Monthly Archives: December 2011

Socks has a Navel Orange!


The short story: Socks is the nickname of my best friend, and she is having her first baby. Since I can’t be there with her, I’m chronicling her journey on my blog.

Long story: go here, then here, and the rest are my (sometimes) weekly updates: one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven. That will catch you up to now!

This week we have pictures to prove the belly growth again! Socks thoughtfully provided me with her current ‘bump’ photo, this time headless as I freaked her out entirely by making her head a lime last time. Oops! Just so you know, m’dear, I can chop your head off on my iPad, too. No need to do it yourself!

She also included the last pic, so we can see how big Button has gotten.


I doubt she’ll be fitting into that shirt for much longer! Unless its reeeelllly stretchy! She’s outgrown all of her jeans already. She’s not like me and got rid of all her ‘fat pants.’ I don’t care enough to keep up with my diet usually – although I certainly will once the holidays are over, I feel like a walrus at the moment – so I save my fat pants for my fat months. Anyhoo, she’s not a hoarder or a cheapskate like me so had to go buy new jeans. Or just wear sweats around the house. Thbbbt. In any case she’s only gained three pounds (1.36kilos).

The biggest news this week is that she’s finally announced to the world about Button! I don’t have to keep the secret any longer, yay! Of course I told people in Ireland, because they met her once, and I had to tell someone! But I don’t have to be so circumspect on FB any longer. I’m sure I’ll keep the habit out of, well, habit, for a while. She sent out ultrasound pics with her Christmas cards (not to everyone, of course – didn’t she say she sends 80 cards?). I’m dying to hear some of the surprised reactions from people who have just found out!

One who was not surprised is her mother. Because she’s been waiting…
I learned that MommaSocks bought, in 1989, six 16×20 inch (approx 41x51cm) laminated Beatrix Potter posters. Socks was 12 and too old for Ms. Potter. So who were they for, and why does Momma still have them stored flat after 22 years and four house moves? Why, for her future grandbabies, of course! OMG. I think I would have sewn myself shut if someone was plotting out the future tenants of my uterus when I wasn’t even a teen yet! Socks sure has a lot of patience.

Her doc freaked her out a bit last week though, just by being super-hyper and zooming around the room. This doc didn’t want to believe the last doc’s opinion that Button is a week further along, and didn’t even have the reports to hand (probably left them on the counter at Starbucks when she picked up that triple expresso). Quote of the week from Socks: ‘Whatever, let them duke it out.’

Socks also had a good conversation with the doc about ‘birthing options.’ Now, some might think this is a bit early; but she’s a planner, and as she said she doesn’t know anyone locally with babies or who is pregnant, so she needs to know what her options are and where to find help if she needs it – like finding a doula. No, I didn’t know what that was, either. I kinda guessed, though. There is a nice, private-room birthing centre right at her doctor’s office, and she likes all of them there, and they very seriously told her that they are not a ’boutique’ office that does a Caesarian section just because mommy doesn’t want stretchmarks or a loose coochie. It is really good to know that a C-section is a last resort for Socks and the docs. Quote of the week from the doc: ‘But we will if we have to, because you can’t stay pregnant forever.’

The last bit we both found interesting is that sometimes a hospital will take the baby to the nursery right away. And when they do, they feed it… either formula or water. Weird. So Socks is making a request in advance to ensure Button stays with her so the breast feeding is the first meal of the day.

Which will be fun, because she’s allowed an enormous audience in the room, should she so desire – hubby plus four others! Since we doubt Bear will be able to stay vertical in the delivery room, maybe there’s a place for me…

Embarrassing family pet portraits….


Hahaha, well, we did our best and have some pics of very unhappy cats in very warm Santa outfits.

I totally am in awe of you cat owners who can and have convinced your kitties that wearing clothing is acceptable. Spot doesn’t mind the coat, but hates the hat. Lokii hates both, but doesn’t try to take them off. He’s not smart enough to realise he can take them off. So, he blames the dog for his misery.

She doesn’t mind wearing clothes! So do we have anything at all for her? Of course not. And she sat in front of the tree and waited patiently there for every shot we took. Without even being asked to. Ignoring the screams of protest from Lokii. She surprises me sometimes…

So anyhow, here’s the shot of the family, complete with tacky faded oval border for maximum cheesiness.

20111224-192627Siamese cat photo.jpg

And even though it’s just me and Lokes in this shot, I love it. iDJ and Spot are cut out as Spottie Pants was a blur of ‘get this thing off meeee!’


Holiday Special!


I have to share this! iDJ does up a poster every week for his broadcast in Photoshop. He uses a drawing my sister did of him at our wedding as his face, and plops in to an album cover or whatever suits him.

This time he said it was in honour of me! So I had to look…
I love it! I introduced him to A Christmas Story our first year together, and he really looks forward to it, and quotes it throughout the year (as you do). Good to see the Major Award getting some appreciation!

Come and give him a listen if you can; he put a lot of work into this show and as always, he’ll be playing it live and direct. He talks! He dances! He mixes! You can also annoy him via instant message or on Facebook while he’s playing, great fun!

Playing Holiday catch up


I bounced out of bed this morning with every intention of writing a blog post first thing. Ya see how well I did at that! I did send my Irish holiday cards out, having sent the US ones last week. They will probably all be late, or get lost. Oh well, I did my least. Not best – not even close – which is a shame.

I used to seek out family members to send cards to. Aunties, cousins, friends I’d not seen in years… I had great fun. I always wanted to draw on the envelopes and have good handwriting (HA!), include a personal message, and get them sent out in plenty of time. I even wanted to start the week after the *holidays and save them up for the next year. I wanted to draw my own card in Brushes this year, and have ‘real’ cards! I didn’t do any of that, obviously. I scrawled a short everyone-gets-the-same-thing message and gave one shit not about my horrible penmanship.

*As an atheist I know about as much about Judaism as I do about Catholicism or paganism – not very much about any, but more than some. Members of my family are in all three groups and there are also ‘meh’ people like me; so when I say ‘holidays’ I’m covering all the bases. Wish me whatever suits you, I won’t be offended by any or all of the above. Christmahanukwanzica works, too! It’s the happy feelings and keeping in touch that matters most to me. That, and Deth Nog.

Oh oh oh! The Twelve Days of Kwanzaa is on SomaFM! I love this one. I seem to like the twelve days parodies best: Kwanzaa, Gay, Redneck…

Anyhow, I’m getting way off topic as usual. I had a story to tell (I did tell a funny story about Hanukkah in the comments on another blog), but instead I’m rattling on about the holidays. Funny how that works. Hubby is still working on his Internet Christmas special – he looooves doing it. He even posted on FB tonight how the songs make him ‘well up.’ Awww. Nice to hear, when we have nothing but hugs to give each other this year.

Except for that little package that fell out of the tree yesterday. It has my name on it, and I recognize the wrapping paper. Dammit.

Oh! He gave me his old iPhone, and it came with the Hipstamatic application. I’ve not played with it much, but tonight we had a gorgeous sunset and I thought I might catch the Christmas tree with the sunset behind it on some groovy retro film. It didn’t work, but I got a couple good close up pics:


Then I went upstairs so I could see the sunset properly without a huge tree in the way.


See how different they are? Same phone, taken about 1 minute apart…but the funky film and different ‘flash’ options make a big difference. I can see why people go a bit nuts with the Hipstamatic app. It’s great fun if you have an eye at all for mentally seeing how it might look old, scratchy, the wrong color, etc.

This was taken with our proper camera, only a few minutes later. Super zoomed in, but not filtered or played with in any way. A big difference!

Hahah, ‘I Came Upon a Roadkill Deer’! I love SomaFM. ‘Be careful of those gravel bits, they really get stuck in your teeth.’ OH! ‘Walkin’ Round in Women’s Underwear’!!!

I think I’m back in the holiday spirit 🙂

New art… 11/22/63


Art inspired by Stephen King’s latest book, 11/22/63.

Hey there hi there ho there! I’m going to share my first attempt at something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

First, I have to apologise for the quality of the background photo: I used the iPad. The iPad camera, as we know, is terrible. The color is all wrong, and the page is curved at the top from holding the book open to take the picture. This is, without a doubt, an experiment in progress. But the hubby loves it, so I think I can eventually get where I want to go with this…

Now, I’ll tell you just what the hell this is! It is the first page of Stephen King’s latest book, ’11/22/63′, with John F Kennedy’s head (from the US fifty-cent coin) drawn between the text.

I got the idea from how occasionally on a typed page I will see a pattern in the white space between words. My desire and intent is to do a drawing relevant to the book (say, a whale on page one of Moby Dick) but in one continuous line, not broken like this one.

’11/22/63′ is about someone getting the chance to go back in time and stop the Kennedy assassination so I found a good, and easy, picture of Kennedy. I really wanted to use a horribly gory one of his autopsy – it seemed to fit with King so much better! However, the pics I found could be of anyone’s black and white brains and hair on an autopsy table. Anyway, with this picture from the coin as a first attempt the subject is indeed recognisable but still not what I wanted. As always, a learning process!

Ps: I’ve not finished the novel yet, so no spoilers please!

Neko back to normal…almost…


It appears Neeks is about back to normal. She’s sure hungry. Tonight she gets her kibble again, but I think we’ll hold off on any treats for a bit. Even though the vet said her one carrot a day habit was a really good choice as a treat. I’m just nervous about giving her anything other than straight dog kibble. Mostly because she hasn’t pooped since her case of the runs on Tuesday. I know she was wrung dry, and then had a 24 hour fast, but three days of rice and fish should have produced something by now, shouldn’t it? Especially when three scoops of kibble and one carrot turns into at least two massive piles per day. If my knee hadn’t decided to act up, I would have taken her on a long walk today to try and shake a poo out of her.
Oh, the pill dosage is correct: they didn’t have a dosage large enough for her (she weighs 34kilos/75lbs, which is small for an Akita) so he gave us two different sizes of Flagyl.
She still seems a little sleepy, but she has asked to play a few times.

On a happy note, she had a ‘letter to Santa’ published over on Rumpydog’s blog. I did my best to give her a really obvious Irish accent – she is from Galway, after all. Although ‘schnow’ is more of a Mayo pronunciation of snow… Oh! And we did get a little dusting of the white schtuff yesterday! Not enough to take her out on the bog to play, though – the turf isn’t frozen and that stuff is black. Not the best look on a white-legged dog!



Maybe the holiday blues


I’m not sure what’s going on with me. I don’t feel like drawing or writing. My appetite isn’t the best, and I still haven’t bothered with Christmas cards. I’m not motivated to do a single thing.

I’ve a ton of pics from my international holiday fest to put up, and I don’t feel like it. Most of my holiday decorations are shoved willy-nilly on my dusty bookshelves and not prettily arranged. I have a new Stephen King book…well, yes, I do want to read that. Maybe that’s the reason I don’t want to do anything? I’d like to comfortably immerse myself in his world.

Maybe I’m really feeling the loss of a friend. I met him once fifteen years ago, but we’d met up on Facebook. He was 44, handsome and funny, and I was trying to get him to visit Ireland and go diving off the coast of Mayo. He was the best and childhood friend of my ex-boyfriend (and ex-employer, and good friend still). He killed himself around Thanksgiving and wasn’t found for a week. I only found out on Tuesday.

I know I’m over emotional right now – the holiday charity commercials are making me tear up. Especially the one for the Salvation Army with the sad, lonely old woman. I know she’s an actor, but ouch, she gets to me. Good thing I haven’t seen any ads for Cat’s Trust yet this year, or any animal shelters. I’d be in bits.

Tonight should be Oirish Tirsday: my phone call to Socks while iDJ spins the mp3’s upstairs. But, she’s gone home for an early Christmas with her family and to assist her mother in law’s recovery from knee surgery. Maybe I’m a bit lonely after the excitement of the week? Maybe I am, as Socks put it, grieving for my upcoming loss of our weekly marathon phone call? How horrible to grieve about less time with a friend when the reason is one that makes the friend so happy.

Maybe I also think I am an arsehole for feeling that way, if I do. I’m not sure….I knew it was coming, after all.

Maybe I’m also mourning the loss of having most of my time to myself. I have a job again. I’ll be stuck back into a rigid structure not of my own devising. I’ll have to do what others say, when they say it. I’ll have to talk on the phone and eat lunch at a specific time.

I’ll have to put on a bra every day. The horror.

It sucks being broke, but man, I did like not having to work for someone else. I came up with a bunch of business ideas so I didn’t have to work for anyone else, but until the art came along my hubby was not supportive of any of my schemes.

And now that I have found the art, I have to leave it for a 9-5. Sigh.

I noticed a lot of bloggers seemed a bit down two weeks ago. There seemed to be a run of posts about loss at the end of November. Maybe I’m a bit slow and am only now getting to that place.

I do miss my family, as small as it is. Maybe that makes it harder, to only have a few close to you and be so far from them. I’d love to hug my dad and have one of his homebrewed beers, his roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding, his traditional Christmas morning cinnamon buns. I’d love to share my niece’s second Christmas – this time I think she’s old enough to start to feel the magic. I miss my mother, always.

Here in Ireland, I miss being able to afford going out to the pub and having a great time with everyone in the town. Everyone showing off their new clothes or jewellery, old friends and family returned home for the week, lots of laughter and drink and of course, the craic. We drink a lot here because that’s where you meet everyone and all the best stories are made. It’s hard to explain until you’ve experienced it. Socks visited once, she understands now. My father would cut off his foot to move here for it.

Maybe I feel the weight of so much change and flux bearing down upon me. I’m not so sure I like as much change as I used to.

Maybe it’s just the good old holiday blues.