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Below are the 30 most recent journal entries recorded in Elizabeth's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, December 24th, 2015
11:09 am
                        

                                                                                                           December 17, 2015

Greetings and felicitations to my friends, I hope you are enjoying the winter holidays of your choice and have had a healthy and happy 2015 and best wishes for 2016!

2015 was a fairly quiet year for me, no real travel aside from two day trips to New York on the bus and road trips to Richmond and Philadelphia.  Hoping finances will improve in the next few years so I can resume my west coast jaunts (and better yet, foreign).

Without funds to travel I stayed at home and was quite productive, I’ve been doing a lot of painting on horse figurines and completed over 50 new pieces this year, all either now sold or on commission and am doing my best to finish all in a timely fashion and not get behind as has plagued me in the past!  I am also happy in that I feel I still keep improving my techniques and finishing and take pride in my latest creations so hopefully the best is yet to come!  I submitted a painted piece to the competition held by the Breyer Animal Creations at their annual Breyerfest Convention, and while I did not win the big prize I am proud that I made it into the finals of 6 pieces in their finishwork competition so that greatly helped me to believe in myself that I am still relevant!

My kitty Jonesy continues to comfort and amuse me.  He is still growing and is *HUGE* - he was 24 ½ pounds a year ago and will visit Dr. Dan for his checkup next Monday and I am tempted to start a betting pool to take bets on how much he will weigh in at! (update: he weighed in at 27 pounds!  Now to keep him from getting to 28!)

Celebrated my birthday in April by traveling up to NYC with Paula to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and had the great fortune to time it to coincide with an exhibit of some of Frank Frazetta’s masterworks including the “Death Dealer”.  Went back to New York last weekend and was able to catch the new solo show by one of my favorite pop-surrealists, Mark Ryden, and the opening for the “Pandora’s Box” show including Anne Bachelier and Jessica Joslin.

And Paula and I made a great road trip with our friend Jo Ellen to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond over the summer to visit the amazing Paul Mellon Sporting art collection as well as the neat exhibit of life size photos of Japanese tattooed body suits.

The emotional low of the year was losing a dear friend to an aggressive cancer; it’s just not fair that it hits the nicest people and it’s hard to loose friends younger than you.  At least I am left with happy memories as I was able to visit with him about 6 weeks before he passed when he was about to start a new round of chemotherapy and was in very high spirits and surrounded by good friends.  I will forever cherish my memories of that wonderful day.  Dear Keith, you will always be loved and forever in our hearts.  He dearly loved the great race horse Secretariat so I am glad he got to see American Pharaoh finally break the long hiatus and become the newest Triple Crown winner.  Funny how we sometimes say “I wonder if ‘x’ will happen again in my lifetime”.

I had a few incredible art finds.  In 2008 I had found two paintings by the American surrealist artist Ruth Ray on ebay; they were two of a set of 4 horse paintings she did in the late 1950s that had been widely reproduced on prints, cards and puzzles in the day.  Paula had introduced me to her work years before and I’d fallen madly for her beautiful strange style and I’d been on the lookout for any so I was amazed to find these two of her best known and loved pieces but the finding was bittersweet in also finding that I had just missed out on my favorite of the group that had closed the day before.  A little voice in my head told me to keep checking that it would eventually resurface and in February of this year it appeared back on ebay!  The fellow who had bought it decided to sell and in the meanwhile had it nicely framed and professionally cleaned!  So “Copper Queen” came to join the other two (“Handsome Witch” and “Golden Ruler”); I absolutely love this strange painting of a stylized chestnut Tennessee Walking Horse in a barren Salvador Dali-esque landscape.  Now to search for the last of the 4, “Storm King”!

I also lucked into an incredible self-portrait by LA artist Kevin Llewllyn on ebay early one morning for a crazy cheap buy-it-now – I must have been the first person to find it and can’t believe my luck!  So now I have his “Self Portrait at Age 29”.  (“Self Portrait at Age 28” is owned by the Gettys and appeared in a photo in Vanity Fair over their mantelpiece. His other work belongs to the likes of Kat Von D, Trent Reznor, Nikki Sixx and Alan Moulder so I am in very good company!)  I also was able to get two wonderful new works by one of my favorite up and coming painters, Redd Walitzki who keeps knocking it out of the park; I know soon I won’t be able to afford her work as she gathers more attention and acclaim but more power to her!

And prints, always more prints – I picked up some wonderful pieces this year by Mark Ryden, James Jean, Nicholas Delort, Vania Zouravliov, Audrey Kawasaki, Tom Bagshaw, Chie Yoshii, Martin Wittfooth and some other favorites.  I hope in a few years I can retire and buy a house with MORE WALLS FOR ALL THE ART!!!! J
While I did not make it to a lot of concerts this year I was able to see some of my favorites and enjoyed seeing Danzig, Ghost, Prong, Social Distortion, Midge Ure, Mike Stevens and Apocalyptica.  Had tickets but sadly missed out on the Tiger Army Halloween shows in SoCal due to lack of fundage….pooh. So instead Paula and celebrated with classic Universal Monsters Dracula and Frankenstein at the AFI Theater with friends.  As always I saw a TON of movies, my favorites so far were “Mad Max: Fury Road” and Guillermo Del Toro’s gorgeous “Crimson Peak”!   We also got to see an incredibly bad one “Dangerous Men” at the Alamo Drafthouse in Ashburn hosted by that fine expert on “cinema du fromage” Patton Oswalt just days before he was announced as the new “mad” (“TV’s son of TV’s Frank”) for the upcoming revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000 – whoo hoo!!!  Early tomorrow morning we will be off to the Arclight to see the latest installment of the Star Wars saga and hope that J.J. Abrams can channel EARLY George Lucas as well as he channeled classic 80s ET era Steven Spielberg with “Super 8”.

I hope you are all doing well and I send you best wishes for a fantastic 2016 and may the force be with you!
                                                                        - Elizabeth


Amazing art finds of 2015: left to right - “Copper Queen” by Ruth Ray



“The Ground You Walk Upon” by Redd Walitzki”


“Self Portrait at age 29 with Death” by Kevin Llewellyn

Monday, December 30th, 2013
11:30 am
The Story of Jonesy



After Spooky died I was heartbroken and lonely, I mean what good is a crazy cat lady with no cat? I knew I wanted another Maine Coon cat as I love their personalities.

kisarazumama said "Get a kitten, they are lots of fun". I definitely wanted a cat that didn't have all sorts of pre-existing trauma and issues like poor Spook did - much as I loved him he was a lot to deal with, especially with his litterbox avoidance issues which I am certain go back to pain and trauma of his previous owners declawing him.

I wanted a happy little fellow who had a perfect kittenhood and no stress. So the quest began. I researched probably every Maine Coon cat breeder in a 200 mile radius and inquired about available kittens and upcoming litters

I was very happy to have found Roseann DeLuca at Cold Creek Farm up in Gettysburg PA. A breeder and trainer of working German Shepherds, she’s taken up breeding Coonie cats under the mentorship of Jane Turner of Canada whose “Dotcom”cats are Champions worldwide.

I googled the “Dotcom” lines and was blown away by their incredible beauty and breed type so I made a reservation for a kitten from the next litter and crossed my finger for a little boy and as luck would have it, two male creamsicle (red silver) classic tabbies were born August 8th and I could have a little kitten!

Since momma cat is named “Ripley” and dad is “Bishop” after characters from the “Alien” movies there was a glaringly obvious name for an orange tabby cat so he just had to be named “Jonesy” after the Sigourney Weaver character Ellen Ripley’s pet cat in the 1979 classic (the one who keeps jumping out and startling people expecting the xenomorph).

I took a series of road trips to Gettysburg on weekends to visit Jonesy from the time he was 10 days old so I wasn’t a stranger when I could bring him home and we’ve become besties. Of the two kittens in the litter, he's the one who picked me out when he was about 6 week sold and crawled into my lap and purred up a storm and it was wonderful to start the bonding process early and not be a stranger when I went to pick him up at 12 weeks of age - he came home November 1st and settled right in. I also am very grateful to Roseann for welcoming us into her home and letting us come and visit him many times. When I was furloughed during the government shut down and incredibly stressed out I was most appreciative of "kitten therapy" and also got to visit with her beautiful cats, her German Shephards, chickens, peacock and Clydesdales!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sistinas138/sets/72157635133872546/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sistinas138/sets/72157636031137093/

He’s just the sweetest little love bug and has really cheered me up. I can get registration papers once he’s “snipped” and plan on his official name being “Cold Creek Nostromo Jones”. Pedigree nut that I am, I’ve already traced his heritage back to the alley cat at Walter Reed Hospital who gave birth to his tail-male sire (“Andy Katt of Heidi Ho”, a foundation sire of the breed) and was amused as hell that his great-great-great grand-ma was called "Coonflakes Sigcoony Weavr". So I’m a crazy cat lady and proud


He's even got his own facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/NostromoJones

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Current Mood: bouncy
11:12 am
new kitty in Liz's life
kisarazumama reminded me that I hadn't posted here in way too long and my last post was way too sad - just a little pawprint from Spooky. So I'm here to report that the story got better as it went along, and I have another little loving bundle of Maine Coon fluff in my life cheering me up!

Here is Jonesy :)

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Current Mood: cheerful
Sunday, June 30th, 2013
11:46 am
still sad and missing my buddy
I stopped at my vet's office yesterday and they gave me this casting they made of Spooky's paw prints to remember him by. Dr. Cheryl also wrote a very sweet and understanding note on the sympathy card they sent. They tried their hardest to save my little guy and really cared about him.

I miss him so much, its so lonely without him. I definitely want to find another Maine Coon boy to keep me company.

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11:35 am
congrats to Paula on her 2nd novel out now!
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I am so proud of Paula O'Keefe (aka lj user kisarazumama), my room mate and closest friend, who has just published her second novel, "The Enchanter's Pearls", second in the fantasy series started by "The Assassin's Flute" - it is available now from Amazon in paperback or kindle editions:

"The Enchanter's Pearls" by Paula O'Keefe on Amazon

Please check out her new facebook page for her books!!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Assassins-Flute/171658359651386

You can get a free kindle download of her first novel "The Assasin's Flute" until July 3rd, as Paula posted; "Free book or 2-for-1 deal! To celebrate the publication of my second novel The Enchanter's Pearls - the sequel to TAF - I'm offering The Assassin's Flute FREE for Kindle download until July 3rd! You can read it for free and see if you like it, or buy them both at once for only $3.00. Get them on your pad for a beach read!"

click here to buy!!!
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
8:52 pm
so hard to say goodbye to my dear spooky

Goodbye, my dear sweet little buddy.

I had an incredibly rough few days starting last Friday as my beloved Spookycat declined so quickly.

He had been diagnosed with diabetes a few weeks back and seemed to be doing OK on his insulin shots until Friday when he started vomiting uncontrollably. He spent Saturday at the kitty hospital on fluids & meds and they put him on antibiotics to help with the blood and pus in his urine as he was battling another urinary tract infection.

I took him home and he refused any food, so I spent the next few days feeding him baby food through an oral syringe and he just wasn't having it. His blood glucose shot so high the meter couldn't register it (said "High Glucose - over 600") and in a last ditch effort after speaking to the vet he saw on Saturday (his regular doctor is out until Thursday) he suggested a change of insulin so I left work early on Monday & drove out to pick up some ProZinc that I gave him and then tested his blood sugar hourly but it didn't have any effect as I still got the ultra high glucose warning.

The poor little guy was just so tired and worn out, I was certain he was telling me his time had come, the best I could do was give him a painless and dignified exit. I feared with his blood sugars so high be might go into convulsions or seizures and then coma. Paula called the vets for me when they opened yesterday as I was crying too hard to pull myself together and she made an appointment for later that morning and we took him out to one last doctor's visit and said farewell to my best little buddy. I am just devastated. The veterinarian who attended him was very respectful and calming and gave him a sedative before that last shot. I cried my eyes out and stumbled outside a few minutes later just as the rain started and the church bells started tolling the noon hour, it was suitably gothic and slightly disorienting to walk out to that.

At least i gave him a wonderful spoiled rotten life for 8 years since I adopted him from the kill shelter. At the time they told me he was 4 but for all I know he could be older as he was full grown. He was such a huge healthy fellow with his equally oversized Maine Coon cat personality and voice, its been so hard to see him waste away to a shell of his former self and when he stopped talking I knew it was serious. I miss his little voice, his response to everything was "wow".

It is lonely here, I keep looking around hoping to see him, it is so weird to not have him constantly underfoot, next to me, talking, purring, doing his silly little things like lying down by falling on his head first or leaving hair ties in his kibble bowl.

I'm sure there will be another kitty in my future, I'd be too lonely without one. Maybe in a few months a little puffball will fill the aching hole in my heart. I definitely want another Maine Coon since he was such a great breed ambassador in showing me the typical people-oriented outgoing Maine Coon personality. He never heard about cats being aloof or having "catitude"

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Current Mood: devastated
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
10:27 am
Ghost BC brings their sonic ritual to DC
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A few weeks ago Paula and I were driving in my carout while listening to 98 Rock from Baltimore, those Metallica worshipping metal lovers who thankfully are still allowed to pick out their own records & haven't been bought out by Clear Channel & made into a pre-recorded franchise. And this song came on and was unlike anything we'd ever heard on the radio & we were rivited - a an eerie Gregorian chant type sound we heard this call

"Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub,
Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer"

WTF on the radio? What is THIS???? It was beautiful and orchestral, I told Paula "quick, write down some lyrics so we can google 'em when we park, I gotta know what this is. Actually I have an idea who it might be...." and I told her...

My friend Lana had recommended Ghost to me a few months ago, I'd downloaded their fuirst album "Opus Eponymous" which was quite good. But I hadn't heard this one!

A quick google search confirmed my suspicion - it was "Zero Hour" from Ghost's newest "Infestissumam" that had just come out a few days earlier. Hmm, and they are coming to the 9:30 club, I had this feeling if I missed out I would kick myself later so a quick navigation to ticketfly & tickets were secured.

Their first album was good but "Infestissumam" knocks it out of the park, these guys are definitely my favorite new discovery in the last few years. The last band I discovered that I enjoyed this much was Dommin a few years back. So I was very psyched to see them live.

Last night they brought their sonic ritual to the 9:30 Club in high style. Paula and I got there early & were able to go to their Backbar when it opened at 6 PM and then were among the first few let into the club proper when it opened. Paula went upstairs to the balcony but I got a prime spot on the barricade in hopes they wouldn't mind a camera...

And they didn't, I was able to take a ton of pix with my most wonderful little point and shoot (G15) - yay!!!

Whole gallery up on flickr now of Papa Emeritus II and the Nameless Ghouls -

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sistinas138/sets/72157633493259972/

I really recommend these guys! They are more goth than metal IMHO, way over the top in presentation but one of the few "visually oriented" bands that really has the music and talent to back them up so they are not just a novelty act.

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Current Mood: enthralled
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
9:23 am
How to Destroy Angels
Caught last night at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD (conveniently right across the street from my favorite movie theater the AFI Silver!) Opted for the balcony since Paula and I were pretty tired and I'd been sick with allergies (record pollen season!) but got some decent pix from there.

I ended up sitting next to Maariqueen's cousin who told me that she used to babysit her as a child & this was an incredibly surreal experience! She'd brought M's very young niece with her and delighted in pointing to the stage "There's Auntie! There's your Uncle!". The little girl danced like crazy and had a wonderful time! No doubt in 15-20 years I'll be back watching her band :)

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Put more on flickr -

How to Destroy Angels album on Flickr

Current Mood: calm
Saturday, April 20th, 2013
6:29 pm
All I ever want for my birthday is a nice quiet day :)
Every year I hope for a nice non-eventful birthday since April 19th tends to be "blow shit up day" (think Waco Massacre and Oklahoma City Bombings) so I kinda decided to avoid the news after seeing the whole city of Boston was in lockdown and tried to have my nice quiet day :) And had a nice day yesterday for my b'day!

First stop - breakfast at the Original Pancake house & then off to a shopping spree at the awesome Stone Ridge Used Book sale that happens every year at the school down the road - 3 huge gymnasiums full of tables of cheap used books - wowza! The local book dealers camp out overnight for spots in line (and bring their handtrucks to cart their purchases) but i got lucky and was there as they were restocking the holes in the hardcover science fiction section & lucked into a slew of great hardcovers by Harlan Ellison, Cordwainer Smith, Roger Zelazny, Robert Silverberg, Dan Simmons & more - yay!!!

For dinner Paula O'Keefe treated me to my fav local Japanese restaurant Hinode who have the best tempura around & got tempura + teriyaki, then the AFI Silver was conveniently starting their new director's series with the films of one of my favorites, Guillermo Del Toro so I finally got to see his 1st film, "Chronos" on the big screen - yay!

Many thanks also to Paula for the adorably cute present - a little ball joined kitty girl doll (shown here with Spooky cat). She is "Valentine" made by Wilde Imagination to go with the "Evangeline Ghastly" doll I have, I have named her "Zsa Zsa" after the white Persian cat I used to catsit when I was a child - she was owned by my neighbor across the street, Mrs. Bellfield who was my introduction to crazy cat ladies :)

Overall, a nice quiet birthday (sorry Boston but hope all is OK now!!!)

Spooky and Zsa Zsa
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Current Mood: relaxed
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
9:12 am
for you kick galvanic!
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Oh man last night I was wishing you could have been there so much, you would have had a blast! Had I put known I would have tried to drag you out for this!! Even though they said no pictures very sternily I had to try and sneak a couple for you!

I totally lucked out when Nick Cave's web site offered a presale for tickets a few months back - they'd announced he was playing the Strathmore Music Hall, the beautiful posh showplace of the county that is pretty much across the street from my apartment building - YAY! (This is so much a better neighborhood than the old barrio!) The presale tickets were supposed to all be in the front half of the orchestra but you wouldn't find out until they arrived...since the tix were so pricey ($95 with fees!!!!) I could only buy one and had to go solo and not bring a friend but wondered if a lone ticket might be better than a paid - I totally lucked out as when it arrived it was row A - front row!

Not that anybody sat down - as soon as Nick Cave came on he motioned everybody to come closer so I ended up right on the edge of the stage & incredibly enough, Nick grabbed a fellow & brought him closer so he ended up next to me and it was a fellow I've run into several times at concerts in Philadelphia - last time I saw him was at the Cold Cave show in October. Damn it's a small world!

The acoustics at Strathmore are fabulous and the show was amazing, they played a few from the new album (totally loved "Higgs Noson Blues" live) and a lot of old favorites. Cave interacts with the audience a lot & sang to those of us up front - he ended up crouching down & wailing much of "From Her to Eternity" staring down at me (fangirl squee!) and grabbed my shoulder during "Deanna". He also singled out a gal in the balcony box near the stage at one point to sing to and she was singing back. The crowd was deliriously enthusiastic :)


set list ----

We No Who U R
Jubilee Street
Wide Lovely Eyes
Higgs Boson Blues
From Her to Eternity
Red Right Hand
Into My Arms
Jack the Ripper
Deanna
Papa Won't Leave You, Henry
Your Funeral... My Trial
Love Letter
God Is in the House (Beautiful violin work from Warren Ellis!)
The Weeping Song
The Mercy Seat
Stagger Lee


Encore:
Tupelo
Push the Sky Away

Sooooo happy to make it to this - I tell ya I was getting nervous that something would happen after Morrissey's tour getting cancelled (and I had a front row ticket for the National Theater - pout!) and I'm worried that the Peter Murphy tour will be off (as he was just arrested for drunk driving & meth possession - oops!) Yay for the Bad Seeds coming through!!! One of the best shows I've ever seen by them (though sigh I still really miss Blixa - I so loved when he'd duet with Nick Cave on "Where the Wild Roses Grow" and do Kylie Minogue's parts)

Related oddball Liz comment - I just love xylophones. I think it started 2way back in kindergarten as my school had a couple of really nice ones with fabulous tones I would play with in music class. I think its so cool when a rock band works them into their sound.

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Current Mood: crazy
Saturday, March 16th, 2013
3:48 pm
settled in new position!
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I started my new job 3 weeks ago as a Program Support Specialist at The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a different Institute at the National Institutes of Health and things are going great, I've just been REALLY busy!!

My job revolves around organizing their 3 Advisory Council meetings each year and the most recent one was Feb 5th. My predecessor retired at the end of December and had not done anything for this round so I really hit the ground running but learned a lot fast!

I'm really enjoying being there as the staff are all really nice and helpful, there is a great feeling of camaraderie and my new boss is a scientist I used to work with in a previous job that I get along with very well. I feel so much less stressed, even if I am really busy it is OK, I feel productive, not stressed out!

I have a beautiful office of my own now with nicely finished wood furniture as opposed to industrial gray metal Unicor leftovers, not just a cubicle - YAY!! I am beginning to decorate my desk a little, will be bringing in a few framed pieces to hang. There is a long space over the credenza that would be nice for the big Bev Doolittle print of "Sacred Ground" that I have in storage and I am thinking of bring a couple of Leonor Fini pieces to hang near my desk. (Let's face it, most of my art collection is a little too weird for the office)

13 has always been my lucky number and 2013 is certainly off to an excellent start!! It is so nice to feel my anxiety decreasing.

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Monday, January 14th, 2013
10:59 am
strangeways, here we come!



Had a great weekend, quick road trip up to Atlantic City with my friend Jennifer to catch Morrissey at the House of Blues in the Showboat Casino. even though I was still fighting a cold and sore throat I was determined not to miss it as I'd already missed the two NYC shows at Terminal 5 last October when I was sick with bronchitis. He's playing across the street from my pad at Strathmore on Wednesday but that is seated so I wanted a chance to catch a club show. Left at 5 AM, got to the Showboat about 10 and joined the line - we were #21 and 22 on the official line list and at least if you are gonna wait all day its nice to be able to do so indoors with bathrooms and a water fountain a few feet away & lots of food options in the building :) Ate lunch at the House of Blues restaurant to get their "Pass the line" get in first passes, since there were no vegan options and we had to spend $15 each or $30 both for the passes I just had to suffer & order the scrumptious NY strip steak for myself & gave the waiter a nice tip and got two passes.

Waited... and waited.... met a nice couple from the UK who'd flown over to travel to 5 shows and were having a ball & a couple of guys from Philly. Have come to the conclusion that all iPhone users do is worry about all day is not having enough of a charge... meanwhile the battery case I got from Groupon recharged mine handily when the charge wore out - YAY for planning!

Eventually the doors opened around 8....and folks stampeded in while HOB staff told them to walk...so right as I was to go in they held the line and I got to watch the stampeedees take up the barricade space. Damn, so much for waiting 10 hours in line to get on the rail! Ended up in about the third "row" near the center at least behind some short folks tho while Moz was playing the crowd got crazy and I ended up about 4 or 5 rows from the front with tall guys crowding in so I ended up by the middle of the set taking pix more of people's hands and iPhones...

Ah yes, taking pictures.... every other HOB I've been to has been really strict about "no cameras", I assumed they wouldn't allow it but packed my wonderful little G15 in my bag "just in case". Jennifer asked security & they said they were cool as long as no flash - hallelujah! And they never even searched my purse on the way in!

So yeah, BOY did I get pictures, the lighting was fabulous and the photos came out soooo great, I just love this little camera, it is almost as nice as DSLR and sooo handy, up until now I've always been so frustrated when I couldn't bring in a DSLR, am very satisfied with what this does!!

Put up a gallery on flickr -
Morrissey at the HOB Atlantic City Jan 12, 2013

Opening was Kristeen Young, she was actually better than the previous times I've seen her (all opening for Moz, I used to think her sole reason for existance was to annoy Morrissey fans), still think she's a Kate Buch wannabe but at least she's looking to Siouxsie for visuals and I had fun getting some pix of her that I'll post to flickr...

Also enjoyed the music between sets - excellent mix tape, I was grooving to stuff like Gene Loves Jezebel's "Discover" and one song came up that was driving me CRAZY...it sounded eerily like early Bowie but it wasn't.... took me two full minutes to remember that it was "Billy Porter" by Spiders from Mars guitarist Mick Ronson from his second solo album "Play, Don't Worry"... then right before Moz came on some great videos on the screen - Bowie's "Jean jeanie", "Never Turn Your Back on Mother Nature" by Sparks and "Looking for a Kiss" by the New York Dolls. Moz has great taste!

Morrissey was great tho it was a little disappointing that he did no encore and instead ended with "Meat Is Murder" with videos of animals in slaughterhouses behind him, rather a bit of a downer to leave on, by that point I was so crushed and hot I was bailing from my spot anyway so at least I didn't miss anything! Maybe it was a comment on the fact that he couldn't exactly get all the restaurants in the Showboat Casino to stop serving meat in his presence like he's demanded at some other venues? There was much PETA support with their volunteers passing out propaganda & postcards of Moz saying "Become a Vegetarian".

here's the set list - sometimes it was a few too many slower songs together but he played a lot of great stuff and of course some classic Smiths songs....

I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / Ouija Board, Ouija Board / Everyday Is Like Sunday / How Soon Is Now? / Let Me Kiss You / Action Is My Middle Name / Black Cloud / Alma Matters / Maladjusted / You're The One For Me, Fatty / Shoplifters Of The World Unite / Irish Blood, English Heart / People Are The Same Everywhere / Speedway / Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want / First Of The Gang To Die / November Spawned A Monster / Meat Is Murder

And now get to see him again on Wednesday, how cool that is is playing Strathmore right across from Grosvenor Park, I tell ya I have NO complaints about this neighborhood!!!! That show will be seated so won't be so close but also won't have to line up all day LOL!

a few pix....

I loved the sideshow themed tapestries outside the HOB - my fav:




Here are the folks ahead of us in line, they must have gotten there WAY before we did, maybe the night before, by late afternoon they'd all passed out but woke up in time for the show :)

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and the man......










Current Mood: bitchy
10:57 am
Job update, good news so far.....
The government works slow, but finally got a response on my job application:




Status Code: Status Message:

R - Referred Based on our review of your application, you are among the most highly qualified candidates for this position. Your name has been certified to the selecting official for consideration; that official will contact you if an interview is desired. When a final selection is made, we will notify you.

Rating Code: Rating Message:

EL You are eligible for this specialty and grade.


Yay! Now waiting for interview, got a nice new outfit for it that will look great with the wonderful Konplott earrings and necklace I got for Christmas :)
Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
10:13 am
Here's to a lucky 13!
Wishing all my friends a safe and happy New Years and that 2013 will be a great year! 13 has always been my lucky number so I am especially hoping for a good one.,

My last action in 2012 was to improve my life significantly - I applied for a job opening at NIAMS (The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) which would take me into a professional career series in the federal government and has promotion potential to a GS-11 which would help a lot as I am at the top of the ladder for a GS-9 and no longer eligible for any salary increases aside from cost of living (which have been frozen for the last several years). As the top level of an 11 makes about $14,000 more than the top 9 this would help a ton!

But it gets better..... I was alerted to this job by a woman I used to work for in the Office of Scientific Review, she was the coolest boss I ever worked for and we made a great team and accomplished a lot together. She was the person who told me that I needed to check out "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and that it wasn't a dumb teenager show but much better, of course this turned me into a confirmed Joss Whedon junkie and we'd have lively discussions the morning after a new episode aired. At a convention I got her a signed photo from Anthony Stewart Head that she framed & put on her desk and people where forever asking her if that handsome man was her husband and we'd both laugh.

She's also a huge cat lover & we always compared notes on our kitties the way most women would on their children. I went to visit her last week at her office as she wanted to do a "pre-interview" and her first question - "How's Spooky?"

She introduced me to my favorite Thai restaurant in Bethesda too where she'd take me for my birthday :)

Anyhow, she left for bigger & better things and now is in a high position and needing a top level assistant to run their council meetings and other stuff so she asked if I'd be interested - I still have to go through the formalities of applying as it is a government job and there's always a possibility I might loose out to somebody better qualified but I think I have a very good shot and I would dearly love to work with her again - we've kept in close touch for the last 10 years since she left NIGMS and I've always told her to let me know if she ever needed an assistant.

So I spent all last week while everybody was off over Xmas and I was alone minding the ghost town polishing up my resume' and got my application in yesterday. The vacancy closes January 2nd. Open for 5 days over a weekend and New Years and only open to current NIH staff, well maybe that will mean a few less people see the announcement in time to also apply!!!

The one thing my current gig really lacks over my prior one is a feeling of camaraderie as the front office is so stiff and formal and everybody is way too busy for any sort of chit chat let alone going out for lunch. I guess I crave bit more emotional connection and what my job to feel like "family", I don't mind working my ass off or late into the night if its "family".

Other pluses - I would have my own actual office instead of a cubicle in the middle of the room (I am currently right next to the first door on that floor - so by default I become the Institute "Lost and Found" and the person who everybody goes to to complain that the sink is backed up etc etc). No more constant interruption! No answering the phone for 6 people! And the office is even CLOSER to my apartment than NIH (about 2 miles vs. 2.5 miles) in a direction without traffic!

So please wish me luck, this would be a huge improvement in my life and the $$ would mean I wouldn't be constantly worrying about being able to keep up with rent increases etc. I'm hoping for a lucky 13!
Monday, October 1st, 2012
10:02 am
Art Trip to NYC - Part 2


(Saturday art trip continued)

Our first scheduled gallery stop was the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, currently hosting shows by two great artists, Audrey Kawasaki and Jeff Soto. I've been collecting Audrey's prints for a few years now but this is the first chance I've had to see her work in person, I just love her dreamy girls who give off such a feeling of calm yet controlled and her style mixes traditional Asian painting with an art nouveau flair.

I was very happy to discover that the gallery still had a few prints left for sale of the limited edition done for this show (limited to 150) of "You Come First" so was able to pick one up. (Scalpers are already charging double or more on ebay). These were only sold directy from the gallery in person and not online which is probably why they still had a few left - any of Audrey's prints sold online sellout with seconds.

You can see all of Audrey Kawasaki's "Midnight Reverie" on her blog here or

on on the Jonathan LeVine Gallery site

I took a bunch of pix with my iphone I put on my flickr gallery here - (image shown is H.R. Giger "Li II" sculpture from Last Rites Gallery)
Art Trip to NYC Sept 2012

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Current Mood: artistic
Sunday, September 30th, 2012
4:03 pm
Art Trip to NYC Pt 1 - Zane Fix - great new artist discovery!


So yesterday kisarazumama and I caught the Tripper Bus up to NYC and back, it is soooo convenient as it leaves right from Bethesda about 2 1/2 miles away & there is free parking in the county garage on weekends! Just great for a day trip! Wanted to see lots of art, especially the Audrey Kawasaki show at the Jonathan LeVine gallery but when we got into town we took the subway downtown to check out the Chelsea Market and made a great new discovery!

Paula spotted this great Japanese influence Bettie Page poster so we walked into the Stray Kat Gallery in the market only to be overwhelmed by an array of brightly colored prints that were a perfect merger of American rock n' roll and pinup aetheistics blended with traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock style. Jaws hit floor, went intro want mode, it would just be REALLY hard to narrow it down to what to get as they were all so cool!

While we were blithering among ourselves over this awesome discovery, a skinny black clad rock n roll looking dude with wild spiky black hair that made him look like Tim Burton's younger cousin came over and introduced himself - he was the artist & had lived in Japan for a few years & worked very hard to be respectful of the Japanese art tradition. I gushed over how impressed I was, and which were my favorites and was able to get a wonderful set of 3 signed & numbered miniature prints of my fans, a "Rockabuki" (Rockabilly/Kabuki") mashup of guitarist/drummer & upright bassist.

He gave me his name, Zane Fix, and website http://www.jappopart.com and I know I'll be ordering some more pieces from him, especially love the great Samurai portrait of Gene Simmons (of course Gene lends himself perfectly to that treatment, reminds me of some of the PsychoCircus comic art!). Got a photo of Mr. Fix posing with a large print of his Bowie painting, leaves me wanting to see his version of Ziggy Stardust as a lion dancer (maybe in one of those Kansai Yamamoto outfits????)

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Current Mood: excited
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
8:48 am
yay, we has power now!
It came back on last night around 10 PM & once back on the A/C cooled the place off fairly quickly, was able to get some sleep for the first time since Friday! Still tired but feeling MUCH better and have tomorrow off for the 4th! Worst part (besides the heat) - dumping an entire fridge worth of food - OUCH! Hagan Daaz turned to soup! At least I get paid on Friday and can buy more groceries.

Current Mood: thankful
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
2:12 pm
In Misery.....
The last few days have been hell.... a freakishly intense thunderstorm hit very suddenly Friday night doing massive damage to the region. The nearest roads look like a tornado the size of a Tasmanian Devil ( the cartoon guy, not the furry one) took out a quarter of the trees about 3-4 feet off the ground but wrenching them off at the base of the trunk...

We lost power & now hear it may be a whole week until it is restored - they are estimating July 6th - CRY! There is no power in my apartment building, even their emergency generator is out and it is hotter than hell, thankfully we are only on the third floor & as we need to bring a flashlight into the stairwells to get in and out as the eleveators are out of service. I think most people on the higher floors have bugged out. On Saturday I met a fellow coming down from the 17th floor with his wife and baby and their luggage & he was sweating heavily & breathing hard and couldn't wait to escape.

Meanwhile we are having a heat wave with record breaking temperatures for this time of year in the high 90s to 100+ with lots of humidity. I spent most of Saturday and Sunday sitting on the floor of Montgomery Mall with a power strip so I could recharge my laptop, cell phone and ipad, at least they had air conditioning, electricity, bathrooms and food available. It was a weird experience, like being in an upper middle class refuge center with folks desparate to charge their Apple devices, I amused myself by playing "count the MacBooks". Genius Bar onsite if you need assistance!

I am back at work today as NIH has their own power (and thankfully are air conditioned!!!) but I am so tired that I am really shaky as I have barely slept at all in 3 nights - I can't handle the heat as my body overheats very easily - I try to sleep but sweat so much I feel soaked (and can't wash or dry the sheets) and am utterly miserable.

It is like camping minus the fun and vacation aspect.

And have lost a whole refrigerator's worth of food which is a sizable financial hit, especially as Paula and I will either have to eat out all week (when we can find a place open) or subside on peanut butter sandwiches and pop tarts.... I bought a cooler & ice on Saturday but now all the ice has melted and I can't find any more to buy as everybody is sold out. There were over a million people here without power & now its just a few hundred thousand - ha!

I dread the 4th of July as everything will probably be closed for the holiday, hopefully will be able to afford multiple movies as some theaters should be open.

I am close to hitting lack-of-sleep delerium and fantasize about nothing more than just curling up in a cool dark place.

How will I last until Friday? Cry.....

Current Mood: depressed
Friday, June 29th, 2012
11:50 am
most awesome news!

My room mate Paula has just published her first novel! You can order it in paperback or kindle form from Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Assassins-Flute-Paula-OKeefe/dp/1477669264/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1340984679&sr=8-2&keywords=paula+o%27keefe

So proud of her!!! She's an amazing writer so a book is long overdue!

Current Mood: jubilant
Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
11:00 am
Art-Gasm! Part II
Our last stop was the one that I enjoyed the most... for several years now , strangemuses has been telling me how much she loves the work of Anne Bachelier, and had sent me the link to the website of the gallery who handles her art - we've been forever meaning to visit and finally did and are so glad we made it!

The gallery owner, Neil Zukerman, is just wonderful. We got there late in the afternoon on Saturday and he mentioned he'd almost closed due to the heat but I'm so glad he didn't! He took the time to show us many amazing treasures and tell us about the artists. It turns out that Anne Bachelier has just finished a set of illustrations to a new Poe anthology that they will be releasing on November 8th so we definitely need to come back as they'll be hosting her and holding a signing in the gallery. We got to see a mock up of how the book will look as it is just going to the printers, as well as the original painting of the illustration to "The Black Cat".

Some works by Anne -






Links on the CFM Gallery site to more....


And OMG...his office...I have severe art book envy - the walls were floor to ceiling with bookcases of art reference books, many rare and out of print titles - I saw half a shelf on Gustav Moreau alone! And an original painting by Salvador Dali was hanging on the door!

Over his desk, an amazing masterpiece by an artist I had previously been unfamiliar with but am now somewhat obsessed with - Leonor Fini, an amazing woman who was a contemporary of Dali and friend and lover to Max Ernst. Why have I not heard of her before??? Her work is amazing!

this one behind the desk -


and a smaller one to the right of a sphinx -


This one was hanging in the main gallery, "Tristan Und Isolde"


I bought a big art book on Bachelier's work & a smaller one on Fini by the gallery owner who wrote a nice dedication to me introducing me to Fini's world - I read it the next day & have been googling her all over the web since. I love her fascination with sphinxes that have always attracted me and she painted a very cool series of them. She was also a huge cat lover and besides her serious paintings did many amusing drawings of kitties. Sort of the archetype of the bohemian artist as well as crazy cat lady :)

Many other treasures as well including prints by
artists ranging from Michael Parkes to Felician Rops, venetian glass sculptures, amazingly surreal jewelry, Lalique glass and cool sculptures. I loved this piece - it is called "Baba Yaga Eats Damien Hirst"



(it is the first of a series of Baba Yaga eating various artists. Her next victim will be Jeff Koons)

I had such a wonderful time, it is rare to find a kindred soul so obsessed with art to whom it means so much. Little excites me as much as finding an artist I had not known of previously who's work excites me so much!

Current Mood: enthralled
10:24 am
Art-Gasm!
Art-Gasm!

Had a wonderful day trip to NYC last weekend! I found a really convenient way to go as the Tripper Bus will pick you up in downtown Bethesda and deposit you in front of the post office behind Madison Square Garden in NYC for $27 each way. So, now knowing this I intend to travel up more frequently to check out various gallery and museum shows (gotta catch the Audrey Kawasaki show at Jonathan Levin gallery in September!)

Went up with strangemuses, our first stop was the Arcadia Fine Arts gallery in SoHo as it was the last day for their Surrealism show. I especially wanted to see this piece by Martin Wittfooth , who is one of my favorite current artists in the pop surrealist field…



Was greatly amused by this one by John Brosio of giant chickens on the loose….



…and Brian Despain’s Iron Giant ruled by dark bunny overlord (I am totally making that up)



Then we stopped at the Evolution Store which was loaded with cool stuff – skulls and bones, minerals, fossils, weird taxidermy – I was very very tempted by the stuffed two headed bat but made myself resist. Also by cute bat winged mouse angel… Must return with $$$.

We then had a wonderful lunch at Spring Street Natural with a very cute though not especially efficient waiter who looked very much like Desmond from the TV show Lost.

Then we headed uptown on the subway to the Neue Galerie on 5th Avenue – it’s a small museum in one of those ostentatious old Fifth Avenue Mansions from the robber baron days to house the German art collection of billionaire collector Ronald Lauder. The pride of his collection is Gustav Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I that he paid a whopping $135 million for when the former owner (the granddaughter of the woman in the painting) won it after a protracted lawsuit over WWII Nazi loot.

It’s very hard to fathom any one object being so valuable but I am glad it is on public display and not socked away in a private collection as I love Klimt’s work and was happy to have the chance to see it – until I saw it in person I had no idea how much sculpting was done in the surface of all the patterns in her dress, probably built up in gesso. They also had 6 other Klimt paintings as well as an exhibit of his drawings, an Egon Schiele painting & a nice display of Vienna Secession era decorative arts. Upstairs was a nice photography exhibit of works by Stieglitz and Steichen.

here is Adele holding court at the Neue -



Part II to follow!

Current Mood: bouncy
Friday, April 6th, 2012
9:30 am
synchronicity is a strange but wonderful thing....
I think I stirred this up last week - I bought a ticket to the megamillion jackpot, it being well worth the dollar to spend a few pleasant hours daydreaming of what I would do with the money....after buying my dream house & various gifts to friends (a new kitchen to one, health care to several others) I thought how I would love to live out my greatest fantasy as a patron of the arts like the famed De Medicis of the Renaissance... I would dearly love to just give my favorite artists a large stipend they could live comfortably off of so that just create, or maybe run a gallery so I could discover and promote new talent (and let's face it, I love imposing my taste on others)

Some of my thoughts must have reverberated thru the cosmos, a few days ago I got an email from the wife of one of my favorite artists, would I be possibly interested in a piece he had? He was short on funds & needs to pay his taxes. This is the artist that would have been #1 on my list to throw $$$ at if I won the lottery, I was just talking about....

The sad fact is that even though this fellow is a great artistic genius, he has trouble making ends meet, he is never compensated anywhere near what he should get for his work. I started collecting it a decade or so ago and was shocked at how little it sold for on ebay - part of me felt like a thief and very guilty for paying so little when I felt they were worth so much more, the other part of me was grateful that even on a secretary's salary I could afford to collect such treasures. I'll be honest and say I've walked through museums and thought to myself that I had equal quality of work hanging on my own walls.

"Of course I would love it", I wrote her, could I send a deposit and pay the rest next week when I get paid? She agreed and I sent a deposit of the remaining $$ I had in my paypal from the sale of some old concert T shirts & I immediately started scheming how I could juggle the rest. I've always thought that where there's a will, there's a way and while I seldom have more than two nickles to rub together as I positively bleed $ and cannot hang on to it, I have resources.

I decided to sell a print by a rising artist as I have several of hers & due to the size would be unlikely to frame this particular one. It was an earlier work of hers in a smaller edition than she issues now so had risen in value and desirability. I posted it to a message board for print collectors that I belong to and in hopes of selling quickly I priced it at what I actually needed rather than what I could reach for, it would help me quickly, I could pay off the painting and somebody would get a nice bargain.

Now it gets weird. Three minutes later I got an email from a person who would like to buy it. Yay! Look at the name and wonder, could it be? The next email confirms, they are an old friend of mine I lost touch with ten years ago who now lives a few miles away from me and has also gotten bitten by the print bug and we happily geek out....

What are the odds? But this is when I know I am doing the right thing and actually feel good about selling this print rather than regretting it. All works out great.

A red death for a red death.....


sold this print....




for this painting.....



Current Mood: giddy
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
10:07 am
from the sublime to the ridiculous....


I've actually been kinda busy lately, sometimes I have to push myself to leave the apartment & not just sleep but actually has a whirlwind of activity the last few days!

Friday night I went up to the Ottobar in Baltimore with kisarazumama and scarydavedc and caught Japanese garage rock band Guitar Wolf who were truly brilliant. I've decided if Balzac is Japan's answer to the Misfits, then Guitar Wolf is Japan's answer to the Ramones. Have wanted to see them for years and most especially since seeing them in the crazy cult flick "Wild Zero" (where Guitar Wolf save the world from zombies). They got a huge response - the place was packed and it got pretty crazy, the entire floor was moshing, I was right up by the stage & got bowled into a number of times but stlll managed to get some pretty good pix with my micro four thirds, had some fun playing with long exposure/rear curtain sync to try and capture the feel of the show :)

Flickr album here -
Guitar Wolf at the Ottobar - March 30 2012

Sunday night was more Japanese culture that could not have possibly been more different - the most stylized and artificial form of Japanese dance, the Kabuki. I've been wanting to see live kabuki for many years & had been so disappointed when I missed the performances at the Warner Theatre a few years back because tickets were impossibly expensive, but this time we got lucky as Bando Kotoji's troupe was performing at Towson University in conjuction with their Asian Arts center and tickets were only $15!!! kisarazumama was wonderful enough to get me one!!! It was kind of a drive but well worth it as the dancers were amazing and OMG the costumes - sooooo beautiful!!! What a rare treat!



Then last night got to attend an advance screening of the latest from creative geniuses Joss Whedon (Buffy/angel/Firefly/Serenity/Dollhouse/Toy Story 2/Avengers) and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield/Angel/Alias/Buffy/LOST) - "Cabin In The Woods".

I got free tix after reading a post on the @Whedonesque twitter for kisarazumama and I so we took the metro down to the Regal Cinema at Gallery Place right after work & lined up for a few hours - am glad we got their early as seating was limited and it was in a rather small theater and many of the people in line behind us did not get in. And for a special treat, two of the cast were there to introduce the movie and give a Q&A after wards - Fran Kranz and Kristen Connolly.

It's a wonderfully weird crazy brilliant roller coaster ride of a horror movie. My best advice is try and avoid all spoilersm even avoid the trailer if you can, go in knowing as little as you can for full effect, all I can say is that it is so far past "bunch of teenagers go off to a cabin in the woods and do dumb things" as you can imagine and Joss and Drew have the balls to GO THERE where others would not. Yeah, there's a reason why people say "that character was Jossed". Oh yeah, also a fantastic cameo from one of the most iconic performers in genre films of the last few decades!

The Q&A afterwards was fun & I actually got to briefly meet Fran Kranz which made me really happy as he played my favorite character Topher Brink on the Whedon show Dollhouse and he was nice enough to autograoh my Dollhouse DVD for me! I hope this really helps his career as he was the best character in the movie and poor dude had to wait 3 YEARS for it to be released due to MGM's bankruptcy! Thankfully Lionsgate picked up the release and are putting it out now, hopefully they are flush with bucks from Hunger Games to do some promotion with it. I think what they are doing is very smart - lots of advance screenings to enthusiastic fanboys in cities across the USA who will give lots of word of mouth to their friends & facebook & twitter the hell out of it. I'd like to see it be a big hit, it is actually SMART and WELL WRITTEN which is more than I can say for most horror movies!

And we got swag too - free posters and T shirts - YAY!

Still need to see "Mirror Mirror", even if it is a mess I am nuts for Tarsem's visuals. And jazzed for the upcoming Studio Ghibili/Hayao Miyazaki festival coming to the AFI Silver Theater - yay!!! They will also be doing a Monty Python retrospective - like I keep saying, how lucky am I to have this place nearby!!

Now I just want to sleep for a week!!!

Current Mood: giddy
Friday, March 23rd, 2012
9:20 am
bittersweet
The beginning of spring is always a hard time for me, not just because the blooming pollens bury their way into my lungs and set off my asthma, but the first day of spring marks the anniversary of my father's suicide back in 1989.... Somehow its just a bit worse when something like that happens on a particular date of note on the calendar rather than an "ordinary" one and makes it that much harder to try and forget...

Been battling depression of late, very stressed due to finances, things are increasingly tight with federal salaries frozen for a second year in a row while everything else goes up in cost, especially rent, gas, food, insurance.... I've had to be much more careful with spending & cut way back on going out to eat, movies etc. Trying to eat healthier and make stuff from scratch to be cheaper and avoid scary processed food (reports on hi fructose corn syrup and Jamie Oliver's demos on pink slime and chicken nuggets scared the bejeezus outta me). Bought a crock pot and have been making lots of soups and stews. How freakin' domestic of me! With the wonderful new Whole Foods just a couple blocks away there are so many tempting ingredients!

Busy cleaning the closets and boxes digging out old stuff to put on ebay for some spending $, very happy when 20 year old beat up t-shirts fetch lots to collectors! I guess I shouldn't feel so bad about having all those tubs of black T shirts in storage!

Stuff for sale on ebay -http://www.ebay.com/sch/sistinas

My car is making lots of distressing undercarraige noises - possibly struts need replacing? I can't afford to take it in to get looked at though so trying to drive it as little as possible in the meanwhile, starting to take the metro to work instead of driving & thinking of up giving up my parking pass at work so I can go back to their transhare & get free metro fare that would cover my commute.

I've been breaking out the bike I bought on Craigslist (got a great deal on a used Trek 7100!) and trying to get used to this newfangled one with lots of gears that is way more complicated than my old ten speed when I was a kid.

If the car totally craps out I may just sell it cheap or donate to charity and take metro or bike most places & get a zipcar membership for anything else. Thankfully there are some zip cars parked at the metro station which is just a ten minute walk from the apartment. It would also save me $100 a month in gas and $75 in parking costs at my apartment.

Speaking of the apartment, while I may bemoan the cost, I certain will never regret moving there, especially when I see how much the "old neighborhood" in Gaithersburg continues to slide downhill since we left. For shits & giggles I sometimes check the police blotter to see whats been happening on the old block, this is the scariest recent report that happened in the fancy new housing complex across the street from my old place -

Suspected MS-13 gang members charged with raping girl, 17, in Gaithersburg

I always wondered back during the housing bubble who would pay half a million dollars for a townhouse in such a crappy neighborhood (as well as who would be stupid enough to get an interest only loan anyway)....now the painful truth emerges, they were bought by the same people who lived in the crappy neighborhood and couldn't possibly afford them but got suckered into predatory loans they couldn't afford and now are foreclosed....

So I might be poorer but wiser, I'm very grateful that I moved and believing that you do get what you pay for...that place was much cheaper but definitely unsafe! At least I can sleep soundly at night & not worry about being to close to the windows or of somebody breaking in. Instead it is nice and peaceful and I can go down & walk by the pond & see bunnies and ducks and deer. Got a great photo yesterday while walking back from the metro of a huge red tailed hawk who swooped over me and landed in a nearby tree to pose.

Off this afternoon straight from work to see The Hunger Games, looking forward to it, "may the odds be ever in your favor"

Also REALLY psyched to see the Cabin in the Woods - got free tickets to an advance premier downtown on April 2nd, very psyched, especially as cast member Fran Kranz will be there for a Q&A - he played my favorite character on Joss Whedon's show 'Dollhouse', Topher Brink.

Current Mood: grateful
Monday, March 5th, 2012
6:46 pm
new LJ name :)
I was able to pounce on an unused & deleted account and grabbed the name "sistinas" when it became available to match many other accounts of mine, all the old entries under "evb" should still direct here.

Yay! Less people to be confused with!
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
8:14 am
Happy Valentine's Day!
Thought this was just the cutest sentiment for the day - Poster by http://www.angryblue.com
Monday, February 13th, 2012
11:14 pm
Yeah! What they said!


my bargain murakami!

Friday, December 30th, 2011
1:13 pm
always get maudlin this time of year...
I always get a bit maudlin this time of year and reflect back on the past 12 months... Its been a year... a year of decompressing and readjusting following a major move out of a nightmare to much nicer surroundings, and realizing the extent of PTSD that former residence inspired when it look months to chill out and relax. Finances have been tight especially with my salary frozen for the foreseeable future and higher rent + bills than old place so drastically cut back on traveling from other years, started taking some painting commissions again (even tho it stresses me ut it is easier than getting a 2nd job) and finding stuff I can part with on ebay. If I get down about it I try to look at the big picture and look at how I have it relatively well off with a stabile job compared to some many others who are unemployed or underemployed and/or without benefits.

At least I have had significantly less stress in my life aside from $$$.

Definitely kept busy :) Some highlights for 2011 -



Favorite movies of the year (and Yay to Montgomery Mall's theater for selling me a yearlong pass on Groupon for all the movies I could watch! I can watch a lot!):
Hugo
Rango
The Artist
Super 8
13 Assassins
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Detective Dee and the Phantom Flame
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter finale

Worst movie – easy choice here, Sucker Punch. Had high hopes for it as the production art looked really cool but it was massively stupid, made Tarsem’s “Immortals” (dumb but visually groegous) look like a masterpiece by comparison.

Favorite concerts of 2011: (a year of good shows!)
Danzig Legacy on Halloween!
Tiger Army OCtoberflame
Nick 13 at the Troubadour
T.S.O.L. at the Ottobar
The Damned at the Black Cat
Bryan Ferry at Strathmore
D Generation reunion at Irving Plaza
Dir En Grey at Sonar

Favorite albums:
Nick 13 solo
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack (how cool was it to see Trent win an Oscar for Social Network???)
The Foo Fighters "Wasting Light" - continually stuck in my head
Janes Addiction - The Great Escape Artist

Cool experiences of 2011:
Got to Meet Henry Rollins after his photo slideshow at National Geographic Explorer’s Hall
Henry’s 50th Birthday also at National Geographic Explorer’s Hall
Seeing Davey Havok on Broadway in “American Idiot” Green Day musical
Hearing Neil Gaiman speak about American Gods at the National Press Club
Finally getting to meet London May!
seeing Russell Brand perform at Patriot Center
seeing Cirque Du Soliel "Iris" show (with music by Danny Elfman!!)

Great art exhibits I saw
Tim Burton at LACMA
Chet Zar at Copra Nason Gallery
Ray Caesar at Corey Helford Gallery
Daphne Guiness collection of amazing haute couture at FIT
(kicking myself I did not make it to the Met in time to see the Alexander McQueen show! At least I did get the book....)

Cool things I got in 2011 –
Michael Zulli Sandman painting
many cool Mondo movie posters
great flea market find on Marcel Breur Wassily Bauhaus chair!
4 Soom BJD dolls! (Bazael, Beryl + Migma twins)
Royal Worcester Arabian “Indian Magic” porcelain (my horsie holy grail!)
Audrey Kawasaki “Enrapture” and “Charlotte” prints
Sylvia Ji “Tehuana” print
Martin Wittfooth “Vernus” print
Chris Conn Askew “Bablon” and “Queen of Diamonds” prints
Mark Ryden “Yoshi” print
Hot Toys Sweeney Todd and Aldo Raine!

Low point of 2011 –
Finding out that my dear friend Kristen took her life, I had no idea how she had struggled with a severe borderline personality disorder that I didn’t even understand until it was too late, not that I probably could have helped according to what I’ve since read up on that disease. I miss her badly, I wish I could have helped her out. I also regret that the ONE TIME a former friend who was always making up crazy stories wan't lying to me about Kristen and actually told the truth that I hadn't instantly dismissed it ala "boy who cries wolf", sigh!

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, December 29th, 2011
9:26 am
a good morning to be alive and well....
Every little thing we do has consequences, many times we don't even realize them without looking back in hindsight.

A little over a year ago Paula and I moved out of our hellhole of an apartment with worse management and into a wonderful place much nearer to where we work. There were a few downsides in that moving itself was expensive and the rent is close to double the old dump's but we have been so glad we did it - we are no longer being continually harassed by the management and barraged with noise and feeling unsafe in a neighborhood that had slide far downhill and become full of crime and gang activity. Instead we live now in a beautiful, well kept place that makes us happy every time we enter it, with polite, quiet neighbors and friendly, helpful staff in a very safe and peaceful neighborhood filled with wonderful markets, restaurants, shopping etc.

But yesterday it REALLY hit home what else I'd dodged. As I was leaving work a co-worker advised me to avoid the main road (Rt 355/Rockville Pike) as it was closed due to a major accident. So I exited out the back of the NIH campus on to Old Georgetown Road and went home that way. Then checked the news online to see what had happened.

The accident was a bad one - a truck had crossed the road plowing into an oncoming bus. The truck driver was killed, the bus driver seriously injured and had to be extracted & flown via medivac to Shock Trauma. Many passengers were seriously injured & taken to local hospitals.

The bus involved was the 4:20 J9 express to Lakeforest Mall. The very same bus that I took home from work nearly every day for about ten years until I moved. I often sat in the front right behind the driver as the bus would be pretty full by the time it reached NIH which was the last stop before its Gaithersburg destination and those were usually the only seats left.

I spent much of the night shaking and hugging my cat, so relieved that I hadn't been on it.

Its a good morning to be alive and in one piece!
Sunday, September 11th, 2011
9:59 pm
10 years ago....
(a repost of what I wrote for the 5th anniversary)


I was at work at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, right outside of Washington DC...one of the doctors on our floor emailed everybody & said "go to this link" and it was CNN's page where they had a photo of the first tower in flames. A co worker turned on the radio & we heard about the 2nd tower and the crash at the pentagon AND there were people calling in the radio with all kinds of crazy rumors about bombs at the state department and the FBI building and nobody really knew what was going on. I called home several times trying to wake up Judy who always sleeps thru the phone & left all these crazy messages like "get the fuck up & turn on the TV - all hell's breaking loose" - eventually she woke up & did so & said I sounded like WWIII had started.

Then they abruptly shut down the government & told everybody to leave - nobody knew quite what to do and were weirded out that we had no instructions and afraid NIH could be a likely target.

I got on the Metro train as I figured it would be the fastest way out towards where I lived (I'd taken a commuter bus in that wouldn't be running until the afternoon) even tho I was scared that the train might be a target too. I got on the metro & it was packed with people leaving DC, several of whom had been in buildings facing the pentagon and had seen the plane hit there and were in total shock.

I'll never as long as I live forget the one woman sitting on the floor slowly rocking back & forth looking completely catatonic. Everybody was very scared, people had just abandoned their cars in DC & jumped on the train to get out of there as fast as possible.

We got to Shady Grove station & I found Paula coming home from her job so that made me feel a lot better.

The weirdest part was seeing the people who had no idea what was going on entering the station about to go to a meeting downtown & wondering why it was so crowded & everybody was so freaked out. I told a couple "go back, don't go downtown - the whole city is closed, I'm sure your meeting is cancelled".

Got a bus home from the station, saw Pete the xerox room guy from work on the bus & somehow that made me feel better too. Went home & was sucked into nonstop CNN... later went out to the store & did strange things like buy a big black forest cake & refill a prescription of painkillers, I guess it was my wierd way of being prepared for the worst.

What freaked me the most was before I got the job at NIH I had turned one down at the Pentagon because I preferred the idea of working at NIH to help people than being with warmongers. I just kept thinking that could have been me. I also used to live in NYC so I also felt a connection there. Two friends of mine lived close to that area & quickly figured the air was toxic & rented a van & put all their belongings in it & just left - they didn't know where to go but knew they had to get out...eventually they settled in Seattle. But they freaked me when they called & they were leaving & wanted to give me the passwords to edit their bands web site "just in case".

I definitely had some semblance off post tramatic stress disorder afterwards. With National airport shut down many flight paths got rerouted over my apartment & I'd be lying in bed drifting off to sleep and when I'd hear a plane I'd jump. I'd get horrible chills down my spine driving by the pentagon with the huge gaping hole in it.

Current Mood: contemplative
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