Monthly Archives: October 2015

Again, Use a Professional…..It’s Important For Your Business

via They Used Her Photo as a ‘Weight Loss’ Success Story. There Was Only One Problem…

Look, I understand just how much that a professional website costs.  I should, because that’s my job – even if I haven’t had the emotional or mental ability to give a quality product to anyone since I left my husband.  The knowledge and experience doesn’t just go away because I’m focusing on my own health, instead of work, right now.

There are millions of sites out there that claim that either YOU can create your website yourself, OR will sell you a template, or will claim to be an experienced web professional.

But, let me tell you right now – you get what you pay for.  A cheap website gives you NONE of the options or perks that a real web professional does. It’s not just about whether the site is “well designed” or not.  It’s not about just “making it pretty.”  Let me list for you some of the non-visual advantages you receive:

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Categories: Creativity | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art in my Eyes

Tête Raphaëlesque éclatée (Exploding Raphaelesque Head) Salvador Dalí - 1951I rarely do this on the blog, even though I do talk about it on Facebook. I have a few particularly favorite artists – to name two: Salvador Dali and Alphonse Mucha.

Amusingly, they are both art movements that defined an era.  Art Nouveau was strong post-Victorian era (approximately 1890 – 1910), when art and design started moving out of the realistic and into a bit more stylized representations of reality.  It was meant to pull the audience in, to make them feel Nature and all Her wonders, not just look at them.  And it was a movement not just limited to art, but to architecture and other forms of physical design as well.

As the world moved more towards war, the flowing shapes of the Art Nouveau period became more geometric and moved into the Art Deco period. And, that also meant that art and design were able to open up to new options for how they viewed the world.

If you actually look at the gradual progression through the art movements of the last 200 years, you can actually see how gradually art and design has become far more than just simply showing the world what is there.

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Categories: Creativity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recovering from Gaslighting

via Gaslighting: The Mind Game Everyone should Know About

I’ve posted about this before, and will probably post about it again.

On my bad days, the days the depression hits so hard, the thoughts go through my mind of “How could I have been so gullible? How could I have not seen what was happening?”

The thing is, that’s what makes gas-lighting so damned powerful. It’s nothing huge, nothing particular you can point at and say “There, THAT is gas-lighting.”  So, when the person doing it asks you for a specific example of the behavior, you are at a loss to point out where the problem is.  And if you can’t pin-point a specific behavior, well….then it must be all in your head.

And worse, it gets your mind so warped that you actually defend the person’s actions to other people that love you. I can’t tell you how many people over the length of the time I was with him that tried to make me see exactly what he was doing.  The problem is, I needed to get away.  I needed to have time where I wasn’t taking care of anyone else but myself, and maybe the dog, so that I could actually figure things out.

And even then, it still took me four months to finally admit it to myself and to others that what I was experiencing was abuse, and that I needed to change my life.  Yes, I still excused him after I asked him for a divorce.  I still was convinced that I was divorcing him because I was the bad one, I was the failure.  Hell, I was going to still pay “my share” of the bills (a choice no one but me was in support of)

But none of this is about recovery.

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Suitably Spooky Shit

It never ceases to amaze me that so many of the so-called skeptics of the world have the most limited view of the Universe, and seem to be unable to keep up with the changes in science and humanity’s understanding of the Universe.  For some reason, they seem to be stuck in the mindset of the mechanistic worldview (i.e. the Universe is made up of parts that lack any innate connection to any other part of the whole.  It is only when all parts are “in tune” that the Universe works correctly).

Yet, initially, mechanism derives from a study of metaphysics (which, for many of these skeptics, they would be horrified).  This is because their definition of “metaphysics” focuses solely on the idea that it studies “unnatural,” “supernatural” or “paranormal” phenomena.  Metaphysics, however, is simply the study of the nature of being, and the Universe, and how we interact with it.

I have always been one who has wanted to know the “why” of things.  Perhaps I never grew out of that developmental phase of childhood.  Maybe I would have made a good research psychologist (I don’t have the talent in many of the necessary skills for being a researcher in many of the hard sciences), but I didn’t have the patience to go that route.  Besides, creativity has always been a passion for me – so the creation of things appealed to me more.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t dig into or research things in my spare time, simply to satisfy that “insatiable curiosity.”

I happen to be a kind of monkey. I have a monkeylike curiosity that makes me want to feel, smell, and taste things which arouse my curiosity, then to take them apart. It was born in me. Not everybody is like that, but a scientific researchist [sic] should be. Any fool can show me an experiment is useless. I want a man who will try it and get something out of it.
I’m convinced that a controlled disrespect for authority is essential to a scientist. All the good experimental physicists I have known have had an intense curiosity that no Keep Out sign could mute. Physicists do, of course, show a healthy respect for High Voltage, Radiation, and Liquid Hydrogen signs. They are not reckless. I can think of only six who have been killed on the job.

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Categories: Wicca | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

There is NEVER any “Miracle Cure”

via Fat Is Officially Incurable (According to Science)

If you’ve ever lived your life as a fat person, you have known this for years.  Sadly, the rest of humanity hears something like this and their immediate response is, “That’s just an excuse.  You’re just too weak to lose the weight.”

There are so many factors involved in weight loss that NO weight loss regimen can cover all of those bases.

There is genetics, which isn’t just about 1 gene making you fat, but a WHOLE lot of genes working together to impact your “normal” weight.  Genes that make your metabolism work inefficiently. Genes that mean certain minerals and vitamins that are necessary for health are not absorbed correctly, causing deficiencies that can impact how much weight your body will create.  Genes that screw up the chemical balance in your body.  Genes that mean certain organs either fail or do their work poorly.

It’s not just about discipline. It’s not just about food portioning.  It’s not just about activity. It’s not just about will-power.

And all that everyone is doing – whether really concerned or fake concerned so you can feel superior – is bullying someone whose body isn’t working the way it is supposed to.

1 person in 1,000 isn’t good odds.

Categories: Body Positivity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Persecution: Where is the Line Drawn?

I have a number of people from my high school on my Facebook list of friends.  Mostly because, well, while I may no longer be the same person I was back then, I do like knowing what some of them are doing now.  And, just because I’m no longer Christian, it doesn’t mean that I have no interest in them.

You see, I went to a boarding parochial high school called Martin Luther Preparatory School. This was a school run by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).  So, many of my friends from that period are still quite strongly Christian (and some of them are even ministers of the WELS).  And, as I still respect individual Christians, I try my best to treat them with the same courtesy as I treat every other human in this world.

That being said, there are times when those same people post news pieces regarding the “persecution of the Christian faith.” Some of these posts are truly times when a Christian, or group of Christians, are being persecuted.  Other times, sadly, they are defining (or the article is defining) a certain situation as being persecution.

Most recently, there was a post about a minister named Olaf Latzel in Germany, who has been sanctioned for his words, and his stance in regards to other faiths.

If Germany did NOT have a “state religion” (which, at this point, is more a legal fiction than anything else), I would agree that this minister’s experience is persecution.  HOWEVER, if one looks at the historical basis of the role of religion and the state in German government, you will see that he is not technically being persecuted.

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#Drawlloween Item 3: Vampires

Dancing VampiresI had originally intended to make this Vampires AND Werewolves (yeah, I know….shades of the Twilight [*shudder*]). But, when I finished the background and the vampires (yes, no blood – I know), it just looked perfect to me as it was.

Justin Salem Meyer - CemetaryAs with Day 1, the background comes from the talented Justin Salem Meyer. But, I did quite a bit more work on this one, as you can see the difference between the original (see right) and my final version.

It’s always a challenge to turn day into night (or vice versa). It takes a lot of trial and error to get to something that looks anything like a natural variation. But, it was a useful struggle, even if it actually exhausted me to do so.

Retroscope: Gothic Aristocrat Knife Hem ShirtThe dancing vampires come with permission from the Gothic Clothier called Retroscope Fashions. The male shirt shown is the Gothic Aristocrat Knife Hem Shirt in black. I’m sure if you look for it, you can probably find the woman’s outfit as well.

Again, this was another challenge, not only to cut out the people, but also to fit the people into the cemetery so that it was natural. I’m not just talking coloring here (although, that was quite a challenge too), but also the fact that there are quite different areas of photographic focus. Matching the focuses took 2 days all by itself.

It’s quite helpful to me to challenge myself like this. It’s also frustrating, but that’s good too. Not only am I working on rebuilding my creativity, but regaining my patience is also important. Frustration was not a useful emotion in my family, and patience only seemed to make things worse. So, frustration inevitably became anxiousness for me. So, while I’m challenging the panic attacks, I’m also being able to remind myself that it is not necessary to freak out when one feels frustrated. If I can quit the habit when it is just my own frustration, maybe eventually I’ll be able to quit the habit of freaking out when other people speak to me in a frustrated tone.

As before, if you want a clear copy for yourself (or a print of it), then contact me.

Categories: Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#Drawlloween: Item #2

The Devil's HenchmanOK, screw the daily on this, because well, it’s just not going to happen.

Days 2&3 were Devil and Goblin, respectively.  So, I was inspired to create this.  Sadly, while yes, watermarking images doesn’t deter a tenacious Photoshop specialist, it’s not the heavy-duty Photoshoppers I want to stop.  It’s the gullible Luddites who seem to think that if something shows up on things like Google Images it must be available for ANYONE to use them.

Copyright is NOT voided just because something shows up on Google Images (or any other kind of image search).  It’s why I work VERY hard to find the original image owners of any photo I use, even for something like this, where I am compositing images from others.

In reference to that, here are the original copyright owners of the items:

  • Background:  Purchased from Big Stock Photo.  Original Photographer (selling on Big Stock and other stock photography companies): Denis Belitsky.
  • My variant of Lucifer:  Used with permission from the photographer Nadya Lev.  The name of the model is Kit Stolen.

    Edited:  I had a friend offer me a critique in regards to this composite.  They complained that it seemed to be denigrating those of Asian descent.  The problem is, if one looks into the legends in regards to Lucifer, he was considered one of the most beautiful of the archangels.  Although some tradition makes him red-haired, when I saw the image of Mr. Stolen it screamed to me as being beautiful/handsome enough, and frankly just androgynous enough to actually fit the role of Lucifer (also known as “the Shining One,” “the Morning Star,” “Light Bringer” and “Son of the Morning) quite well.

    I am NOT in any way implying that those of Asian descent are evil. And I resent the idea that anyone who knows me would even think that about me. I judge humans by their individual actions, choices and character – NOT the color of their skin or their ethnic heritage.

    In this particular case, I was looking for a model that fit both the androgyny of your average legendary angel AND the beauty of the legendary Lucifer. Mr. Stolen, for me, represents those particular aesthetic choices.

  • The crawling goblin:  I requested permission for use, but sadly have not heard back.  Very little is actually recognizable from the original photo, but if the owner of the photo (found at: Al Kavadlo’s Blog) would like me to remove that item from this composite, I can and will replace it with something else.

I’m not as happy about this one as I was at the first one, or the next one (to be posted tomorrow).  Once I get through the whole list, I may revisit this item and see if I can make it better.

As before, if you want a clear copy for yourself (or a print of it), then contact me.

Categories: Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Smell of Love

I have always been a sensualist.  I haven’t always accepted it about myself, but I always have experienced my emotions and differences in my life in more than just a mental fashion.  There’s a smell, a taste, a visual, a sound, a touch to many of my experiences.

And, I have noticed that body chemistry is a huge thing for me.  If someone is “right” for me, even their smell can bring certain emotions to the surface.  When I need comfort or calming, their smell soothes me.  When I am excited or horny, the smell heightens that feeling.  When I miss them, it’s the smell that is the first sign that I am with them again.

And no, I’m not talking about cologne, nor sweat.  I’m talking about pheromones.

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Categories: General Contemplation | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Fundamental Sense of Safety

Living with a psychologist, particularly one like my sister (with whom I have a lifetime of theoretical and hypothetical discussions), can sometimes be a sincere challenge.  Particularly if you are working on picking up the pieces of your life after a life altering event.

There are many theories of psychological development out there – some good, with reasonable basis in current understanding of fact; and some not so good.

Attachment theory is not completely a fully described theory as such.  It really only deals with relationships, and relative security/insecurity in the human psyche.

No single psychological trend describes any person fully.  We are, at the base, individuals.  While there may be potential trends and patterns that can be recognized, assuming someone with a set of particular emotional responses will inevitably act in exactly the same fashion as those with a similar set is a dangerous over-simplification.

Thing is, a little while ago, my sister came to an understanding about me – one that shocked her in some ways.  She told me that she finally recognized that at the base of it all, I lack a “fundamental sense of safety” when it comes to my interactions with other people in the world around me.

It’s a pretty accurate assessment of me, actually.

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