I am Disgust

I posted a photo to Flickr late last night. It’s quite graphic, so I’m going to add it after a jump here. Because it’s so graphic, I made it “restricted” on Flickr. I didn’t think twice about posting it. It’s an image I’ve had in my head for a while, and I was glad to finally get it out (so to speak).

Most of my photos aren’t “pretty pictures.” There are a bazillion of those, if that’s what you’re looking for. There are times I see a Second Life photo and have to really look to be sure it’s not a gorgeous shot of the physical world instead. If you want pretty tree tunnels and lovely dresses and oodles of shots of the female form, you can scroll to your heart’s content and ooooh and ahhhhh all day long.

So I was amused when I received this message this morning from Flickr:

disgust

Apparently I’m disgust. I took a moment to be offended, and then I checked myself and thought long and hard (pun intended) about what this person was trying to say here. I believe that she doesn’t wish to be confronted with thoughtful discourse on the more difficult aspects of life. She likes scrolling through her pretty pictures, and doesn’t wish to come face to face (ahem) with commentary that doesn’t support that pretty picture.

And who am I to judge her? Maybe she sucks the drug dick all day long and uses Flickr as an escape.

I hope she unfollowed me, because I intend to create more disgust. Granted, most of my work won’t include a giant pixel peen, but I’m not looking to make pretty pictures (not that there’s anything wrong with those). I write and create to express my truth. And I think there is most definitely beauty in truth. Even if it is only in the eye of the beholder.

Speaking of holding, the offensive rude is after the cut.

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15,000 Prims

Guess who’s an Artist in Residence.

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Me! It’s me!

The Linden Endowment for the Arts announced their artist grants for their 8th round, and I’m one of them! This means I have a full sim to play with for six months. Well, maybe not play with, persactly. I’m supposed to be creating art there. I have 15,000 prims available to play with build on.

But I’m not a builder. In fact, I’m not an inworld creator of any kind. I use other people’s creations in my photo sets, but I don’t do any building. I don’t script, or mesh, or even know how to make poses. I’m aces at modding things, but that’s as far as my building experience goes.

So, what the hell am I doing with an LEA sim?

The Linden Endowment of the Arts is an official Linden Community Partnership program whose purpose is to help new artists, cultivate art in SL, and foster creativity, innovation, and collaboration within the art community.

The emphasis is mine, and pretty much describes the goal of my project. But let me explain a bit…

I’m not an artist. Shocking, I know. And please don’t tell the LEA. But, truly, I’m not a visual artist. I love writing. I am absolutely a writer. I hope that I create with words, but I just don’t think of myself as a visual artist.

That doesn’t mean that I can’t share my viewpoint through two dimensional work. Taking my narrative from words to images has been a wonderful experience for me, and I hope that I can create a project that allows others to do the same. Even those who aren’t artists.

When I create a 2D image, it’s based on an emotion or a story or a phrase- basically, it begins with words. But I use 3D objects to create the scene, so it’s a bit of a twisted circle. The 3D scene takes the most time to create, but the end result is the 2D image that, I hope, evokes the original words that I started with (even if only to myself).

I’ve always deleted my 3D sets after I shoot the image of them. The very impermanence of the 3D scene is part of its charm for me. The photo representation is all that’s left of the set.

What does this have to do with the LEA sim?

Hang with me. I do have a point.

This is one of my photo sets, but that’s not me in the photo:

                                                                                              Ziki Questi

That’s Ziki Questi, hopping into one of my photo sets. The photo that she snapped looks far different from the one I took of myself:

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                                                                       Recurring Themes

These two representations of the exact same 3D space are remarkably different. Ziki’s viewpoint is almost a contrast of mine. How wonderful to see the world through her eyes!

My project at this LEA sim will be creating a series of 3D settings meant to be used to create 2D art. There will be lots of them, and they’ll be tiny and huge and everything in between. I’ll set these up one at a time, and they’ll each stay up an indeterminate amount of time. Some may stay up for a day, others for two weeks, and others mere hours. I plan to announce when a new set is rezzed, but I won’t give any warning before deleting it.

While these sets are up, my hope is that others will come use them to take their own photos. With no direction from me, folks can come find their own angles and windlights and stories to tell using the sets. Each photographer will offer a unique perspective, no two photos will be exactly the same.

There’ll be a Flickr group for sharing shots, and in the last month of the exhibit, I’ll have an inworld gallery at the sim to show them off, as well. My hope is that folks who don’t normally see themselves as photographers might be inspired to take a shot or ten, and those who are seasoned artists might come explore, too.

I’m honored that the LEA would take a chance by awarding a sim to a project that’s not a large 3D immersion. I hope that I don’t completely blow this chance to create something interesting. At the very least, if I do blow it, you can be certain I’ll do it in spectacular fashion.

I intend to blog about my experience here, and post progress photos at Flickr.

Did I mention 15,000 prims!?

Split Seconds

Please click through to view full size image.

                                                         Please click through to view full size image.

Ace of Clubs

The Jokers were already claimed.

Ace of Spades Whiskey Monday

Vanessa Blaylock has organized a Selfie Card Deck in Second Life, and I’m happy to be the Ace of Clubs. You can get your own (free) deck of 54 cards by 54 artists at the holiday party on Sunday.

More details here.

The Smallest Slight

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Sheltering Sky

Click through, if you'd like to view this image full size.

                                             Click through, if you’d like to view this image full size.

Stable

stable for web

Reborn

I’m happy to offer this exclusive print, one copy only, to benefit Child’s Play Charity, auctioned at the Bay City Tree Lighting and Fundraiser

Saturday, Dec. 6, 1-4 SL time.

The silent auction will be held at the Bay City Fairgrounds.

sheep-ad-blog

“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”
Mahatma Gandhi

 

Asunder

Let it Burn

Not a Crutch But a Break

Fuck you Sisyphus

Moths Among the Whisperings

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Was Rorschach.

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Breakers Without a Crash

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Painted Grins and Missing Pieces

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Mad Girl’s Love Song

Inspired by the poem, by Sylvia Plath.

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Sweeter Than My Solitude

“My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.”
Warsan Shire
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Uphill, Both Ways

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These guys make it hard to leave for work.

I’ve lost all desire to be a teacher, and I’m not qualified to be much else. I’m too old and impatient to be a bartender again, and though I wish it paid the bills, writing isn’t at all lucrative. So I took the least likely job, the one you’d never in a million years expect me to have. I’m working as a part-time in-home caregiver for an elderly dementia patient. I know. It shocks me, too. But it pays well and it’s only a few miles from home, and since my car has been dead for several weeks, I’ve been able to walk to and from work. Uphill, both ways. 

I live in a rural area; there are no sidewalks and pedestrians are treated with suspicion at best. The roads between my house and work are roads that I’ve traveled by car a bazillion times since moving back here. But there is something intimate about walking. I’m experiencing the world in a completely different way- up close and personal. The walking makes for a long time between home and work, and back again, which gives me time to adjust from dealing with my brain boggled mom to dealing with my brain boggled client. And back again. The walk home is always ten times longer. Did I mention uphill?

I’ve met animals, some friendly, some decidedly not. The opossum that lunged at me in broad daylight worked better than coffee or vodka shots to get me awake and moving. (I screamed at him and waved my arms, and he hissed at me before turning tail and walking off. Now I carry mace.) I’ve come to know the sounds and smells of the houses as I walk by them. Some have the constant sounds of soap operas; some of them even on TV. There’s cooking smells, hoarder smells and the smell of cigarettes. It’s more quiet than I expected. 

 It’s been a month of walking and old lady ass wiping, and I finally have enough money to fix my car. I’m glad, because the weather is getting colder and I’ve grown weary of douchenuggets in pickups screaming at me as they blow by. When I get my car back, I’ll likely drive a bit slower past the donkey that has a zebra stripe down his nose (who refuses any treat I’ve tried to feed him), the copse of bamboo that grows along both sides of a narrow side street, and the house with the big, friendly yellow lab. But I won’t miss the smell of roadkill. 

The best part of walking home each day is turning into my own driveway to see my dogs in the front window, watching for me.

It’s just not the same in a car.

 

 

All Hell Shall Stir for This

All Hell

Prop Fund Drive

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For a limited time, I have a few landscapes for sale inworld at a wee little shop on the Remood sim. I’m in the incredible company of Eupalinos Ugajin and Meilo Minotaur. Meilo has her stunning lace avatars available there for free.

All proceeds to benefit my depleted prop fund.

The One You Feed

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Mindfields

As always, click it bigger.

                                                                         As always, click it bigger.

Chipper

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Hide and Seek

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And Away

And Away

A Peace at a Time

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A Piece at a Time

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Head Case

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Paranoia

Grass

What Hump?

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Recurring Themes

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My Tweets as Pictures: Forty-five

Fine

I’m fine, thanks. Super fine. Really fine. Extra fine. So fine I can’t even define the fine. Just fine. I’m fucking fine.

Impassable

impassableIt’s better bigger. Click the pic.

Shards

sole

The smallest thing. That’s what finally caught my interest again. It was the smallest thing.

My daughter drives a 25 year old Volvo, and I rode in the passenger seat on her move-in day. My own Volvo (15 years younger) sits dead in the driveway. Instead of driving her to college like a parent, I rode shotgun like a friend. This bothered me; it didn’t phase her. Her eye was already on the prize, her thoughts already moving forward- as they should be. She was already gone.

After all of it, after the boxes and the unpacking and the making of her twin bed, I stood outside among weepy parents hugging impatient kids. And then I climbed back into the passenger seat of my daughter’s car, and rode shotgun to the bus station. We said our goodbyes in a sun-bleached parking lot, in the shade of a Greyhound bus.

There is no shotgun seat on a Greyhound bus, there are only back seats next to crazy people. You can choose to sit next to someone more crazy or less crazy than yourself. I chose the seat beside the woman with the empty hamster cage and the unkempt hair, telling myself that she was more crazy but knowing that I simply hid mine better. She smelled of cedar and gin, her fingers bending the tiny metal bars of the cage where she pressed them through. My daughter didn’t stay to wave, but I looked for her anyway.

It’s been months since my brain engaged. The gears spin, but the cogs never connect. Nothing sticks. I didn’t even care enough to wonder about the hamster cage, just noted it and let it go.

Greyhound may indeed get you there, but it will take three times as long as it should. The cast of characters came and went on my bus, and I’m certain that more than half of them decided I was more crazy than they were as they surveyed the seats. All them were right.

I stared at the sole of his shoe for several minutes before I really saw what I was looking at. He sat across the aisle with one leg crossed over the other, and the sole of his shoe was right in the middle distance where my gaze tends to stay. He was wearing craggy bottomed walking shoes with deep treads, and stuck inside those were three little triangles of glass.

He had glass trapped in the sole of his shoe.

For a very long time thoughts have fallen through my mind like snowflakes, drifting down and landing softly before melting away, leaving only puddles of muck. While I’ve gone through the motions of life, it’s only been muscle memory of what life felt like that kept me moving. Things got done; I did them. But the cogs just spun unconnected.

Those pieces of glass got stuck in the mental cogs. They didn’t melt away or even make it to the bottom. They stayed.

I wondered about the glass, about the man, about the circumstances that brought him into my line of sight. But mostly, those bits of glass. For a few minutes, I actually thought about something, I mean really thought about it.

My cogs were rusty, so it didn’t last long. But my mind kept coming back, between mindless drooling sessions, to the glass in his shoe.

There has been a notebook on my person every day of my life, but it’s been close to a year since I’ve touched one. I dug around in my bag and found a small red moleskine that’s been there since the beginning of time. Or at least two years.

I didn’t open it. I felt like a poser. I’m not a writer anymore. Hell, I’m barely a human anymore. But I held onto my moleskine while the bus rocked along and the man with the craggy shoes appeared to sleep. And I wondered about that glass.

I don’t recall digging for a pen, though I must have done so. I didn’t look back at the pages I’d filled before my mind went to shit, I turned instead to the first blank page, and I wrote.

It’s a start.

Surface Bubbles

There’s little new that can be written about depression. Far better writers than this one have described that darkness.

 I myself haven’t written a word in months. I’m not talking about here; I haven’t written anywhere. I barely even use words aloud. I speak the bare minimum, reduced to monosyllabic answers and the most basic of questions. Even words lost their charm when they failed me, dropping out of my mouth like a strange jumble of nonsense that even I didn’t understand. So I stopped using them altogether.

 I have created a sensory deprivation tank in my head, and I resent anything that pulls me to the surface.

 A few months ago I gave myself permission to kill myself. Don’t bother calling the dudes in white suits (unless they have drugs, then send them along). I’m not a suicide risk. But the simple act of giving myself permission to do it has kept me from it. I made a deal with myself- if it gets worse, I can end it. If it gets so bad that I can’t stand another day, I won’t make myself stand another day. If that makes no sense to you, then I’m glad. That means you’ve never felt this, and there are few people I would want to feel this, and most of them already do.

 My father killed himself, and so did my grandfather. It’s a strange thing to have in common with both my mother and my daughters- our fathers and grandfathers died by their own hands. I finally have some understanding of why- that’s the Big Question after someone offs himself- why why why why WHY?

 I’ll tell you why. It’s not some overwhelming sadness or feeling that things just won’t get better. It’s the inability to endure one more day. Not one more day. Pain with a purpose is bearable- take cancer treatments, for example. Or the pain of childbirth, or therapy- pick a pain. You can bear the pain that promises something better. Pain with no purpose, no end in sight and no real definition can only be endured for so long. It files you down to bare nerves and then files those down, too, until you’re left with nothing but a dull roar that drives you mad. Not even sleep can dull that hard ache.

 I understand why.

 I wouldn’t do that to my daughters. And so I endured today. I’ll endure tomorrow.

 After making a deal with myself, I started a mental bucket list of sorts. There were things I needed to put in order, just in case. Ironic, it is, that my suicidal bucket list is what made me start participating in a kind of life again. There were big things like:

 4. Get my youngest daughter into art school

5. Figure out how to pay for art school.

There were smaller things like label some photos and sort some boxes. (19 and 26, respectively.)

 Most of the big ones are done. My oldest daughter is happily moved in to her very own apartment, living with a friend and settling into her own life. My youngest will be leaving for art school in August, and we even figured out how she’ll pay for it. My sister is getting ready to go back to work, and my mom is enrolled in Medicare. I’ve fixed the leak under the bathroom sink and replaced the window screens. I sorted stacks, papers and three family’s worth of stuff. It’s all neatly boxed and labeled and prettied up.

 Keeping busy kept me alive.

 I’ve resented it, though. I’d rather lie unmoving in the muck at the bottom of the heavy lake of depression, where the mud fills my ears and eyes and sucks me under until I don’t feel at all. I don’t want to look through keepsakes I care nothing about, nor paint someone else’s room a shade of yellow that makes me want to bleed all over it just to stop its cheer. I don’t want to change the oil in the car or call the insurance company one more time. I don’t want to care for anyone. I want a raging case of amnesia or a coma or whatever witchcraft Rip Van Winkle enjoyed.

 Just let me sleep that sleep.

 Eventually, I made another deal with myself. If I make it until August, when my daughter’s gone and my niece goes back to school, then I’m leaving here. I’m walking away from a burden I never willingly took on, and I’m leaving everyone to care for their own shit. I’m going to try to take care of mine, if I can even find it again.

 I have no idea yet where I’ll go. The smartest thing may be to go straight to a 72 hour hold that leads to a long rest in a small bed. But I haven’t thought that far ahead.

 Today I’m Betty, and Betty gets shit done. She changes the sheets and fixes the food and walks the dog so she can dive back down into the quiet.  She pushes the mud out of her eyes long enough to do the care-taking, and then she submerges again.

But come August, I’m swimming for shore.

Away From Keyboard

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The last straw is usually not a big one. It’s tough to predict which one will finally break the camel’s back. I know I’ve dealt with some pretty heavy shit the past couple of years, and I’ve kept going because what else do you do? It wasn’t the big burdens that took me down, the last straw was a small one in comparison.

A few months ago my family was involved in a car accident. My (new to me) car was totaled. We were lucky to walk away with what they call minor injuries. My niece suffered the worst of it with a pretty severe concussion, and the lingering issues are making her day to day life tough even now. Dealing with the insurance bullshit has added another chore to my daily list of Fucking Things To Fucking Deal With. But I’ve been dealing with them, because what else do you do?

I used the insurance payoff for my totaled car to buy the car I’ve been wanting for eons, a Volvo wagon. She’s exactly what I wanted. I felt like I’d found a bright spot in a shitty situation. 

Until the transmission started to slip. Then it started to bang. And now I’m stuck with a beautiful car that has a doomed transmission. 

This has been a final straw of sorts, for me.  This is what finally sucked me down into the spiral of depression and its numbing apathy. I have just stopped. Stopped caring, stopped feeling, stopped participating – I haven’t cared and I haven’t wanted to. The numbness was  welcome.  I’m falling asleep at odd hours and I don’t feel like I ever really wake up. And I don’t even want to.

I’ve dealt with (and written about)  depression before. I know the feel of the dark wet blanket settling over me. It’s not sadness, I know that feeling, too. Sadness is an emotion. Depression is a dulling of emotion, and a deep apathy. The truly depressed don’t even want to fight it; the muting of the senses feels too good. 

I’m working on it, though. I do still care enough to know that my home won’t function with me sleeping on the job. I care too much about the people I love to let myself slip all the way down- even as nice as that sounds sometimes.

So, I keep going. Because what else do you do? 

I don’t know when I’ll be back. I wouldn’t know how to swim to the surface if I could even find in which direction it lies. For now I’m floating near bottom, and the numbness is a relief. For now.

 

Are Those Our Only Choices?

eating final

“Is it better to out-monster the monster or to be quietly devoured?”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Hold for Applause

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We Need to Talk

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That Last Step

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Solitary Confinement

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Please click the pic, this one’s better bigger. Like so many good things.

I’ve decided to go back to school, and I’m considering studying psychology. Specifically, I’d like to study the phenomenon of online social communities. I find it endlessly fascinating how much we share, and don’t share, with our online social circles. My ultimate goal is to write a book about this topic, including both my own experiences online and some psychological babble to back up my brilliant conclusions. My master’s degree in English might help with the writing part, but I’ll be starting over on the psychology part. I’m excited about these plans, but I’m no spring chicken. I’m going to be one of those old folks going back to school. I remember being in college and wondering about those ancient students and what could possibly make them want to go to college in their golden years. The world sure does look different through eyes that are 20 years older. Okay- maybe 25 years older. Shut up.

This photo came from thoughts of those plans. I’ve been thinking about how to visually represent the ideas of an online presence. I think that the phenomenon of being so exposed, and yet so closed off is possibly unique to the online world. And I learned a lot about my own online community when I shouted out for naked bodies to pose for me, and they landed on me within mere moments. I could shoot this shot three more times and not run out of people willing to pose for it.

The computer screen has long been described as a window to the world, and I do believe that’s accurate. But it’s so much more. I can’t even begin to fathom the role this window will have in our future lives, or how integrated we might be with them. By the time I get another degree to try to put words to my ideas, my ideas may be totally out of date. But I feel compelled to do this, and at the very least it’ll be an adventure. 

The following folks TPed to me with no clothes and no questions asked, and then patiently posed while I shot this photo. I cannot thank them enough- and not just for the posing. It was a show of community, and I needed that. 

Thanks to:

Marx Dudek

Ruby Velaystar

Teagan Avon

Imnotgoing Sideways

Addy Kotori

Shockwave Plasma

Tymmerie Thorne

Valena Vacano 

Isla Gealach

Frequency Picnic

Nedria Cyr

Charisma Jonesford

Theo Svenson

Isabelli Anatine

Faolan Wylder

Zenovia GossipGirl

Nylon Pinkney

Ewan Mureaux

Katya Valeska

Chance Raynier

Ulaa Coronet

Elle Couerblanc

River Stromfield

Alexi Bianco

Misha Selene

Lelu Anatine

 

 

 

0,0,0

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A friend is letting me use an empty sim for a few days. 15,000 prims and a wide open expanse of nothing makes Whiskey a happy girl.

 

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A Month of Mondays

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Click the pic to see it bigger and better.

An Original Profile

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My SL profile hasn’t changed much since the day Whiskey was created in ’09. In fact, the Real World tab is the same as my original SL avatar, created in ’06. I am an avid profile perv, and a carefully crafted profile says a lot to me. I enjoy the clues and signs that people leave in their profiles, and I’ve always felt that mine accurately represents my virtual self, and in turn, who I am in any world. Our profiles should be a one-of-a-kind  representation of our personal face to the world. Each one a special unique snowflake.

Which is why I was so shocked when a friend accused me of having an alt, because he saw someone with a profile identical to mine.

By the time I opened her profile, she had already changed the wording of the first tab a bit (after being called out by my friend), so that it was no longer word for word a copy of my own. But SL doesn’t change things right away in search, so I could still see part of her profile there and sure enough, there were my own words in her profile. The first life tab, however, was still an exact replica of mine.

calle profile

This isn’t the first time someone has swiped my words, I’ve been writing long enough to know that the internet is rife with people who think it’s all up for grabs, theirs for the taking. After all, it’s a just a few words. Most people think that if they change a word or two, it’s no longer plagiarism. And besides, it’s just a profile. It’s not as if she’s stolen great literature, right?

It doesn’t matter. Whether it’s a tweet of 140 characters, a line from a profile, or an entire article- plagiarism is stealing. Period. There is no grey area here.

Plagiarists hate being called out on their thievery. My profile thief was no exception. In fact, her strange defense was that she found it on a website, so really she didn’t steal it from me, she took it from them. So how can I be upset by that? Out of curiosity, I googled my profile, and it is not on any website except for Second Life. But I already knew that. When confronted by the person they’ve stolen from, thieves rarely come clean and admit their wrongdoing. They’re instead defensive and upset that someone would dare question their integrity.

Because let’s be honest, that’s what stealing someone else’s words does, it shows a lack of integrity and honesty. And even someone who lacks those hates being reminded.

I wasn’t going to blog about this. It seemed petty and over-reactive. I asked her to change her profile to her own words, and despite fiercely denying any wrong on her part (and in fact threatening me with public shame for calling her a liar), for a week or so she did change it. But I looked today and she has again changed her profile to something very similar to my own. While it’s no longer word for word, it’s close enough (especially after her complete copy before) that it really irked me.

callie mocha

Over the years I’ve had tweets, parts of blog posts and even my photographs stolen. Each time there are plenty of people who are quick to offer up that old, stale saying about imitation being the best form of flattery. That’s bullshit, and this wasn’t imitation. Flattery is when someone shows your work to their friends and gives you credit. It’s not flattering to have someone disrespect your hard work so much that they think it’s okay to use it as their own; in fact it’s the opposite of respect. It’s offensive and disrespectful on every level.

And I find myself, each time this happens, doing some deep soul searching to figure out why it bothers me so very much. But I shouldn’t have to defend myself, to explain why it makes me angry to have something that’s mine pinched and used without my knowledge or permission. I have every right to be upset, and the amount of work stolen has no bearing on how angry I should feel. Stealing is stealing. You can pretty it up and make it less shocking by calling it appropriating, borrowing or pirating, but in the end they all mean the same thing: stealing. Claiming ownership of something you’ve no right to.

So it doesn’t matter why it bothers me. It’s not up to me to try to work through my feelings on the matter.

If anyone needs to be doing some soul-searching, it’s folks like Callie Mocha who think that what they’re doing is okay. People who can’t come up with an original idea, and so they must steal the ideas of others.

I haven’t contacted Ms. Mocha again, and I probably won’t. At this point it’s useless, I believe. I tried to be at least civil when I originally asked her to change her profile, but her defensive and accusatory response shows me that reason isn’t chief among her repertoire of social skills.

Tomorrow that could all change. But  not the part about the reason.

Untitled

crushed.

The Water is Fine

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500

robot-bird

This is my 500th post here at Whiskey Shots. I’d been waiting ’til I had time to write a proper post with all of the expected drivel about what this blog means to me but it looks like  that’s not going to happen any time soon, so this’ll do.

This blog was born years ago when I was living in InWorldz. It has spun 180º into something totally different. I’m okay with that; it was an evolution, just like my life.

I haven’t had time to blog  a series of photos that I took of Chip Midnight’s FemDroid avatar. It’s incredible how expressive this robot can be, even though her face doesn’t move. It’s a testament to Chip’s talent, which makes it easy to tell a complex story with such simple elements.

These photos are available at my Fine Art America print site. Chip Midnight was gracious enough to give his permission for me to sell these prints.

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I haven’t had time to blog lately. Having the wee beastie niece home for the summer, on top of my normal shit to deal with, has made things even busier. My sister has had some issues with the  massive dosages of steroids she has to take to keep her liver from being rejected. We’re still working on getting her healthy, but I can see small improvements every day, even if it is slow going. My mother was officially diagnosed with vascular dementia, so I’m hoping this diagnosis will lead to better treatment and more help for her. And for me.

In the meantime, we still deal with things day to day here, and I try not to look too far back, nor too far forward.

But I feel like I should at least look back at my first post here, as it’s some sort of milestone today. Here’s the first blog post on Whiskey Shots.

I also went to see which was my most viewed post here, and was surprised to see that there was a tie. The posts with the most views were Bullshit (a response to a NY Tmes interview with Philip Rosedale) and An Unpopular Opinion (which I came this close to deleting. I did eventually  have to disable comments after being attacked from every direction possible.)

I hope to get back to actually writing here soon. I’ve got oodles to tell you, and several drafts to flesh out into proper posts. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll stick with me for 500 more.

Gone

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I Know Where I Am

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“I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”
A.A. Milne

Do click through to see this bigger and better.

Mental Block

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Burdens

Weight

We moved constantly when I was growing up. My parents had a habit of giving away all of our furniture and just striking out for greener pasture at the drop of a hat. I owned very little that was mine, and even fewer things that could be taken each move. I was determined to own my own home “when I grew up.” I wanted roots, permanence and stability. I wanted something that couldn’t be taken away. I wanted something that was mine.

It may be no coincidence that I  married a carpenter. I designed my home on graph paper, and my husband built it. It was a simple house, but it was mine. Every square foot of that house was used and loved. My children spent their childhoods there, the yard hosted forts and tents and the most magnificent treehouse. I healed there, where I felt safe and secure. I adored that house more than is probably rational. It was a loving home, and I was so proud of it.

Things here have been so complicated lately. My sister couldn’t live alone, nor could my mom. I originally moved everyone into my house, but managing their houses on top of my own, and living in far too small a space for so many people really took a toll on all of us. And on my house. It was meant to be a temporary situation, but as these things do, it became more long term and I had to face the fact that my home just wasn’t practical. It made better sense to move us all to my mother’s house.

And so my house sat empty for a while. We tried to rent it, and then, with heavy hearts, we tried to sell it. The burdens of the mortgage and the upkeep were as heavy as the weight on my heart. Moving into my mother’s house was the last thing I wanted to do, losing my own home because of it felt like … well, it felt like hell. I’m bitter. I feel as if my mother has again taken away my stability, even though it was (and has always been) my choice to care for her, for my sister, for my family. The irony of my losing my beloved stability in order to provide the same for them is not lost on me.

As of  last week, my house was gone for good. I no longer own a home. I no longer have my own space. I am heartbroken.

Every step I’ve taken has been by choice. I realize this. But we can so rarely see very far ahead when we’re taking these steps; there are so many curves and obstacles in the way to make our vision short. I had no idea that the emergent situations I stepped in to deal with would lead to this. I try not to wonder if I would have still done the same, had I known. I’d like to think that I would, that caring for my family would be more important than even a house. But I can’t say with certainty that I would have.

I still have my house key on my keychain.

I can’t decide if it would hurt more to toss it, or to keep it.

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