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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!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Rumba Wednesday

The MP3 player is dishing up Jesse Cook's "The Rumba Foundation". It's a Maryland November with rain and mist. It's rainy and damp but not bone breakingly cold.

The noise reduction circuit on my headphones is slowly giving up. Right now my poor Sennheiser's are valiantly trying to block out the bellowing of a bull moose manager. In the last week he's been in a speakerphone scream out with his ex-wife, his kid, his kid's school, IBM, the front office, and someone who sounded like Fidel Castro.

I had my eyes on a pair of new "Sens" that would reduce more noise. But the car ate my Christmas money. The car ate everything but the apple slices out of my lunch.

"Lemondrop" arrived home from the mechanic's on Monday night with another evaporator circuit switch replacement.

Love Monkey's sister had her brain surgery and is healing nicely. No tumor was found. They did have to work on some scar tissue from previous procedures.

In lieu of word count madness with NaNo WriMo this month I've been taking some time to read and to just "be still". Now is the time to examine things carefully. It's a time to check in with what my life is like without the role of "dutiful daughter". I'm tossing the pieces up in the air and seeing how they land. I'd had one set plan for so many years, now it's time to revise. It's time to open the pressure valve and let the "shoulds" run down the drain. Time to be more comfortable in my own skin.

I love Rumba rhythms. I no longer love cars. I didn't think I was the kind of woman who had window sills full of flowers, but oddly enough I do. I didn't like the Dutch Masters paintings, then I fell in love with Rembrandt. I used to love perfume and jewellery. Now I wear neither. I still love to dance, but I don't seem to dance much anymore. I discovered going on week long retreats were more work than going to work. For the first time in decades I'm not totally dreading the holidays. For the first time in decades I'm safe from my family.

It's good to hear from OMBH. It's the crazy time of year with holidays and vacations and folks in the midst of NaNo.

The Royal Mail came through for me last Friday. I spent the weekend in a fine fit of glee with the silliness that is "The Mighty Boosh". The set I received had 2 separate full "concerts" on it. There were 2 additional disks of goodies as well. I've been saving the glee of opening the "Outrage Game" card deck that came in the package.

"The Hitcher" did bits in both gigs and he didn't disappoint. He was rude, vulgar, violent, and hilarious. I really have to look at myself twice when I notice the glee I feel at "The Hitcher"s appearances. I catch myself bopping around the house singing, "I'm talkin' 'bout eels!"

Tonight I have a feeling "The Hitcher" and I will sing our little song together again. How festive!

I should stop at the Target store for stuff on the way home. Once Friday hits there will be no getting near the place again until mid-next week. I'm feeling the urge to put up some outdoor Christmas decorations. But I'm holding back because I have no place to store them after the holidays! :) Oh my, I am getting curmudgeonly!

Happy Thanksgiving All!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Praise the Lord
Friday is muddling along nicely. I can hear talk of "fail over", jammed equipment, and the fickle finger of blame spouting up someone's nose. Luckily for me, that's not our system. Our system is bubbling merrily away and we are not the children in the spotlight this morning.

Kay Kayser and his little band are singing "Praise the Lord and Pass the Amunition". The Top Gear website has a video of James May slapping Jeremy Clarkson in the "plums" but it's only available in the UK. The Crappalac is scheduled to go back for a 3rd trial to find the problem with the "Check Engine" light. I have requested a loaner car that is mechanically sound and doesn't smell like "ass & cherry disinfectant".

Right about now my Aunt Betty's family are gathering around her closed casket and preparing for the funeral service. The cemetary wasn't able to do the interment on Saturdy so the funeral service was moved up to today. I simply didn't have any more leave from work to attend. Ther service is being held 150 miles away and it would take the full day.

I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend. I don't much feel like taking the car and wrestling a rental all weekend. Not much choice. I will say the extended warranty has paid for itself in 3.5 months. That says buckets about Cadillac quality doesn't it?

I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get a new car soon. I'm trying to wait until February. Since I've tried the "used car" route, I'm going back to buying brand new and see if that helps. I won't be getting another Cadillac, that is for sure.

There are some interesting crafty classes tomorrow at Queens Ink. I think I may see if I can squeeze in, last minute. I need a relaxing outing.

Perhaps I'll luck out and the "Royal Mail" will drop my "Might Boosh Live" DVD off at the house today. I could use some unbridled crimping pleasure!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Don't Let Go The Coat

Vince from a recent live gig. Pic from NoelFielding.Org

Well kiddies, not much going on. Waiting for the Royal Mail to deliver the Mighty Boosh Tour DVD. Waiting for the security folks to finish up authorizations so I can do the next step on the new software.

Death, darkness, loss, depression, and the holiday season are settling like rotting leaves. From now until New Year's Day it's the season of "shoulds". Like a gawping nasty buzzard it sits on the peak of the house and shits on all those in the vicinity.

It should be a Hallmark Holiday! Full of tinsel, ornaments, family, presents, bon ami, joy, delirious abandon! Lawn decorations should be put up. Trees should be chopped down and dragged inside. Baked good should be created from scratch. I should be happy, happy, happy, no matter what!

What it is. .. that's something different. It's a reminder that my life has been different. It's a reminder of all those who are gone and lost. It's the time of year when my little freak flag stands out conspicuously on the horizon.

It makes me sick to even think about it. So I won't

My buddy "D" is coming from Denver for the holidays so we'll party up when she gets here. I suspect it will be the ceramic tree, a spiral sliced ham, and some good hooch. Last year we made home made cookies and danced to belly dancing music on Christmas Eve. This year I'll probably make up a mix of her fave dance music and mine and we'll crank up the "lease breakers" and rock the "hood".

But in the meantime, I'm on the lookout for the Royal Mail, with my parcel!

Tripple threat! Vince as a Sun Diety, Poncho Boy, and The Hitcher. Pic from NoelFielding.Org
Monday, November 16, 2009
Hello Little Pixies!

You know what today is!!!!

Today is November 16th, the long awaited release date for the Mighty Boosh Future Sailors live DVD.

Oh yeah, Vince Noir is in a corrugated cardboard package heading for that rubbermaid mail box at the end of my driveway! Oh yes, he's arriving via Royal Mail. Or so Amazon.Co.Uk says anyway. The DVD set includes the 2008 Future Sailors Tour performance and a 2006 show. From the preview clips I know I'm in for some rude business on screen from "The Hitcher". I believe even the "Crack Fox" makes an appearance. Bollo the gorilla and Naboo the Shaman will be included as well. With the holidays coming I need a nice dose of silliness with a dark wink.

Love Monkey detests The Mighty Boosh. But Love Monkey isn't ruler of the television at the Tuxedo Inn. Besides he's got enough going on to keep him busy. His sister is in Johns Hopkins hospital for a bit of brain surgery. She's been through the brain tumor surgery before and now there seems to be something else going on. It's all up in the air until they've done the exploratory tomorrow.

Saturday I received the news that my Aunt Betty had a stroke Friday night and had died. Betty was the last member of the family from my mom's generation. When mom passed she made a special point of phoning me up and taking me under wing. She told me not to feel as though I didn't have a family that I was part of hers as well.

With this sudden blow, the last remnants of mom's family is gone. I have a slew of 2nd cousins but I'm not even sure who they all are. The memorial service is scheduled for next Saturday. I'm going to go and stretch out a hand of friendship. Betty was such a family matriarch. She counselled and sustained all of her children and her adult grandchildren. I can't even begin to imagine how at sea they must be.

For myself, I was just begining to regain some "sea legs" at life again. This has left me cracked like an egg.

I'm sure mom and Betty are tearing around the afterlife joining up with the rest of the family. I'm also pretty sure they are also taking some time to keep and eye on us, the kids, to help us stay on the rails.

Even though it's been NaNo month, I haven't been writing much. I've been reading mostly. I'm chompping through 2 books a week or so. This is just a time "to be".
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Never Apologize For Your Art

This pic is directly from Tim Holtz' Blog.

This is Tim Holtz' "inspiration doll" from his studio. He talks about it in this post. Whenever he's feeling low on inspiration he gives this doll a stress smack or stab.

This little guy warmed my heart. Look at him. His stuffing is coming out, his seams are ripping, he's only got one button eye, his hair is mostly gone, his arms and legs are riddled with a quirky running stitch, and his mouth is sewn shut so he wears a badge with his message on it. "Never Apologize For Your Art".

You get the feeling that there's a badge on his backside that says "No matter what." He's loud and he's proud. He's unapologetic for what he is. He is someone's art. He is art and he's not going to let that artist down.

He makes me think of quirky projects that I keep shoved in drawers because they didn't come out just the way I wanted them too. I had help getting my new house organized last year and it amazed me to watch other people's reactions to my "funky" little artworks.

A box of artsy projects wound up being unpacked before there was anyplace to stash them away. To keep them from being broken the organizer hung them on nails that were aleady in the walls. Before I started snatching things down and reboxing them I stopped and looked at a tin doll I'd made in a class. It was a splash of color and movement on a real-estate-white wall. It was waving its spring loaded arms. The word beads hanging from its head were still spinning into random phrases. It was unafraid, unphased by a "new" house. It fluttered on the wall by the front door and staked its claim. Like a flag on an uncharted land, it said "We are here."

From the fingertips and toes of that doll my personality and my artwork crept outward into the house over time. With paint, curtains, furniture, art, and spirit the house tranformed into a home. My favorite studio colors wound up carried thru out. The living room is painted a color like Adirondack's Peach Bellini. The bedroom is a lot like "Cool Blue". The studio space wound up taking up the largest room in the house. Everything radiates outwards from the studio. The framed artwork, the dolls, and the assemblage pieces spill out onto every flat surface.

I've been wrangling with how to finish decorating the bedroom but today the Muse Doll has given me the just the idea. I'm going to create my own custom assemblage shadow boxes. I'm going to decorate the walls and the tabletops with my art. I'm going to use anything that tickles my fancy. I'm going to use the quirky fabric to make the curtains. I'm going to love it. Instead of trying to make the bedroom look like something from HGTV, I'm going to let go and let it look like me. I think I might even have a nice place over the closet door to paint the phrase "Never Apologize For Your Art".
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Feeling Scary
Yes these are pics of the lovely Vince Noir, (aka you know who), dressed as his character "The Hitcher". You will remember Mr. Hitcher from a YouTube reference earlier on this site. He was singing his smash hit "Eels".

I don't know why but the character makes me laugh myself silly. The Hitcher is a self proclaimed "nut job" who runs the "Zoo for Animal Offenders" and behaves like a Victorian serial killer. He is dark, playful, and hysterically funny all at once.

The Hitcher comes to call from NoelFielding.ORG

I'm feeling more than a bit "Hitcher" like today. I've had the MP3 repeating different versions of the same two songs all afternoon. It's been mixing between Robert Palmer or Rod Stewart's version of "Can We Still Be Friends" and Madonna's new song "Celebration". (This one is a different song from the old club standard, but it's still a dance track.) The Divine Disconnect has been pounding on my head for months now and something has finally snapped.

I realized yesterday that I did the 50K words in a month in the past. I wrote total crap that I've never even gone back and read. I put the little certificate up in my office and it didn't give me any satisfaction. All I kept thinking was 'Yeah but I wrote crap!".

It finally dawned on me that I didnt' want to go crazy and beat myself purple trying to make the word count this year. It wasn't any fun.

There are a lot of things that aren't fun any more. Time for a big barrel-o-changes.

The renewal came in the mail for my subscription to Top Gear Magazine. No dice. I'm not enjoying the car porn the way I was. Every time I see a car it makes me think of wallet vampires and jumper cables. Oh baby, the thrill is gone.

I'm afraid the same is true for the Top Gear show itself. To parody an old chestnut, it's me not them.Really it is. ;) Richard still motors on like a fearless Banty Rooster. Jeremy continues to make an insulting amount of unpolitically correct sense. (I still adore his writing.) Stiggy still zips along like a racing robot. HWMNBN still makes me want to vomit, only more so. Every time I see HWMNBN I just scream to myself, "Where did I go wrong? If that can fall snout down in the clover where did I f**k it up?" Highly illogical I know, but it's the gut reaction in this case.

I have put my region free DVD player to use watching imported Mighty Boosh DVD's. I don't care if members of the MB comedy troop are axe murdering pixies, I don't want to know about it. (Unless I've invited the round for tea.)

If you haven't seen Garth Merenghi's Dark Place from the UK you are missing a treat. Both Dark Place and Mighty Boosh aired on Adult Swim late night line up. Adult Swim has also shown "Look Around You", the spoof of a 1970's televised science course.

Insomnia has shown me a brave new world of television madness. Now I know there are other nuts out there like me! :)

Where I'm rambling to with this post is that I feel the typical "woman of a certain age" need to scream "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"

I feel the need to digitally validate my laundry list of things I do not like. (And a few items I do!)

The thing is that I need to get going. I have concert tickets tonight to see Jesse Cook. So I'm going to leave The Hitcher dancing along here on the blog and leave my scream for a later moment.

Howl with me ladies!

The Hitcher getting freaky from NoelFielding.ORG
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The Cure

Making a House Call from NoelFielding.ORG

Doctor, doctor give me the cure I got a bad case of "What the hell am I doing this for?"

Seriously writing has turned my life into a living hell for years now, so why am I driving myself round the twist to plonk down 1666 crap words a day?

No reason that I can figure out.

NaNo WriMo 2009 has now officially been tossed in my "trash bin".

November 2009 has been given over to actually living a little bit instead of driving myself on some stupid project or another.

Looking young and not so innocent from NoelFielding.ORG

PS The words "Automotive Obsession" have been taken out of the blog title as well. I've tossed my Top Gear 2009 calendar. I've tossed my car stuff. Love Monkey is getting the rest of the subscription to TG Magazine. After the last two years with the Mercury and the Cadillac I've been broken of being fascinated with cars. Unless you own a tow company and a repair shop, cars suck.