Art du Jour 70

Could be an understatement to say this is mixed media, because I think I used everything within reach once I got going. It’s like cooking, where you start adding whatever strange thing is hanging around in the fridge or the cupboard to your concoction. Or perhaps that’s just me, and the reason why nothing ever turns out the same twice in a row.

In the beginning I was simply experimenting doing a face with gelatos. She was supposed to look sinister and mysterious and that stuff around her head was meant to be representative of hair. So much for that plan.  I don’t know what the hell it represents now.  These things just take on a life of their own. My muse has not so much a sense of the dramatic as a sense of humour.

We’ve had a couple of lovely cool cloudy rainy overcast days, but today the sun is back and the heat is on. Canada Day, with its celebrations and fireworks has come and gone for another year. And we’re off and running into July.

Make hay while the sun shines.

Art du Jour 68

This is what happens when you take a photo in low light at the end of the day and your pencils cast shadows on the white page. As if you would ever wonder about that. Just saying, now you don’t have to.

This morning I went grocery shopping. On my return, I immediately made myself a very creamy cup of coffee with my stockpile of coffee cream.  Running out of cream was more brutal than anticipated.  This is how you learn how addicted you are to something.  Shopping before coffee sure speeds up the process but doesn’t necessarily make it pleasant.

The day turned out to be very hot and I turned out to be very lethargic. But it finally cooled off enough for me to draw something once the light was more or less useless for art.

Considering how little time I spent on this, I’m very happy with it.  My mind might change with the daylight.

This is the start of Canada Day long weekend!   Flags are flying.  Hope you have a good one.

All Over The Place

Canada Day fireworks

Canada Day fireworks (Photo credit: powerflyd)

This is a perfect day to stay away from the retail world and a great day to have off.  It’s the start of the Canada Day long weekend when every serious camping Canadian goes camping in a truly serious way.  That means stocking up on supplies for every eventuality from tropical heat wave to freezing rain and don’t forget the bug spray and enough food to feed a small town for a month.  It’s Murphy’s law that you end up getting a large percentage of these things at the last minute (yesterday and today) and fighting all the other last-minute shoppers to do it.  The reason I know it’s started already is that I got a text from a co-worker from our optical center located in the middle of a madhouse zoo of a big box store.  She said last night was crazy, so today will be worse.

Family camping

Family camping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It should be safe to go to work tomorrow once half the population has headed off all over the place in every conceivable direction to camp grounds and other nature infested areas.  My next door neighbors are in the process of leaving. This process has been going on all morning.  Three kids are sitting with solemn faces on the back bumper of an open and jam-packed hatch back watching dad wrestle with dirt bikes and a trailer.  They are learning some new words.  Mom is calmly jamming more coolers into the back seat.  Probably full of dad-calming beer.

When they finally pull out of here it will be safe (and quiet) enough for me to take my thousand pound book into the backyard and finish it this afternoon.

There I am on page 199, marking my progress in sparkles.

And here’s what it looks like to be on page 474, almost halfway there.

The book is REAMDE by Neal Stephenson, and it’s not just good, it’s amazing.

Quoting from the book description on Amazon…….high-intensity, high-stakes, action-packed adventure thriller in which a tech entrepreneur gets caught in the very real crossfire of his own online war game…….Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan……created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.

But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe—and Richard is at ground zero.

Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho and points in between, Reamde is a swift-paced thriller that traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which unforgettable villains and unlikely heroes face off in a battle for survival, it is a brilliant refraction of the twenty-first century, from the global war on terror to social media, computer hackers to mobsters, entrepreneurs to religious fundamentalists.

It’s definitely an entertaining page turner.  There are a couple of reviews that say it’s not as good as previous things he’s written, so if they’re even better, I guess I’ll be reading those next, but this time on my Kindle to give my arm muscles a break.  And this is a much nicer cover than the one I’ve got, in case things like covers make a big difference in whether or not you read a book. 

On a completely different note, and in keeping with my title, today I used a glue gun and DID NOT BURN MYSELF.  Believe me, this is incredible news if you know anything at all about my glue gun history. 

Okay, I’m off to tackle the last 600 pages, and this is the last you will hear about it.  I promise.  There could be more on glue guns though.  They have a nasty habit of popping up and wreaking havoc in an otherwise sane and sedentary life.  A life which involves less than zero amounts of camping if I have any say about it at all.

I’ve Lost My Invisible Cat

I’ve Lost My Invisible Cat and Other FV Horror Stories by someone who seriously needs to find a more productive hobby.

The Cheshire Cat as depicted in American McGee...

The Cheshire Cat as depicted in American McGee’s Alice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really did  misplace the cat.  Way back when the new Alice in Wonderland movie came out the Farmville people put a Cheshire Cat and a big hookah smoking caterpillar on a hot pink mushroom up for sale and I of course got both of them.  The cat is blue and not exactly pretty so it’s no big deal when it disappears leaving only a little white crescent smile hanging in mid-air.  I re-arranged my entire farm one night when my time would have been better spent sleeping and promptly forgot where I put the cat.  I don’t know what made me suddenly obsess about locating the stupid thing.  It’s in there somewhere.  It’s not easy to pinpoint something that’s invisible.

So, it’s Canada Day once again!  I’m sitting here listening to honking horns and sirens and shouting and cheering noises blowing through my window with the fresh summer breeze.  I guess it’s coming  from the Mall which is a mere two blocks from our house.  And that’s about as close as I’m likely to get to the celebrations.  By the time it’s dark I’ll have forgotten about the inevitable fireworks until the gunshot explosions shatter the darkness.  Then I’ll watch them from my kitchen window.  I’m such a party girl.

It’s a day off for us, but W. has opted to go open the car wash.  Later he’ll come home and complain that it wasn’t at all busy.  That is if he even makes it there.  They’ll have streets closed all over the place.  There’s also construction all along my driving to work route where they’re industriously (hahahaha….insert sarcastic eye rolling here) replacing crumbling sections of curbs.  Mostly they are just putting up barriers and arrows for lane changes and digging holes and generally annoying people like me who forget to go a different way.  I did actually discover a much more timely route which knocks off about five minutes of driving time, but there’s a merge on to a busy highway and then a lane change to the far left, two things I would normally try to avoid.   It takes me to WM on a new street with an entrance to the parking lot at the back of the store.  I also get to drive by the smokers on their break .  There’s a little shack (because Gawd forbid they might ever have to smoke in the rain) and a picnic table about a meter from where the huge trucks lumber by to unload.   Not exactly scenic.  I also avoid ever eating lunch out there.

And speaking of driving, because I sort of was there for a minute, what’s the record for driving with your right signal light flashing and not ever making a right turn?  Six blocks?  Ten?  The guy I was following last night was going for the gold.  Then he suddenly turned his signal off altogether and zipped over two lanes and made a left at a light.  He is one of the reasons why I could never drive for a living without doubling my blood pressure medication.

There are so many count-downs to things on Facebook these days.  The ones for Eclipse and the end of the teachers’ school year thankfully are now over.  One of my teacher friends had it calculated in hours, never mind sleeps.  Now we’re on to waiting for vacations to begin.  I notice nobody ever counts down the fun stuff.  Like – 6 more days until our European holiday comes to an end!  WOOT!!

One other random thing I feel compelled to mention for no particular reason.  Margaret was asked to take over the publication of our store’s newsletter and agreed mostly because it meant we would get a lap top in the Vision Centre.  One day as the deadline approached (its due out tomorrow) she announced to me that I would be in charge of doing the newsletter.  This is what all good managers do – they take on extra work and then they delegate.  Or perhaps she just suddenly remembered that she can’t spell or proofread or recognize grammatical errors.  Not saying she isn’t smart, just challenged when it comes to putting things down on paper.  Turns out the lap top is kept in the personnel office and we have to go and fetch it and take it back.  The publishing program is one I’ve never worked with before this week.  Our promised internet connection isn’t working and neither is the trouble shooting and we can’t spark anyone’s interest in helping us get that up and running.  The store manager has ‘gone to the lake’.  I’m not willing to do the work from home and off the clock like the girl who did the last issue ended up doing because she didn’t have the internet connection at work either.  And the basket in the back of suggestions and newsletter input is empty.  However, I rose to the challenge and got it done.  Put in some policy blather, safety tips, sun awareness advice, contest winners, cartoons, random questions and quotes and a recipe for a Jamaican Jerk sauce for the barbecue fanatics out there.  I wanted to suggest somewhere in large bold type that no one had the right to complain about the newsletter content until the damned basket at the back was full.  But Margaret thought that might be construed as rude.  So the next issue is due in two weeks.  It will be interesting to see if I still have the job of putting it together.  It got me out of seeing a few contact lens patients, so that’s a bonus.

I seem to still be in the newsletter zone, posting a ten topic blog.  Almost feel like going back and arranging it into cute little columns with colored headers.  Almost.  But I don’t have time if I’m ever going to find that blue cat.  Got to get back to the important stuff now.