Dear Social Media

I know it’s really hard to believe, but I can think for myself. Harder to believe these days, but I want to think for myself. That being said, kindly cease and desist the following irritating practices:

The Profile Change. Yes, I have multiple pages. Yes, I may have notifications on each of them. And no, I don’t want my profile to switch over every single time I look at them. This is not a feature. It’s a pain in the ass.

Picking My Comments. Let’s assume that when I hit “comments” under a post, I want to see all of them. I don’t care if there’s 14,000 of them. If I only want to see the top ones, I’ll pick that on my own, thanks. And who the bleep are you to decide which comments I’ll find relevant? Just because you listen in and try to match ads to my interest doesn’t mean you know me.

Banning People. Well, I’d be okay if you banned actual scammers, or actual terrorists, or other horrible people, but since your algorithms are shit and you can’t really tell, just stop, period. In fact, if you have such a great desire to ban things, why not start with all the shady ads from Chinese companies like Dresslily and Roselily and Lilythis and Lilythat? Ban the obvious phishing memes (what town did you go to high school in that may also be the answer to a security question?).

And Speaking of Ads. When I block one, block it in all it’s incarnations. For example, I’ve seen the Starz for $20 for 6 months sponsored under about 10 different names now. I’m sure you love taking their money, but really, I’m tired of blocking every goddamn doppelganger on the list

Broaden Your Horizons. There are times I try to report scammers or spammers or flat-out account thieves. But your questions as to why I’m reporting don’t cover a fraction of the possibilities. Nor do you give anywhere the the complainant to explain. I guess it’s easier to dismiss it out of hand that way.

Enough Emojis. I want to type the word. I don’t want a cute emoji. I know where they are. I know how to use them. Stop trying to speak, or think, for me.

Because more of us need to speak for ourselves, now. And loudly.

Gamer Goodies

My artwork is mainly fantasy, and those of you who know me also know that I’m OCD, and prefer to work on things as a series. I’ve done the Zodiac and the Tarot multiple times. I’ve got a collection of kids stories and nursery rhymes. I’ve done Alice in Wonderland.

But what I really enjoy are monsters and NPCs from games. I’ve done a huge variety of D&D critters, and there’s so many more to do.

A spectator and a meenlock

But I love doing critters from video games. They’re a challenge. In most games, you have an idea of what the monster looks like, but unless you can scroll right in, at least for me, it doesn’t seem fully fleshed out. So I have some leeway in my interpretations.

I stopped doing the Diablo ones, much as I enjoyed it. I feel like Blizzard is about as forgiving of fan art as Disney. But I’ve done a bunch from EverQuest and Path of Exile. I love that they’re recognizable, but clearly different from the original art.

It’s an homage to something I love!

Lacuni Huntress from the Diablo games

Now I’ve found new source material from YuGiOh. Even harder for me, since I don’t know the lore, but since they are based on a single illustration on a card, I can go in a lot of directions with them.

Thousand Eyes Restrict and Star Boy

So I’m still working away and there’s always new art to see here. And if you have a special gamer in your life, with a birthday, or for Father’s Day, or just to show you live them… I may have you covered.

What A Long, Strange Trip…

Yes, I’ve been notably absent. Struggling thru work, making things, trying to keep Thing 2 from eating ally possessions. Ain’t easy!

But now that the Con is done and I can breathe for a bit, I’m back. I’m buried under a lot of debt, so I can’t say how many more Cons are in my future. Like everything else, they go up, up, up. Craft fairs might be an option, and I’ve got nothing against them, but many are outdoors, where my stuff doesn’t fare so well (paper products meet damp, humidity, and breezy winds).

Maybe I should start a GoFundMe or Kickstarter for Con funds, but I’ve always been against asked ng for money.

Or help. I’m not good at asking for help.

But anyway, here are a few newer items, and I’m revamping the Square shop. Etsy charges for the listing, Square just charges after a sale.

These are just a couple pieces available. I hope to transition fully to that shop soon, but we’ll see (some of Etsy’s mechanics are easier).

Keep an eye peeled here and on the Trials page for updates, events I’ll be at, and new pieces.

carol-bosselman.square.site

The Real Pandemic

I used to say it was stupidity. But I was wrong.

It’s douchebaggery. It’s treating others like crap. It’s jumping all over someone without hearing them.

This is borne of my experience at Hannaford yesterday. It was pretty packed, but I finished shopping, found the most reasonable line, and got in it.

With a cart, mind you. And not close to anyone, because as you may know by now, I hate people.

So the guy in front of me turns around and says something. It was lengthy. He was both masked and bearded, and he was soft-spoken. So of course, to me he sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

I said, “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

In a huff, he responded, “Can you move? You’re not social distancing. You know, social distancing? You’re not 6′ away. There IS still a pandemic, you know.”

News flash, I was 6′ and then some, but I was certainly willing to back up more. But at that moment, another cashier opened up, walked over, and invited him to her line (she was much closer than I was), so before I could respond in any way, he walked away, shaking his head in disgust.

I’m sorry that this bothered me way more than it should have. People who know me, know I’m an enpath, and compassionate, and would have moved for his comfort. Ok, he doesn’t know me, but dammit, you didn’t give me half a chance. You jumped all over me like self-righteous prick, as if I’d insulted you and called you a snowflake or purposely got in your face.

I very simply did not hear you. You didn’t hear me, either, but you never gave me a chance.

We’re actually on the same side. I don’t know if someone did get in your face before, and that’s why you behaved like a defensive prick. I’m sorry.

But we’re in this together, and the smallest communication could make a difference.

I just ask to think before you blast your mouth. Listen to others. Be fair.

Treat people the way you want to be treated. It’s the golden rule across all religions and etiquette.

Quick…It’s November

For real, where the hell did August, September, and October go? For that matter, where did the beginning of November go? I guess time flies when you’re having fun, and Halloween and my birthday in Texas were both awesome fun.

I suppose now, time is going to FLY towards the holidays, which will be here before you know it. Then they’ll be over, and we’ll have the unadulterated grey misery of January, February and March. Nothing to really look forward to until Memorial Day.

So…the holidays. Here comes the plug. You knew that had to be coming, because I haven’t done one in forever, right?

Saratoga Comic Con. Long overdue, courtesy of Covid. Honestly, I’m still a little hesitant, even vaccinated, but having a table will keep me at a distance from the crowd (and even outside of Covid, the truth is I’m an introvert and crowds make me uneasy). I think a Con will be a much-needed outing, and I want to reconnect with my customers, and we all need a good dose of fantasy and cosplay and art and plain old fun.

I’ve started a few new series, and I’ve also begun working in watercolors, which I enjoy (altho I still have a strong preference to my plain old blue-black & white). I have the Cards Fortuna, which at this point may never be realized as a deck because getting a deck printed is pricey, but the ones I did have turned out lovely and could make nice coasters.

I’m doing some nursery rhymes a la Mother Goose, and some Grimm tales:

And what I call “Ghoulies”…a variety of characters with sugar-skull style heads…

And a glimpse at a few of the Cards Fortuna, right now only available as coasters. Not all of the Cards have been created, and of the ones that are, not all have been made into coasters yet. Some of the coasters are also from my Major Arcana collection…

I’m also breaking out a new array of jewelry, and I’ll have the usual books, magnets, tiles, and prints loose and matted.

Come say hi, bring a mask. I’ll bring the sanitizer. Get some air, socialize, see pretty shiny things. Pick up some unique holiday gifts, see some fabulous makeup and costumes. Books are great stocking stuffers. Prints or mini-cards of D&D monsters for your bestest bud gamer. Art on ceramic tiles as coasters is very different. I have all kinds of different interpretations of classic things like gods and goddesses, the Zodiacs, bedtime stories…and there’s always Undead Oz.

Nov 20-21 at the Saratoga City Center…show up or blow up!

How Not To Win Someone Over

I originally didn’t want to be on Instagram, but was told that as an author and an artist, it would be better to increase an online presence. Sure, it happens on all the apps, but damn, I’m really tired of it.

I’m talking about stalking. Men who follow me who I don’t know. They usually have no more than 3 posts, and a follower or two, which is never anyone I know. Which means I fit into some search parameter they’re using. Probably my age group, female, single.

Sorry, folks. That’s creepy and borderline stalking.

There are legit dating apps. If I was looking, I’d be on them. Unless Instagram is secretly a dating app and I didn’t know.

But they don’t read that. No, they’re creepy. They assume I’m on social media looking for a man and that I’ll welcome their attention.

They are always widowed or divorced. 9 out of 10 if them have some pithy saying about God…which tells me they really didn’t bother to find out anything about me (I suppose that makes it slightly less stalkery). Of course, if they’d made the least effort and read my profile, they see where I say I’m not looking for a relationship and to not message me unless they want to buy a piece of art I’ve posted.

But no, they try to message me, so my wishes, if even looked at, aren’t respected. So, right off the bat, you’re creepy and have no idea what I want. Which, you know, isn’t some fucking creepy stalker type.

They post pictures of themselves with wine, or a dog, or pictures of flowers, or a flag. Pretty clear the image they’re pushing.

So last night, I screwed up. I had a message from a Jane Lawson, who also follows a friend’s mom, so instead of instantly blocking them, I answered.

No, it was KANE Lawson. And it began with “hi” and the usual “let’s get to know each other” inane small talk. I responded with “sorry, I’m not really into chatting”, because even when annoyed, I try not to be rude. Not right away, anyway.

His response? Priceless. “Then why are you on Instagram?”

Wow. Did I offend him? Sorry, bro, I thought Tinder was the dating app. I thought messenger programs were for chatting. Oh, hey, I’m on Instagram to be harassed by lonely, prowling men who can’t see what kind of creepers they really are.

I finally responded with “To promote my artwork”. That was met with silence, and I was happy. I thought, he’ll stop following, he’ll go away. (He also did this thing where if I didn’t answer fast enough for his liking, he’d type a bunch of question marks).

But no. This morning, I see a new response. “Can I ask where you are chatting from?”

Well, it’s pretty clear why you’re divorced and still looking. You just don’t get it. A for persistence. But I’m done.

Blocked.

And this, friends, is one more example of what women, even those of us not so attractive, have to put up with.

Rescue Alert

I know there are a few animal lovers who follow me, so I’m putting out a call to help home a pupper.

Harper

Meet Harper. He’s a handsome boy, about 8 years old, and Lab/Mastiff mix. Sadly, he’s aggressive with children and other male dogs. He’s fine with female dogs and with cats, and looks to me like he’s a goofy loving boy. He simply needs a home where he doesn’t feel the need to play alpha or compete.

He’s currently in Virginia, but will be coming up to New York in the next couple of weeks, as his current owners try to find a home, not a shelter.

Take meh?

Spirit and Gabriel agree with me that all good furbabies need a loving home. Help spread the word and share, repost, tweet, and get the word out.

If you or someone you know can help out and home Harper, please shoot me an email and I will get you in touch with the family.

Thank you! Harper is a big love, and more love is never, ever a bad thing.

Health Don’t-Care

So my sugar has been pretty bad now for nearly 3 weeks. I don’t eat the best, but I certainly am careful. Oh, wait.

Maybe it’s because Blue Cross is holding my health hostage. They literally will not pay for my scrips now unless I switch to the Magellan mail pharmacy.

One of my diabetes drugs is pioglitizone, and that’s where it started. I went to Walgreens to see what the “insurance issue” was. They simply got a message that I had to fill out a mail order form.

I don’t want mail order. I have a slot in the door for mail. I have a shared hallway in my 2-family. Granted all my Amazon stuff and other packages have fared well, but my meds? Don’t really want to gamble there.

And lo, I am out of pioglitizone.

I go home and try to call Blue Cross. Oops, my bad. They only have power over people’s health, therefore, they only answer phones from 8:30-4:30. I guess too bad for me, since I work 8-5.

My job is fairly demanding. I don’t like to waste my lunchtime on one of these calls, especially if I may not have everything I need at hand.

On a whim, I try the number for Magellan, and yay, I get someone. But boo, there really isn’t fuck-all they can do. I explain my situation, but while the rep is sympathetic in the way all customer service folks are supposed to be, she can’t actually help other than noting my account and emailing Blue Cross with my concerns. I’ll have to call back, of course. It’s too much to expect anyone to reach out to me.

That was a Thursday. I didn’t call Friday, because I assumed nothing would get done in one day.

Yes, I am now out of pioglitizone, but I will brave the weekend and just be very careful of what I eat.

Come Monday, I get home from work. I call Magellan, and guess what? Blue Cross hasn’t responded. I try not to lose my shit on the rep, but honestly, this is robbery. A huge monopoly far worse than cable. I mean, I go thru this or come up with about $300 to buy a month of the drug.

I finally ask what I need to do to go mail order. The rep days, “this is what you want to do?”. I said, “no, it’s not, but I’m being held hostage here and I really can’t wait on the whim of Blue Cross to bother helping me.”

I go thru all kinds of info exchange. Drugs, dosages, etc. I think that I’m set for both pioglitizone and jardiance, which is also pending a refill. I get off the phone thinking I’m set. Not happy, but I’ll have my pills soon.

Wrong.

A day or two or three later, my doc’s office calls. The nurse says that Magellan called them looking for my phone number, but in consideration of confidentiality, she didn’t give them anything. Instead she alerted me and gave me the callback number.

So I call them back that night, and I’m telling you, I am heartily sick of this shit.

The rep tells me that the two drugs come to $130, which is over my allotment of $80. And here, folks, is where I don’t care if the rep has anything to do with it. Even after all my own customer service years, taking abuse, I finally lose my shit. I’m not yelling, but I’m crying in frustration. My drugs have never cost that. Not even close. And I take 5 total; this is the cost for 2!?

And they want me to give them a credit card. I’m sure you can guess my response to that.

Ok, we figure it out. The pioglitizone is about $12, but that’s 90 days. That’s fair. And they’ll bill me.

Can they rush it? Sure, if I pay them $20. You can’t waive that since I’m out and you’re forcing me to jump thru hoops? No. Well, fuck you. If my sugar gets that bad, before I die I’ll make sure everyone knows what a money-grubbing circus this is, but you aren’t getting another dime. Ship it normally.

But jardiance is name brand, and very expensive. I said the pharmacist at Walgreen’s found a savings card online that she applied that lowered my copay considerably (because, you know, she was a human being who cared). Great, the rep says, we need the bin id, group id, etc etc etc. I said I don’t actually have the card, the pharmacist put it all into their system.

Long story short (too late), I have to call Jardiance and get that info. That was over the course of another weekend, whereupon that scrip ran out. That was messed up because the site recognized that I was registered, but couldn’t find me.

At least the rep at Jardiance was very understanding and helpful. She also had some kind of Caribbean accent that was soothing and beautiful to listen to. She tried to reregister me all over again…time consuming, but worked.

Of course, it’s too late to call Magellan back (they’re open til 7). So more time passes, but that finally gets taken care of, at a discount of $10 copay for a month. A lot less than the original $130 they wanted to gouge out of me. Now I wait for the Jardiance.

Total of 11 days without pioglitizone. I have them now. 6 days without Jardiance and counting.

These companies should not have this kind of control. I can’t imagine what will happen when my other 3 refills come up.

Healthcare? I don’t think so.

Cards Fortuna

This is a new project I dreamed up because frankly, without Cons happening, I need some kind of fuel. You’ve seen my takes on the Tarot, and while I enjoyed doing them, I wanted a little more.

I want my own deck, similar to the Tarot, but not the Tarot. Something I know how to interpret. Something more…elemental.

So the idea is a deck of 32 cards, 8 for each element. The entire basis of the deck is change, and the elements represent change, to me, as follows:

Earth: unchanging, or change so slow, so minute, as to be unnoticeable.

Air: almost whimsical, either light, small, and personal, or rapid, strong, wide-reaching. Like winds, this change can alter the direction of one’s life.

The Hippogriff

Fire: rapid, harsh, chaotic change on a large scale. Often leaves damage in its wake.

The Afrit

Water: continual, steady, incremental change. Occasionally surges of speed or power, but generally in the same direction.

A reading would be 3 draws (past, present, future) or a single draw relative to a question. The interpretation of the card is the rate or type of change, combined with the symbolism in the card. An upside-down card, or invert, means a reversal of the type of change depicted, again, in relation to the card itself.

And of course, this will be subject to the interpretation of the reader and what they get a sense of. Pretty cool, eh?

As of now, I have all the cards plotted out, and about half drawn. Once drawn, I’ll go in with watercolor pencils. This part will suck, because then I’ll have to spray them all with fix, which stinks in a toxic way. Then, the intent is to take ink, colored for the element, to highlight the box where the name of the card goes.

Thinking about it makes me tired, but I think the finished product will be beautiful. I’ve considered doing a Kickstarter for them, but I have no idea of my timeline on this, nor have I ever been skilled at asking for money.

I won’t turn down any offers, though.

Hephaestus

Anyway, more pictures and updates as I make progress. If you genuinely want to donate, for a future deck, I do PayPal. If you just like watching the creative process…welcome.

The Crone

O The Lights

So with 2 friends, I went to the socially-distant Lights in the Park. For those not in the area, Washington Park is set up with light displays, courtesy of several businesses. They’re colorful, and a bit uplifting, and you don’t have to leave your car.

Add appropriate music, and it’s a nice (heated) way to enjoy an evening near the holidays. We had TSO going, the Nightmare Before Christmas, but there’s a specific station you can tune to for matching music, too.

The only thing is while these displays are pretty, being made of lights it’s not always easy to tell what’s going on with them. So, I’ve titled a few based on my initial reaction.

Remember, these things are moving.

Two People Beating the Crap Out of a Bush
Frosty Gets A Fondle

Happy Birthday, indeed.

Santa’s Raider Nation?
Six Geese A-Roasting
I Fell Into Five Golden Rings of Burning Fire
Hoes In The Park

There ya go. Totally worth the admission to go make your own captions. Go forth and see what you can see. Merry Yule!