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Krappy Kristmas per Christine, Echo and Elizabeth.

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Santa sends in the clowns!

Ahhhh,  the year 2011 is drawing to a close.  I just spent the day with my extended family as we gathered for Krappy Kristmas 2.0  The Next Generation!  Generously enough, my sister Curse and her daughters Echo and Elizabeth took on the unrolling of Krappy Kristmas.  It was so much easier and funner to arrive as the Grand Dame with fabulously decorated presents, as opposed to carrying the whole ordeal.

Krappy Kristmas is the equivalent of the White Elephant game but with a little more of an edgy quality.  As tradition has it, somewhere in the pile of “gifts” is a $2o bill, a box of See’s candies, a Fart Machine and then whatever manner of mayhem the participants can muster.  You have to come with the right attitude to really enjoy it, if you are there to make up for all the beautiful presents that you may not engender at D25, you may not do so well.  This game is all about deception, enticement and dashing of hopes!  In years past we have had such items as a taxidermy baby duck whose listing head was covered with a nice bow on it’s neck.  We’ve had gnarled ginger roots in murky watery bottles and fruit cakes with a bite out of them.  This year there was a package from Europe that held paper funnels that would allow a woman to pee standing up (and that was just decoration on the Outside of the package), we had snowmen that pooped jelly beans into a basket, Attends for Men, horrible paintings such as a Cujo flavored poodle, 3 of the queen’s guards, one of  whom’s kilt had arisen to expose his hairy bum (I clipped a plush gorilla toy and glued the fur onto the most offensive parts of said painting).  Another of the especially fun traditions of the game is the ability to steal presents from others.  Yesterday, as in all Christmas’ past, some presents took on a life of there own and were stolen and whipped back and forth, over and over again.  The joke is that no one Really knows what’s inside them, but that doesn’t seem to diminish the fervor and angst players experience.   I hope that your Christmas is satisfying, and as fun as mine has already been!                                         ( Go to the photo section to see more Krap!)


ON a sad note:  I’m closing down the shop space as of Dec. 31st.  I think I would do better if I lived in the Castro or West Hollywood, but alas, I am here in Phoenix where we seem to be suffering from a dearth kitsch lovers.  Darnitall!

Night of the Laughing Dead

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

I had SO much fun last night!  My sister, two nieces and grand nephew came and joined me and my two best friends for the Third Annual Zombie Walk of Phoenix.  We hammed it up and zombied out with make up and costumes, we rode the light rail to Heritage park downtown and joined the hundreds of other restless dead.  It was clear that many of the other rail car riders were unaware that there was a Zombie Walk.  It was fun to see the different reactions to our get ups, we were Not the only zombie riders either, even more fun!

The streets were blocked off and there was an amazing contrast between all the zombies shuffling toward the square where the event was to be held, and the weddings and other black tie events being attended by a lot of rich people in the hotels that we passed.  One lady was in a parked car taking pictures of the lurching dead, when she was examining photos on her iphone, I pawed at her window and made gutteral zombie sounds; I scared the CRAP out of her!  Then we both started cracking up, it was such a sweet moment of zombie and bait unity!

We got there as the sun was setting, it was a wonderful communal affair, there were zombies of every race and color.  There were representatives of professions such as health care and culinary arts, there were everyday life activities in view; brides and patrolmen, as well as the less usual; clowns, mummies, and fairies.  Everyone looked like they were really enjoying themselves.  There were more people dressed up than not, and more people actually doing the lurching and lumbering than just photographing it.  If you get a chance, go next year and get your gore on!


See lots more photos in the “Third Annual Zombie Walk” set under Photos, to your right.



Rock and Gem Beauty Items

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Colorful beads, Tucson R & G show

Specimen flat 1/12!

Howdy all!

I made two trips to the Tucson Rock and Gem show, the only bad thing is that I went without my sister Chris, and her man Carlos.  Chris and Carlos moved up to the rim country a few months ago, so it was much more difficult to cover all the money and miles to make our pilgrimage to Tucson, together.  We reconnoitered on the phone and decided that the Art UnRaveled ritual would take precedence.  We are all signed up for a Michael DeMeng class in August which Super Secret Back Up Support Agent will accompany us to.  The Tucson rock and gem show was much quieter this year, less vendors and a whole lot less customers than I’ve ever seen.  I was able to do two scalpel like visits during the week (none of that weekend horde business, for me!).  The earrings from my favorite vendor had gone up by a good 30%, this year.  He, Quaisar,  was out at Electric Park, a different venue than I normally find him at.   I dealt with his west coast associate, Candi, who was very nice and helpful.  I went through about $ 1800 with them, then I found my way to the mineral man from India—Holy Krapppppp!  I have never bought a flat of rocks before.  I bought ONE on my first vistit.  The second visit, I walked away with 12!  They are beautiful specimens and I got them for a fabulous price, which I will of course, pass on.   Keep your eye out, I will try to get the new rocks photographed and priced in the next month, or so.

Beauty Comes In All Forms

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

These colorful rocks were from south east of Wikieup, AZ.

Howdy readers! I just got back from a three day trip to Lake Havasu City, Kingman and the Wikieup areas of Arizona.  The first two are some of the hottest places in Az, this is a beautiful time to be there.   I was listening to an older album by Brian Eno called Ambient 1, Music for Airports.  This music is beautiful with it’s spare, haunting, wide open feel which seemed to echo much of the terrain that I was covering.  This part of the state is volcanic, you can see the remnants of old volcanoes and lava floes, as you drive. 

Rock collecting area off the 95, NE of Lake Havasu.

  While not pretty in the usual sense, this part of the country has a crusty beauty.  I found granity type rocks that were pink, black and green that I think will make beautiful jewelry, later.  Much of the rock was glittery and looked like advertisements for some of the counters in your kitchens. 

The most important part of the story is that being out in nature, especially for longer stretches such as this, is so restorative to our spirits.  Super Secret Back Up Support Agent was off having an adventure of her own with her backpacking allies.  I like that we can go off and enjoy ourselves in ways that feed our souls, then get back together and enjoy each other’s tales.    What’s missing in your life?  What can you do today to start having things the way that you’d like them?  Do it for yourself, and know that the people around you will benefit from a more satisfied you, as well.

Arkansas, Here We Come!

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Howdy Dear Readers!

The Mighty Deb and I just returned from our 9 day Arkansas road trip!  The goal was to get to Ron Coleman’s mine for quartz crystal picking.  We left on Sunday right after noon, and got caught immediately in highway repair traffic on the I17 that took an extra 90 minutes.  It started to cloud up by the top of the rim, and graduated to snow in Flagstaff.  It snowed off and on til Albuquerque.  We went through the skinny top of Texas, the width of Oklahoma, and then spent some time in Fayettville, AR.  The old part of down town is a wonderful amalgam of old and new architecture, sprinkled with art.  Deb and I stayed at fancier motels at her direction.  I am just fine with mom and pop’s or Motel 6, but the princess got her way with Best Westerns and the like.  We wound our way from the north west corner of Arkansas to Jessieville and the mine by 3:30 in the afternoon, Wed.  We were both greatly relieved because we had just gotten into a big, fat fight in that last hour or so.  She told me I swore to much, in no uncertain terms.  I just couldn’t fucking believe it!  Anyway, we hit the pit and split up like we were shot from a gun.  The crystals and crystal material were all over.  The miners dig up new material with big earth moving equipment, the company takes the hugest crystals, then brings the piles into the more public part of the mine.  There are newer piles of dirt and rock, and older material spread all over many acres.  Newer does not necessarily mean better–sometimes they are just cleaning up the active area.  Every time is rains new crystals and plates of crystals are exposed.  Some of them are clear like water, some are white, and many are mixed.  I found plenty to be satisfied with, though I’ve found bigger crystals and plates in the past.  Deb hauled up huge rocks with crystals tucked in here and there.  She Always goes for the Large size!  She brought home loose crystals as well.  I’ll tell you more of our journey, later.  Thanks for checking in!

I Must Be Having Fun Because Time Sure Is Passing Quickly!

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Hello readers,

This new year is passing by in high gear.  Some of the highlights; two trips to the Tucson Rock and Gem show in Jan/February.   The labradorite and rhodochrosite (pictured above)  were so colorful and beautiful this year.  I bought lots of necklaces and earrings of those materials, as well as others.   Super Secret Back Up Support Agent (SSBUSA) kept egging me on to stock up on the great values I was finding, albeit by phone (she has been incredibly busy and overwhelmed this year).   She doesn’t just encourage me, she gives me grants to make my dreams come true!  Hence, her nick name!  I have been in the process of getting these treasures  photographed, priced,  packaged and onto ArtFire, for weeks.    I think you’ll be impressed with the quality of this year’s expeditional finds!

My best Friend Mertz came for a week’s visit from Portland, OR.  She is one of those deeper thinkers in life that I really appreciate.  We  have fun together,  and I always look forward to her visits.   This year, she and I, along with S.S.B.U.S.A. went to see the movie Avatar in 3D.  It seemed like an interesting combination of melodrama and newage thought.  I really liked how it snuck in such  countercultural thoughts as; we are all connected, maybe might is NOT right, and maybe we really can turn around the desecration of the earth.  It felt like it hit hard on subconsious levels,  I was moved while watching it.  When it came time for all the movie awards, I was glad that James  Cameron, (the director of Avatar) didn’t get the top award.  His ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow took the best director award for her movie, The Hurt Locker.  He’s a big time director and has gotten plenty of awards, it’s good to share the bounty.  She was the first female director to receive that award.   My longshot movie Precious received honors, too.  Mo’Nique won an Oscar for the best supporting actor–she earned it!

One of the other quarterly activities;  I am through with my taxes!  What a relief!  I am a good documentor, but it just takes me so much time to get all the receipts organized and totaled.  Thank God that’s done!

Another wonderful happening this year?!?  I discovered a new comic that I really enjoy–Maria Bamford.  She’s odd and her humor has overtaken me.  I have three of her albums and have watched all her “Maria Bamford Show”s on YouTube.   One of my favorite skits is while living with her parents, she leaves messages for her religious mother on the answering machine from “The Baby Jesus”.  It makes me laugh til I cry, every time I hear it!  Check her out and tell if it’s just me, or if she makes you laugh, too!  Kat 

Precious. Kids? Uh, not so much

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

preciousSuper Secret Back Up Support Agent and I went to see Precious at the movies, Sunday.  This is a movie based upon the book ‘Push’ by Sapphire, published in the mid ’90’s.  I remember hearing her interview with Terry Gross, the details that she used to describe the experiences in the book were chilling.  It is the story of a young, black teenage girl who is obese, illiterate and about to give birth to her father’s second child.  She lives alone with her mother who is physically and sexually abusive.  This movie was directed by Lee Daniels who was involved with Monster’s Ball, Shadowboxer and the Woodsmen (I’ve seen all three, the first and last are on my favorite’s list).   SSBUSA, who is also know as “Researcher Extraordinaire”, looked into the details when we got home.  Sapphire said that she chose Daniels to put her movie together because she knew he wouldn’t back down from the sharp edges of the story.  This is not a movie to see when you are emotionally vulnerable.  All the rolls were well acted, the experiences and emotions rang true.  The most helacious parts of the movie were handled with a deft touch, you saw enough to know what was happening, and to feel it.    The sex and violence portrayed didn’t seem like they were used to shock viewers, they were necessary for one to enter into the horrific world that Precious was trying to survive in.   Mo’Nique plays the mother in a grittingly, raw performance.  Mo’Nique’s character was frightening with her paroxysms of spontaneous, over-the-top, bouts of  physical violence, over unpredictable triggers.      Mariah Carey plays a social worker—you probably wouldn’t even recognize her unless you were looking for her.  She is a worn out public servant trying to do what she can for people who are mandated to see her,  in order to keep the welfare money coming.  I was really moved by her acting–maybe better described as her being, in the movie.   Gabourey Sidibe was a stand out as Precious.  She came across as stoic, tenacious and courageous, to me.  Observing the journey that Precious makes from being trapped within herself, to connecting with others, and being able to find her voice was really inspiring.  The movie portrayed some of the coping mechanisms that enabled her to live through such harrowing experiences.  It also showed the trickle down effect of violence, as we witnessed Precious unexpectedly smack a little girl in her apartment building just like her mother would do to her.  It’s hard sometimes not to pass on negative things that you’ve been subjected to.  I like that the character of Precious was full and nuanced, things aren’t black and white, all good or all evil, and neither are people.  I am glad that we live in a time when we can discuss issues such as power enequities, the need for dominance and overinflated senses of entitlement.  These are some of the causes of child abuse, as well as all the other flavors of abuse that continue to plague our world.   Both SSBUSA and I felt physically ill after watching this movie, AND we think it should be mandatory viewing by most people over age 15, or so.  Here’s the Wikipedia back drop on the movie.  The poster for this movie just hits me in the belly like a baseball bat.   If you go to see this movie, you may want to skip the popcorn.

Into the Beehive: Colorado City

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Colors of Colorado CitySuper Secret Back Up Support Agent and I went on another one of our future home finding adventures last month.   We meandered through New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.  One of the highlights of the trip was our brief pass through Colorado City/Hilldale.  This is the polygamist town that straddles the Utah/ Arizona state line.   The Arizona part is called Colorado City, while Hilldale  is technically in Utah.  There was no difference between the two that I could see, it just looked like a small town to me.   SSBUSA and I were a bit on edge as we toured the town, everyone knows everyone, and we were not of them.  It was unnerving too, because it was Saturday morning around 11ish, and there were fast, hard driving cars EVERYWHERE.  It was really odd, the place felt like a bee hive or ant hill.  There were people working on their houses, a few children out playing, but mostly there were people driving quickly in this very small town.  We wanted to take pictures but not be too intrusive.  It was like being in a foreign country that had had Way too many visitors, and not always with a kind or respectful attitude.  Maybe gawking and being respectful is an oxymoron?  Well, we did our best to do both.  Many of the homes are huge and rather non-descript.  Some of them look more like apartment buildings than homes.  The vehicles that were the most plentiful were suburbans and trucks.  The economy of size was the most striking detail, to me.  We didn’t take many pictures of people in order to tamp down the rudeness factor, but the few that we got are interesting.  One of Super Secret’s best people photos is blurry, but it is still very colorful so we put it up for you to see, anyway.  There are many more pictures in the gallery set:  Arizona and Surrounds.   

  Most of the town’s assets were put into a collective trust back in 1942.  The state government took over receivership in 2005 during the whole Warren Jeffs debacle, due to mismanagement. I just read that the town has been given control over their schools again, just 2-3 days ago.  Maybe the town is getting back on it’s feet?  I just hope that there are only people who want to be there, living the way that they want to.  Jon Krakauer’s book “Under the Banner of Heaven” is a fascinating chronicle of Mormonism and their disowned kin folk, the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS).  I am glad that they are here, it makes for a more interesting and diverse world.

Things are moving!

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Hula Girl Waves Bye Bye!

Hula Girl Waves Bye Bye!

I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a precipice.  This website has been up and running since July of ’08.  I have made my first TWO sales, both in the last week and a half! ( The earrings that my mother bought in the first month don’t count–she is my Mother, after all!)  I sent a pair of turquoise earrings off to the Netherlands, and will be sending the Urasaki doll ( pictured above), back to her homeland of Hawaii, next week.  Things are Finally starting to roll just like Super Secret Back Up Support Agent always said they would!

Tracey, the webmaster who put this site together, has handed over the keys this week, as I want to be able to run it myself.  She has empowered me with directions and good advice.  I feel like one of the Wright brothers on their first flight.   As you come across displays of my technical ignorance, hang on, it will get better.   Remember the words of Helen Keller:  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!

PS I had to re-do this entry because I forgot to publish it after I sent it to my closest friends, and it got disappeared!  Ah, the learning has only begun!  What are you tackling?

Art at Your Finger Tips!

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I just finished up three days of classes with Michael DeMeng, one of my favorite artists.  I don’t know anything about his history, but I imagine it as tortured and tangled.  You could not create work like his having grown up in the Ozzy and Harriet family.  His work is dark, interesting, multi-layered and frequently creepy.  The Mighty Deb, Sister Curse and I took his one day workshop called “The Island of DeMented Toys” on Friday, what a blast!  How could you not have fun while sawing apart toys and reassembling them in new, and sometimes disturbing configurations?  Art Unraveled puts on a week and a half of all different types of workshops every August, here in the Phoenix area.  There is every kind of art media that I could think of, probably some you would love, too.  I took two more days of DeMeng’s class called “Mad Alchemist’s Cabinet” by myself, my pals had to get back to their lives.  I was so inspired after our Friday class that I went out and bought a Dremel.  They seem like such a practical tool–there are attachments that allow you to cut through wood, ceramics, plastic, and even metal.  You can sand, polish, or use a wire brush, amongst many other purposes that I don’t even know of yet.  I have posted photos on flickr of Michael DeMeng and all of our various projects, come see for yourself!  Another highlight of my Art Unraveled trip was rondivouing with my web designer Tracey Kazmir-Cree who lives in Colorado,  and her friend Artsy Fran who resides in Phoenix.  It was fun to hear about the classes that they had taken and to catch up on each other’s lives.  I love Art Unraveled!  A big thank you to Linda Young and her family, who make it all come together.  Go if you have ever wanted to dip your toe into the art world, or even if you teach classes, yourself.  There is always more to learn and friendships to make!