The next not terribly amusing part of this story is that this is a lamp I've had since I moved in here and when I took out the lightbulb it was one of those pin LED ones.

Which I've been unable to replace since!  I did find ONE, at a big box store I'd have preferred to avoid, of a lower wattage or output or whatever and it will have to suffice (since I don't want to buy a whole new light just because those lightbulbs went back out of style) but yeah... so my lightbulb became possessed (with age) and when I took it out it turned out it was a weird one that I haven't yet been able to replace exactly.

So... no more freak yourself out movies, at least not in the dark, ok?  Ok.

Monday, 21 November 2016

My Brain Cells Hurt

I follow some really cool artists on that there instagram thingamy and I've found a few in the last couple of weeks whose art is digitally made.  Sooo..... I figured I'd give the whole digital art thing a look-see.

I started with what I thought was a logical search and googled "digital art for beginners".  Good place to start, right?

Well, no.  Turns out not so much, at least for me.

The first (youtube) tutorial I found was fine, explained that to do digital art you really needed a stylus and tablet.  Which I don't have.  Well, I do have a stylus, technically... tried to use it on my track pad and gave up and went back to my easier to use but inaccurate finger.  And I didn't feel like investing into a tablet without knowing if the style or system was something I'd even like at all.  I bought a tablet years ago, a Wacom Bamboo if I remember correctly and I never used it and ended up giving it away...Now I have no idea why I bought that however many years ago (maybe 10?) but that things must have changed and advanced since then and maybe if I liked it enough, I'd try again with another one.  This video also recommended a free program called FireAlpaca which I downloaded and started to noodle about on.

It was... fine.  Simple enough to just kind of guess at how to do things and so I made a couple of cool looking sort of things.  (Mainly with a symmetry drawing thing and then colouring in with the paint bucket fill tool...felt very old school and not "artsy" at all.)

After a bit of playing around with that I tried to find some more videos but they all suggested using Photoshop.  Which I happen to have but never use.  So I figured maybe before I considered buying a tablet, I should at least see if the program was better to use than the free one.

So again, I googled "beginner digital art" videos and man oh man I haven't been that angry in a long time.

For me, when I say "beginner", I mean BEGINNER!  These videos were all "hey, this is for beginners" but felt like being sat in the cockpit of a 747 and being told to watch the runway takeoff techniques.

But... I... don't know how to even start the plane's engine and you what?

So I got very very frustrated.  Tried to follow along and things wouldn't work.  Most frustratingly, I couldn't get the pen to draw any other colour than black and couldn't find anything out there that was telling me why or how or anything and HULK SMASH ARGH!

I vented to Jason about this over text and he said that yes, Photoshop is incredibly difficult and complicated to use and without being there he couldn't even guess what I might be doing that wasn't being helpful.  Which also didn't help HULK SMASH ARGH!

So I went back to the fun free program and made and coloured more mandala pretty things.  Sigh.

And then I accidentally (ie. I wasn't planning it) made a cool drawing and was like oh, maybe this digital stuff can be fun after all!

On whatever day it was last week I was still trying (and failing) to find ACTUAL beginner videos when I thought maybe it was me... and so I changed my search from digital art to "digital painting" and that's when I came across Cntrl Paint.  It was like the skies opened up and angels started singing because here was a program, a video tutorial series that finally, finally started at the basics... at the beginning... as in "hey, digital painting is a completely different thing so wrap your head around that by watching this first video before you do anything else."

And then the next one was SO simple I could actually do it!  But, I mean, not easy.  Still hurt my brain and made me realize how little of this kind of learning I have done of late.  Like... memorizing... and remembering.  But I was hooked.  And so over the next day or two I made my way through the entire beginner/intro series and learned some things and keyboard shortcuts and made some "pictures" and, well I think I'm going to get me a tablet after all!

Now, it wasn't all heavenly angel clouds... I was talking to a digitally based artist and asked him what program he used and he said he used Illustrator and explained why and when I mentioned that to Jason he said "yeah, that's what I said too" and I said oh.... but... will the Photoshop stuff I'm learning transfer over?  "No, not really." So now I'm a little bummed because my brain still hurts from learning VERY BASIC stuff that doesn't even allow me to do anything and the program is so damn complex and now I have to not even learn it or something and start again... sigh?

But yeah.  My point here is that it is extremely frustrating when people say they are doing a beginner tutorial and then they skip over a bunch of stuff that an actual beginner like myself has no idea how to do.  Like, select a new tool, or colour.  Or, you know, much at all.

I kind of needed to be told here's how you open the door to the airplane and here's where the pilot sits and these are the windows you look out of.... because man oh man... there's a lot of buttons and stuff y'all.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Where Was I?

Oh yeah.  I went to Burning Man by myself and the road trip part of it was really awful.  But I'm alive and healthy and that is no meaningless statement. 

When my parents were mid-move, we had a running family joke that they couldn't find anything because everything was "all packed away!"  It's kind of one of those "you had to be there" jokes, but now I have my own version, and it's one of those "gotta laugh to keep yourself from crying" type things.

Know where my hiking boots are?  "In a van in California"

Know where my fuzzy pjs are? (It gets cold in the desert at night!)  "In a van in California"

All my AA batteries?  "In a van in California"

And so on and so forth.

It took me a week or two to realize that it wasn't *just* my camping gear I'd left down in the van.  It was a lot of little things that I now didn't have access to.  Brand new, ultra awesome scissors?  "In a van in California"  The good flashlight?  "In a van in California"  Oh, and my bike???? "In a van in California" Sigh.

Most of the things I can do without right now, or buy a replacement if it's not too expensive (like the batteries) but the hiking boots I'm missing and the fuzzy pjs I had to replace.  *dramatic sigh*

The van, by the way is still in the process of being repaired.  And once that occurs it will be a matter of figuring out how to get her back to this part of the world and then going from there (in terms of keeping or selling to recoup costs, etc.)

I am trying not to be nervous about the state of my gear.  I know it is safe where it is, the mechanics have assured us of that, but I don't know the van well enough to know if she leaks and I've never not washed and cleaned my playa-fied gear right away.  But, in the vein of retraining my mind and brain and thought patterns and habits, I'm doing my best not to worry about what *might* be and will just deal with whatever it is I come across when that time comes.  (sigh)

Monday, 14 November 2016

Let's Keep It Vague

Well, that was a horrible week.  Personally, world-ally, I tried to hang in and be "OK" and "It'll all be fine!" but it all caught up to me on Remembrance Day and I cried and cried and cried. 

And that was how I felt and dealt all weekend. 

You know, they talk about "exogenous depression"... when the individual (or perhaps in this case many individuals) have a hard time adjusting to what's going on.

So... that.  I feel like last week coated me in a heavy blanket of sad and I think it's ok to want to curl up, take care of my(our)self(ves) and be sad.

I'm not saying it's the end of the world, just that this last week was heavy and hard and I think I have a lot more crying to do.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Not Good

We got back to my place somewhere around one in the morning.  And I remember feeling angry.

I'd asked Jason to water my plants while I was away and I went around checking them and they felt light (as in "dry:) so I aggressively watered them.  I remember thinking that.  "I am aggressively watering these plants because I am SO mad and Jason didn't water them right.  That's probably funny... somehow."

Jason stood and watched me and I don't know if I was mumbling or what but I watered my plants that were WAY TOO DRY.

And then I started to talk to him.  Or at him, really. While I paced.

I tried to explain what it had been like.  The noise, the feeling, how awful it was and how not ok I felt.  All of it.  I tried to explain and he tried to listen but at a certain point he said "Victoria, I'm really sorry, but it's two thirty in the morning and I'm trying here, but I need to go home and sleep."  And that made me angry but I understood and let him head home.   And I don't really remember what I did.

Did I unpack?  I probably showered or took a bath.

Oh, I'd checked my messages when Jason was there and had a freakout about a couple of them and yelled at him for that....

But yeah, I don't remember when I got to bed or to sleep that night but there certainly was no sigh of relief that I was home... not like you'd expect or hope for.

I could re-read whatever I wrote that month and piece it together, but my recollection is that I was not ok.  I think I was still in shock and then slowly coming out of it, all while trying to function like the adult the rumour is I am.  I don't know that I was particularly kind to myself but I like to think I wasn't all that harsh either.

I slowly told people, like my parents, and assured them I was ok and would figure out whatever (the van... the money, the debt, my stuff) but there was a week or so where I really did nothing.  And then another were I didn't do much.  The whole thing had exhausted me.  But things settled slowly, and I adjusted slowly and I even got to a point where it didn't freak me out too terribly to write about it (hi!)  But man, that was so not what I signed up for.  Not at all.

Not the drive and all that horror, and certainly not the near death van issue on the trip home.  I tried to be positive about things, and I was and life kept happening and hey, the time change still is weird, eh?

So... yeah.  Burning Man.  2016.  Happened.  More on the way there and back than anything else, but yeah, it happened.  *hugs self*

Friday, 11 November 2016

A Pause... To Remember




Thursday, 10 November 2016

Homeward Bound

Friday morning I was up at the crack of early, and breathing myself through "I can do this"....

I packed up what was left of my stuff (that I hadn't packed up the night before) and handed in my key and walked down and across the street to the bus stop.  I'd talked to the bus people the night before (they called to confirm actually) and had found out where exactly the stop was and that I needed exact change for the fare.  (I seem to remember it was somewhere around thirty or forty dollars.)  There was a young fellow there and we got to talking a bit before his bus came.  (These busses are like between city busses, small ones, you have to pre-book your seat I think and they run once or twice a day two or three times a week, so they're not city transit, but inter-city transit I suppose.  Privately owned, I would guess.)  He, in his words, had gotten in trouble with his parole officer and so was going to go live with his Grandma in [other town].  I asked him if he was ok with that, or happy with that, I don't remember the exact words but I wanted him to know that I cared, and wasn't judging.  He said yes, that it was good, and I wished him well as he got on the bus with his backpack and pillow.  There's a whole other world out there...

There was an older man and his granddaughter waiting for my bus, and a large, loud gentleman that I didn't want to engage with eye contact or conversation.  We all got on the bus, paid our cash fares, put our luggage on the luggage rack and chose our seats.  I was... relieved.

I knew I had a very long day ahead of me, I wasn't going to be home for more than sixteen hours, but I was heading home.  This portion of this.... situation was going to be over and I was going to be home.  Soon enough.  Not in a few days, not at some future point, but tonight.  Or, very early tomorrow morning, I suppose, but now.  I was going home now.

The bus ride was difficult.  The scenery was beautiful and I wanted to sit and watch it, but being in a vehicle, and one that was being assertively driven was frightening me, so I put on Pulse (Pink Floyd live) and closed my eyes and just glanced out occasionally.

I had a few words with the little girl who had taken the seats in front of me, and her granddad, like everyone else I mentioned my situation to had heard about "that van that caught on fire"  and everyone repeated how lucky I was to be alive and safe.  Yes.  Yes I was.

God was mentioned a fair amount, as the reason for my safety and I always just smiled at that.  God.  Angels.  Science.  Fairies.  Dust devils.  Spirit.  Magic. Hope.  Prayer.  Whatever.  I don't care what the name or brand or look of what kept me safe, I'm just glad it did. 

There was a bathroom stop mid way through the trip and we were warned the bus was leaving in EXACTLY ten minutes with us on it or not and that we weren't really supposed to use the washroom but hey.... and then we were nearly there.

The little girl asked me if I'd like to come to her birthday party.  I told her if I could make it back to town I would love to, but that I lived quite far away so I wasn't sure that I'd be able to.  "Canada"  I said.  "Wow."  Yeah.... 

They got off before me, and the airport was the last stop and I stepped out into heat and this whole big city feel of the Reno we drove through was so disorienting.  But not as disorienting as the airport itself was.  Dude.

I got there around eleven, but I wasn't able to check in until 4.  So I had five hours of sitting there.... and that's what I did. 

Again, amen for having brought my computer, and amen for free wifi... I sat and noodled about online and people watched and tried not to think about needing to pee.  (Couldn't leave my luggage, or ask someone to watch it.  You're not supposed to do that anyway and there were constant announcements about heightened security... turns out it was the week of the 9/11 anniversary...)  I watched airport drama unfold, and some nice lady gave me her leftover lunch and water "you look like you need it" (Oh crap, do I look that bad?)  and after a long, long time, I was able to check in.

I paid for my suitcase (that's a thing I guess... sigh) and then I finally got to walk around a bit (and pee!) and this airport was so very BUY BUY BUY YOU NEED STUFF!!!! And had a mini casino and I just walked around shell shocked.  Took photos of things and texted them to people back home who were equally enthralled and weirded out by the BUY BUY BUY AMERICANA feel to it all. 

I went to eat at some point, but the meal I chose was so heavy (fried) that I didn't make it through that and the drink was so sweet (never had a Shirley Temple with coke before....) that I kept wondering what had happened... was it me?  Or was it mainstream America.  Where was my small town charm....?

When it came time to go through the... wherever... past security, I realized I hadn't flown since 9/11.  That my trips into the states had been via ferry or driving, so this was my first experience with the shoes off, full body x-ray scan and it was intimidating and .. yeah... intimidating.  I *knew* I was doing nothing wrong but I was still waiting to get "found out" or caught or something... it was bizarre.  No likey.

So, through security and then on to the making sure I had the right gate and trying not to wonder about if I'd feel ok during the flight and then onto the flight.

Where the guy next to me continued to use his not turned off and not on airplane mode phone through the entire takeoff process making me want to scream at him.... but I breathed and stayed calm.

Then there was a landing, and a new airport and more people and wow Seattle airport is busy, and then there was another small plane and I cried most of the trip and kept telling myself I was going home, I was going home, I was going home.

And then we landed.  I got my suitcase, I went through customs.  "Nothing to declare but some chocolate?"  "Yeah, sorry."  (No idea why I said that... I was exhausted.)

I went through the doors and there was Jason and I burst into tears and gave him a giant hug. 

It was all incredibly surreal and I somehow didn't even think I was actually there, and I hugged and kissed my beautiful, not on fire car and Jason drove me back to my place.  Home.  I had no words, but I was a mess.  And the rumour was that I was home.  Finally.
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, 2006-2016 and then some.) Kay? Kay.