De-Beed At Last

lana12_Snapseed

Just a quick catch-up post to say that I’m preoccupied with “real life” stuff right now, so both photography and blogging have been on hold the past few days. Between taking care of work responsibilities, dealing with the bee situation, taking time to visit with family around town, and binge-watching my way through The Sopranos (I’m up to Season 5 out of 6 now) I’ve had little time left for much else – well, if I’m also going to relax and enjoy some down time the last few weeks of summer. It’s OK, as photography-wise things are starting to feel a little stale, so a break will do me good. I have some ideas for a composite shot or two I’d like to pull off, but I need to do some reading and learning so I can avoid the usual pitfalls I encounter when attempting them so I don’t have those frustrations moving forward. Primarily, I need to find a way to ensure my lighting and color will match better from shot to shot so when I layer them all over each other it’s not so noticeable. More internet research and YouTube tutorials are definitely in my future.

But the bees are finally gone – until we got a contractor out here to completely remove and scrape clean the area that housed the hive, though, they were still flying around in the house and making me crazy. I actually spent several nights at a friends’ house because I could not handle getting buzzed at and dive-bombed every time I walked into our master bathroom, which was where the main entry point into the house was located (we had one entrance covered, but unfortunately did not find the other one until the day the guy came to remove the hive). They didn’t just contain themselves to that bathroom, though, and on occasion they’d be buzzing around elsewhere in the house too, and because I am so afraid of  flying, buzzing insects I convinced myself I could hear buzzing bugs nearby even when there weren’t any around – I was even hearing the buzz of bees in my sleep. It was incredibly nerve-wracking.

Anyway, they’re gone now – it only took 4 hours to do the work, and cost us $900, which is a ton less than we expected. We thought we’d be looking at removing an entire side of the house, but it turned out the bees had only built a hive in one section of our subfloor, and hadn’t made it into the brick or anything. So, without further ado, here it is (or was):

bees

My husband thought it looked “cool,” and one of my friends said it was “pretty,” but I am in agreement with my friend Candace, who took one look at this photo and just texted back, “UGH.” I start itching just looking at it. But anyway, it was all cleaned up and re-sealed, and there’s been nary a buzz in our house since, a month after the whole ordeal started. Quite honestly, my husband and I are so sick of home repairs at this point that we may wait until next summer to do the interior painting, but we’ll see.

Bee-lieve in Yourself

So Bee Man #1 came out Friday morning and said, basically, that we have a massive hive in our wall which may require an entire side of the house being torn open to remove. And there’s no way around it really. If you don’t remove the hive, even after extracting the bees, the honey in the walls starts to go rancid and smell, which not only stinks but also attracts more bees, as well as other insects and even rodents. So let’s say you take your chances, extract the bees, and just seal up all the possible entrances where bees and other critters could get in, and tell yourself you can deal with the stench…then you still will get rancid honey seeping through your drywall. So there’s no way around this one, I don’t think. We have to wait a week for Bee Man #2 to come out and inspect the situation and give us a new estimate, since Bee Man #1 couldn’t do anything because the job was too big.

Bee Man #1 got to our house about 9 AM and was gone by 10:30, and I immediately left the house to run some errands. I was feeling pretty foul about the whole thing; cranky and depressed in general, and while driving home I started to dig into why all these home repairs have me so thrown and moody; I mean, these things happen. But I feel like such a terrible failure about it all. You should have heard this guy going on about how many bees we had, and how huge the hive must be, and oh wow, look at this huge hole you have in your wall back here (the space where the air conditioner is hooked into the wall actually, so I don’t know what the problem was – he actually wanted me to crawl back there and look at what he was talking about but it was hot as hell and there were bees flying everywhere and I was already dressed for the day and I do not go crawling around sticking my head into wall-holes, sorry), and hey look at the siding peeling off over here against the fence and OMG you sure have a lot of cool air escaping from the wall over here and blah blah blah on-and-on-you-suck-at-homeownership-cakes.

True, our house is old. True, we are not the most fastidious of homeowners in the world by a longshot. But we are not losers, although we may slack on occasion when it comes to tending to the house – only in a cosmetic sense, at least that we’ve been aware. We get the house exterminated every three months, inside and out. We clean up after ourselves. When we see a serious problem, we fix it. We just don’t sweat the carpet or the paint job or the age of our appliances. But this whole summer has worn me down and made me feel like a loser anyway. I know this stems from some other place, some lack of confidence I have in myself as a capable adult that has its roots in childhood, when I was repeatedly told that I didn’t have what it took to take care of myself in the real world. My mother and grandmother always believed I was too sensitive, too soft, to survive on my own, and they both loved to criticize me for it. Grown-ups don’t behave that way, they’d say to me on a regular basis. You’re going to have to get it together and stop being so sensitive if you’re going to be able to function as a grown-up.

I’m not blaming anyone, and my past was what it was. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t always great, and I carry some scars from ways in which I was treated. Whatever. The fact is, I was driving back to the house today, and I was hearing this voice in my head over and over saying Face it, you’re a failure as a grown-up in relation to this house business. And I realized that I always feel this way when things go wrong with the house in particular. I didn’t feel like I’d “failed as a grown-up” when I thought I’d damaged up my hair last week, for example, or when I gained weight in the two years when I didn’t work out, or all the times I’ve had problems at work, or conflict in my marriage. But when anything goes wrong with the house, I feel like an absolute failure as an adult. I’m sure there’s a lot more analysis I could get into here – the fact that my mother was a quite unhappy yet meticulous homemaker whose house was the castle she ruled with an iron (if metaphorical) fist, perhaps? But I’m not going to get into that any further here. My mother has apologized for the mistakes she made, and I know if she had it to do over again she’d raise her children differently – and that’s all I can ask for really. What’s left is for me to deal with, without laying blame. But all these years later, it’s still there. And it’s messing with me this summer, in the weirdest way.

It’s at least part of the reason why I’ve felt so strangely bored and restless all summer, I think, something I’ve mentioned here before is rather unusual for me. It’s probably partly to blame for why I haven’t played dress-up and taken pictures. There’s all this stuff wrong with the house, stuff I should have taken care of sooner, and it’s all being pointed out to me and demanding my attention, and rattling my fragile little ego-cage, and triggering my neuroses and making me stir-crazy, and a little depressed. I’m glad I at least got a little glimpse of what’s going on with me though; I think I’m onto something with the connections I’ve made today and that I can start to work through them now. I’ve been reading about people having bees in the walls for years and never realizing it, and it’s actually not all that uncommon, so that makes me feel a little better about all this. But the process of dealing with this is not going to be fun, so I’ve got to suck it up and steel myself for the onslaught of more banging and ripping and exposing the dirty little secrets encased in our walls – like any good grown-up would do (and in fact, when I was feeling down about all this tonight and Doug was gone to play guitar with friends, I actually called my mom to talk through my bee-anxiety, and she didn’t make me feel like a “bad grown-up” at all. In fact, we were laughing about it by the end).

 

The Mysteries of Spam…

Sorry to hit you with three posts in one day, but I have to let everyone know that Akismet has started marking legitimate comments as spam and dumping them into that folder. It started with Rebecca about two weeks ago and has begun affecting Beth and even Lana today got her comment dumped. Now that I know what is going on, I will keep checking my spam folder daily until Akismet solves the problem! I have to go into the spam folder and mark the comments as ‘not spam,’ then move into moderation and approve them, which is ridiculous, but it at least gets those comments back up. I emailed them and they claim they will check into it – we’ll see. Not sure why I didn’t think to check the spam folder before now, sorry to everyone who got their comments dumped without me knowing what was going on.

OK, no more posts for today, I promise!

Lace Has Been Around for Thousands of Years…

There are so many great quotes in this video, I didn’t even know where to start for a post title (some others that come to mind, as I’ve seen this video a million times by now – “Notice the slit?” and “Ostrich feathers, anyone?”).

I’m not sure if I’ve posted this video here before, but even if I have, I know it’s been awhile, and if you went back to try and find it I’m sure the YouTube link has been taken down by now. Brenda Dickson, the creator of this bit of eighties loveliness, who was a soap opera villain on The Young and the Restless for many years, got wind of how popular this video became on YouTube and got it shut down so she could market and sell it herself through her own website. Every once in awhile someone gets brave and uploads it again, and it generally only lasts a few months before they get shut down too.

Anyway I thought of this video again for some reason, and went searching for it to show a friend. Lo and behold it’s been up and running since January 6th, so I’m going to go ahead and post a link to here so you can enjoy the cheese yourself. The video cuts off abruptly, as all copies of it do – whoever uploaded that first version to the internet did so back in the day when you could only upload 10-minute increments at a time, so you only get about that much of it here. But the ‘fashion show’ is truly not to be missed.

Also amusing are the various parodies that have been made about the video over the years, so feel free to check those out too. And don’t think I’m not aware how close some of my own blog posts and photos come to reaching this level of cheese (I can totally hear me saying “Let’s teleport into my closet!”) but I think that’s part of what I love about it. And now, onto the show!

Fresh Start Carpet

Well, we managed to get the carpet installed in a day, but the installers didn’t leave until about 8:30 PM (they arrived about 10:30) so it’s been a long night of trying to put the house back together. I started out taking photos and even made a little collage to post to Facebook as the festivities were just beginning, with the intention of adding progress photos throughout the day, but that didn’t happen.

carpet_collage1

That up there is, of course, is our old Berber carpet, which has been thoroughly trashed over the last 12 years. In really thinking about it, it’s surprising it got as ragged as it did; we don’t have kids, never entertain, and while we do have pets, it’s not like they’re elephants or anything. And yet, that Berber has completely come apart in the past five years. I’ve read reviews of Berber that are less than stellar and complain about the sort of snagging and unraveling  we experienced – especially coming from people with indoor pets – but the extent of the damage we experienced still seems extreme. I actually took a picture of some of the worst bits, but then decided there was no way in hell I wanted to share that mess with blog readers, so you’ll have to look at the photos above for your only reference.

Photo Jul 01, 1 45 02 PM (1)

While I do not want to go all  First World Problems here whining about sitting around in a warm house all day watching other people install carpet in my home, I have to mention that I am still out of sorts about the whole experience. There is something about strangers coming into your home and ripping it apart that’s unsettling; it’s not just the presence of the strange people but also the weird secrets that tearing apart reveals about the home’s owners. Or at least it felt that way to me. And it’s not just how small and simple and shabby the floors looked once the carpet and the pad were removed, although that was disconcerting enough; it was the little patches of rotted wood in the bottom stairs, and the strip of fallen wainscoting we’d haphazardly stuck up on the bookcase that fell down when the men were stretching the carpet in the den, exposing our laziness. Every piecemeal, patchwork, slapdash, and half-ass “repair” we’d made to our home over the years was on full display, and while I’m sure this is not a unique experience, and I wasn’t exactly embarrassed by it, I still felt as if dirty little flaws were being revealed – to me as much as to anyone. Not to mention the surprises that occurred throughout the day – the yellow jacket’s nest the installers discovered in an upstairs wall (spent the rest of the day killing them, and obviously have to take care of that ASAP) and the air conditioning unit on the bedroom side of the house that decided to stop working mid-day (we were all boiling by the time they got done). So, we get to take care of that now, too. Secrets and surprises, all tied to a sense of disarray and, I guess, this homeowner’s guilt that I’ve fallen down on my duty.

But for now, this step at least is done, and I’ve tried to put the house back together and regain that sense of security I had before, when I was convinced it was all rock-solid and indestructible – but I haven’t settled back into that yet. I’m still seeing it with all its ugly guts exposed, and it’s odd. I don’t know if that makes sense to any of you – but Simon gets it. He’s kind of skittering around the house hesitantly, sniffing everything as if it’s all new now, and not just the carpet. As if we tried our best to set the house right when it was all over, but we didn’t quite get it done, and things are still off-kilter. As am I, obviously, given the weird tone of this post. I mean, it’s just carpet. And by the way – holy crap, is this stuff soft. The Berber we had before was hard and unyieliding, and we went from that to this carpet called SmartStrand that is marketed as the softest available, with more strands per fiber, organic materials, lifelong stain resistance, blah blah blah. But it’s seriously so soft it’s almost puffy. It’s actually lush. I am a hard-core shoe-wearer who never takes hers off, but I can’t bring myself to wear flip-flops or even my Uggs when walking on this new material. I bet when I jump on it for pictures it’ll be like landing on a huge marshmallow.

I think I need to go to bed now. This post makes very little sense. And also has very few pictures, because I’m still feeling weird about this whole home invasion, and I kind of want to spin a safe and new cocoon that doesn’t include outsiders. Sorry. Those of you that know me will understand. :)

Tragic Carpet

The carpet is supposed to be installed today. I say supposed to be installed, because Monday afternoon we got a call from the installers, saying that they might be able to make it to our house around 11:00 AM to begin the installation, and that they possibly would be able to finish by the end of the day. To which I say – WTF? Since when is it acceptable for installers to show up when half the day is over when know they have a full day’s worth of work to do? They told Doug the reason for the late start is due to not being able to pick up the carpet Monday evening, which means they will have to pick it up the morning of the installation. To which I say, then GET OUT OF BED EARLIER to go get it so you can show up to the job at a respectable time. An inconvenience on your part should not create one for me, the customer – what is it about carpet that makes all of this customer-service stuff so difficult to understand?

We did our best huff and puff and threatened to pull the entire sale if they couldn’t guarantee us better beginning and end times for the installation, but who knows if they will actually give a damn or not. We are having to board our pets for the day to do this and did not reserve more than a day at the kennel, because the salesperson told us the job would be done in one day when we made our down payment. And they absolutely could be done in day if they bothered to show up between 8 and 9 AM like, oh, any other contractor or installer I’ve ever dealt with in my life doing a major job at my house.

Anyway, we did our part and cleared out closets and moved all the knick-knacks off the tables and will get up in the morning, take the pets to the kennel (which I hate doing, I feel so guilty and miserable the whole day they’re locked up), and unhook all the electronics the installers won’t touch. Here’s hoping they show up at a decent hour and get the thing done quickly. We really need to paint the house, too, but we may have to wait awhile on that. I’m about done with home improvements for now. Well,  not so much the improvements as I am the people I have to deal with to get the improvements made. Wish us luck everyone!

Shots and a Haircut

I went for a three-month trim Friday, and the stylist cut off about half an inch to bring the growth of the top layer of hair more in line with the bottom. This took care of some of those shaggy, straggly ends that had been making me crazy lately. He styled it fabulously as he always does; then I immediately wandered about for about 40 minutes taking pictures in the heat and the humidity ruined it. But I did take a snap of it as soon as I got it done, so I can at least share that here real quick:

Photo Jun 27, 9 41 04 AM
The only time it looked good all day

The hair salon is in a large, fairly new shopping center near my house that backs up against a large medical complex which also boasts a hotel and some pretty swank condominiums. It’s a huge center that has a big lake and walking trails behind it, but if you never venture down towards the end of the center where the more expensive restaurants are you would never know it’s there. The first time I came across it I was early for a hair appointment and wandering around; I’d been getting my hair done there for a few years but had never ventured any further than the Whole Foods so I never realized there was this whole community behind the center where people go hiking, jogging, and boating. I’d decided to bring my SL1 along with me and go take photos of the area after my haircut, because the first time I stumbled across all of this I found it really pretty and I thought it would make for nice pics, but I was actually wrong about that. For the most part, the pictures were boring, not to mention that the overcast day gave everything a dull gray pallor that was less than appealing. The fact that it was 10 AM on a Friday probably also had something to do with it; the last time I wandered around on the walking trails it was the middle of the day on a pretty autumn Saturday, which made things a lot more picturesque. This time out it looked deserted, and emphasized the fact that almost every single  building had it’s backside facing the lake, which really isn’t picturesque at all.

However, they did have ducks:

duck3_Snapseed

That was the best shot I took all day, hands-down. There were also a few flowers still in bloom, and I managed to get this shot too:

duck5_Snapseed

But honestly, the rest of the 300 or so pictures I took were just a bust. I used the in expensive 55-250mm zoom lens for these, and while it was nice and light, I wasn’t too impressed with the shots it took in general, but I think most of the blame goes to the environment for not being all that thrilling. The pics were just boring. And I have to put some blame on myself for not checking the settings entirely. I made sure I got the white balance right this time, but I forgot to switch to RAW (the last time I used my SL1 was to take some pics for something I wanted to sell on eBay, so I shot them in JPEG) and so every photo I took was in JPEG form, which ticked me off because I couldn’t process them as extensively as I would have liked. Boo.

However, rather than abandon them all entirely, i decided to pull some of the less-dudley of the duds into Photoshop and use another day of my free trial on the RadLab software to see if I couldn’t at least liven them up. So here are some of those experiments – plain old photo first, then the improvement:

duck4

This was one of the rare shots of a building on the lake that looked like something other than a back wall. The condos out here are expensive; half a million at least. Anyway, here’s the shot after using Rad Lab on it – none of these shots were edited in my usual manner since Photo Ninja doesn’t work as well on  JPEGS and I only wanted to open and edit them one time anyway (every time you open, edit, and re-save a JPEG file you lose loads of quality, so I had to edit these in one shot):

duck4edit

Not bad, right? All I had to was open Photoshop, then open the Rad Lab plugin and get to work. Every filter I used I was able to adjust to the levels I wanted, and I was able to layer filters on top of each other and work with whichever one I wanted to adjust. It’s really easy to use and has some great effects (being me, I love anything that sharpens a photo, and the “highlight separator” filter was particularly awesome). There were basic adjustment filters as well as color ones and different lens effects, and a big selection of black and whites to choose from. Here’s another before and after:

duck2

Even though my camera settings weren’t right to stop motion, I liked this blurry duck photo anyway. As you can see though, the color was really blah. Here’s the RadLab version:

duck2edit

Definitely better, although also definitely a more “filtered” shot than I would have liked. OK, no more before and afters, but a few more shots, all heavily edited using RadLab:

duck6
Bridge over the lake heading to the hotel

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Condos and a shot of the medical center 

duck8
Another lake view with the Marriott in the background

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The Hyatt hotel and the bridge connecting the shopping center to the other side, where the jogging trails are

I realize this isn’t a particularly interesting post, but I have started binge-watching the Sopranos (I always choose some TV show I never watched when it was popular to view obsessively over vacations) so I was honestly only half paying attention as I am trying to get through episode three before I go to bed, and it’s playing in the background as I type this. Terrible, I know; so I’ll cut this short and go finish watching Tony Soprano castrate someone. Pleasant dreams everyone!

Clutter Bug

Just a little update here – work is still going on this week and next, and I have joined a boot camp for the summer to kick-start my get-back-into-shape routine, so I’ve been busy. I’ve also continued to clean out my office in preparation for transitioning it into a studio; to that end, I’ve gotten rid of both the big ugly bookshelf and the little love seat/dog bed that rested against the wall where I pose for photos. Getting rid of those two things has cleared up a lot of space, and I can tell already that it’s going to make a difference next time I shoot – while I could easily move the sofa out of the way before, I couldn’t get it out of the room without it being a huge hassle, so it always ended up crammed against a wall. And of course, the bookshelf never moved.

studio1
The new space – I can easily move that chair and the end table out of the room, unlike the sofa that used to be there.

Please take no note of the carpet situation here – we are getting it all replaced soon, which is another motivation to de-clutter the house ASAP. I’ve been on a real tear with this all week, and have cleaned out my costume closet as well as a huge armoire that we are having hauled away by junk movers this coming Monday. The thing is massive and has always been pretty much useless; it’s part of a bedroom suite of furniture my oldest sister bought at an auction about 20 years ago for three hundred bucks and eventually gave to me – and yeah, we’ve had it ever since. And are still using the other two pieces of furniture, in fact. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m not one for home decorating, or buying new furniture. Anyway, the armoire at least is going, and a bunch of other things that are sitting around the house being useless (an old exercise bench, our really old Christmas tree, some computer monitors – and yes it will all be donated or recycled) and in order to get some of this stuff hauled away I’ve had to clean it out, which has led to cleaning out other closets and drawers to make room for the things I want to keep when I clean out the original piece. It’s astounding how much I’ve gotten rid of already, but I’m definitely in the mood to keep going.

So how many photos are going to be taken this weekend then? Probably none, but I’ll get back to it soon. I was going to take photos of the location where I go for boot camp,  because it’s at a community center in a nearby neighborhood that is really lovely, but the trainer had to cancel class tonight so I had to work out at home – and since I work out in the same room that functions as my office and future photography studio, well, you’ve already seen a photo of that. So I’ll get pics of the workout area Monday when I go back again. Oh, and my dad and I plan on heading out to IAH on June 14th to check out the airplanes, so there will finally be some new aviation pictures too. Have a great Thursday my friends!

Sandy Pants

I have actually taken lots of photos at work since being asked to step up and shoot photographs for the school (for use on social media sites as well as for promotional materials, etc.). It has been interesting trying to shoot such different types of photographs from my normal stuff (shots in poor lighting conditions, without proper equipment, and to other people’s specifications) and I’d love to share some of what I’ve done so I can talk about the hows and whys of the shots, but the photos are of students at the school and it isn’t appropriate for me to share them here. Suffice it to say that I did get the valedictorian and the salutatorian to perform a jump shot in front of some school lockers for a Facebook post.

Instead I’ll share this one, which was a test shot I took a few weeks ago – as you can tell, the test proved that my lighting was way overexposed. There was something about this shot that captured my attention even though it was a throwaway shot, so I decided to process it. Maybe it’s the harsh look of my face (I have a wig cap on, but hadn’t yet put on the wig), or the blur, or the ruffled skirt (love that skirt, BTW) or the handy ExpoDisc hanging around my neck making me look not unlike Flava Flav, or the overly yellow tones – not sure what about I liked so much, but it was begging to be messed with, so I did:

expoport1_Snapseed_pxr

I also have another levitation/Fab Pants shot to share, but before I do that, it’s time for a SANDY BREAK! Because I’m still seeing Sandy twice a week for my arm, although I’m not sure it’s really helping when I stay on the computer for 4 hours at a stretch on a regular basis, but still. Sandy tells me stories, y’all, so I gotta share.

First of all, Sandy recently lost a long-time client when the guy got offended by her attempts to discuss what she called “women’s lubrication issues” with him. I have to call a bit of BS on this, because I find it hard to believe that someone who’s been seeing Sandy for a significant length of time would be surprised by any topic of conversation she might bring up; I’ve only written about Sandy 3 or 4 times on this blog but I bet not one of you was surprised to hear it, so clearly I’m not getting the whole story. Moving on. Sandy also had a “travel trailer” implode when she hitched it up to her truck to drive it off her property – because it was infested with scorpions. “It was just full of scorpions, and when I moved it just a little it blew up and scorpions just flew out everywhere.” I think Sandy does drugs, y’all. She also has lots of vacation properties available to rent, complete with travel trailers – just bring plenty of scorpion antidote with you.

Anyway, here’s my other levitation/Fab Pants photo. If you follow me on Flickr, you’ve seen it already.

FabPants3a_Snapseed_pxr

Also, I am down to about 8 days left with students at work, then another two weeks before some sort of vacation sets in. I am at that point in the school year where I wish we could cram the last few days in through Saturday and Sunday and forget weekends, to get to the finish line sooner. I find myself sitting around all weekend twiddling my thumbs, waiting to get back to Monday and GET IT OVER WITH. I am sure the students feel the same way.

Not sure if I’m going to shoot planes this weekend or not as I haven’t heard back from my father, but we’ll see. Graduation is this Saturday and there’s loads of other things going on, so if it gets put off another weekend or two I won’t be too bummed. I’ve gotten a few new wigs in that I can always photograph, as well as continue working with my macro lens to get it under control. Until next time, people!

Flies of Fancy

Another stellar title there, people.

About three weeks ago, something died in one of our bedroom walls. No, this is not a metaphor. Something really died. We were surprised because for the life of us we couldn’t figure out how it got in there – but get in it did, and die it did, too. The smell was horrible for about three days, then faded, and we forgot about it. Now we’re being reminded in the form of blow flies that are hanging around on our lampshades and bathroom lightbulbs at night after what I can only assume is a full day of gorging on dead rodent flesh. They aren’t particularly bothersome, beyond being disgusting and pretty much everywhere – what I mean is, they aren’t interested in actually flying around or buzzing in anyone’s ear. But they are FLIES, and they are IN MY HOUSE. My husband does not understand my obsession with doing everything I can to eliminate every single one I see, in spite of the fact that each fly I manage to kill with the rubber flip-flop I’ve converted into a swatter appears to simply spawn two more; but he isn’t one to get particularly bothered about much of anything around the house unless it is interfering with his wifi connection. And I do get why he sees my pursuit of fly-murder as futile (perhaps Sandy could give me some pointers here), but how is one supposed to ignore the fact that their house is undergoing some serious Amityville-level fly infestation all of a sudden?

Anyway, my point – while researching this situation on the internet to get more information about how to possibly eliminate these pests or, if nothing else, see about how long this is going to last, I came across many websites offering less than stellar chemical solutions to the problem. One in particular gave me my “must share this on my blog” moment of the day – see if you can spot anything amiss in this fly trapper ad:

Screenshot 2014-05-09 21.33.15

What I can’t figure out is if “currently being used in the war with Iraq” is supposed to be a warning or a selling point. Personally I read it as a warning, but then again, I was always opposed to that war, so perhaps that’s why. Maybe a conservative would see it as a good thing, and snatch some Flies-B-Gone right up. Who knows. All I know is that one red sentence gave me way more to ponder than was probably intended. And no, I didn’t buy one; I hate these flies with a passion, but I’m not sure I want to shock-and-awe them into a quagmire that lasts for years and costs me billions of dollars, so I’ll pass on the Flies-B-Gone traps for now and hope the situation resolves itself quickly.

Haven’t had time to edit any more beach photos, but I have several marked to work on this weekend. I’ve also gotten several new wigs in that I’d like to photograph but we’ll see what I can get done, and what needs to wait. I’m a bit concerned I might end up human fly paper if I turn on a bunch of fluorescent lights and aim them right at me – they do love the light bulbs, I’m just not sure about the fluorescent kind. We’ll see.