It has been a while since I have done a freebie Friday and because it has been far too long, I decided that this one will be a little bigger than usual.  I have a small sized priority mail box. What is in said box? Well, that is for one lucky winner to find out… could be treats, tricks, art, goodies, etc.

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So what do you have to do? Comment to this post with one thing you think I have planned to put in the box. Said comment gets you in. I will do a drawing next Friday, October 24th.

Please Note: I will only accept comments to this post. No fb likes or comments on any other social media platforms.

And yes, I will document said “mystery box” and will share at a later date, after the winner receives it.

 

Excuse my MIA-ness. Things have been kind of crazy around these parts. The most random of thoughts and goings on will follow…

Josh’s mom was here a couple weeks ago. It had been quite some time since we had seen her. It was a quick but full trip. She got to reconnect with Reza which was nice to see, we went to SF (her first time). It was unbelievably hot that day, way too hot for SF that’s for sure but the sights make up for it. We also took Reza to see Lorde. Lorde was amazing… hard to believe a teenager can be that put together. Reza had a blast.

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Oh yeah! So after many years of online friendship I finally had the opportunity to hang out with my boo Dinah The Cupkozy Queen. Dude. It was hella cool cause it was like we had always hung out. She and a friend came up for this wine tasting event and it was hilarious cause I have never seen that many white people clad in embellished maxi dresses and hawaiian shirts under one roof. I didn’t partake in the sips but got to try some of the local cheese, chocolatier whatnot. Sonoma County brings it when it comes to all that awesome snobbery. Let’s face it, some of it is hella snobby. All in all it was an awesome evening that got capped off with a goodie bag of Smashbox cosmetics that will take me forever to go through (she works for them so gets mad hook up)

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Then of course our Friday the 13th, not so baby anymore, celebrated birthday #8. It seems like only yesterday I was giving birth and now this. We took her to Six Flags on Sunday and were met up by Griselda which was a nice surprise. It was in the high 90’s and we were all pretty miserable but made the best of it. Shit, I even got on some crazy coasters which I rarely ever do. Good lord, way too old for that shit.

We did get met with a little sass on her end because she doesn’t understand the concept of expectations and not always getting what you want. It was a bit of a bummer really because I really worked my ass off behinds the scenes to make her day special and when you get the “well we did that last year, I thought we were doing something new”, well, it stings a little. I know it’s typical growing up whatnot but I don’t like the idea of her being an ungrateful person, even more when she has NO CLUE how good she has it.

On her actual birthday I decorated up her room for her so when she got home from school there were gifts, a small cake, you know… the drill. She of course is milking the birthday train for all that it’s worth. Eight. Good lord. Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 11.35.10 AM

Of course, being the grossness that is, I seem to have brought home The Theme Park Plague so I have been sick all week. Not fun. That and all the birthday planning stress, paired with a commission with a looming deadline… it got the best of me. I have this tendency of waiting for the last minute to get shit done which I know is ass backwards but the pressure makes me work better. Ridiculous, I know.

We canceled cable a couple weeks ago. I’m sorry but paying that much money for 5 channels we actually watch just isn’t worth it anymore. Especially when we are trying to get our finances in order so we can hopefully buy a house next year. Yeah, we have decided it is time. We dig Sonoma County and the Bay Area, Reza is in a fabulous school, Josh likes his job. We are so over this wall sharing malarkey it isn’t even funny. All in due time…

Still dealing with some health stuff but I am doing what I can to make it better. Iced my cake by developing a shoulder impingement which I seem to be subconsciously aggravating by sleeping in weird positions. I have been tossing around a lot these days and the super weird dreams are not helping my cause. Dreaming of broken teeth is the worst.

Otherwise I have really been focusing on how I shift my place in e-land. That means talking to friends more, removal of the toxic, note writing, package swapping (not that kind of package, cochinos), being more conscious and present with the people in my life.

Lots of stuff in the pipe though which is nice…. got some art stuff I need to finish, wrapping up Reza’s Halloween costume, a weekend jaunt up to the PeeDeeEx to see some friends and get out of town, my big 4-0 next month, Thanksgiving… the end of the year just goes downhill from here.

 

 

I decided I am going to think out loud over here instead of saying all the comments I really want to say…

No. You are not going to get ebola.

I don’t believe in God, the Lord, and all that invisible man whatnottery. God isn’t great. I am not sorry or a bad person for not believing.

There are a thousand things that look more appetizing than the slop some people post. I have seen puddles of vomit that looked tastier.

No one cares where anyone is “checking in”

Friendship is a two way street that you haven’t traveled on in years.

Doing something one time does not make you an expert.

I really should be doing 1000 other things than wasting my time here.

 

 

It is no news when I tell you I am a total product junkie. In this edition I share with you some of my latest discoveries, goodies that float my boat and a couple classics I cannot seem to stray from. It seems only appropriate that these go well with Fall. MYFAVTHINGS - FALL

Vampire Blood Incense - Don’t let the cheese ball name and packaging deter you. After Nag Champa, this is hands down my most favorite incense ever. I stumbled upon it at a shop in NJ and as I mocked it, the hippie dude behind the counter gave me the “oh don’t you rip” look and lit one in the store. Instantaneous love. | available on eBay or Amazon.

Three Sisters Apothecary Body Butter in Gravenstein Apple and Clove – Local to Sonoma County, I discovered them at the local Whole Foods. The body butter is super rich and this particular fragrance has a lovely clove back end. Rest assured you will smell like Fall. They have several other fragrances and while it isn’t my thing, apparently the black licorice and vanilla scent is just as amazing. I use it after my pre-bedtime shower and wake up baby soft. $9.50 a tub |  http://www.soapcauldron.com

Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer – This spray is a godsend for hair like mine that is thick, color treated, dry and requires heat styling. It softens, detangles, de-frizzes and protects from heat abuse. I flat iron A LOT now that my hair is short and this eliminates having to put so much crap in it. I put it in after I wash, dry, iron it and I barely require any styling product after. Pricey and well worth the cash. $26 | available in salons

MAC Lipstick in “Dark Side” -  Now that my hair is darker I needed to switch up my color palette a tap. This color goes on lighter than it looks but when lined or mixed with black, you get a nice, vampy, burgundy wine color. $16 | at your local MAC counter or department store.

 OGX Coconut Milk Conditioner - I tried the sulfate free lines for a while and they just weren’t cutting the mustard for my hair texture. I really love coconut fragrance anything so I picked this up as a travel size when I went to San Diego. I loved it so much I have been using it since and you cannot beat the price – $5-6  | most drug stores, Target or Ulta.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Fragrance Oil in “Bordello”- This has been my #1 favorite from BPAL for the past decade and I always keep coming back to it. The name is perfectly suited for this fragrance oil made with Bawdy plum, amaretto, burgundy wine and black currant. Totally smells like a sticky, sweet whore house. I have one bottle from 10 years ago and it ages even better. If this isn’t your thing, you should definitely check them out… right now they have limited edition Halloween batches and they never stay in stock very long. Can you blame them with names like Autumn Cider and Pumpkin Spice Everything? $17.50 | www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com

Papier D’arménie Incense Booklet  – This paper incense is a super best kept secret. Each booklet contains about 36 strips of paper incense. You light it and it cleans out the funk in the air. I can’t explain the scent but it is super amazing, isn’t overbearing. The beauty is you can carry it in your bag should you find yourself in situations that need some air cleaning. You will need to use your Google-Fu to find it since I am seeing all kinds of crazy prices for this one. Ebay looks like it has the best deal.

What are some of your favorites? I would love to hear all about them! 

 

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Since February, I have been a weekly volunteer at the local animal shelter to help out in one of the cat rooms. My Friday morning usually consists of getting Reza to school, dropping off Josh at work and then heading over to the shelter for my shift. I call these days my “kitty therapy” day. I didn’t expect the rewards that came from volunteering with these furry nuggets but I accept them nonetheless.

I park in the back of the building, getting there around 9 a.m., around the same time they allow the shelter dogs to come out to play in the fenced enclosures outside. I rarely go into the dog section because it bums me out but I stopped that morning, to watch the enthusiasm of barks and wagging tails. Amongst the bunch of pups there were several feisty little chihuahua and toy breed mixes, happily dishing their attitude to their larger counterparts. I am all smiles and then it hits me. It has been almost two years since I had to let Nena go. That was two years ago today.


While time has healed a lot of the wounds from her absence, watching all those little guys made me realize that I am still, not ready to be a dog owner. Granted, we aren’t in the space where it would be right.. small place, leases, clauses, etc. But even if I did have the space for it, I am just nowhere ready to be a dog owner and don’t know if I ever will be. I had to walk away before the tears started coming out.

When you first bring these furry critters into your family, you’re never prepared for the idea that as fast as they arrive, there is also the imminent departure. The hole and the absence, the heartache of companionship that is no more. No one prepared me for the possibility of illnesses and the fact you may have to make decisions for them that will alter your and their lives forever.

To this day, I still carry a lot of guilt over her euthanasia. I let my emotions get the best of me so much that I regret the way I handled myself in the process. I chose to not be there because I couldn’t handle it. I let my emotions and personal depression get the best of me. Part of me really wishes I could back to do it all over. She gave me 13 years and I couldn’t even give her my hand in her final moments. I have to live with that.

Every morning I sit at my desk and her empty bed sits at my feet. The cats refuse to go near it. I know it’s silly to keep things like that around to some people, but I can’t help but feel a little comfort of the idea that something is still there.  A place for her should her little pooch specter decides she wants to come home. It reminds me of our times together, to think about my decisions and how they affect others, to feel a little reminder that once there was someone small, that barked a lot, bit the mail lady, snuggled my newborn and loved me.

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Amongst my boredom the other night, I fell into the link clicking wormhole. In doing so I stumbled upon a website that I really wish I had never seen. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at: forums where random anonymous people (assholes/haters/mouthbreathers) do nothing but look at the websites of people who blog and then proceed to absolutely rip them apart. And I mean RIP APART.

Curiosity got the best of me and I found myself reading some of these “forums” and I was absolutely saddened and disgusted that that level of time was dedicated for the sole purpose of hating on people you know absolutely nothing about. I vacated as quickly as I found it.

I would like to think that people, “people” being a generalized statement, have better things to do with their time. I guess I am a little naïve in thinking that way. Not sure why I am even posting about it but here I am because two days later, I am still kind of taken back by the whole thing.  It was really bothersome to me.

Long before the days of The Book Of Faces, I felt a natural inclination to share pieces of my life online. I didn’t think I was an interesting person, in fact, I didn’t think much of myself. I was lonely and didn’t have many friends. I have been writing and putting out dribble since my early 20’s. This path is an interesting one… on one hand you open up parts of your life to complete strangers which can be good and bad. It has brought drama of all sorts… let’s face it, when you have a mouth as big as mine, it comes with the territory. On the same vein, it has afforded me amazing connections with people some of which I yet have to meet in person but hold so so dear, some who are the best of friends and some who I wish had never found me. I never did it for popularity, for bragging rights, or even to make a living… it was just something I did because it felt right at the time.

I write to vent, commiserate, share, communicate. It’s a cheap form of therapy. It’s an outlet for me and while I am a grammatical nightmare, it is my place nonetheless… and the idea that someone would come here just to “hate read” while rolling their eyeballs is sad to me.

We all have a spot in the world to dent. I would like to think that my dent, while small, leaves a larger mark than my foot makes. It takes courage to open up about who you are, what ails, inspires and defeats you. To make something from nothing and put it out in the world. Sure, that stuff gets lost in the fold of superficiality but behind all of it is a fucking person. Think about that.

So on behalf of myself and probably other bloggers, artists, musicians, those people who have been on the receiving end of getting ripped apart… I have something to say to you: I dare you to do what we do. I dare you to create something and share a piece of yourself with the world. If you don’t, you don’t have a leg to stand on. Those of us who DO are better for it. There is more reward in shedding light behind the veil, far more some random haters who want to judge will ever receive. So if you’re a doer and a maker, keep at it. Let them stew. You’re doing something right.

And to the cowards, the keyboard warriors who hide behind their monitors of fear? FU.

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Man, that was some scary shit. Pun intended. I guess I should start with the health update. My CT came back normal. While I am relieved there was nothing there of major concern, it’s also perplexing as to why I was continuing to feel like hell.

For lack of better, more tactful words, not being able to take a shit is fucking horrible. You feel sluggish, toxic and pissy as fuck. After my labs came back normal, I stopped taking all the BS OTC crap the dr. had me taking. I think I could have written a song from all the horrible noises my body was making. I feel bad for poor Josh who had to deal with weeks of me being all kinds of aggro and freaked out.

I also broke down and went to get a colonic. Oh yes, I paid someone to shoot warm water up my asshole in hopes to get things moving again. It’s uncomfortable and awkward as hell but hey, so is not crapping. Besides, once you have given birth, your dignity and shame kind of goes out the door. I’ve had them before and thankfully I am comfortable with my starfish enough to relax it a little.

Since the ass hosing, paired with my diet being watched pretty strictly, things seem to be improving and I am SO HAPPY ABOUT IT. I was a stress case dude, like you wouldn’t believe and all that was not helping my current condition one bit. I have *never* had issues in this department so you can imagine my dismay. I am still feeling pangs here and there but I do understand that the bowel system is a delicate environment and it may take weeks/months to get it back in balance. I am still on top of my Dr., who probably thinks I am a hypochondriac, and if things do not improve 100% I am pushing for a second opinion because I am not accepting “you probably have some degree of IBS” as a finality.

The good thing is I am starting to feel like myself a little more and this whole medical stint changed my appetite and helped get me back on track with regimen. Now to get back on the exercise.

Man, I haven’t felt the effects of “age” as much as I have this year. A couple months away from my 40th birthday and this shit happens? Stupid body, you Judas. So yeah, that is where I am at. You now know more about my asshole than you ever needed to know. Good times.

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In the past couple of weeks I started noticing odd pains in my gut. It was pretty all of a sudden. About 3 weeks ago I decided it was time to bring to the attention of my doctor. After 2 visits, lab work on every bodily fluid possible and treatment plans, it was not getting better. Something IS NOT right.

I had a CT on Friday and hope to get some answers soon because the past three weeks have been awful. The stress of it all is certainly not helping my cause one bit. All I do know is I am ready to fix whatever is going on and move forward, there are so many things I want to and should be doing instead of feeling like someone is pushing on my ribs and am carrying around a 20 lb rock in my body.

So if you’ve noticed a decline in my presence, in whatever form you’re accustomed to, it’s because of this. I am not myself. I feel miserable, stressed and for lack of better words, I’m scared.

 

Blogging can be absolutely exhausting. There are times I have to stop and take a breath, come up for air so to speak. You spend so much time documenting that you forget to enjoy the moment cause you are always thinking about content and what would captivate a reader.

As much as it would cool to have an uber successful blog (and ahem, get paid for it), I can’t hide behind the veil. There are a few blogs I read quite avidly and there are times where I find myself getting highly annoyed because everything is just so picturesque and perfect. The staged shots, the outfits, the everything is awesome and cool when you’re part of the team. I understand that for a few people it has become their job, I of all people get that you need to rake in some cheddar. But goddamn bloglandia! After a while that shit is so damn fake.

Don’t you go through some blogs and hope to see a glimmer of realness under the facade? The post where they admit to having a craptacular day, a shimmer of vulnerability. One day I want you to come out and say, “You know what? FUCK THIS, and YOU”. I want you to admit you broke out with zits, you got in a fight with one of your friends over something totally stupid, how your partner broke your heart, how everything isn’t staged, perfect and followed around by a photographer. Exhausting.

One of my favorite food bloggers wrote a rare post about how she basically looked at the photos of an ex on Facebook and how it made her feel. To this day, it is my favorite post… not the food, the perfect donut photos… it was her humanity that struck me the most. And nowadays, it happens less and less.

I guess that is why my posts have become few and far between. Because I want to be real. I want you to see/read this and when you meet me in person and think, “Yeah, she is exactly the same as the blog person”.

In any event, in an effort of realness I am going to admit something: I am all over the place right now. Since getting back from San Diego I was counting down the days to get my shit together. With Reza back in school I was all ready to get back to the routine, the gym, everything. Or so I thought. It’s amazing what 2 weeks out of your routine will do to you and damn if I’m not paying for it. I have some odd abdominal pains going on and the doctor says my gut is seriously out of whack. The paranoid person in me is thinking all kinds of awful shit like tumors, masses and bursting appendixes (appendi? Is there a plural for appendix? heh) and needless to say I am stressed the hell out. Health stuff terrifies me. Pair that with getting weighed after a vacation? Fuck me if I will ever do that again. Depressing and not recommended. When my body isn’t doing what I want it to do, the rest goes out the door. Which brings me to my current state of affairs.

I have a slew of creative ideas in my head right now. So so so many…. So many and the push to execute them is on a delay. I am envious of some artists who seem to have a constant flow where they are churning out stuff like a manufacturing plant. My season is nearing… Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos, things I could be making for the shop for xmas purchases. It is knocking like a screen door in a tornado and somehow I am not answering.

They say your surroundings are a reflection of your current state of mind. If this is the case I am a hot mess of things with potential to become something more. AKA My Workspace. So in an effort of reality, I am going to show you what my workspace has been like… not some staged, perfectly stacked Tetris like geometry of things. The messy reality.

My reality is that lack of space has me working next to the litter box. Fancy artist stuff right here people! Glamorous artist life! Nothing like being in the middle of artistic genius (LOL!) and Gomez rolls in and drops the nastiest of deuces.  And the bed? That’s Nena’s former bed which I still can’t bring myself to get rid of. I know this sounds morbid but it gives me a sense of comfort and I like to keep it there in case her little canine specter decides to pay us a visit.

Here’s a small tour of my clutter…

Clockwise sort of: storage box full of crap to go through, sketchbook, pens + brushes, sculpted friends for that shadow box I need to finish, art supply coupons (cause that shit is expensive yo!), an old photo of Josh and I that came in the mail from his Mom, paints, tape, glues, x-acto blades. I have three kinds of adhesives on my desk at the moment. Is that really necessary?

Then there is this. Recently I moved the scanner/printer off my desk for space. It was replaced by a desk hog. I don’t mind, I like having a desk buddy but sometimes it is hard to work with cause she likes to walk across at the most inappropriate of times. The feline eye of Sauron in my face. Here she can be seen guarding my newest acquisitions for my snail mail “problem”. That blank spot of desk there? It actually had the camera I was shooting these with so it was the only thing that got moved.


And then there’s me. I just got up, haven’t brushed my hair that really needs to be washed, omg like #NOMAKEUP, in my PJs and no, I am not wearing a bra. Home is where the bra isn’t after all.

And I won’t even get into the mountain of laundry that needs to be folded. Mountain.

My mind frame is a state of unfinished business. I don’t like it and now that I have documented this state of disarray, I have decided that today I am going to finish something. One thing. Then I am going to make myself a check list of pending shit so I can start knocking it out. I have to start somewhere, right?

3, 2, 1…

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Ever since moving to the Bay Area, I have been wanting to make a trip over to The Walt Disney Family Museum. It is on the pricier side to attend but when I saw they had two temporary exhibits worth viewing, I knew I had to go as soon as I got back from San Diego.

Recently I connected with an artist named Caitlin. Her art is rad (go look at it!) and we had been following each other on a couple social media platforms. Turns out she lives a couple towns over. I decided to grow a set and made plans with her cause new, local friends are a plus. Thankfully she was cool with hanging out with a complete stranger and we went to SF for the day to go to the museum.

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The Mary Blair portion was AMAZING. It was in a building all its own because there were so many pieces on exhibit. Lots of wonderful, sweet, textural concept art for so many Disney projects. The opaque watercolor and brightness was mesmerizing. It was pretty hard to get good photos since flash was prohibited but here were a few of my favorites that really do the art zero justice.

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All of the Peter Pan and Alice In Wonderland pieces were amazing but that Headless Horseman from The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow took the cake for me. I was also very happy to eye a portion of her work space… I have a thing about artist workspaces.

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The rest of the museum has tons of memorabilia about Walt, his family, and eventually it gets into all things Disney from the movies, concept art, animation process, etc.

While inside you eventually make your way to the back of the building which they were smart enough to make completely glass cause well, the view is HORRIBLE.

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And then there was this replica of the park (vintage), some of which are no longer there (RIP People Mover!) and some parts moved, like the tea cup ride.

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There was soooooo much cool shit to look at but for me it was all about the concept art and the park memorabilia. That tiny little piece from Night On Bald Mountain… so much love.

The Marc Davis exhibit was much smaller but there were some pretty amazing Haunted Mansion originals. Sadly photos were prohibited in that section. BOO! But they had 2 of the stretch painting portraits as well as the pirate girl from the Pirates ride. Total fan girl goo moment.

Eventually we got a case of the hungry so we headed out to Japantown for some eats and shopping at Daiso.

It was cool going to see art with someone else who appreciates it and sees things through the same lenses as I do (Thanks Caitlin!). In any event it was a great time and got to see a lot of VERY COOL and inspiring art.

Pro-tip: If you ever plan on going to the museum, don’t go on a weekend and if you do plan on it, GO EARLY. Lots of people and it gets annoying as all get out. Also, it can be on the pricier side so be prepared for the wallet dent. $20 admission + the gift shop + parking + special exhibit… it adds up. Also, I wouldn’t recommend it for small kids, they will get bored hella fast.

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