Spring Cleaning.

I tend to try and be civil when I need to be. I was always taught to pick my battles, and I’m proud that I’m able to avoid many of them, even when someone is scraping a battle axe across the floor in front of me.

Sometimes this is difficult to do. Sometimes people’s behaviour warrants confrontation, or even just a good old “hush” with the body language, I mean, when they’re savvy enough to pick up on it. When they aren’t, I just refuse to engage, because honestly it just makes my day easier if I don’t have to fight my way through it.

It’s simple fact that humans are flawed. We all are, it’s just in our nature. There is a difference, however, between embracing that we are flawed and always trying to be better, and embracing our flaws and flaunting them. There is no excuse for being a bad example, especially when we have witnessed firsthand the problems it causes.

Choosing to ignore the falling Jenga tower in front of us after we have clearly been the ones to knock it down doesn’t make it go away. Pretending someone else knocked it down doesn’t make the mess go away either. It’s irrevocable once the deed is done.

What I’m learning is that some people really enjoy knocking down Jenga blocks. They get some weird satisfaction out of doing or saying damaging things to/about others, and nothing I do or say can change that. It bothers me, sure. I can’t do anything to change how that person behaves, though. All I can do is remove my actions/reactions from the scenes they cause and focus on those around me who would rather help build people up instead of tearing them down.

My dad taught me to treat others the way I would like to be treated – but he also taught me to avoid people who just want to dull others’ shine. My life is my own, to add or remove who I choose from my orbit. I don’t have the time or the energy to explain why, and the only people who’ve earned an explanation I wouldn’t dream of removing.


Just a Bit of Shameless Self-Promotion

I am slowly getting my artwork up onto my website. It’s taking time to get it all organized, and it’s an interesting experiment checking the traffic. I found out that someone tried to buy one of my paintings three times, while Stripe had assumed that there was suspicious activity on my account and closed it without telling me. I’m kind of sore about the loss of the sale to be honest, but it isn’t like they’ll compensate me. So far, traffic to the site has been good, which is promising. It’s only been live for around 1.5 months.

Anyway, here is what I have there so far in my art section. There’s also a growing jewelry and accessories section which I’m currently working on some things for. Feel free to have a look around!

At the moment the site is only set up to ship to US and Canada but you can drop me a line at velvetembersstore@gmail and we can figure something out.



“He’ll Make a Man Out of You”


“Midnight Radio”










“Offended” does not mean you’re wrong.

I have a small diatribe to get out of my system here. It’s been eating at me and I need to just get it down on paper (sort of).

The thing about the internet is that the trolls don’t live under bridges. They live in threads, where arguing is the only pleasure they get from their pitiful little lives. They jump all over people who are rightfully offended by the shitty things others do (no, I’m not talking about those who are offended by some instagramer’s new hair colour) and try to make them feel like they’re over sensitive and should just shut up. Except, in a lot of cases the things they’re angry at, they should be angry at.

Intolerance is something that seems to be experiencing a whole new level of resurgence, especially on the internet. Thanks to the ignorant, hateful mango with legs that is in charge in the US, all of the closet racists, homophobes, transphobes and religious zealots seem to have climbed out of their closets with megaphones and signs.

As someone who has never understood hatred based on differences people cannot change – in fact, as someone who embraces people’s differences – I am genuinely offended not on behalf of the different groups, but on behalf of humanity, because at the end of the day that’s what all of these people are. Having some different qualities doesn’t make someone inhuman, but treating someone differently for it does.

Be human. Allow people to get offended and even go so far as to get offended too, because it’s a fucking plague out there. A plague of indifference and hatred and people making excuses why hatred is perfectly okay. Help it stop by being part of the solution. Spread love, not hate.

Insert [Blank Stare] Here

People who know me at all understand that I can go back and forth from talkative to silent in an instant.  I’m not antisocial, but I also don’t go to a lot of events with lots of people.  Often, even in a group environment I choose to be alone.  I wasn’t an only child but I was raised as one, and this. will probably always affect how I socialize.

That being said, I am hyperaware of body language, social cues and other telltale signs of how to navigate through a conversation, and I know when to shut up.  This took a long time to learn and it is also part of why I become quiet sometimes in groups, because I feel like I can no longer comfortably be included in an actual conversation.  Some people want to be one hundred percent of an interaction,  and it turns into this one-sided bombardment of verbal vomit flooding out of their face.  Sometimes it’s literally just someone unloading their baggage on your face, then saying “I have to go now” before you can even respond, like some awkward sexual experience – except it’s harder to avoid.  It makes what might have started out as a conversation become awkward, and rather than letting someone else invalidate my thoughts, or make me feel like I have to earn air time in an interaction I don’t really want to be part of, it’s easier to just shut up and go back to playing a game on my phone or even sometimes put my headphones in.

Oh, also – on that note. Are headphones not supposed to be an international sign for “I’m busy” or “don’t talk to me” or other polite ways to preemptively tell someone you want to be left alone?  I really thought (well until recently), that this was a well-known cue to leave someone alone.  I guess that some people don’t read cues well, or don’t bother because it doesn’t give them enough of a chance to talk at people.  That’s really what it is. We have all experienced this, and most of us tolerate it for the sake of civility.

I say – civility be damned.

Hear me out.  I am not saying you need to be rude to a coworker/acquaintance/friend.  Choosing not to be part of a conversation is your right as a human being, and extricating yourself before they start dousing you in their baggage of the day, week, month, whatever it might be, that is perfectly okay.  No need to do anything as extreme as setting yourself on fire, projectile vomiting, or faking a fainting spell.  When they stand in front of you, demanding attention while you’re listening to music or playing Candy Crush, glance up with glazed over eyes and go back to what you’re doing.  If they still demand attention, do it again.  If they’re stupid enough they still don’t get the hint, then perhaps it’s time to get colourful with your language, or get up and walk away.  Or you can just keep repeating the dead stare until they understand they should take their verbal diarrhea elsewhere.

I think there is no “appropriate” way to handle a narcissist.  I try to avoid being rude, but lately my last nerves have been getting tap-danced on a lot too much, by one specific person who thinks their opinion of everything is the be-all and end-all and always has a busload of grief to unload.  It isn’t like I have the option of completely avoiding interaction because they always seem to be there when I walk into a room, talking, talking, talking the ear off of whatever listener(s) there happen to be.

There was a time I could say that I suffered from bad self esteem on a level that meant I would allow people to do this kind of thing to me on a regular basis.  I never said no, or walked away from situations like this, because I was scared it would make me a pariah.  One day it occurred to me, who cares?  I have such a hard time connecting with people as it is, why am I trying to keep inroads to places I don’t want to be?  I’m finally comfortable being myself so why the hell should I, in any way, convolute that for some terrible conversation?

These days I choose to stand up for myself out in the big bad (and often stupid) world, because you know what?  Nobody else is fucking going to.