Paint Skillz

Almost exactly a year ago, I got the crushing news that Microsoft Paint would no longer be a supported app.

WHAT THE FUCK? I thought, a year ago, as a wave of nostalgia swept through me. As you know, I am a professional, accomplished, envied drawer person (available for hire).

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By Audrey, 8 years old. I am really good at art, and always was. 

A year ago, I planned to reveal my secret talent in this post. For you may or may not know, before I became a Very Important and Distinguished Professional drawer person, and even before I became an Internationally Renowned,  Marginally Proficient Adobe Illustrator illustrator:

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Work in Progress – aka my magnum opus – aka all my favourite things

I was an A++ Certified Badass in Microsoft Paint. True story!

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“Audrey: Very Good At Art” – the world 

Back when computers were only a thing for my friends whose moms re-married rich tech guys after leaving their philandering husbands, all we did was play Oregon Trail and draw things with Paint. And when my brother Josh got Mario Paint for his Super Nintendo, I didn’t think life got any better. That was, until we got our first family computer in 1997, and I had free reign over my MS Paint domain. I think I went through a ream of paper printing out every single doodle that came to me.

I mean, I loved drawing, and I really loved drawing with computers. And with all that hard work, all that determination, all that training, and all the wrist surgeries from the “holding mouse at precise angle so as not to make crooked lines” carpal tunnel I suffered, I progressed to the before-unheard of skill set of “Kinda Mostly ok”. And that’s an honour I carry with me to this day.

So, a year ago, when I got the sad news that MS Paint was going to kick the fill bucket, I thought of writing this blog. And I decided to put together a collection of my greatest MS Paint hits. And it took 363 days, but by golly I did it. I wish I could find the stuff I did when I was a sad 13 year old on the ol’ Gateway 2000, but alas. That’s a blog for another day (perhaps next year?). For now, though, enjoy this carefully curated gallery of my greatest works:

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“Having a Nice Time” – which I printed on a t-shirt as part of world famous t-shirt range (so famous). The non-watermarked (ha, watermark. Way to go, Audrey) version is somewhere on a hard drive I can’t access from my Mac (that’s security!)
raptor
“Velociraptor Sobotka” – I felt like merging some of my favourite things, which happened to be Ziggy from The Wire season 2, and velociraptors (I am very predictable)
dad sheep
“Do Android Larrys Dream of Electric Sheep?” a portrait of my dad in his college days. 
blue ranger
Kristin’s bachelorette party t-shirt designs (it was Dinosaurs and hula hooping on May the 4th and we were also watching a lot of Drag Race at the time
audrey
crude artist rendering of me in my 20’s

 

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The birth announcement I made for my sister’s little guy
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Leah’s dinosaur bachelorette t-shirts (I didn’t draw the dinosaurs, they were templates. But I added the accessories)

And entertain yourselves with these illustrated stories from the vault:

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“Hello 4AM” — How Bill Purray almost got himself thrown out a window (featuring Gary Busey monster)

 

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“Shoeless Aud” how I lost my favourite shoe down a drain

I don’t care if it’s a “deprecated” app, and “not in active development and might be removed in future releases”. It’s still #1 in my heart. And I’ll always love it. A year later, and I’m still bummed. Me and this 87 year old Grandmother will be here in the corner, rocking the shit out of steady hand line drawing with our mouses, and revelling in the 10 different colour choices and no less than different line widths.

CHAMPION.

*btw, to prove how efficient and awesome I am, here’s a screen shot off my phone. Not only am I very good at art, I am also very good at ignoring deadlines.

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See you next year! Probably.
xoxo

Spoiled milk tales

I work with some chatty people. Like, Chatty. At least once a day I fall down a tangent trail that started with a legitimate work question, how do you adjust a doctor’s diary, but ends up in a full on discussion of whether a good corn bread recipe has sugar in it (spoiler alert: it does). And for someone like me, who hasn’t met a person I can’t swap a story with (I was born to be a grandma, spinning tales), sometimes I get lost for the better part of half an hour, and I have to forcibly remove myself or I will spend my entire shift sharing anecdotes.

(Hi, I am a blogger)

Today, I walked into a conversation about losing a bottle of breast milk under the seat of a car, and not finding it for a few days, and the resulting curdled horror that was found in its place. I was under a tight deadline so I couldn’t stay and share my most horrifying, disgusting spoiled milk story. So I’m going to share it with you, here since it so happens to basically be the 10 year anniversary of this revolting story. Aren’t you glad you’re following me?

 

Flash back ten years ago, I had finished college in January, and I was about to start my first real, full time office job. I was finishing up work for my part-time job, which included running errands like dropping off mail and picking up his groceries. So I go to the store, pick up the eggs, bread, milk, meat, etc, buy them, bring them to my car, and head to his house to deliver. But when I get all the groceries inside, I can’t find the milk! So I check my car, and nothing. I think, ok, I must have left it at the store, no big deal.

I go back to the store, and take my receipt to the counter where I was doing self-checkout. I asked the cashier manning the stations if she saw the milk I left behind. She hadn’t seen anything. Strange, I bought a 1/2 gallon of milk, as you can see, but I don’t have it, it’s not in my car, so I really feel like I left it here. She asks if I checked my car. I said it was the first thing I did. She directs me to customer service, because clearly I am trying to scam my way to a free gallon of milk (90% sure I was in my pajamas with dirty hair, which was my standard uniform of my post-college, full on depression days). I go to customer service, she asks if I checked my car, YES I HAVE. I end up fussing very sternly to the manager (something I don’t normally do), and she finally let me take home another milk. I deliver the milk, get my last paycheck, and go home to pack for Los Angeles, because the next day I was leaving to visit my friend Leah for a week. I tell my parents the story and we all scratch our heads. My dad asks if I checked my car. My brain deflates.

Anywho, I leave for my trip on the first day of a heat wave. I left my keys to my car with my mom, incase something happened with my car. About 4 days into my trip, I get a call from my mom.

“Audrey!”
“Hello!” (we always answer the phone in exclamation points)
“We found… the milk.”
“What?!”

My mom then proceeds to tell me the story:

She and my dad were going to visit my grandpa in Ohio, and they decided to take my car (without asking, btw) since it had better gas mileage. They opened the doors and were hit with an especially foul smell. They figured it was just because the car sat in extreme heat for four days, and that it would air out once the car got moving and the air conditioner turned on. They got about 2 minutes down the road before they had to stop at a gas station, because it was evident that something had crawled inside my car and died, and the vomitous the smell was not going to go away. They both got out, and my dad inspected the trunk – nothing. Under the driver’s seat? Nothing. Under the passenger seat?

Oh. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

The half gallon of milk hadn’t disappeared. It was on its side, in a puddle of rancid, boiled, cottage cheese diarrhoea. Apparently the milk slid under the seat when I put the groceries in, and I didn’t see it. I didn’t have any idea that could happen. And with the heat wave, the jug exploded. And with the continued heat wave, the milk just turned into every form of vile, globular, sulfuric acid baby shit mixed with hot spoiled eggs that it could.

Lovely.

So they (somehow) drove the car to a detailer, where the poor workers cleaned out the putrid shit lake, and cut the upholstery out of the floor, because there is no other way to get rid of spoiled dairy smell.

She wasn’t calling me just to let me know they fixed my car. She was calling from the road to complain to me that the botulism bomb I left had seriously delayed their trip. ARE YOU KDDING ME? I told her that decomposing dairy dump was an anti-theft deterrent, and also, you know, KARMA for stealing my car for a long distance journey.

Right? Am I right?

All summer, that car vaguely smelled like rotten milk. But I learned something valuable. 1) it is possible to lose a half gallon of milk under the seat of my car
2) soured, putrid milk lake isn’t a very effective theft deterrent when gas is nearly $3.50/gallon

So there you have it, my putrid dairy story. Happy Monday!

xo

Brumbie

When I was 13, my dad fell in love with a horse, Brumbie. Brumbie was a 5 year old, skinny, lanky, bay Thoroughbred with donkey ears, a star on his forehead and one teeny white sock. You could call him an ex-race horse, but he broke his leg on his first attempt and was instantly retired to a field. He spent the next year or two working as a “pony horse” – when a race horse is frantic on a track, a slower, more chilled out horse will be ridden beside that crazy race horse to calm him down. Somewhere along the line, he was adopted by a jockey, who brought him to a barn where her friend taught horse riding lessons so he could be used in the rehabilitation program for sick and disabled children. On his first day on the job, he panicked when he was tied to the super heavy, disabled friendly wooden mounting block, and dragged it all the way across the arena. So he was brought over to the lesson program for the more advanced riders, where he showed real potential to be a hunter and equitation horse. Continue reading “Brumbie”

Comfort food, ch. 3: Oatmeal Turners

Ok, so I know oatmeal isn’t exciting. And I know a lot of people could careless. But let me put this out there: I freakin’ love oatmeal. Yes, I am a living on the edge wild child for the fibre treat. I love hot porridge, I love oatmeal skin products, I love the way it feels to sift through a bag of oats with my hands, and I love to fucking destroy a plate of oatmeal cookies. Continue reading “Comfort food, ch. 3: Oatmeal Turners”

Me, too. But not really.

I want to say “me, too.” But I’ve been wrestling with it all week.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve been very fortunate that my experiences with men have mostly been harmless. I say mostly harmless because I haven’t been put in danger or physically harmed — unless you count that time my brother accidentally hit me in the head with a wrench when I was 5. But I have experienced the joys of being female on more than one occasion: Continue reading “Me, too. But not really.”

Prepositions

I couldn’t sleep the other night. I tried reading blogs and Googling random celebrities (did you know that Dianne Wiest was basically broke in 2015 and almost lost her apartment?), which are my go-to sleep tricks, but to no avail. So I turned off my phone, closed my eyes, and started diagramming sentences.  Continue reading “Prepositions”

My body, myself. Or, growing up.

When I was 10, we had two TV’s with cable – one in the living room and one in my parent’s room.  Between my brother’s Super Nintendo and my sister’s Food Network, I rarely got to watch it in the living room, so I commandeered my parent’s TV. My parents had a giant bed with 47 pillows and tons of blankets, and I had privacy – I flipped between Wishbone and MTV while writing stories about unicorns whose parents were ax murderers and no one bothered me.

Continue reading “My body, myself. Or, growing up.”