Help me replace my dying Laptop

As you know, I’ve got the design bug.

Cover Photo - Top View Desk.jpg

I’ve been teaching myself the ins and outs of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

People tell me I have talent and a good eye for composition. And by people, I mean the pros that have seen my work.

If I say so myself, I’ve made some pretty illustrations.

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But I’ve hit a wall.

One could say that an artist is as good as their tools. And sadly, my poor old laptop, as awesome as it is, can’t handle the requirements of Adobe. Add more than five layers to the artwork and wham, it crashes. (Help me get a new one)

This laptop has served me well. But the time has come for it to get an honourary retirement and move to Florida (or wherever retired laptops go to enjoy their last years in peace and happiness). Continue reading

Lifestyle Changes

As the chronic pain becomes more and more prominent in my life, I’ve had to make adjustments in my life style. 

Like when I finally got an electric grinder for coffee beans a couple of years ago. I loved my mechanic one but due to wrist pain it became impractical to use. Still have it but can’t use it anymore. Now it is a conversational piece, sitting pretty on a shelf.  

This week, I caved in and got a 2in1 stick vacuum cleaner during Prime day. Apparently I scored a huge deal too, $30, tax & shipping included. We’ll see how it performs, though. Hopefully it has sufficient sucking power to do the job and it is light enough for me to handle thus reducing the pain associated with dusting and sweeping. Hopefully.

I hate having to use electric tools. They leave such a huge carbon print! So for me, it is quite aggravating having to turn to electric things because of the pain. Stupid pain.


Fast forward half a day


Well, there it is.

As a stick vacuum, it is definitely light. As a hand-held, it’s a bit on the heavy side but I think I can manage as I imagine I won’t be holding it for extended periods of time. The suction power is unexpectedly good for such a tiny thing.

I vacuumed the living area (open concept kitchen/dining/living room). It did its job and it did it well. It took care of all the dust bunnies and cat hair that had accumulated while I was away with just one sweep. 

The floor is looking quite nice but I am not as tired, overheated or in pain as I would be if I would have swept the same area to obtain the same results.

Then I decided I tried it on a small rug.

Before vacumming

After vacumming

After using the red lint thingy

That’s almost four weeks worth of cat hair. I had last cleaned it the week of my birthday. 

As you can see, the vacuum cleaner is of little help there.

But since I don’t have carpets or big area rugs, that won’t be much of a problem for me.

As for packaging – another source of aggravation- thankfully this one is not as wasteful as some I’ve seen. Most of it is cardboard, which can be recycled [yaaay]. Nonetheless there’s plastic wraps (three) that will sit on a landfill for thousands of years. If they don’t end up in the oceans and in the belly of some poor sea creature, that is.

In conclusion, the 2 in 1 vacuum cleaner does everything a broom does, but faster and with a lot less effort. Basically, it is an electric broom that can double as a [very heavy] dusting wand.

Akk things considered, it seems to be a good fit for me*.

The Night Furies however, who had never been anywhere near a vacuum cleaner, wholeheartedly disagree. They are positive the stick is the devil incarnate. 

Jay & Kaylee seem to be of the same opinion.


* Good for me, but bad for the planet. I so wish I could afford to have a self sufficient home, powered entirely with solar panels and wind turbines. 

How to properly​ insult a person according to their gender

I’ve been meaning to write this post for at least four years, if not more.

Of course, there is always something else that requires my attention… Blah, blah blah (insert image of Dracula here). Plus I’ve had nothing but problems and bad luck when it comes to Internet access since I moved to Windsor, which doesn’t help at all.

But! Today’s the day, I guess.

The subject is both a musing and a pet peeve of mine. HUGE (yes, all caps, bold and italics. It is that bad) pet peeve: the use of women-pertaining words as insults.

Early on in my journey of unlearning all the sexist crap imbued in me by the patriarchal society I grew in, I realized that most insult words in all the languages I know (can’t speak for the ones I don’t know) have to do with woman related stuff.

How do you insult a woman? You call her a whore, a bitch, a slut.

How do you insult a man? Do you call him a man-whore, a dog or slut too? Of course not. You use a female body part -pussy, cunt, twat (the outstanding exception being dick or any dick-related word). But if you really want to drive the point, then you call him a son of a bitch. A motherfucker. Never a fatherfucker, no. Oh no. The worse thing you can call a man in English is a motherfucker (the absolute worst thing you can call a man in Spanish is hijo de puta which means son of a whore). Have you ever stop to think why this is?

Let’s go back to the first kind of insults for a moment. Twat. Cunt. Douchebag (I particularly bloody despise this one). For millennia, women have been told their vaginas are dirty, smelly, disgusting. In the last century they were even told they should wash their vaginas to try and keep them reasonably clean. So they invented those douche contraptions (douche meaning something of a shower), composed of a bag to hold the rinsing solution and a dildo-looking hand shower that is to be inserted in the vagina in a order to wash it, connected to the bag by a small hose. That is what people use as an insult. Incidentally, it find it ironic that people -in their ignorance- use the bag part as the insult proper and not the dildo-looking part. Hilarious. Only that it is not.

Now, I ask: Why would anyone in their right minds use a female body part (or a device used for -arguably- feminine hygiene) to insult someone else? 

I’ll tell you why. Because we women are though lowly, unclean, debased, unworthy. Especially those parts of us involved in reproduction. Or *gasp* sexuality/pleasure. Thus it follows that the best way to insult anyone is to compare them to a filthy woman’s part. Capisce?

Furthermore, a woman who dares to enjoy her sexuality is a whore, a slut. Something undesirable. So much, it can be successfully used as an insult. It is bad enough for a woman to be called a whore* . But when you tell a man his mother is one… oh, boy; all hell breaks loose. Do not dare question the purity of his mother. If men could, they would all be borne by a virgin.

Think about it. Sleep on it. 

And most importantly please, I beg of you, stop using swear/insult words that perpetuate patriarchal cultures.


* Bitch being initially the same thing, as bitches -females dogs- were the ultimate representation of a female that sleeps around. That however has somewhat changed and nowadays bitch is understood more as a bossy, unreasonable or downright malevolent woman; although “Son of a bitch” persists as an insult for a man.

It weights heavily on me

Well, today I’m hating the world more than usual. I’m thoroughly discouraged by the apathy, insensitivity, lack of care and selfishness of human beings. 

Not to mention the maliciousness of the human mind. The ease with which it devises more and more efficient ways of killing. Of torturing. Of breaking someone’s spirit.

What kind of monster comes up with the idea of gas bombs?

That they exist is horrible and unthinkable enough.

That someone thought to throw them in at a place and a time when so many children are gathered is the stuff from nightmares.

That the rest of the world goes on without giving a fuck is a weight I am not strong enough to bear.

But to add insult to injury, then there’s this: 

Had to take this screenshot. It is from the comments on a series of pictures and videos of the horrifying gas attack in Syria from the Syrian American Medical Society- SAMS. There were many comments, as one can imagine. All expressing the expected emotions, shock, sadness, disgust. But above all, concern for the victims and their families, for all affected.

Except for this “person” who demands the post be taken down because omg how dare they ruin her day by showing such upsetting images.

As someone commented, “Wow. Yes, Heaven forbid HER day be ruined by the deaths of innocent children!”

I’ve had several people I considered friends tell me a variation on that. That they just want to see happy things. Pictures of cats, or puppies. That they are too sensitive and therefore cannot watch the news. 

That kind of coldness of the heart, of disconnect, of self-centeredness is incompatible with my software. It causes my hardware to overload and short circuit. 

I understand there is only so much a human brain can deal with. I understand we all need to take breaks now and then from awful news for our own mental health. This is not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about purposely placing yourself inside a bubble that keeps the suffering of the world away as if it didn’t exist. Doing this is to disconnect yourself from that which makes you human.

That’s where you start to see others as dummies. Non-human entities. As things without feelings. 

That’s when you have no moral conflict when your government orders a soldier in an isolated bunker to push that button. While he who gives the order proceeds to join the family to celebrate a grandchild’s birthday. Or something.

That cognitive dissonance.

That’s when you turn into that person who takes to social media to inform all your friends how much your life sucks because you were stuck in traffic for half an hour. And can you believe the “bitch” on the outside lane had the nerve to get in front of me when cars finally started moving? And now you dare posting upsetting stuff that will appear on my feed when I’m already having such a bad day??? FML.

It weights heavily on me.

Geekstalkers #3 Best Film Score


This article is a collaboration of  geeks & nerds (including yours truly) lead (enabled ;) ) by Jack and the Geekstalk.

Most of them live in the future (a.k.a the UK) so it works beautifully for me, since as you all know, I’m an unapologetic night owl.



Jack and the Geekstalk

The Geekstalkers are back!!

Welcome to another article from the Geekstalker Community. I feel obliged to issue a warning here….what follows is a whole bunch of AWESOMENESS! The Geekstalkers are an amazing group of geeks, nerds, podcasters and brilliant people who just like talking about anything and everything. A while ago we decided to share some of these conversations with the wider world.

You can check out our previous articles below.

Geekstalkers #1 – Favourite Film

Geekstalkers #2 – Favourite Comic

This month’s topic was our Best/Favourite Film Score, the only rule was the song/theme/music had to be original, written for a particular film, other than that…….There are no rules!!! Enjoy!

Ben from SuperNerds UK – @HailLeviation, @SuperNerdsUK

Music is a big thing to me, I grew up listening to a lot of varied things from an early age and played bass or guitar in various bands from my late…

View original post 4,455 more words

Coping Musings: Illustrations & Coffee Humour 

Two things help me cope: 

  1. Humour
  2. Art/Arts and crafts (incidentally, why is it arts & crafts and not art & craft? English is such a weird language 🤣). 

As a child, I learned crochet, sewing and embroidery from my grandmother. We spent many a great afternoon having coffee and making stuff together and -unlike whoever my current teacher at that moment was- she was never put off by the fact I was left-handed. I also learned other various crafts at school but as I grew up, I forwent them for the pursuit of science. 

Three or fours years ago, however, during a three week stay at the mental health hospital ward, my awesome assigned occupational therapist had me working on various crafting projects twice a week. That re-kindled my love for the arts & crafts. 

Now I do papercrafts and I am also teaching myself some graphic design. This piece I made last year is based on a tutorial for typography-based design by Design Cuts -who are fantastic, by the way- but I changed their quote for a coffee related one. Because, you know, coffee.

Do NOT get between a Colombian and her coffee. Ever!

Um, yeah… I have a weird sense of humour. I know.

What’s in a name?

Oh, what’s in a name, sings Timon to Pumbaa. 

Very convincingly too. 

And for the most part, he is right; not much, really. 

But some other times, there is hell in it. Or redemption.

I have known both.

Right now, my name contains my Safe Place. It means freedom. It means healing. It means a chance at being happy. 

I’ve been divorced for more than ten years, yet I still use my married name. Every now and then, someone would ask why. I always say that I hate red tape and it really isn’t worth the hassle of the paperwork and the money and time spent doing it. 

At this point, most people agree and the conversation moves on.

But even more rarely, someone – trying to be useful, I’m sure – will say “oh, it is not as complicated as you think. You just fill out a form and that’s it”.

At this point, I stare blankly at them, at loss for words. 

How do you explain that you simply cannot bring yourself to bear your father’s name again?

How do you say anything when even trying to hint at the fact that the real reason has to do with my father sends me into the amusement-park-house-of-horrors-mushrooms-induced-bad-trip-like experience* that thinking about my father unleashes?

I just can’t. 

All that I have achieved in terms of healing, in accepting myself, in internalizing that my father’s sins are not mine to carry, that I am not a bad seed, that I don’t have to serve time for my father’s transgressions… all of that will be lost if I go back to my maiden name. 

I can’t allow that to happen.

So, what’s in a name?

For some of us, the key to a healthy life.


* I’ve heard and read in the textbooks. I have never been inclined to drown my sorrows in alcohol or drugs despite the difficult, painful circumstances of my childhood and adolescence​.

Men’s Day, Or Stroke-inducing, angry musings  

You know what’s disheartening? Women all over the world fighting the patriarchy hard for our rights, for equality, while women in Colombia are celebrating men today on a bloody made up Men’s day. Doesn’t get any more patriarchal than that. Pickup artists all over the world must be laughing and shaking hands right now.

Anger, despair, face-palming, head-desking doesn’t even begin to cover what I feel right now.

Please, give me some words of wisdom. Anything. I feel so aggravated right now I am on the  verge of saying something I will regret for the rest of my life to each one of them. What a horrible thing to be so blind, so brainwashed.

A telling article in Colombia Reports gives us some disheartening numbers:

According to recently released figures, 38,000 cases of reported domestic violence were reported in 2014 alone.

Colombia’s women: Beaten, tortured and extorted

More than 16,000 Colombian women were sexually abused in Colombia in the same year.

According to the Ombudsman’s Office, 75% of women have suffered psychological abuse, 50% have been victim to physical abuse and 11% have suffered economic violence.

Please take a moment to read it. These facts -while chilling- must be known, acknowledged and acted upon.

Last year, my sister posted something to the extent of happy day to all the men in my life shit, 

I explained to her -as kindly as I could, which took the restrain I have exercised in my life, something I am rarely capable of- what the purpose of International Women’s Day is, why it had been created, how it isn’t a hallmark holiday meant to wish women a happy day for no reason, and how women are still oppressed, abused and murdered in many parts of the world. I explained why it was wrong to have a Men’s Day because every other day of the year is basically men’s day given the patriarchal nature of societies in general and Colombian one in particular.. 

And yet… and yet, there she is again this year, posting how she wishes a happy day to all the men in her life! 

Just like most of my old childhood and school friends.the same friends who were so sympathetic to our classmate who’s niece took her own life a couple of months ago due to domestic abuse. 

My friend posted all sorts of articles and statistics about the prevalence of domestic abuse. She exhorted everybody in our secret group to think about it, to share it with all the women in our lives. They all agree, of course.

And yet, here they are today, so happily posting all sort of hallmark-like thoughts of celebration for all men in their day.

I’m losing it. Seriously. I just can’t

PS: This is another post from my phone therefore formatting will be wonky.