Thursday, March 28, 2013

There's a new squirrel in the neighborhood...

In case you just found this blog and haven't gone through the YEARS of old posts, here's the story of the
~Squirrel Protection Agency and the Squirrel Bureau of Investigation~


~Part two of the story~

That brings us to a text convo from today:

Me: "There's a new stumpy-tailed squirrel."

DG: "Maybe they're related."

Me: "Maybe he's a witness to another Squirrel Mafia hit."

DG: "It could be. It COULD be. hmmm..."

Me: "His tail isn't AS stumpy as the other one, but it is definitely stumpy."

DG: "Okay. You keep an eye on things there."

Me: "Is that what you would do? Observe and report but not engage?"

DG: "Yes. The birds are narcs."

Me: "That explains why there are so many of them."

DG: "Yeah, and the bunnies."

Me: "What about the little chipmunks? [Christine asked]: Are they dealers because they're always saying: 'Izz goo-oood'?"

DG: "Damn, I forgot about them. The bastards."

Me: "I'll watch out for them too. You can't trust them, they're shifty."

Our squirrels don't stick around much when a human comes outside because we also have dogs (and the German Shepherd has actually caught a squirrel before), so if I can, I'll get a photo of the new squirrel. Odds are, it'll run as soon as the door opens, because you never know when Gypsy will conquer the Doorknob.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


All my friends know that I do a 365 self-portrait project. The kids taking notes for the test later will know that I'm about a month into my fourth year (and haven't missed a day yet).

DG doesn't care about my 365. It has become just something I do. He doesn't even acknowledge me when I say: "I gotta do my 365" and then disappear from the room for about a half hour while I take random photos of myself till I get one I like or fits with a theme. He has been in a few, very reluctantly.

Day 65 of Year One

Day 216 of Year Two

Day 238 of Year Three

There are a few others that have him in the background or just his hand in the shot. But the amount of cajoling and nagging it took to get him into those photos was ridiculous. Even now, I say to him: "I need you for my 365- JUST YOUR HAND..." because if I don't say it fast enough, he will whine. Literally whine out: "Oh, man! Why!?"

I've been doing some creative self-portraits in the last few months (Link to Facebook album of the Creative Self-portraits). Some requiring Photoshop special effects. But even when I say: "Hey, look at my 365...", he almost always glances and says, "Okay." and that's that. No feedback, no compliments. I don't talk about the negative stuff related to his disability much, because that's not what this blog is about. But most of the time, we're more like roommates. There's a line between "spouse" and "nurse" that I've had to cross more often than I'd like and there's pretty much no romance. Definitely no passion. Day-to-day, he acts mostly like I'm a piece of furniture till he needs me to do something for him.

Last night, I got a text out of the blue.

"Why don't you wear lipstick? That 365 was hot."

I wasn't sure it was him. He doesn't compliment my photography and he damn sure hasn't called me "hot" in years. So, I told him that lipstick tastes terrible and is messy. And the particular lipstick I wear in my creative 365s is black-red, so it even stains things (all things, actually). It isn't something I'd wear every day even if I did wear lipstick.

We proceeded to have a conversation through text about my 365s, the Photoshop techniques I use to get the color-select effect, "sexy" poses for my 365, and makeup. I had to explain the 365 rules to him because he didn't get the whole "rejected" shot thing. The rules are simple, take a photo of yourself, once a day, every day, for a year. You can only submit one photo a day. But once in a while, my "reject" shots are just as cool or I just like them, so I keep them. I'll use them on Facebook or upload them to Flickr for a different group.

I really don't know why I didn't give up on him when it came to my 365. I don't get feedback around the house. Just online. But in the past year, I've been saying: "Come here and look at this photo" because I've impressed myself and want to share it. Not just 365 photos, but all photos. He begrudgingly gets up and comes to look at the monitor. He'd mutter an "okay" and a few times, he's said "whatever" when I told him how I got the shot or what I did to it in Photoshop.

But last week, I sent him a text and asked if he'd like to see my 365. He said sure. He replied with: "Cool."

And then that random text last night.

"Why don't you wear lipstick. That 365 was hot."

The end of our text conversation last night:

DG: "What's a sexy pose you can do for a 365?"

Me: "I dunno. Anything, really. The one you liked was an accident."

DG: "You should do that. I bet people like that."

Me: "I'm sure some do." There was a long break, so I said: "Did you just ask me to do a sexy 365 for tomorrow?"

DG: "Did I? Okay. I did."

I don't know what the hell is going on, but I'm gonna do it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Textually Speaking 2013 (and, long time, no update...)

DG is down in North Carolina again. We all know that he's got some communication issues. He has trouble expressing his own thoughts and, obviously the basis of this blog, sometimes he'll blurt the absolute wrong word or phrase, resulting in hilarity (mostly). Now, we're closing in on eighteen years since he had his stroke. It is what it is and it isn't going to get better.

That said... his mother talks fast. Really fast. I'm not exaggerating when I compare her to an auctioneer. And, being from North Carolina, she's got a Southern accent. Really fast. Really Southern. She makes almost no effort to change her speaking rate or whatnot when she's talking to DG. Granted, she doesn't live with him like we do, but when he's visiting for an extended period of time, one would think that an effort would be made. (this is actual fact, she also knows this, so it isn't like I'm being a big meanie to point this out).

This is a text conversation that happened yesterday. (all spelling errors are as they are in the text because in texts, he spells phonetically)

DG: "Mom wants a updayed pics of the kids & us."

Me: "Okay. What size?"

[long delay in the reply, partly because he doesn't have a QWERTY keyboard on his phone]

DG: "She would like 1 big pic all 3 kids, 5x7 single the kids & 8x10 of us"

Me: "What about 5x7 of Jason and his girlfriend? Kat and Tyler?" (Jase has been with his girlfriend for over a year now and Kat and Tyler have been together for, I don't know, fifteen years? Three years?).

DG: "Yess she said she would love that."

So, I start looking through my Flickr account because I have a folder there of just "the kids" and I back up most of my stuff there as well as my backup hard drive. I have no recent photos of Kat and Tyler, no recent "studio" shots of the three kids, but I have Jason and his girlfriend and a shot of Christine- from December- and the shot of us from October. So, I tell him this in a text: "Got no recent of Kat and T, none of Kat or Jase alone, no recent group shot of the kids."

Ten minutes later, my phone rings. Fuck that noise, he's calling. Texting ain't gonna happen. He tells me: "Hey, Mom says..." and his voice trails off as his mother talks in the background. Before I could even utter that he should give her the phone, he says: "Here, talk to her yourself."

So, his mom gets on the phone and starts talking. And talking. We work out that I'll upload the photos I do have to Walgreen's and arrange for pickup in their town in North Carolina. I'm not overly thrilled with that, because the one-hour Walgreen's only offers the option of "glossy" finish. Plus, they're hugely overpriced compared to the website I get my photos from now (Adoramapix-dot-com). For example, on Walgreen's website, it costs $1.99 for a glossy 5x7 and it doesn't specify what type of paper they use. At Adoramapix, I can get a Kodak Professional Supra Endura in matte, lustre, glossy, or metallic. And I'm extremely fond of the metallic prints (not to be confused with their Metallic prints, which are actually on metal) because they look bloody sharp. And, I can get a 5x7 in the metallic finish for 84¢. That's CENTS. BUT, I digress...

After I made the proper verbal arrangements with his mom, DG got back on the phone and he did a short, slightly nervous chuckle. "You get all that?"

I replied, "Of course."

DG: "I wasn't gonna be able to text that whole thing."

Me: "I know. It's okay. I got it."

DG: "Crazy."

Me: "A little."

In the time I was talking to his mother, I found the current photos I had and told him of what I did and didn't have, to make sure he knew I didn't have ALL the photos. And we hung up. I then uploaded the four photos I had (one of me and him, one of Jase and his girlfriend, one with Jase, girlfriend, and her daughter[no public photo], and one of Christine- cropped slightly), and texted DG with the pickup time info. When he replied "okay", I told him how pricey Walgreen's was compared to the Adoramapix prices.

DG: "Really? That's stupid."

Me: "I know. I'm glad this isn't one of my art photos."

DG: "They don't like art."

Me: "I know."

DG: "Mom has a coupon."

They ended up getting the $10-something photos for $7-something. So the coupon did come in handy. Even though my photos are bleh on some unknown paper with glossy finish. And as luck would have it, I was able to wrangle the three kids together for a photo shoot on March 26th. And I've got it arranged for Kat and Tyler on the 24th. BUT, since I'm going to need prints for myself and my dad, I'm just going to order them at Adoramapix on good quality paper with a nice finish. Because dammit, my kids deserve pretty pictures.

After it was all over, I asked: "She still doesn't slow down for you?"

DG: "Nope."

Me: "Doesn't even try?"

DG: "Nope."

Me: "How do you listen to her?"

DG: "I don't. lol."