Planting, spraypainting, and a random selfie

Fortunately the temperatures are a bit lower this week, which is nice… but won’t last…

It’s made working in the garden more pleasant, of course. I’ve been yanking goutweed as I’ve been able, though there’s a lot more to yank. And I’ve been planting more.

Speaking of which, I remembered to get a pic of that bed I planted last week:

It don’t look like much yet.

It does seem the creeping thymes all died, ditto the lavenders. Oh well. More room for poppies and lithodora.

No sign of anything I seeded last week, but we’ll see. I did get some herbal starts, though, to hedge my bets.

The concrete pad by the shed is now cured enough to start using. I moved over the loud low fountain and put a couple stools and an old metal table there:

Thing is, things don’t look so good. Those stools and the table have been outside and weathered for a few years now.

I decided the lazy solution was spray paint:

They look OK from a distance, lol… never mind that the original paint is peeling and there’s rust.

But hey, I don’t mind that chippy paint look, so whatever.

I also need to do the bistro set and extra chair that go inside my gazebo:

This one will need to be properly washed first, though.

In other seating news, I got my dad to build the second wooden Adirondack chair I had bought a while back. A couple summers ago we got the first one built and I painted it, but hadn’t gotten around to the second one til this week. I need to paint it, of course, but at least seating is starting to happen.

I also have my brother’s old cedar table and chairs made by some of my dad’s friends 20+ years ago, which Dad is currently working on refurbishing.

But more on the garden, plus pics, later.

So that was kinda the major activity of the week, along with the usual art stuff re: Noah and Ricky etc.

Ricky might be getting a comic strip… maybe… later in the year. We’ll see.

And I did a quick and loose portrait of you-know-who in pastels, working from memory instead of reference photos:

Kinda looks like him, sorta. And of course he doesn’t have his mouth shut.

This week we’re working on cloud pictures in the pastels class. It’s funny how hard it seems to be for me to buckle down and follow instructions rather than just fuck around and draw whatever I’m used to, lol…

I also tried to make some “lift prints” or “transfer monotypes” or whatever you wanna call them, but I think I used the wrong ink. Akua inks can be a bit runny, and if I had just a smidge too thick a layer rolled out on my plexiglas, then when I laid down my mulberry paper it would suck right down on the runny ink and make a big blobby mess.

I did get a couple that weren’t too bad but nowhere near as clear as the lift prints I’d been able to do last year with stiffer oil-based inks in the monotype workshop I did at MISSA, where I’d been able to get fairly fine detail and drawings done.

These were probably the best of the bunch, and they ain’t all that great:

Thing is, I was doing those with phthalo green Akua ink, which is particularly runny. I think I used an oxide green in a recent drop-in at Ladysmith and that was much stiffer, and the lamp black was also stiffer (I think Mars black is really stiff, too.)

So… I will try again with different colors of Akua and see if I get better results.

If not, it’s not a big deal as I can just do regular monotypes and if I want the contrasty paper I can always add that in a separate process first, then draw the monotype on the plate and print on top in a different layer. And I can ask for pointers next time I go to the drop-in, which won’t be til July.

Tonight I’m going to try doing some gelli prints using Akua Inks, which thus far I’ve only done in the studio with the press, though I know a lot of people do use Akua with a gelli plate… if they turn out well, they’ll get their own blog entry, if not, never mind. LOL.

Lastly in art news, there’s just one week left in the Cowichan Valley Arts Council‘s Fine Arts Show this year, so only one week left to see my painting Teen Dream #1 if you’re in the Duncan, BC area.

Anyway, I still don’t have my artist CV written, but I did get one other onerous chore done… let’s see here… when last I wrote about the whole identity theft/fraud situation, I wrote just in passing and that a lot of it seemed to be sorted but that the cell phone bought in my name somewhere on the other side of the country where I’ve never been might probe to be an issue because of said cell phone company’s fraud department being discussed as being difficult (eg, posts on Reddit and elsewhere indicated this).

And I was dreading having to call back because supposedly if they call you and you don’t answer they just close the ticket and then you have to call back etc.

So you have to kinda commit to being glued to your phone for a few days and hope for the best. And, well, I’m not always able to be glued to my phone. Last time I called them at the end of March I also called one of the remaining banks that had a fradulent credit card in my name, and that all got sorted out, plus the lady I talked to in their fraud department was really great and gave me a bunch of good information about what the fraudsters did and also where else I need to monitor, etc.

Only downside is between the folks at the bank I talked to and the hold time to get through, it was probably 3-4 hours on the phone in the 2 days after I last called the cell phone company when their fraud department might have tried to call me (and if they did, they left no message).


And the account was still showing up on my damn credit reports.

Ugh… so this Friday morning, I made the time to call the cell phone guys back to follow up.

The first customer service rep tells me their records show that the matter had been dealt with already, I say, then why is it still showing up on my TransUnion and Equifax credit reports?

Well, that’s not supposed to be, apparently, because the notes on my name and that phone number the fraudsters used say that I was cleared and it’s acknowledged as a fraud write-off. She types furiously in the background on the internal chat, finds it all very weird, and finally I guess someone from the fraud department tells her to ship me off to the credit department to get it finished up and cleared off my records.

Dude from the credit department there confirms that the fraud case was closed and that the account was marked as fake and therefore I should be in the clear but also doesn’t know why it hasn’t been removed from my credit reports yet, so I’m on hold while he tries to get a manager to remove the thing manually. And he comes back after a few minutes and says I am supposed to be in the queue for this manager to go into the backend portal to the credit report bureaus and clear it out, though it might take up to 4 weeks. And I get an “interaction ID” number that references all this in the files so if it’s still there in a month to call back again.

So that’s positive, at least.

I must say all the reps I talked to with the cell company have been great, it was the issues with the back end. Like apparently this was all cleared by the fraud department in March, but for whatever reason the removal from the credit reports hadn’t happened yet and no one informed me in any case.

That will mean I’m down to one fake credit card, which TransUnion already removed from my record but Equifax said it was “still under investigation” but still shows it… but hey, that’s a formality as that bank killed the card in December… ie, right around the time my idiot former accountants found out they’d been hacked months before and a whole 2 months before the accountants bothered sharing that information with me in February.

And I actually have accounts with that bank, which I’m guessing is why they killed it in December, but then no one informed me of the fraud account back then, no one asked me about it, and it still shows up on the one credit report.

BTW… if you guessed that the consequences of all this for the fraudsters in Ontario will be “not a damn thing,” you’re correct.

I mean, I’m sure the cops would like to see them in jail, but even if they can track them down and arrest them, the prosecutors probably won’t do shit, or will do a plea deal, etc.

No consequences.

Ain’t it fun when the social contract is breaking down?

And I get to watch my back and pay for credit monitoring for life because the motherfuckers have my social insurance number. Lovely.

Whatever… if there’s one thing I’ve learned from observing friends and associates, especially over the last 3 years, it’s that ya gotta just deal with the shit and move on and maybe not forgive but definitely don’t dwell on it. Otherwise you just ruin your own health and nothing you can do in a quasi-civil society will punish the criminals anyway.

(Insert Alan Watts or other gurus talking about how your reality becomes what you dwell on here.)

So with that last bit in mind, let’s check out the garden pics of the week, trying to not duplicate things from last week that are still in bloom (eg, all the poppies, the locust tree, columbines, etc.)

First up, a nice little view corridor across my yard.
Climber on the arbour, I think this is ‘Autumn Sunset’
Previous owner’s irises, plus some weed I haven’t gotten to pulling yet.
Mock orange, newly in bloom
‘Just Joey’ rose
Here I thought this big old rhododendron wasn’t gonna bloom this year because the buds looked so small even a month ago.
Lastly, a selfie I took at Butchart. I rarely take selfies, but I will need some for a certain purpose later in the summer, so I’m starting to collect them… Probably shoulda taken my hair out of the hat, though: I swear I’m not bald! And while my hair may be “short” by my standards after I chopped a good 8-10″ off a couple months ago, it’s still halfway down my back past my shoulder blades.