The Annual Vent

Maybe not annual….I dunno, I haven’t done it in a couple years, maybe, and it’s not really a vent. More a reminder of where I stand on social media stuff.

1.  The “If you hate cancer”. Don’t be stupid. No one LOVES cancer…or any other illness thrown into this ridiculous post. Repost…why? To increase awareness? Yes, some things probably should be shared for awareness, but I’m pretty sure people know about cancer. I will NEVER repost these, which does not mean that I embrace cancer. How about doing something tangible? If you hate cancer, donate to the American Cancer Society.

2. “Repost and type ‘amen'”. Yeah, that’s never happening. Sorry. I mean, hey, if that’s your thing, cool. It’s not mine. Or, if it is…well, to me, religion is personal and I’m not sharing my prayers or lack of on the intrawebz.

3. I see this in the Black Cat group I’m in (frankly, I see a lot of crazy shit in that group, but I love the pictures, so I shut up and stay): “If you’re going to say something rude, don’t post”. Hi, I’m the internet, have you met me? That’s begging someone to say something rude. Or something that may not be rude, but you disagree with, and therefore interpret as rude. Sounds more to me like you’re about to post something inflammatory. If you don’t want to hear things you don’t like…don’t post. Free speech for you is also free speech for me.

4. Those Messenger greetings? Do. Not. Even. If you want to wish me a Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/Happy Easter/Choose Your Day, and omg what a pretty image and it flashes and it’s sparkly and I can send to to all 560 of my friends…No. They’re intrusive. They’re annoying. They probably cause epileptic seizures in rodents. Most of all, they are often loaded with viruses and malware and one click can be a world of trouble. If you want to wish me a happy anything, it’s appreciated, but either just tell me, or post it to my timeline. Sending me those things thru Messenger, especially without a warning, will probably end up with me blocking you. I can’t mess with potential viruses, and you shouldn’t, either.  Also, a lot of those  “click to play” are trouble, too…be warned.

5. Check your info. Look at dates. I guess it’s up to you if you don’t mind posting misinformation. But these days, there is so much wrong info flying around on all sides, and people are so fast to get up in arms over everything, isn’t it better to know you’ve got the facts to back you? No, plastic bottles in your car don’t cause breast cancer and no, sex traffickers aren’t stalking your kids at Walmart (that’s not to say common sense and usual precautions you’d use anywhere aren’t in line) and yes, my gosh, that is a horrible story but it happened in 2014… Also, if I call you out, or correct you (which I try to do politely and with a link as proof), don’t get pissy over it. Someone was bound to do it eventually.

6. I don’t “copy, paste and share”. I only occasionally play along with a few challenges (the book you’ve read a day, for example, good way to spread literature, or the black and white photographs). Please don’t be offended if I don’t participate. I simply don’t. Or, sometimes I start to and then my brain shuts off.

7. Something else I’ve seen on the Black Cats page…people complaining that a picture of their cat didn’t get as many likes as someone else’s. Really? So, in advance, if I don’t like your every post, sorry, I don’t. Sometimes its a meme I’m seeing for the 40th time. Sometimes, as happened with something someone posted on my timeline, I don’t even see it for two days (I mean wtf, Facebook?). I don’t know about Facebook’s algorithms. I don’t even care. Does my like boost the post? Maybe? But conversely, I’ve seen people say that too many likes (er, of pages, at least) makes Facebook think you’re doing suspicious activity and then you’re prohibited from liking something…blah blah blah. Anyway, if I don’t like every post, its not personal. And those of you complaining about your cats’ likes…my cat means the world to me regardless of likes, so get your priorities straight.

8. This blog seems awful, doesn’t it? I don’t hate everything though, despite how it sounds. I do read posts without pictures but I don’t feel a need to comment to fulfill your need. Post more pretty things. Sunsets, sunrises, kitties, goggehs, foxes. Faeries. Funny cats. Cat videos. Music, lots of Metallica (the old stuff).  Post more inspirational stuff because I feel low every day and even if its directed at the world in general, it helps. Messenger me if you need me, or if you want to check up on me (believe me, someone does and it is so highly appreciated, I can’t begin!). Post yummy foods.  Post beautiful art. Post those gorgeous photos of abandoned places.

KEEP ON WITH THE GOODS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defining Loneliness

Here I am again, after a long absence. Right now I’m having one of those lives where things conspire to nickel and dime away your time. Contractors working on the kitchen and bathroom (since Oct 29th…but let’s not go there). Making art. Writing (book 3, which has a couple titles on the shelf). Dealing with holidays and my own anxieties and ups and downs. And for the first time in years, a cold.

But now I have a lot of time to think, as I force myself to occasionally look for jobs and wonder if I’m going to be stuck doing customer service again, which I despise. I was thinking about loneliness. I know it’s a horror for me, but I think sometimes people don’t really understand. I feel like so many people experience it, even people who aren’t alone. Physically, I am alone. While not working, I can go 3-4 days without seeing another person. A week without speaking to someone other than the cat. I have to force myself to get out of the house (if the weather were better, it would be different, but going out into the cold….).

So how can someone surrounded by coworkers or friends, or family, be lonely?

They can be, absolutely. But my thoughts of late make me wonder if social media is to blame. We have people right in front of us, sharing their love and understanding, and yet we want more. We want the acceptance of strangers. We wants clicks and likes. We want to win the intrawebz.

I belong to a black cat group, and more than once I’ve seen people bitch that their cats’ pictures don’t get as many likes.

Seriously? I mean, I post pictures of Spirit because he’s adorable, or funny, and I want to share that. I don’t measure his worth by how many likes he gets online. His worth is his love for me, his cuddles, his toebeans, and his overall derpitude. And that’s a cat…people pull that crap with their human kids, too.

But, I do get how sometimes you think something will go over big, and it doesn’t, and that disappointment can lead to feelings of isolation. I get it, too, but you have to recognize it for what it is. It feels like loneliness, but is it really? Sure, I’m happy if my artwork gets likes, but likes aren’t sales. And the likes you don’t get? How many of those are literally friends, like people you’ve met or hung out with? Maybe that never showed up on some people’s feeds, because…facebook algorithms. Or they scrolled by it fast. Or, like me, some people don’t actually “like” every single thing they look at. Friends do post things that I either don’t get because it’s not a business I’m in or a joke I can relate to, or they may have been sharing to someone who finds it relevant…I might not click that at all.

So, before you really get in a funk, put it in perspective. (How funny it it that I’m putting this on a blog…MORE INTRAWEBZ, KAREN!) It may feel like rejection, it may feel personal. It may feel like no one’s paying you any mind or cares about what you care about, but..is it really?

And for those of you on the other end of the spectrum, who aren’t so easily bothered by these things, keep your friends close. Check on them. Yeah, you see it posted all over, but don’t preach it unless you live it. It matters, and it means a lot to them.

Happy Holidays, and I won’t be such a stranger, especially as book 3 aka I’M NOT TELLIN YOU YET takes its final form.

New Things

First off, yes, the site looks different.  No, I don’t particularly like it but not sure how to fix it.  But…it’ll get there.

Second off…up?  On?  New stuff: cards.  I like this concept.  Whether other people do remains to be seen.  And I’m still sort of messing about with price points.  But basically, cards.  Sort of like notecards but only a single sheet with a blank back, and artwork on the front.  So far I have done the Major Arcana (22 cards), my take on the Addams Family (7 cards), and D&D Monster cards (I didn’t count, I made LOTS, and there are so many more I can draw that lets say infinity for now).

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Those are all 4×6.  There are irregularities in the cuts, and of course, a little warping, nothing horrible, I feel this just shows that they are handmade, and they came out really nice.  The next ones are considered wallet size, and are about as big as a baseball card, so they can fit into the sleeves used in collector’s binders.  They have no backing, they just come as is.  But, at that size, they can not only be used for note cards, they can be gift tags, or if you have the plastic bases, used in D&D.  They’re cool, and I love them because I think the drawings scale down quite nicely.

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And still hammering away on book 3, currently untitled, but in progress on Chapter 13.  So, in my unemployed state, I’m still working.  Only problem is, the depression is coming back hard…having been out of the job market and already blown off a couple times, I’m feeling worthless and out of touch…you get the idea.

So help me a little.  Some feedback would be great.  Ideas on marketing these, what you think they should sell for, IF they would sell…help an invert out here!  And if you don’t have plans, see you at Saratoga Comic Con on Oct 26-27th.

In The Loop

Upcoming events!

Niskayuna Farmers Market!!!!  Ok, overall, I’m a bit leery of outdoor events, because all my product is paper.  Even if it doesn’t rain, damp or humidity can do a job on the books, but I need to be outside, and I love farmer’s markets, and I’m about summer, so I’ll take the risk.  This is Friday, 2-6.  People….there is music as well!

Niskayuna Farmer’s Market

Also, with most of these events, I’m going it alone.  It should be an interesting test of how well I’m able to do set up and take down.  The last one went ok, except for getting the table into the trunk at the end, where I got derpy and hurt my back.  Eh, what can you do?  I’m also one of those people who can find a way to trip over the flowers in the rug.

Saratoga Comic Con

That there is one of my fave events.  Always a great turnout, love the vendors.  The Jerky Hut (yeah, I gotta have my maple black pepper jerky), and Toying Around are two regular, well-loved fixtures here, as well as the Montreal X-Men raising money for suicide awareness.  I love being a part of this.

Upstate NY Collectors Show

Another favorite, in a unique setting.  Small, intimate, and holy cow, I’ve seen some absolutely amazing cosplay here.

I’m always looking for events to do, so keep it tuned here.  And remember, I have prints and tiles available on Etsy under Bozprints.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BozPrints

My work is also on Deviantart under Azbaelus, and the books are on Amazon.  Or out of my car.  Why not?  It’s legal.  If you see a piece of work on Deviantart or Facebook that you like, message me (on the Trials of a Demon Prince page, since FB is notoriously fruity about showing messages if we’re not listed friends) for a price.

Keep it slammin’ in the summertime!

 

Enough Already

With the hate.  No wonder so many of us have anxiety and depression and want nothing to do with people.  Every single encounter has a chance to erupt into an argument, and possibly escalate to violence.  Everyone is on the edge, everyone is insanely opinionated, and a lot of someones are self-absorbed and entitled.

I blame the internet.  No, it didn’t start those feelings, but it certainly made us more comfortable with letting them out.  The internet, social media in particular, is even better at loosening inhibitions than alcohol.

It’s been there, but I’ve been noticing it more and more with certain groups I belong to.  I’m not talking like gun enthusiasts or political or religious groups.  I’m talking something as totally innocuous as a Black Cat Appreciation group.

You heard me.  Well….read me.

I joined because, duh…I love cats, and black ones in particular.  I thought, well, this should be calming, scrolling through looking at cat pics, because isn’t that what the internet is for?  Reading humorous kitty anecdotes, posting pics of my own spoiled darling…you get the idea.  And what I’m about to describe happens in almost all groups, but I picked this one as an example, and a most unlikely source of angst.

There are rules.  Every group has rules.  Do people actually read them before joining?  Apparently, not all do.  These are straightforward: don’t post adoption listings from kill shelters, no self-promoting, no abusive/argumentative behavior, don’t block the admins, don’t look for vet advice, no pics/videos of violence towards kitties, and no dogs.  A lot of these are pretty standard rules for any group.

You may not agree with them, but if you want to be in the group, you abide by them.  Simple, right?

Yeah, like anything is that simple.  People post absolutely moronic questions, like will their black cat be upset if they get a grey cat.  (I have to believe that’s a troll because if you’re that stupid, you shouldn’t be online, period.)  Someone posts something about having kittens, and no matter what the original post says, forty people will leap up and scream about getting the cat neutered.  Someone else will look for medical advice, often for something pretty serious, because they can’t afford a vet, and 30% will tell them to go to a vet, and 30% will scream that its against the rules, 30% will try to offer some kind of advice, and 10% will offer genuine empathy.  And then people will rise up and scream at the posters who said it’s against the rules to HAVE SOME GODDAMN EMPATHY FOR THE FURBABY.  And on, and on, and on.

Worse are the ones who wish actual violence or death on others.  Cripes, when did this become okay?  I’m an animal lover, yes, I prefer them to people, particularly cats, but while I want to see abusers punished, I don’t post that someone should pull out their fingernails or flay them alive or any of the insane shit I’ve read.

Maybe if there was a little more empathy in the world, and less screaming and misdirected rage, there would be less animal abuse in the first place.  I am legitimately stunned by the crap I see in this group alone.  Better yet, the idiots who announce they are leaving because <insert specific outrage here>.  I don’t know if the actual post, or the responses, are funnier (and sadder).

I haven’t left.  I stopped reading most posts, except the rescue stories which are really heartening.  Mostly I look at little kitty faces and sigh and then hug Spirit (he must hate what this group does to me).  But I have left groups before; I just go, no announcement needed.

My point…who are you mad at, really?  I know the insanity in the current administration contributes a lot.  Rapists going free because of idiot judges, women’s rights being whittled away, concentration/detention camps (and the quibbling over the names)…this is all some seriously scary shit.  And we aren’t going to defeat it by tearing each other apart.

We have to stand together and attack these horrors as a united front.  So before you act on that surge of rage some post stirs in you, think about who you’re really angry with.  A stupid post and an unseen face?  Or is it more, the inanity of all of it?

Stop the hate.  Please, please, please, stop it.

 

 

What Am I?

I am an artist.

It is always hard to say that.  It is hard to accept myself as such.  I often consider myself mediocre, or inferior, but I’ve sold artwork for money.  People like my artwork, strangers included.  I have been complimented frequently on my line work.  My work has been called “creepy but cool”.  I admit I do have a talent that can’t be gotten from schooling.  I even like a lot of my work.

I am an artist.

I am not successful, at least not yet, not by my definition.  I need to devote more.  More time, more passion, more energy.  I need to push.  I need to make people LOOK.  Make them understand.  I am no longer on a 40-hour 5-day schedule, at least for now.  Maybe I can take more time to make them see me.  I wish that could always be the way, but reality will intrude again and things like health insurance and rent and car payments will send me back to that workweek world.

I am an artist.

My mother used to call me lazy.  Some people think it, even if they don’t say it.  Art is not work.  They don’t understand.  I sleep late, but I’m nocturnal.  I like nights.  I feel creative at night.  I would rather draw or create, but to others, that isn’t work.  I would rather write a show, but to others, that’s not work.  And sometimes, as badly as I want to create, I can’t.  The inspiration isn’t there, or anxiety or depression or just a plain old block is in my head, holding me back.  That doesn’t mean I’m not trying.  In fact, it’s harder.  It’s so hard to push through those kind of obstacles.

I am an artist.

Even with the time to promote myself, I have difficulty.  I have poor self-esteem.  I am painfully introverted.  I am uncomfortable talking to people I don’t know.  And it’s a hundred times harder when I have to talk about myself.  When I have to raise myself up after years of putting myself down.  So, to drive myself onward, I keep telling myself, and I keep producing work, even after a bad show, when my drive to create is rock-bottom.

I am an artist.

I am, really.  And I am back.  Help me to help myself.

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Touching Base

So, updating for those out of the loop.  Or for those who simply haven’t talked to me in a while.  (What happened to all those “check in on a friend” posts everyone puts up all the time?  I guess my anxiety/depression isn’t really bad enough for me to merit that.)

55 days left on the job.  All I’m saying, at this point.

My dad’s house has been sold.  I was told last minute.  I am hoping desperately that they’ll keep me on as a tenant, but even if they do, my rent will probably shoot up considerably.  Yes, Texas is the ultimate goal, but that’s not happening for a while yet.  And there are a lot of variables, including the cost of getting myself, Spirit, and some possessions down there.

Soooo…no cons really coming up.  May 11th doing the block party at Toying Around, because I love the owners, the store, and the things they carry, the things they stand for, and I believe it will be a great event.  Beyond that, the future is too uncertain.

Spirit is still cooking.  But we’re trying to eat even cheaper.  Because…moving expenses.  Either a loan, or a tax-riddled dip into the 401k….but….it won’t be cheap.

Things I still hate: Fucillo commercials, other drivers, liver, spiders.  My eczema (flaring up like crazy even though my sugar is good).  Fake people.  Spam phone calls.  The sheer amount of hate on the internet.  Undercooked bacon.

Things I love: everything Supernatural (except Mary Winchester….so tired of her).  Rice with that little crisp to it.  Good books.  Puzzles.  The smell of Gain.  Death Wish coffee.  Making art.  People liking my art.  Dragons.  Falling asleep to the sound of crickets.

That’s it for now.  More news as my fate is revealed.

I generally don’t ask for help, but I will ask that maybe you support me indirectly.  Buy a book or a print.  Easter’s almost here, and Mother’s Day is next.  I’m tempted to sink low enough to do a GoFundMe to move, but no, that I can’t do….but direct someone to my page.  Anything helps.  And thanks for listening.

An Apology

For what’s to come.  Nothing major, but it’s almost February, which means I will disappear.  Because if I stick around, it’s not pretty.

February is everything horrific in my life.  My mother and grandmother died 3 days apart in 1985, and while my relationship with my mother was absolutely rotten, I adored my grandmother, and the events that led up to them both being in the hospital…were complicated, and to this day I feel some of it is my fault, although what happened with my grandmother probably would have happened anyway.  I’ve learned a few things in the intervening years.  Most of them don’t alleviate the guilt.

My dad died February 10th, 1995.  At least I had good friends around me at the time, but that one still tears me up.  I was 30.  And that was the last of my family, leaving me pretty much alone.  No one on my father’s side has bothered with me since.

And it’s been years since I had any significant other.  Why would I, with my terrible self-esteem and anti-social tendencies?  Very rarely do I dress up and use makeup, and when I do, I’m so nervous and uncomfortable, I feel physically sick.  Part of me knows that I’m almost actively driving people away to keep my safe zone.  But February is…wait for it…Valentine’s Day, a reminder of that which I don’t, and likely will never, have.   And it’s a reminder of people who have abandoned me once they found significant others, because some people can only have one intense relationship at a time.

(And I’m talking friendship.  Some folks can be married or in a relationship, and keep their friends.  Some can’t.  It’s cool.  And when I say abandoned, that’s just how I feel.  I suppose I haven’t really been abandoned, but that’s my perception).

And finally, it’s the dead of winter.  Maybe not on the calendar, but in my head.  It’s the coldest.  The snowiest.  The bitterest.  It’s like there’s no end in sight, because at least in March, you have some mild days.  Yes, I succumb to seasonal depression, altho vitamin D is a legit help, and it is at its peak in the shortest month.  Worse, I had truly hoped that I would not be in this area for another winter, but that fell through…and here I am.

I’m not looking for sympathy or kind words (hey, fellow anxiety/depression/poor self-esteem sufferers, don’t kind words always make us feel worse?).  I’m just letting people know what happens in my head, and why I withdraw for a good 30-40 days.  I do always come back.  Usually better, but with another situation looming over me, like pending unemployment, I’m not so sure.

More importantly, with that out there, I want you to think of your other friends.  I gave you some details, but not all, but maybe if someone else you know has disappeared for a while, they may be having similar problems.  Winter is bad for a lot of people, even if they aren’t in the craptasticly cold Northeast.  Maybe you should check on them, and certainly you should be understanding.  Eh, maybe I’ll get some writing down during my hermitage (is that a word?  spell check didn’t grab it…)

OH YEAH!  And one more thing about February…the groundhog!  He’s a fraud, a charlatan, a tease!

 

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My Social Media Reminder

I don’t think I do this annually.  Maybe I should, but that would require a working memory and stuff.

While social media is a lovely tool, yes, I along with others think its gone too far and has hurt our basic ability to interact and communicate with each other.  I certainly have my limitations.  People who know me get these, and for those who don’t, here are some of my habits/attitudes/platitudes/whatchacallems:

1.   “I dare you to share/post this/blah blah blah”.  Really?  Are you 12?  You dare me?  I very rarely share things except to either win something I want badly (Death Wish mugs, anyone?) or it’s a thing where I believe sharing will actually help (ie, missing pet).  Oh, and guess what?  Back in the day?  I was where chain letters came to die as well.

2.  Check your info, please.  Oh, look.  Here it is again.  Plastic water bottles cause breast cancer.  I wonder why just breast cancer?  Because they’re vaguely breast-shaped?  Oh my, this woman’s sister’s cousin was nearly killed by a guy with an axe hiding in her back seat, except when she went to get gas a good samaritan saw him and called the police.  WOW!   Ok, granted, it is really hard to separate fact from fiction these days, I get that completely, but a lot of these urban legends have been around for 15+ years.  If you feel a genuine urge to protect the herd and post one of these, check and make sure its real first.  Spreading fake fear is kind of not good, when there’s so many real things to be afraid of.

3.  “Check on someone, even the strong people.”/Suicide prevention tips/hotline.  These are good, but I just hope people realize they aren’t enough.  I’ve been depressed, myself, maybe not to the point of suicide.  And someone may take the reminder and really try.   But if you can for a moment put yourself in the shoes of someone who feels worthless (if you’ve never been depressed, this may be impossible) or that no one cares…you are probably not going to reach out to a stranger.  Part of depression is the “I don’t want to bother anyone”, or “I’m not important enough, they’ve got other people to take care of” mentality.  They’re more than likely not going to call and “bother” a stranger  (likewise with the gambler/drug addiction commercials…the people with the problem don’t know they have a problem and aren’t going to call).  So, I’m not saying don’t post these, but I’m saying, definitely follow up and take a more active hand, particularly if you know someone in this boat, and particularly this time of year.  Lead by example.

And some very brief ones with sarcastic answers to tell you how I feel about the rest!

“No, Facebook, I will not add my phone number to my account.  Are you on crack?  Like you’ve done so well with the rest of my information.”

“I don’t hate cancer.  I think it’s dandy.  Culling the herd and all that.  What a stupid post.  How about instead of copying and sharing and liking and being a lazy shit in a chair, I donate to the American Cancer Society?”

“Who the hell thought they couldn’t get 1000 likes?  Have they been living under a rock?  What exactly does that accomplish for them, anyway?  (Unless it’s a business page, then I can be a bit more understanding).”

“Wow, only 5% of people got all these 80’s bands…can you…?  Then you must have some real low-grade morons taking your quizzes, because from what I’ve seen, even a chimp can score 98%.  Maybe the other 95% couldn’t bother because they didn’t realize it was 136 questions long and they’ve got other stuff to do today.”

And lastly…never, ever, ever, ever send me chain crap via Messenger.  EVER.  In case I’m not clear enough, DON’T SEND ME CHAIN SHIT ON MESSENGER.  I can’t explain why but this feels like such a personal intrusion.  Yes, use it to communicate with me.  I’d love to say hi to you.  But don’t send me an electronic chain letter because I will hunt you down and break fingers.  /rant off.

I mean, yeah, its an outlet, put your political rants out there.  Argue, if you must.  Be reasonable, though.  I see arguments over the stupidest shit (people personally attacking each other in a thread about the Mowgli movie).  But there’s so much good.  Look for lost family, share art and beauty and literature, make beautiful pictures.  Discover.  Give advice where warranted/requested, and share recipes.  The things you put on the internet, I remind you, are forever.  Even if you try to delete them afterwards.

Get out there and make beauty, make friends, make nice nice, and make it a better world, we all can contribute to that!

 

More Disney

The good?  More pictures!  We saw a few parades, including the one for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which would have been perfect if it had been warmer than 30 degrees.  Yep, you read that right.  The fake snow felt all too real (although it always looks beautiful when you don’t have to clean it off your car or shovel it.)

How appropriate…Frozen!

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This one was particularly funny.  My hip was killing me and I was freezing, and sitting on the curb.  Woody looked down at me, and hugged himself and shivered, and I nodded, and he did a belly laugh and waved.

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A much warmer parade a day or two later…including Mickey, of course.

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And Hook…

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Rapunzel (as in Tangled?)…great ship, btw….

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And Merida (good grief that girl looks the part!)…

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Pinocchio, glitter included….maybe they were bubbles?  Yes, yes they were.

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And some random shots of performers because the costumes and colors were just incredible….

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trapeze

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Ok, that took up a lot!  I will follow up with another blog and some pics from the night festivities and a little more of Epcot.   Oh, and a pic of some gloves from the Pirates of the Caribbean shop that someone wanted to see…because it was so cold I had to buy gloves!  🙂