Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mourning A Loss...

The funny thing about pets is how such a tiny, little friend can leave such a big hole in your heart when they die! While we were up visiting my Mom in Sherbrooke, our dwarf hamster Jellybean passed away, the diabetes finally getting the best of her. She did live with us for almost a full year, living 7 months longer than Nipper, who was also female and diabetic.

We still have our male dwarf hamster, Wuffles, who is now well over a year and a half old. He’s an old creaky fellow by dwarf hamster standards, but a true gentleman who loves to be cuddled and coddled. When our friend, Tanya, called us in Sherbrooke late Thursday night to tell us that Jellybean has passed away, Bethany and Erin dissolved into tears and kept saying “We thought Wuffles would die first!”

Tonight we buried Jellybean in our backyard under the same bleeding heart bush as Nipper and remembered her life with tears and giggles. Bethany dearly wanted to dig to see if Nipper’s skeleton would be there by now but I managed to explain the concept of resting in PEACE to my budding forensic scientist/archeologist.

One of the things that pets teach us is how to open our hearts to love something, even though it may not be with us forever. The girls are coming to understand that loving small rodents with shorter life spans means saying goodbye more often than with a larger pet, but that the joy of loving them and having them in our lives is worth the pain of saying goodbye when they go. Erin is having a harder time since Jellybean was “her Bean”. I’m not sure how much longer Wuffles will be with us either. 2 years is considered long for a dwarf hamster... so we’ll just treasure the time we have left with him, and then maybe take a little break for a bit. Pets have a wonderfully magical way of appearing in your lives just when you need them the most. I’ve never thought that rushing out right away to fill the void with a new furry bundle really honoured the life of the pet you’d just said goodbye to.

Goodbye Jellybean! You taught us that not a female dwarf hamster could be hand tamed if you were patient enough and started young. You taught us how to laugh when you boxed at everything like a little fighting kangaroo and we will really, really, really miss you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What Exactly Makes You A Troll?

Here's the same post that I put on Multiply tonight after getting an e-mail from a fan. Enjoy!

One of my fans sent me a list of Multiply Trolls that is making the rounds of the multiply users that still use this wonderful site to share illegal cross stitch patterns with each other and the world. This got me thinking about what exactly defines someone as a Troll, especially since 5 of us on that list are just designers trying to defend the copyrights of the designs that we created and are being shared illegally.

Wikipedia defines Internet Trolls the best at as someone who disrupts the flow of discussion on a group by posting rude, inflamatory, offensive or repetitive messages. I guess if we designers repeat the fact that scanning in a leaflet and posting it electronically is ILLEGAL, then we are being repetitive... so then I AM a troll.

But if you read further articles about troll culture, true internet trolls pride themselves on remaining anonymous. Going in as DragonDreamsJen is about as UNanonymous as I know how to be and my profile certainly never tries to hide who I am... so then I am NOT a troll.

If you read even further down to the Alternate Views section, it shows how people often get called trolls for holding a different opinion from the majority in a group, so by that definition, I AM a troll to all those who use multiply to share patterns illegally, but I like how that is defined as a "logical fallacy"!

So am I a Troll or not? I guess if I get called a troll for speaking out against something that is illegal and ethically wrong, then I will accept the label... and maybe I'll just draw a little troll cartoon to go along with my profile.. but being a mythical dragon is a LOT more fun!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Good Pirates... and Bad Ones.

Our family went to see the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie today, having watched the first one with the girls last night to see if they found it too scary. They LOVED Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow and giggled their way through most of the first movie.

Today, while they loved the second one, they really hated the fact that Elizabeth wrestled with making some wrong choices. Suddenly the heroine wasn’t so perfect. She wasn’t someone they admired as much or were even sure they still liked! I hated being left knowing that I’d have to wait until NEXT summer to see the end of the story, but it wasn’t as bad as walking out of Empire Strikes Back many years ago in total shock!

As we talked about the movie later tonight, I tried to point out that Elizabeth was more real in this movie because no one is all bad or all good. We are all a unique mix of both and a whole lot more.

I am dealing with more piracy issues on line as well, and it got me to thinking about good pirates and bad, about who the heroes really are sometimes, about whether or not ignorance is actually a defense, about how some people who go against the law are glamorized and how being honorable and ethical sometimes seems to put you further behind. It certainly didn’t get Orlando Bloom as far in this movie as in the first...

Perhaps the answer lies in the pirates song... Yo! Ho! Ho! and a bottle of Rum...
it might wash away the salty popcorn taste!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

17 Years And Counting...

17 years ago, I walked down the aisle to join my life with Nick’s. Some of our friends (you know who you are!) are still married, but we have watched many others go their separate ways.

Tonight we had a lovely dinner and then watched our kids put on a play for us which we filmed to keep on hand for blackmail purposes or to show at their weddings someday.

After 17 years, I am still proud to say that I am still married to my Best Friend, that life together is seldom boring or predictable but full of laughter, that he knows me better than anyone else on this planet and loves me anyway... and that his kisses still make me go weak in the knees.

Happy Anniversary To Us!