Michael Zulli Death

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                                                                                                           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

Michael Zulli Death

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!



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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Michael Zulli Death

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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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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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!!


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!!!

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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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 -


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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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
Michael Zulli Death

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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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
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

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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