I got involved with this harem-scaram scavenger hunt gone wild this year for the first time. While I didn't get half the stuff done I wanted, I did manage two that I'm sort of proud of.
First, we have my pet's debut heavy-metal album cover. You have no idea how hard it is to make my pretty girl and a canary named Cyril T. Flufferbottom look metal. I'm kind of proud of how well it turned out. I guess all that time I spent helping classmates mark up their jackets with white-out in the back of the bus in high school was useful after all. I went whole-hog and had it printed up so I could make it into a proper sleeve that would, in fact, fit a vinyl record. After I submitted it, I framed that original and hung it up on the wall.
This next one's even harder to explain. You had to watch a Bob Ross episode and paint along, doing a time-lapse video showing that you did it and showing a comparison between your work and his. My daughter joined me, and we set it up. Things were a little interesting, in that I had a hard time finding some of his specialized stuff. What he calls "liquid white" is actually proprietary and not easy to get a hold of. Also, I've never painted oils before, so I didn't have any palette knives or the right brushes for oils.
That didn't deter us. We punted with a mix of extender and white oil paint, and model kunai knives from an old Naruto cosplay we have around the house. I also don't have a real "video camera" so we took the footage by taping my iPad to a floor lamp stem.
It was fun, though, and as I say at the end of the video, they didn't turn out hideous.
It was fun. I want to do it again next year, knowing what I know now.
This week, the weather's supposed to be gorgeous, and so far it looks good. The weatherman must be taking his anti-crazy pills for once. I'm dreading this harbinger of days of sweltering misery, but my dog really loves it. See? ;) (Actually, she was giving the hairy eyeball to a squirrel on the rim of the trash enclosure halfway down the driveway when I told her to lie down for this; she usually doesn't look like she's going to eat you.)
Do I have a topic for this, other than I should be saying something? Well, not really.
My grandson and his mother are coming to visit at the end of the month here. It's hard to believe he's almost four. Nearly has hard as it is to believe that I have a grandson. That's not something that I associate with my identity when I think of myself, yet.
My Daily Planet job is trundling along. Still embroiled in this project, but now it's actually deploying. It's a slow but sure sort of thing but at least we're moving forward.
In writing news, I got stuck in Logan airport overnight while on the way back from PAX East, and got more done on my parenting book in three hours than I'd managed in the previous three months. I have a structure that will work enough to organize my thoughts through the rest of the first draft/research process. Whether it will actually look like that when I'm done is a whole 'nother thing, but lets get the ideas on a page before we make that call.
Been using Pages on my iPad just to see how it works with a real project. So far, pretty good. I'm not sure it's going to be my writing tool of choice, but it works when I'm out and about and it's fairly simple to get the words out of it and into my usual tool.
Otherwise, the job/real life has been in the way and I haven't managed to get much done around it. I've got three first drafts in the works for GWJ. Just need to get one to a decent point. My guess is the Project Spark on is going to come together first. In that case, the problem isn't just the words in a row - the actual shared proto-game I've been building should be to a point where I'll put a name to it.
My new dog misbehaving.
That may seem weird. Let me 'splain.
Since I got her she's been coming down off drugs, scared out of her gourd, and on top of that going through moving to a new place. She's been cringing at everything instead of the playful, boisterous boxer you'd expect.
Today, she tested a command for the very first time. It wasn't a big deal. She just decided that she didn't want to go on her noon walk so she laid down so I couldn't put her harness on, looked away and wouldn't deign to respond.
It was a total power play. Each dog does it a little different, but she'd played this game with my friend's dogs and down at the dog park, so I knew what I was looking at. We weren't going to do things until she decided we'd do them.
I've been waiting for it, so I was prepared. I hung her tack back up and just started the dishwasher and ignored her right back until she came to me. She carried it on for a minute, then she gave me the serious evil eye, then she sulked for a minute, and when that didn't work, she crawled over for my attention and did the whole walk picture-perfect but for one squirrel incident that damned near dislocated my right shoulder. Right now she's snuggled up to my foot and occasionally licking my ankle.
I will admit it was hard to contain my pride and be properly stern. It's an awesome step forward.
On top of the rest of the reasons I'm really glad I was able to get my new dog away from where she was living, I found out last night that they regularly exposed her to large amounts of second-hand smoke from marijuana and sometimes may have also fed it to her for at least three years. This explains a lot of her behavior when she first got here, and what I'm seeing now, two weeks in.
According to the vet, it's going to take a while to fully leave her system, but it shouldn't have done any permanent harm. It explains her inexplicable terrors and periods of jumpiness followed by somnolence when she first got here, the bruxism (to the point she's worn her teeth down), the nervous licking of EVERYTHING, and her timidity in general.
I don't have any problems with people getting high, but I have a real problem with people doing this to their animals. For dogs, this stuff is a neurotoxin. They're not high, they're disoriented and going through violent mood-swings. They are not feeling good and chilling out. They probably can't use their legs properly or balance. They're not relaxing. They're sedated. Eating it, like in a brownie or if they get a hold of a roach or your stash, is dangerous as heck if not treated because they can get to the point they can't regulate their own body temperature or drink properly without choking.
She's getting better every day. I'm starting to see the playful side of her, but the legacy of that fear will take longer to go. She's timid around all strangers, but terrified of men. Once she trusts you, she's a real charmer. Until then, she is literally cowering belly-down on the floor, trembling visibly.
She flat will not leave my side voluntarily, even for people she's known longer and generally likes enough to be playful with, as in my daughter. My daughter watched her while I went to the grocery store last night (because if I leave her home alone even long enough to go to the mailbox she gets so stressed she vomits). When my daughter tried to walk her down to her house, Cleo went joyfully with much butt-wagging and licking as far as my car, then flat refused to go farther and dragged her back up the hill to my place to get me. I had to take her there and then leave her whimpering with my daughter holding on to her at the door.
I don't know why she trusts me like this. I got some story that before they got her she lived with an old lady, and maybe she's associating her with me. But since that comes from the person who told me she was only 2 (she's five) I don't know and I have no way of really knowing for sure. I got her a harness that fits; the one that came with her was way too small and was wearing her fur off and has been that way long enough it's left dents in her skin like the ones where my glasses go over my temples. Have to do a harness because she can slip a collar at will due to the muscles in her neck (she's a boxer). She's apparently never seen a vet so we need to do shots and I need to find out if she's been fixed.
It's infuriating. It breaks my heart to see her cowering on the floor because my son came in, and to see her inching towards him when he hunkers down to reassure her. I'm having to teach her how to play with toys. She literally doesn't know how.
tl;dr: Smoke all you want yourself, but DO NOT GET YOUR DOG HIGH.