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Name: Justine
Location: Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Justine, is a little bit more than you'd expect. This is where you are supposed to put your "elevator speech". What you'd say if you were in the elevator with somebody you wanted to connect with. I don't have an "elevator speech". If I ran smack-dab into one of my "heroes" I'd just have to smile and be polite and keep my yipper shut and that's probably for the best anyway!

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Stop Making Sense
Only archaeologists remember that old Talking Heads album. But that little pressed piece of vinyl brought us some yummy tracks.

"Burning Down the House" always resonates with me. That cautionary "Watch out, you might get what your after."

Am I afraid I won't get what I've aimed for or am I more afraid that I will?

Yesterday was an avalanche of phone calls, starting the hospice process, worrying about money, and treating a dental infection. I had dental surgery on Saturday and now it's all gone wonky.

I'm exhausted beyond belief. Everything has stopped making sense and that seems perfectly fine.

Somehow I completely missed Monday this week and didn't catch Top Gear. This is a sign that my world has tilted very far out of kilter. I'm fairly sure James May is having more fun than I am this week, but that's to be expected. I'm working Saturday and Saturday night and I get to meet the hospice people on Sunday morning. By Sunday night I will be in a darkened room , blanket over my head, listening to the Italian road test "zzzoooomm" cam footage roar through the stereo speakers. Nothing like the sound of "varooooooom" to lift the spirits.

The Caddy is still leaking but I've discovered it's the weather stripping inside the bezel. Apparently GM paints the stripping when it paints the bezel. Of course that makes the weather stripping crunchy and unfit for the job. Water rolls off the trunk lid, goes under the bezel, leaks into the trunk lid through the mounting and wiring holes, and voila! My job is to ask the dealer to pull the bezel with me watching so we can both see if that is the case with Oliver. "W" has volunteered to do it on his next visit. I certainly don't feel like scrapping with the car dealership. (That tells me I am really tired.)

Bengies is showing "Hannah Montana" & "Race to Witch Mountain" this weekend instead of "Wolverine". Big disappointment! I want to see Mr. Hairy & Scary on the giant screen in all his testosterone soaked goodness. I'll just have to settle for the indoor theater I guess. Bengie's has me spoiled. Sitting in my car I don't have to fight anyone for the armrest and I can roll up the windows to cut out the jabbering nearby. Ooooo that would make for such wolfie goodness! I'll have to make do with my new Top Gear 10 DVDs. Sum yummy Stig driving and some screams of "Poweeeeeeeeer!" should improve my mood. Or I could put on "Oz & James" and watch the highly esteemed Mr. May get drunk and fall over.

Nah, I hate watching drunks. I grew up in a tourist town and grew to wish drunks would get drunk at home and stay there. Even the respected Mr. May does not make good viewing when he is looped. My apologies for any hurt feelings this may cause. ;)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
It's time for me to pack my gear and go. . . .
I just sat through a 45 minute meeting on how to bring DB2 up and down. I've been slapping DB2 hither and thithter for 2 decades. I am currently residing in a well paid job where I'm expected to be stupid. I've been sitting with my thumbs twiddling for six months.

The time really has come to pack a bag and hit the raod.

I'm really sick and tired of this career. Computers are for those afraid of color I suppose.

It seems like a simple enough thing to get through your head, "I don't want to do this anymore." It seems like an even simpler step to move to "I'm not going to do this anymore. I'm packing my pencils and changing careers."

Until coming back from that stupid meeting, just now, I didn't mean it. I didn't really believe I could walk away and do something else.

Now I do. No matter what I do I will be just fine.

It's time to stop being dead, pull off my mummy suit, and get out in the sunshine.
It's the end of the world as we know it!
"It's the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine."
~ Song played to death on XM alternative channel

Jeremy Clarkson gave up alcohol for a week.

James May wrote a reveiw of an AC/DC concert.

I just did my first "fingers and toes counting calendar panic" in twenty years.

Everything has gone bonkers. None too soon either.

Sometimes change is scary and sometimes its a relief.

My weekend plans to overhaul the studio got sidetracked by oral surgery. My Sunday afternoon with the singing teacher got mauled by an asthma attack. Sunday evening I went to see mom and found her terrified and confused. I spent almost two hours with mom but my presence, instead of being comforting, served to work her into a terror filled tizzy. I did manage to get her some pain medication and I rattled the doctor's cage but that's the best I could do.

Mom is dying. She's stopped eating because of the pain from the spreading cancer. The cancer is pushing the progress of the Alzheimers. Her digestive system is shutting down. She's getting weaker and weaker. With her mind as confused as it is, it's impossible to get her to understand that she has to eat to get her strength back.

It's the end of the world as I know it. And I'll be fine.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Just Say "NO" to Bad Car Porn
The fast and the furious? More like "The Camera Man With the Shaky Hand" and "The Testicle Sniffers".

Instead of glorious speed shots of sumptuously fast cars the movie was blurry focus, spark filled, jump edits of vaguely recognizable cars in the dark. There were squealing noises, dubbed in noises of cars already in top gear shifing up again, and the manufactured crunches of cars trading paint. What there wasn't was the sound of dialog that made sense.

Vin Diesel can't be expected to have the verbal allacrity of Jeremy Irons but he should be understandable. He called the villan a "pussy" and told the cop he was going to "kill" him. Other than that the audience was supposed to know why the main male characters stood around glaring at each other or stood belly to belly like two dogs sniffing each other's rear ends.

The car chases were the most disapointing car porn I've seen since "Speed Buggy" on Saturday morning cartoons. There was a lot of footage of the veins in Vin Diesel's neck standing out. There were a lot of cuts to hands shifting into third gear when the cars where already going flat out. There were no shots of the gorgeous vintage metal doing what it does best. The only time the camera held on a shot longer than 1/2 second was when the car was barrel rolling in a wreck. Looking at old style traction bars and glass breaking is not all that exciting.

For all the fluff and fun "The Transporter" series did a much better job showing the poetry in motion that is car porn. "Gone in 60 Seconds" gave a better glimpse at the beauty and wonder of its cast of co-star cars. Disney's "Cars" had a better plot and more interesting car eye candy.

Unless the next movie in the series puts The Stig in the cast I won't be wasting another moonligh night watching it.

Bengie's was as much fun as I remember. I arrived early enough to get a primo center parking spot and purchase my Birch Beer Soda Pop before the lines got long. The evening was cool and comfy.

The owner of Bengies has been in a legal battle with the new farm store across the road. When the store was granted a building permit it was with restrictions that their lighting could not interfere with the drive-in. They put up enough lighting to mess with the airport down the road! Bengies had to delay opening for 6 weeks because the original lighting obliterated the movie on the screen.

Since Bengie's has been in the same spot for 53 years, it's a no brainer that the farm store knew they had to behave. Apparently when they got served with legal papers they started trying to be a better neighbor. They had turned off their roof top lighting and some of the advertising signs so we could watch the movie Friday night. I hope they continue to cooperate.

Bengie's is only open 3 days a week for 1/4 of the year, the farm store should be able to play nice. If they don't I think the locals will boycott it out of business.

Bengie's in line to show the new "Wolverine" flick. Hugh Jackman on the biggest screen in the United States. That ought to be sumptuous in the extreme. I love the character of Wolverine. There are a lot of times I wish I was indestructable and I could pop claws out of my nuckles and maul people that are giving me grief. As one of my girlfirends says "He even looks like he smells interesting."

Let's just say, I too, am rather old school. Guys are supposed to be hairy and a little bit scary.

The Wolverine in a tricked out Mustang or souped up Challenger or a special edition Veyron. Ummm. Say "yes" to good car porn!
Friday, April 24, 2009
You Know Who You Are!
Muddled afternoon. Drifting in and out of work and woolgathering.

You've been on my mind today. You're out about in the wide world, under the sun, in the marvelous springtime. I can feel you tugging on the strings. You're looking at the horizon and shaking your head.

Everything feels closer today. Distances feel shorter. Time feels close at hand.

Maybe it's hope. Maybe it's the longer sunshine days. Maybe it's the flex and flux of detaching and leaving for retreat. Maybe it's just you, tugging on the other end of the wire.
A Little Night Music
Tonight is the night for dancing in the moonlight.

Yes I do mean the old King Harvest song. Its synth piano is plinking away in my ears right now. Even though it's only 11 a.m. I'm already circling in on "retreat" mode. I've got about 40 jobs to edit and prop up for the scheduler and then I'm caught up for the week at work. Then I can succumb to distraction.

At 6 p.m. I'm motoring the Caddy over to Bengie's for some drive-in movie relaxation. Tonight's features are "Monster's VS Aliens" and "Fast & Furious". Ummm. A little cartoon fun followed by muscle car porn. Should be a juicy evening. Temps are predicted to be in the seventies at show time.

A beautiful twilight, birch beer soda pop, popcorn for dinner, watching the private air planes moodling around in the sky, cranking the power seat into recline, and waiting for "Twilight Time" to play announcing show time. It should be a peaceful evening.

I look forward to Bengie's every year.

No boat tied to my palm tree.

PS It's after lunch and homing in on the 2 o'clock hour. I tiptoed out and moved my car into a legal parking space when folks bailed at lunch time. I also took a few minutes to take out the trash and look for the sunshade. I discovered another quart of water had collected in the trunk lid. That was nice and yucky when it drained out both on my feet and into the trunk at the same time. GM has issued a service bulletin on the issue, according to the Owner's Group, and I'm hoping my dealer reads it. Apparently the include weather stripping on the trunk lid bezel but then they paint over it and it leaks.

Hopefully that can get cleared up next week and I can put the trunk lid leveling feet back on.

Oh my, this post script is all fuzzy with after lunch thinking. I'm still excited about Bengies tonight and I'm counting the hours. But I'm not doing much in the way of conveying my glee. I will sign off. Do something "springy"!

"Top Gear Goes To The Drive In" would make an interesting special. They guys could pick out favorite movies. They could customize some crappy old car to be the "drive in pimp mobile". Of course they could make an inordinate amount of "gay" references and double entendres. It wouldn't be as much fun as driving to the North Pole but it would be a whole lot less dangerous!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
So What's for Naughty These Days?
Saturday I'm sneaking away to go on retreat. (Granted I am going to the dentist first, but it's freaking impossible to eat forbidden fruit without your teeth glued in !) Yesterday I bopped some email back and forth with the retreat host about some things I wanted to give a go. In her true fashion she got me jazzed up and ready to rip. I was truly excited about having a totally free day. She insists that during the retreat we ask ourselves continuously, "What do I want to do next?" We are permitted to quit doing things we don't want to finish. What a relief. I got so amped up I felt like a teenybopper sneaking out on a tear. (What do folks who are grown up do for a small thrill? We can already smoke, drink, and fornicate ourselves to death. What little thrills are left? Besides jumping out of an airplane or climbing Everest?)

Below is an excerpt from an email I sent in a moment of "amplitude".

Ooooooo a whole day to do exactly what I want! Hmmmm how deliciously dangerous! It feels like being seventeen, sneaking out after curfew, smoking a cigarette, and getting in a sports car with a "bad boy". A bad boy with a mustache and a six pack of beer. We’re going down to the “make out” spot by the boat landing. This is that dereliction of drudge duty that mom warned me will “get me in trouble” and leave me “alone, broke, and used”. I say “LET’s GO!”. I’m already “alone, broke, and used by a crappy job”, the worst has happened so let’s gun for the “Best”.

A day without slugging through a pile of paperwork, bills, and taking care of everybody else? I don’t know if I remember what one of those is like.

A day where I’m free to walk off and leave stuff unfinished and undone? Are you sure the gargoyles won’t fly off the cathedral roof and rend me limb from limb for my wickedness?

A day when housekeeping doesn’t count? I’d better smudge the house ahead of time to ward off the lords of chaos from ripping the doors off the hinges and devouring me alive!

Can I listen to “The Who” and have lustful thoughts about Roger Daltry? Can I do that without feeling like a rabid cougar?

Perhaps I’ll paint my fingernails “I’m not really a waitress” red. Perhaps I’ll go barefoot and wear that baggy t-shirt with the cats on it. Maybe I’ll have biscuits and cheese for lunch. Maybe I’ll put my hair up with the chopsticks with the pirate skulls on them.

Ummmmmm. The possibilities have my eyes aglow with a feral gleam. I can see my reflection in the computer screen. Suddenly I feel dangerous.

It’s about bloody time.

"What's for naughty little boy?"

Cum Hither Dear

PS: You may have noticed the Top Gear/ James May reference is missing. It was in there, I sent it to my friend but I took it out for posting because it was totally inappropriate.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Time for a NEW Blog Title
"James May Has More Fun Than I Do". . . .

Ok, a title based on car envy is still a title based on envy.

My little quirk for trying to drag the hapless Mr. May and his Top Gear commrades into this blog on a daily basis is reflected in the title. But only somewhat.

Obviously I have an issue with "fun".

Do I want Mr. May to stop having "fun". NO! I want him to have a gleeful life. He's a guy so I don't think ponies and rainbows are appropriate. They arent' appropriate for me. That's for sure. But a perkier color scheme is in the works.

I'm a bit disheveled with a warped sense of humor and a long history of being on my own.

I'm not a curmudgeon. Life sure looks like a mule in stockings and a wet suit sometimes and I say so.

I'm not a blushing teenybopper. I'm at that odd phase where I'm not quite sure if I'm pregnant or hitting menopause.

Don't have grey hair or wrinkles around my eyes. Don't have the perkiest set of headlights on the highway either.

I'm just in between. Like my blog. I don't want to prattle on knocking the erstwhile Mr. May. I don't want to sound like a ditzy, overheated cougar on the prowl. I like the guy's work.

So there's got to be a better title. "I Like James May" is too ambiguous. "James May Reader" sounds like I work at Bletchley Park and I'm trying to decipher secret code in his weekly columns. The candidates go downhill from there.

Perhaps "James May Has Fun"? Nah, that sounds like it came out of a "lads" magazine. If Mr. May chooses to spend his Saturday nights making tips prancing round the brass pole in a club, I want to remain blissfully unaware of it!

When my studio is reassembled, I'm going to do an new montage for the banner. I'll pull some less murky colors from that. In the meantime I'm going to ponder a new name.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Derry Coast Sunrise Returns
"Derry Coast Sunrise" is the unlikely name of the color I picked out for the studio. "Picked" is actually too strong a word. I found 1.5 gallons of that paint in my stash. It's the kitchen color and the kitchen opens into the office. It will all work out nicely.

My artst-fartsy side fell in love with some of the Jamaican greens and sunset lavender blues. I've lived so long as a rental prisoner in a manilla/vanilla/beige world that I have the wild urge to paint things mandarin red, electric blue, tropical teal, and sunburned shrimp pink.

The illustrious Mr. May has shared his colorful decorating designs with the public and it's safe to say he's not a "beige baby" either. I remember talk of a lime green bathroom floor. He made comments about orange and yellow carpet as well as a polka dotted desk stool.

I don't know why, but it makes me smile to hear about a man picking strong colors for his home. Beige seems like the refuge of those who don't know what they want.

There's the old rallying cry "it's neutral!", but there are a lot of neutrals.

"But resale value!", is another real estate cry. Resale my keester. I'm going to be in that house at least another 7 years. If I put the house on the market then it will need a fresh coat of paint anyway. I'm not putting my life on hold and living in a beige box because of "someday".

When I was little my dad built me a lovely chest for my room. When I was 6 it was a "toybox". When I was 17 the family called it "hope chest". What they didn't know was my hopes were pinned on me stuffing my clothes in the trunk of my Toyota and getting as far away from home as possible. Waiting for somebody to come along and rescue me seemed like a sure fire way to wind up disappointed.

I still have that pine chest. It's in my guest room and I call it a "blanket chest" now. It's in my house that I bought with my wages from my job. I got that job because many years ago I packed that Toyota and ran off. I learned the computer room ropes and worked my way from 2nd shift "tape ape" to 1st level systems programmer.

That girl in that silver Toyota with the stock black vinyl interior feels like she's earned a little color. So Derry Coast Sunrise come and shine on me. Send your little peachy sunbeams my way. Cover up that knackered 1970's paneling. Wash over those built-ins with ghastly iron hardware. Set that studio space to rights. I'll be home shortly and we'll play.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Derry Coast Sunrise
It's Monday afternoon my studio is packed in boxes or covered with plastic. The painters will arrive tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Presumably I will be out of bed, dressed, and ready for work by then.

To achieve this I need to unplug the phone tonight before I settle in for bed. Last night at 12:30 my buddy "D" had a full out blubbing nervous breakdown and called me for help. It was after 2 a.m. before I went to sleep. As a result I burned up my tiny bit of leave by taking off 2.5 hours this morning for sleep.

Seriuosly. I've had enough of this. I am going into this week with .75 hours of leave left and a dental crown hanging by a grain of cement. Since I have no leave, I get to wait until Saturday morning to go to the dentist and get it replaced. This also means that at 9:30 Saturday morning, when I should be joining my friend Jen for a retreat I paid for, I will be at the dentist's.

I have lost my everylovin' mind.

It's time for Little Miss Fu Fu to step up to the microphone and tell everybody "Get off the bus, this is your stop."

While Fu Fu and I shop paint colors and sketch out a new art supply storage system, I will leave you with a link to a great little flash video by Michael Bungay Stanier. He's speaking at the retreat this weekend. It's the 8 Irresistable Principles of Fun. Click Here for a look!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Does James May Have A House Full of Stuff Too?
"R" was kind enough to comment on my last post. They suggested that perhaps James May has a house full of stuff too.

It's stretching the rules to speculate I know but I hope Mr. May will forgive me. In his columns he's shared his color scheme for his stair carpet and bath, he's told us about the "junque" bowls in his kitchen, and he's even shared his doubts about is ability to make a house look "homey". In other venues he's discussed washing car parts in the bath tub, using tampons to clean the kitchen stove, and his wish that his house would stay as clean as his cleaning lady leaves it. I'm going to stretch that information a bit and ponder what type of debris maddens Mr. May on spring cleaning day.

My studio space contains a pinball machine, a ficus tree, a buffalo drum, the collected published works of Jeremy Clarkson, several collage art pieces, a television, a complete rack stereo system (with turntable), several hundred rubber stamps, twenty pounds of specialty art paper, three laundry hampers, four computer printers, two extra computer mice, a wireless keyboard, a mysterious stain on the rug that came with the house,three desk chairs, a desk, a kitchen table, 5 large shelves full of books, a fake fireplace, a rolly plastic chest of drawers stuffed with bits for collage work, a 1920's Underwood typewriter, a large stash of Yankee Candle merchandise, a pop art recliner and foot rest from the 1960's, enough patch cables to hook my reciever to a CD player at the end of the street, rolls of computer cabling, a thirty five foot phone cord, a vintage princess phone with a rotary dial, an OTT light, an architect's light, book binding supplies, polymer clay art supplies, and a selection of glues that would make even Mr. May smile.

Trying to imagine what the mysterious Mr. May may trip over at home certainly makes me smile. Perhaps his household inventory would include:

An extra carberator for a Honda motorbike
20 pound tub of basic legos
45 feet extra scaletrix track
Vase full of wilted Easter Lillies
7 half used bags of cat food
Economy sized tub of cat litter
8 empty cat litter containers that "might be good for something"
Case of airplane glue
23 Unopened snap-tite airplane models
1/2 mile of 0 gauge model railroad track
33 unmatched socks in a basket
4 Motorcycle Helmets
Flying Goggles
1 pair of driving shoes
1 Nomex driving suit
3 unmatched leather gloves
Senheiser Pilot Headphones
1/2 unused bar of lye soap
One copy of every Commander Biggles book ever written
14 catnip mice wedged under the kitchen radiator
Octopus bath mat given to him by a cousin
2 Gross of half used pencils in a cut off old juice can
2 dozen washed and folded shop cloths
Recycling bin full of beer bottles
13 unopened boxes of "fair trade" teas received as presents
Collection of 6 smoking pipes. Some more used than others.
Every book he ever bought for university
Two Copies of the Edith Warton Companion
4 books on modern art from the MOMA gift shop
7 art prints rolled up in a cardboard tube in the guest room closet

~~~~~ more to be added later? :)
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
James May Has More Fun Than I Do
That's a hell of a thing to title a blog. It's envy. It's fascination. It's an admission that I don't have my act ready for the road.

Today I'm stammering over the decision to get my studio up to speed.

After yesterday's brush with getting my ticket punched, it seems a bit mad to spend another Sunday sorting through junk. In the last 3 1/2 years I've moved so many housefulls of junk that I twitch when I see moving boxes. The Salvation Army donation dock has learned to tremble at my approach. Trash dumpsters in the county fear the sight of my caravan of organizers comming with truckloads of rubbish.

Still my house overflows with the agony that is "too much stuff". Every shelf in my office is crammed to overflowing. All my studio shelves are flooded with supplies. Every flat surface in my home, save for my bed, is now layered with stuff.

My trusty friend "Deb" made me donate mom's furniture to charity when we cleaned out her room. Still I brought home clothes and enough framed needwork to shingle a barn. That has not found a ready place in my home.

Closets will no longer shut. Hamepers, baskets, boxes, and bins are stuffed to bursting.

I haven't bought that much during the last year. The existing stuff is oozing out of where it was stashed last spring.

I know that the attic is full and waiting for me to thrash down its memory lane of debris.

Now is the time to donate, dismember, dispense, and dissapaite the crap that I wedged in the house with a shoe horn when I moved in. After months of sorting and trashing I ran out of energy last July.

The proverbial crap pot has boiled over again.

I'm upset, I'm stressed, I'm depressed, and I'm exhausted. But it really doesn't matter. I want my home back.

Sunday I will be armed with a big roll of trash bags and two organizers with vans.

Hi ho hi ho, it's make the change you know.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
A New Life Experience. . . .
Right now I'm involved with Jennifer Louden's 2009 Virtual Retreat. Barbara Sher is giving a talk as part of the festivities.

In her down-to-earth way she's just mentioned that a lot of folks aren't doing what makes them happy. Those people are having "A Near Life Experience".

This morning I was late for work because I was almost killed.

This afternoon I realized I've only "almost lived".
Monday, April 13, 2009
Benzodiazapene Peeps
Maybe, just maybe, my body doesn't really produce all the great enzymes it needs. That is part and parcel of the giga-syllable genetic syndrome I've been diagnosed with. It also causes low absorption of iron, B vitamins, and an overall malaise that has worn me to a nub on occasion.

So maybe, just maybe, if I stop seeing myself as someone who should be able to fly through the days at Warp 11 I'll be much better off.

I've had friends who were offered promotions and raises that they'd drooled over for years. When faced with the actual event they backed up and said, "I'm not that into money. Money is the root of all evil. I'm a good Christian so I'm not going to take the raise." They then spend the next several years bitching and moaning about the "lack of recognition" for their work. One even went so far as to take a rope to work and try and hang himself in the conference room.

He had himself so tightly labeled as "devout" and "humble" that he created the very situation that made him attempt to take his own life.

So maybe, just maybe, if I start painting myself with a compassionate eye and let go of the old worn out stories, my life will come about to a more peaceful place. (A peaceful place where my art has room to become and grow.)

Maybe, just maybe, if I open up the garbage bag and toss in my worn out versions of my story, I'll have a new story. A story that looks more like reality and fits more like couture.

What would happen if I tossed out the story of being lazy, or being overweight, or being old, or being bored with my job, or being a devoted daughter, or being past being able to have a good life, or being to independent for any man to love, or wearing any label at all?

Would I create a quiet safe space to just exist? No list of changes to make. No self-hatred. Just me.

I have a friend who has decided that she needs to take no medications. She tossed her psych meds and is now going through with drawl. She makes about as much sense as a doorknob. She is having panic attacks, sweats, shakes, black outs, and an overall inability to cope with life. She blames the meds for her weight gain over the last few years. She was a professional dancer for most of her life until she became disabled with arthritis. She forgets that since she doesn't move around much anymore she can't eat like she used to. She also forgot that she has psychotic episodes. It's part of the disease she has on top of the arthritis.

In the "story" she believes about herself, the meds are causing all her problems. Instead of exploring other possibilities she is trying to make all her problems go away by trashing her medicine. She's so sold on her "drugs are causing me problems" story that she's trashing what small amount of comfort she's gained.

Life is not a well mapped out walk through an amusement park. (At least not for humans anyway.) I don't have a pamphlet map that says "Here there be pirates." But maybe, just maybe the story I'm telling myself is about to be reversed by the next ride around the corner. Maybe, just maybe, I'd better stop being fooled by the glitter and special effects and look a little harder at what the real story is.

Maybe I can open my eyes and nothing scary will jump out.

Chirp Chirp!
In Your Easter Bonnet
Chirp Chirp!

Monday rolls around like a millstone. Once again grist for the mill.

With another 2 days off like the last two I might get caught up. Six loads of laundry, scrubbing out mom's stuff from the last place she lived.

Sometime during the last four weeks somebody emptied a moving truck full of flotsam and jetsam into my house. I'm sure they had to have.

The painters are coming next week to work on my studio. Yikes! I didn't even go to the Home Despot and look at paint. I must be slipping.

I stayed in the house, watched episodes of "To Catch A Thief" and "Alias Smith & Jones", and sorted through debris.

My voice teacher wants me to work up a small selection of songs and do them at the nursing home where my mom is. Right now I'm picking out songs. I've decided on a set of songs from the 40's more or less. So far "I Wish I Were In Love Again" is first up on the list. "Praise the Lord and Pass the Amunitiion", "Across The Alley From the Alamo", "They're Either To Old Or Too Young", and "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes At Me For" are in the running. "Dont' Get Around Much Anymore" and "Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night of the Week" are also possibilities.

I've got the classical exercises and songs in my practice as well. It's amazing how allergy season has cut into my ability to sing.

BBC America ran some kind of Best of Top Gear things over the weekend. They showed the first "amphibious car" challenge where James sailed a small car to victory. I never have figured out why he had a doll baby on the hood of the car.

Hope all had a good Easter.
Friday, April 10, 2009
What's the story morning glory?
What's my story? What's the story of my life? What story do I believe and live?

Is it the truth?

Am I the dutiful daughter? Am I an obsessed "Top Gear" fan girl? Am I the computer geek that dreams in hex? (I can add in base 16, thank you.) Am I the slacker that takes every moment possible off from work? Am I the drudge? Am I the dowdy middle aged woman who hires a gigolo? Am I the one who abandons everything and walks out to live under a new name on the streets of a far off city? Am I the best selling author? Am I the long lost love? Am I drowning? Am I hiding in the confusion? Am I the reincarnation of a WWII Air Ace? Am I the remnants of some girl who lived and died in the decoding labs at Bletchley Park? Am I the one who walked into the Atlantic in the 1890's? Am I mother's little angel and the apple of daddy's eye? Am I anybody I'd recognize if I met me on the street?

Yes, no, maybe so?

The blender is on in my brain.

I keep thinking of Seraphim and Kali.

My forehead feels like it's connected to a 110 electrical wire.

Am I a magician in the middle of my greatest illusion?

I can tell I'm lying to myself somewhere along the line. There is something just behind the door. I'm pulling the door handle with my hands. I'm holding the door shut with my feet.

On balance on the precipice. I tell myself I want to go down the other side. Part of me is lying. She wants to go back to the muggy summer when men landed on the moon. She was safe back then. Dad took care of the house and drove the car. Mom took care of her. She belonged to a family. She had a place in the world. She was loved.

Now she's balanced at the point where she has to see she can never go back. If she'll just open her eyes and shed her tears, she will see a better future is ahead.

Nigh on blind, blurry eyed, I'm still on the camel.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Flying aces and square purses. . .
Baby Logan finally got to try on his haul of new duds from the thrift sale last week. I know he's only a doll, but it's rude to leave an annatomically correct doll laying around naked in the parlor. The china dolls have been averting their eyes all week.

Logan now has two sleepers with puppy dogs embroidered on them. He also has two sets of "Flying Ace" shorts and tops. Last night He tried on his "28th Squadron Flying Ace" shirt and shorts. He looked very fetching but it was disappointing that the clothing maker put a modern day comercial plane in the logo and not a WWI or WWII plane. I guess "war" things are taboo at the Carter's factory.

Logan also has a top and shorts printed with all sorts of small private planes. There are some stylized bi-planes in there but you could tell they had to be snuck in at the edges of the design.

Since Logan has joined an Air Force family I wanted to get him some flying togs. He is a little boy after all! Both my mother and father were in the USAF. About all mom remembers anymore is her time in the Air Force. She can't remember her social security number but she's got her serial number down to a sing-song.

I went in search of WWI or WWII plane themed stuff for Logan and found a website called "Future Flyers Club". They have decor, toys, and kiddie sized flight suits. They also had this fabulous plane themed crib or bed ensemble called "The Gold Baron"


Most of the guys I know are into WWI or WWII aviation. "W" is a student of the WWI aces and his favorite is Frank Luke Jr. That makes buying prezzies for him easy. He always has a wish list of books on aviation.

My illustrious inspiration, James May, is quite a student of WWII and has flown in a Spitfire in episodes of Top Gear.

I, on the other hand, live in the flight path of one of the United States' busiest airports. I always known when the wind has shifted because during heavy weather Southwest Airlines flies directly over my bedroom on their landing approach.

Once again, James May has more fun than I do. I'm glad somebody does. :)
Come Josephine In My Flying Machine!

In the last year, I've been drawn to the story of the 41 Squardron of the RAF and to the stories of some of the women who worked in the war effort.

With the greatest respect for service persons of the 41 Squadron RAF, 1939-1945.

Please take a moment out to click on the link to the website detailing their honor, bravery, and sacrifice.

Click here to go to the website for "The Pilots of the 41 Squardron RAF, 1939-1945"
Monday, April 06, 2009
I want a paper dolly to call my own. . . .
Spent the weekend doing the weekly job, catching up hours so I'll get a full paycheck this week.

Took a few hours to do artsy stuff. Spent some time accumulating more stuff for the studio. Read a lot of sayings on rubber stamps. I love Tim Holtz' stuff.

But I will say to me it became clear that while life may be a journey, we don't create nor do we find ourselves. We spend the time focusing in or blurring our vision so we either see or do not see ourselves.

Where ever you go, there you are. Tehcnically you can't get away from yourself but you can obliviate your vision so that you are obscured and invisible to yourself and others. You can run and you can hide. But you won't get anyplace until you cope with you first.

Before you can kick a foot up your brother's ass, you must remove your head from your own.

Playing with my stamps and eyelet setting gear this weekend I had the idea for a new set of "paper dolls" I thought I might cook up a set of "James May" paper dolls for myself. I could use a pic of James with his hands in his pockets for the base. There are plenty of pics with his hands in pockets to use for clothes. The arms usually clip on with the clothes anyway. I might have to see if I could get it to work. Or I could make a set of fridge magnets. That would probably be more fun. :)

I have a Xyron machine that does sticky backing, laminate, and magnetic backing. I might as well use some of this stuff! :)

From Egg Press Studio

This fabulous doll is from Egg Spress Studio. Check them out!
Friday, April 03, 2009
Tokyo Night Parade
Friday, water washing down out of the sky. Ruts in the road fill with water and dissolved road salt. Cars bounce and waiver back and forth across the outer loop of the Baltimore Beltway.

The KY Jelly 53, the worlds most futile race track. Lapping around Baltimore four lanes and more wide it's a bona fide stress generator.

Everything is a shade of grey. With the exception of midlife crisis mobile in arrest-me-read most of the rolling stock is silver, grey, gray, tin can, frayed burlap, soot, tea dyed, or aged linen colored. The only difference is the assortment of tail lights and the occasional overstated chrome emblem.

Tonight I'm retreating back into my studio. The washing machine will be busy tonight. I'll be at the worktable stamping mother's name into her clothing so the nursing home will handle the laundry. I'll have the pinball machine on, letting it glitter away. I'll crank up the Rhapsody connection. The gas heater will click on and off while the rain bangs on the flat roof. I'll sit at the table sorting through art papers, buckets of polymer clay "artifacts" I've made, and shoeboxes full of paint tubes.

Where I'd rather be.

I don't want to talk on the phone tonight. I don't want to watch my DVR'd last episode of Battlestar Gallactica. I don't want to talk about mom. I don't want to ponder karma and the transition from the physical world to the spiritual plane. If my eyes drift closed and my third eye picks up a vision I won't ponder it too much. This week has been too intense to keep up the pace.

Where I'd rather be.

I want to go to the studio now and dabble in the colors: worn lipstick, peach bellini, mango, sienna, mandarin, sage, calypso blue, wine, dried marigold, Derry Coast sunrise, flannel grey, sunburst, bottle, purple surf, melon, soot, flamingo, pink pizzaz, British navy blue, burnt sepia, celadon, cardinal, peeled paint, shabby shutters, spiced marmalade, aged mahogany, brushed corduroy, midnight blue, fired brick, peeled paint, tattered rose. . . . . .
There on the street where you assemblage. . . .
Where I'd rather be.

Today I'd rather be at "Ranger University"

Ranger "U" is sponsored by Ranger Inks and is a nice shindig put on to teach craft teachers, artists, and store owners how to use the entire line of Ranger products. You get to take day long sessions with the top product designers, creators, and artists. One of the artists teaching is Tim Holtz. I've been lucky enough to have a few classes with him locally.

He's been one of my few craft teachers that didn't grimace at some of my grim imagery. (If I rememeber correctly I shoved doll arms and legs into a bottle and used the doll head for the stopper in one of his classes.) I love his style, his lack of schmatlz and flowers, and his tag lines that cut to the bone. Check out his blog for a daily jolt of happiness!

Since I can't be at Ranger U today, I'm signed up for an art techniques class tomorrow. It's a techniques class for using Copic Art Markers. These things are not your daddy's El Marko, that is for sure. The class promises to help you learn to shade with markers and color your art without those nasty little "marker lines".

I've got tomorrow set as a "me" day for a change. First thing out of the gate I'll be a the "Wee Ones" consignment sale to get Logan a few things if I find them. Second up I'll be in art class. Then the afternoon is for laundry and working on the studio. I picked up the "Studios" issue of "Threads" and it has lovely pix and tips from my faves, including Tim Holtz. Saturday night I have to work. it will give me a chance to make up some of the time I've missed this week.

Now that mom is safe and sound for the moment, I need to catch my mind again.

Perhaps I'll get it together enough to post some pix or scans of the artwork.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
There's your trouble. . . . .
Well, mom is currently being moved between two nursing homes. I think. I can't seem to find her and nobody is answering the phone. Seems to me I did this last Tuesday night but it was hospitals she was lost in.

I made it to work today but I'm not worth a whole lot. I went out to the Caddy owner's forum and found massive numbers of complaints about trunk leaks. I also found a tutorial on how to fix the leak. I phoned the Caddy dealership and spoke with them. Then I emailed that chirpy service writer the web links. If anyone is going to crawl in that trunk with silicone sealant, it's going to be GM and not me.

It also looks as if the moisture has fried the woofer in the back dash of the car. I care not unless GM is going to replace it for free. Otherwise I want to get the leaks fixed and I'll get "W" to work on getting a new sound system for the car.

The only really good thing about the Sable was it had a kickin' sound system.

Oh well I'll send "W" to check out the forum and he'll sort it out for me. I hope.

I've got too much to deal with right now to wrangle a car problem.

How much fun can 1 girl have? Oh a lot I think!

Oh James, I hope you are somewhere now having a fabulous time. Somebody needs to be!