Michael Zulli Death

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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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......








blackroses

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 :)
blackroses

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!
Lover Destroyer

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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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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Michael Zulli Death

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.
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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.....
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Michael Zulli Death

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!