These are old archived entries from my journal, Ornamental Illness. I have eliminated all graphics (except those in context of an entry) to save on my bandwidth usage.

Please visit my other sites below. I promise they're more visually interesting.

Ornamental Illness main entry page

Ann-S-Thesia Web Graphics

Ann's Gemstone Jewelry

The Dingbatcave

Art Objects

Eyebalm Fine Art

Windowsill Cactus

Saturday, August 31, 2002

An Idea...

Yay! It worked! I figured out how to use an icon to represent us using the "author" Greymatter variable followed the by ".gif" extension! Although I'm sure this isn't proper GM code according to the GM forum moderator geeks, but I won't get into that old war here. Did a quickie initial zodiacal/gender thing...maybe when I have time I'll replace it with human faces. worked!

Posted by Ann on 08/31/02@04:11 PM CST ..::Link::..


Trying to figure out how to make it more obvious to differentiate between my posts and Stan's posts (now that we are both contributing) other than the small bit of text that says "posted by..." on the main page. I wish I could make the text different, or have a little icon by our posts or something. Maybe this can be done with Movable Type, but not Greymatter. I tried to install MT once, but I just don't have the patience or time to learn that.

I am not looking forward to Labor Day. First of all, I can't remember a Labor Day when Stan *wasn't* at work...not like it matters, I don't care about that, it just means he gets paid more for working a holiday, plus he gets to take the holiday at a more convenient time later. But something bad always happens on Labor Day with our animals...Hieronymus fell down the stairs in 2000 and it crippled him for weeks. Last year our cat Natasha died. No, I'm not looking forward to Labor Day.

Posted by Ann on 08/31/02@09:21 AM CST ..::Link::..


Confusing sequences again...I'm not sure which came first.

1. The first dream involved a certain male that we haven't spoken with since 2000 that I don't want to see again. He was in town or something. I seem to be having these post-traumatic stress dreams of Labor Day 2000 lately.

2. Stan told me that the large Crane Fly that we fed the frog last night made him sick. Stan then took the frog and pryed the fly out of its mouth. He was doing this in the back of a car, and I was afraid the frog would escape. I guess we were travelling, and then I found ourselves at an airport terminal as if we'd just come off a plane. There were a bunch of people there milling around looking for passengers to pick up. I saw our friend Lamya, so we followed her. We were descending these bamboo stairs that were covered with water and it was dark, so I couldn't move fast because I couldn't see and my arms were full of luggage and stuff and I didn't want to slip. I was spilling all my belongings on the stairs. Stan and Lamya (who can see better than me and who weren't carrying much) were way ahead of me and didn't even notice my problem. I started to cry. I think they did turn around to help me.

3. I was at my parent's house and I had to get ready for a flight that was to leave in about an hour. It was almost 8:30 am, but it was pitch black. It was strange because it was as if I was going on a trip, instead of travelling back home to Madison...weird. I realized that although I'd packed my clothes, I didn't pack shoes or any of my computer stuff so I was running around frantically trying to gather stuff up. I walk into the bathroom because the door was open, and my dad was there, naked except for his bathrobe and he was doing something with his thigh...removing a tick or something, I don't know. He looks at me like "how dare you come in here" (like I wanted to see him like that), but the damn door was did I know?

Posted by Ann on 08/31/02@08:40 AM CST ..::Link::..

Friday, August 30, 2002


My first iBook means for me a new period of creative transformation. For the last six years I've produced an eighteen inch stack of notebooks containing outlines and dialogues for six different novels. None of these note collections are even close to being called a first draft which I could show to another person for any kind of input. Since childhood my habit of writing has been to produce everything in long hand and rewrite a final draft in long hand too. The end of the process was to then use the hand written final draft to produce a legible copy on a typewriter of computer. Before the dawn of computers I was not the kind of person to use a typewriter as a writing tool, and until now I've never had the right conditions to use a computer according to my own creativity schedule.

I feel a little like one of the writers in the movie Naked Lunch. The writing instrument itself had control in the writer's lives like an addiction, and moving from a typewriter to a computer was like changing one's drug habit to a stronger drug. Moving from the pen, in my case, to an iBook causes me to feel that I've become more addicted to writing than ever before, and I've become even more helpless against my desire to write.

I also feel like my creative life has come in contact with a monolith of transformation by using my iBook as a writing tool sort of like the movie 2001. The ape men and the astronauts both came in contact with an advanced technology that changed them and everything they had assumed about their worlds. Before I bought my computer I assumed that using a computer would be a simple matter of transferring what I've written by hand into an iBook as a process of copying. Now that I'm using my iBook I see that everything I've written is becoming transformed to a degree I could not have foreseen. Copying what I've previously written is impossible because my entire creative world has been transformed by this new technology, and my writings are changing as I switch from the pen to the iBook.

All of my notes perish before my eyes like some antiquated paradigm in the process of rewriting everything from the last six years.

The most beautiful movie about writing I've ever seen was a gift from my sister Jamie. Anyone who loves reading and writing must see Il Postino (The Postman).

Posted by Stan on 08/30/02@06:20 PM CST ..::Link::..

DREAMs - Pug, Dubya and Lizards

Dream 1: Bad dream that Hieronymus fell off the retaining wall* in the front of our house while he was outside pooping. Stan picked him up, dusted him off, and he seemed to be fine, but he was unable to poop again. What a scary dream.

Dream 2: This is a weird one. Stan and I and some guy, who I think was Dubya, were in a very strange spacious shower. It was tiled with stone, and about the size of an entire bathroom. (I don't remember nudity or anything) The only problem is that wherever The Shrub stepped, he'd leave a messy spot on the tile, and I realized that George Junior had shit in the shower and was stepping in it and tracking it around. I left the shower because it was gross. I got mad at Stan because he didn't even see Our President's Poo, stepped in it himself, and tracked it around as well and didn't notice. Then I remember cleaning it up and pushing it into the drain. There was a lot of it. Very weird dream.

Dream 3: Stan and I had a Sunday off together. It was around noon, and we decided to go to the gallery where I had my show this summer. In the dream it was also a coffee shop and it was closer to where we lived, around the intersection of Atwood and Winnebago. Also, that part of the Schenks/Atwood neighborhood had narrower streets that were more like alleys. As we got to the gallery, we saw it was closed, but I wanted to go somewhere, so we ducked into a drugstore that also had a coffee shop or soda fountain (this doesn't exist). I started looking at magazines and Stan sat down somewhere to read. I wandered around the store, which seemed to turn into a cross between a department store and a library. I sat down on a couch, but some young teenage guys came into the area and were talking, and it disturbed me and I left. I found another area in the store that sold lots of household appliances. They were rather moderne/deco looking. For some reason I had it in my head that Stan's (Colorado) mom wanted appliances like these, so I went to get him. But when I found him, he was sitting on a bed that had a tiny blue lizard on it. Then I saw a larger blue lizard, and the larger one ate the smaller one. Then I saw an iguana...the whole bed was full of lizards, but I couldn't catch them...they'd hide in old socks and stuff that were around the bed. Then I was looking at my frog in its cage that was behind the bed, and noticed that there was a Praying Mantis in the cage with it. I was afraid the Praying Mantis, which was bigger than the frog, would eat the frog. I also didn't want the frog to eat the mantis. I was rather freaked out.

*IRL, our house is on a hill. A looong time ago, the front yard sloped down to street level, but through the decades of modernization, our street was widened and all the houses on our side (and probably the other side) of the road lost part of the front yards, and in doing so, many of the houses on our side, the hill side, had to have retaining walls added so that the part of the yard that was cut into didn't slide off into the street. Since our house appears to be on the tallest part of the hill, we have the highest retaining wall, which is taller than me. One of the first things we did when we bought the house was to paint a mural on the wall called "CowSharks." We got in trouble by the city for doing it without the proper paperwork. I don't know, I always think of filling out paperwork before beginning a painting, don't you? But our local alderperson was pretty cool and stood up for us at a city council meeting, so we were able to keep the mural. If some asshole hadn't complained about it, the city never would've cared. It's odd though, back when we I lived in Colorado as a kid/teenager/young renting person and drove by some old houses in a certain area in Denver (Colorado boulevard? Monaco parkway something?) that were on hills and had sloping front lawns, I always pictured that I'd like to live in a house like that, that had a sloping front lawn. Then I bought one.

Yet I digressed big time.

Posted by Ann on 08/30/02@10:06 AM CST ..::Link::..

Thursday, August 29, 2002


Um...I don't think it's allergies after all, I mean it might be part of it, but I'm also nauseous and lightheaded. And I have muscle aches in my arms. It's unusual for me to get a cold this time of year. Well, the good thing is if it is West Nile, I think it would make me immune from it in the future. Most people DO NOT die from it, most people when they get it don't even know they got it, and the others just think they have a flu/regular virus. Dying is mostly for those who have weakened immune systems or the very old.

Most likely it's just a regular virus/cold. Unusual for me in the summer, but most likely.

The only reason West Nile is even a remote possibility is because a couple months ago there was this weird crow in our neighborhood. It acted strangely, retarded, and unafraid of humans. It didn't fly much, at first we attributed it to being a young crow, just learning. But there's lots of crows in our neighborhood and we never experienced a crow like that before. It seemed stupid and sqwauked a lot. It would sit on our cars and in our bushes and not move when we came out. We nicknamed it "Crowtard". Then Crowtard disappeared, and a day or two later Stan heard a report that a dead crow had been found on the east side with West Nile. Scary. Yeah, and I've been bitten by mosquitos.

But it's still pretty unlikely. Stan's just paranoid. I guess I'd feel the same if he was sick instead.

Posted by Ann on 08/29/02@09:41 AM CST ..::Link::..

Wednesday, August 28, 2002


Caution, MAJOR cussing inside. If you don't like 4 letter words, don't go there. [more]

Posted by Ann on 08/28/02@03:49 PM CST ..::Link::..

Are you talking about that little girl that got murdered?

Hey, anyone see a picture of Robert Blake in the news lately? His hair is all white. Now, I know this can be explained by the mundane fact that they probably don't allow Grecian Formula in jail as opposed to a supernatural phenomenon, but still...any David Lynch fans out there see something strange in this? Remember Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks? His hair turned white after he killed Jacques Renault. Ironic that Lynch cast Blake in "Lost Highway" (BTW, the only Lynch movie that didn't thrill me). Lynch is a visionary, I tell ya.

Posted by Ann on 08/28/02@09:09 AM CST ..::Link::..

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Bad Allergies.


Posted by Ann on 08/27/02@09:11 AM CST ..::Link::..

Monday, August 26, 2002


I installed Jaguar (OS X.2) on Stan's iBook yesterday. Installation took a long time, but went flawlessly, left all his preferences intact, except that it wanted his password each time he started up, but I finally figured out how to fix that. I heard some horror tales from other people on the Apple discussion boards, but I had no probs, fortunately. Aesthetically, the spinning beachball is more attractive, spirally-er and more 3D. A search feature in the Finder is nice, and the special SPAM feature in Mail looks handy too, but honestly luv, I don't see *that* much difference. Hardly worth the hefty updgrade price from what I can tell (Stan got his for only $20 because he bought his iBook after they announced the upgrade). I think I'll pass on upgrading my G4. Too bad, I always wanted a Jag.

Posted by Ann on 08/26/02@02:12 PM CST ..::Link::..

A thought about Originality (for Stan)

OK, Stan, can you click the "more" link please? (this is where the diary gets boring for everyone else except Stan, I guarantee) It's just easier to communicate it here than to verbally tell you due to the very web/link based content. [more]

Posted by Ann on 08/26/02@01:28 PM CST ..::Link::..

DREAM - 195X?

I was walking around in what appeared to be a garment district of a big city. People were pushing those large garment carts. The strange seemed like it was post-WWII...early 50s-ish. No one seemed contemporary. I remember seeing a guy in a sailor uniform. Sort of kitschy movie musicalish.

Posted by Ann on 08/26/02@09:01 AM CST ..::Link::..

Sunday, August 25, 2002


frog1 (8k image)frog2 (8k image)frog3 (8k image)

These are pictures of the frog Stan found 8.11.02. Doing research, we can't find anything like him from Wisconsin. I discussed this with Bill yesterday, whose main field in college was herpetology, and he suspects it might be a species from outside our area that was released by someone, like an unwanted pet or something (who'd not want this cutie?). We've decided to keep him, since re-releasing a non-native species would not be good. He's a good eater, is as cute as a button, doesn't bark, doesn't pee on old socks on the floor, doesn't eat houseplants, doesn't bite when being groomed (doesn't need grooming), what more would you want in a pet?

Posted by Ann on 08/25/02@04:02 PM CST ..::Link::..

Black Swallowtail

swallowtaillargecaterpillar (18k image)I took a picture of this black swallowtail caterpillar a few days before it formed a chrysalis. It seemed to get extraordinarily large for its species. Those are Stan's fingers. It formed a brown chrysalis, only one of two brown ones we've had so far this season...most have been green. My theory is that they tend to form brown chrysalises at the end of the season because those will camouflage into dead plant matter better, whereas the green ones are formed earlier in the season to camo into green/living plant matter. This is just my amateur, non-insectologist, artistic observation...what do I know? I've been observing these guys for a couple years now. The ones we overwintered were all brown.

Posted by Ann on 08/25/02@03:46 PM CST ..::Link::..

Self Shot

082402 (21k image)August 24, 2002.

Just unloading the recent contents of my camera...

Posted by Ann on 08/25/02@03:38 PM CST ..::Link::..

Another bunch of DREAMs

I was walking in downtown Fort Collins alone on a cold winter night. I think I was trying to find my parents who were at church (but IRL my mom doesn't go to church anymore...good for her) I was in the vicinity of the county courthouse, so I go inside the courthouse. It is less governmental looking as it is corporate (another corporate nightmare?) looking...lots of dark wood and deep blue, lots of stairs. I'm trying to find my way out of the courthouse, but keep ending up on fireescapes that go nowhere.

I wake up. I go back to sleep.

I was walking in downtown somewhere large city with some other people. I was dressed in some purple pants I had back in the early 80s. There's a bunch of people around me...they're annoying me and I scream outloud to "get away from me and give me some space!" I immediately wake up and say "I don't mean you...I was having a nightmare" to Stan.

I fall back to sleep and wake up again...Stan has his head under his chest. I ask what is wrong and he says that his heart started racing when I yelled in my sleep. I wish I didn't do that. I go back to sleep.

I was walking around the center island (where they have those low-rent vendor stands) of some horrid mall with Stan. We're looking at the displays of the vendors and we lay our stuff down to look at something. Some prick tells us to move our stuff and it gets me mad. Suddenly I go into this very weird schizoid tourrette mode where I crouch down on the floor and start to cuss with three short four-letter words (sometimes duplicating the same word three times, sometimes saying three different words) each time someone says anything to me. There's a woman who tries to help me...I don't know if she's a psychologist or what, but each time she tries to help, I cuss at her. It was very strange.

Posted by Ann on 08/25/02@09:02 AM CST ..::Link::..
By Ann @ 20:56 PM CST:08:20:02 ..::Link::..