Flickr World

July 30th, 2009

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My latest passion has been my Flickr account. http://www.flickr.com/photos/katsdeelite/ I love the interactive nature of this photo collection site.  You can post your pictures (you set privacy levels; everyone or only family/friends), and if  other people are able to see them, they can comment on them’ and/or make notes upon the pictures, themselves.  THAT is my favorite part!  We have ongoing conversations that can be heartfelt, commiserative, or just plain ribald, and snarky.  It reminds me of being in grade school and being totally bored; I’d make up new captions on all the pictures in the textbooks.  The best years were when I got a school book that had escaped the erasers and still had remarks from students gone by.  This only happened only once or twice, but you can see that it made quite an impression upon me!  On Flickr, I get to have ongoing dialogues as often as I’d like.  Who knew that old religious album covers could be such a fount of entertainment?  Or that others share my love of bizarre thriftstore items?  There’s a whole group dedicated to highlighting the unimaginable, called Thriftstore Hell.  I get to put all my Paint by Number works of art in a group with the same name.  And my few, precious black velvet paintings?  Oh yes!  I placed them in the Velveteria group!   My favorite and wittiest contacts are: Donna Lethal, Miss Retro Modern, Pastorfuture and Eliz.Avery.  Come on out and play with us, the water’s fine and amusing!

Retirement Home Shopping

July 12th, 2009

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Super Secret Back Up Support Agent (SSBUSA) and I, just returned from a working, whirlwind vacation.  My fantabulous partner is referred to as SSBUSA because she is a Who’s Who (in a small pond, she would add), and has to live a semi-closeted life.  The good news is that she is elegible for retirement in a flash of  1 to 1 1/2 years, then she will have more personal freedom.  So, in preparation for that burst of independance, we went on the search for possible retirement burgs.  We thought that it was a good idea to start now, since we have such disparate needs.   I am a lizard of the desert and need it warm, she is a fox of the arctic, needs chilly hiking weather, and as a world traveler, she needs an airport within a reasonable distance, oh boy! 

 We flew to Portland, OR  where we visited and stayed with our respective Ex’s together, (only in Lezzy World does this happen!  One of our mantras is: you haven’t lost a lover, you’ve just gained a new best friend).  It only makes sense when you think about it and have some mature sensibilities to you; why wouldn’t your past lovers make good friends?  Who knows you like they do?  Who has seen you at your best, as well as your worst?  Helped you to limp through harrowing experiences?  The way that ex’s are villified and thrown away in the hetero world is a mystery to me, and seems like a colossal waste.  Talk to them, clean it up, apologize for all the nasty, underhanded shit you did, be willing to accept their apologies and get them back into your camp!  Strengthen your world by having authentic, true-blue people around you.  Ok, I know this is not going to work for everybody—maybe you were in a strange place when you picked that last one?!   Maybe the painful, gut-wrenching lessons that you NEEDED to learn are over.  All I ask is that you look at your waste pile of ex’s and see if there are any there, that are worth rehabilitating from the trashcan of your memory.  Ok, the next problem would be, how would your present partner take to this re-introduction?  Not everyone is as gracious and open minded as Super Secret Back Up Support Agent.  She was the one who suggested that we invite my ex-partner/best friend of 8 years, Mary, to join us on part of our vacation.  It was one of the sweetest experiences I’ve had in many years–two of the women who love me most in the world, traveling together with me on a future home hunt.  M1 and M2, as they are sometimes referred to, have met before and gotten along on their short visits, so a more intense togetherness experience wasn’t totally off the wall.  We stayed at M1’s 1912 house up in SE Portland the first night, we had a grand time.  M2 was expressively marveling at all the treasures and interesting items that M1 had accumulated in her many years of world travel, (and from my thriftstore gifts).  They have loads in common, just like many of your ex’s might upon closer examination.  Why shouldn’t they like each other?  The traits that brought you to the last one are probably similar to the traits of the present one, eh?  I think we all come onto the planet to learn lessons, that’s why you picked your parents, that’s why you have picked the first and second, etc, partner, or let them pick you.     (  (http://www.michaelteachings.com/m-channelings.html  This is a website address for the MICHAEL teachings, a channeled information source that is the most resonant, and interesting information that I’ve been exposed to on reincarnation, and just generally how life REALLY works). 

OK, back to the first night in Portland story:  the whole kit and kaboodle of us got together for dinner –M’s 1 & 2, M2’s ex-partner P, along with her present partner, N.  We had a good time just eating and talking.  The next evening was spent at N and P’s house in NE Portland.  It was sweet to be around people who were/are  important to SSBUSA.  “They are my family!”   She always tells me.  On Sunday (day 3) the M’s and I took off for Ashland, near the southern end of Oregon.  We pulled into Jacksonville, OR right before nightfall.  What a cute town!  There was a small, OLD downtown of about 6 streets.  It was an old gold mining settlement from the turn of the century.  There were a lot of farms and small houses in the countryside around it.  It reminded me of a smaller, flatter Bisbee,  with all it’s charm.  But we concluded that it wouldn’t do, too time in the 20’s and 30’s for me.  We figured out that the ideal temperature range that we could both agree on would be between 35 and 75ish.  We spent the night in Medford, a blue collar, more working class kind of town.  The next day we went into Ashland, what a sweet town that was!  It felt old, but progressive, small, but not too small, VERY expensive.  The shops were really cute and quirky, no cookie cutter shopping centers here!  A stream runs through the middle of town (reminded me of Santa Fe, NM a bit with the foresty feel, river in town and fabulous shops), there were bridges over it here and there, they had a short riverwalk area sort of  like the one in San Antonio, TX.  They have a large beautiful park at the edge of the down town with hiking trails, ponds, tennis courts and even bathrooms!  The town had a lovely laid back feeling.  But again Very expensive and maybe a pinch too cold for me.  Back into the car and off to the coast–stay tuned, loyal readers!

Turning 50 and the effects of Old Fogeyism

July 12th, 2009

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My life has been very full lately, I just turned 50 in May.  In some ways it feels like a big deal, and in other ways,  accch!  Not so much.  That menopause business is  picking up with hotflashes and sleep challenges.  It’s definitely harder to maintain my “girlish” figure.  One benefit of getting older is that I think that I am more likely to be viewed as eccentric, rather than just plain old weird!  I think that’s better?  It feels like the expectations we have of people evolves with their age.  I work with loads of younger people in the hospital, it is their culture that prevails in most instances.  Almost all   of the radios in the operating suites are tuned to 96.9, one of our local pop/alternative stations.  When I try to sneak them over to 95.5 (the jazz/R & B channel), the youngsters give me a hard time; “It’s putting me to sleep!” and “Just throw something if you see me nodding off!”  We actually have a lot of fun together for being in such a high stakes business.  It helps to be flexible and have a macabre sense of humor when you work in the medical world.  Another aspect of the young culture is all the handheld devices;  many of my coworkers have their phones or PDA’s with them at all times.  I see them clicking away in the break room or texting as they walk from one location to another.  Just how much is there to talk about?  I am about as communicative as the next person, and now that I am a 50 year old fogey, I guess I can say it–I just don’t see the need for all this chatting/tweeting/gabbing, and going on.  When I overhear verbal conversation around me, they are usually mundane, do people dig deeper when they use these other forms of communication?  I doubt it.  It must be addictive, though.  I see so  many people texting or talking on the phone while driving.   It makes me think that there is a very strong compulsion that is difficult to overcome.  I must confess to using the cell phone while I drive sometimes, too.  I wonder how all this staying in touch, and being surrounded by electronic devices will affect our lives and bodies?   It will take years to know of the physical ramifications.  Will it be easier to see the social and personal ripples?  Many people seem to use them almost as toys, objects to keep them from being present where they are.  It’s like a way of disappearing, almost.  Speaking of deep content, I feel a little self-conscious even blogging.  It’s not that I think what I have to say is especially IMPORTANT, it’s more like what I have to offer is a view from my little slice of a life.  I guess that’s enough.  K

Ooooh, My Aching Back!

April 1st, 2009

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Hello loyal readers,

the project du jour is beautifying the backyard.  When I bought the house 8 years ago, the backyard was “lawn”.  This lawn was mostly composed of crabgrass, and thank God for that, otherwise it would have just been an even patchier, pock ridden, large expanse of dirt.  I dug up all the weeds/lawn and put up a gazebo.  My brother Walt came to my rescue and helped me to put up the third tier that made up the loftiest of the roofs.  He is a single, eligible, handyman extraordinaire (hint clue to single, straight, nice women).  See his picture in the “Meanwhile, back at the ranch” in the Bad arts, Ugly crafts secti0n of the picture gallery.  Oh yeah, back to the yard….I bought and hauled 16oo red bricks with the aid of Super Secret Back Up Support Agent’s money, as well as her strong, shapely back.   I hired Tad to help,  he did the superb cement work in the yard,  back in the fall.  Sister Curse and Carlos came to help, too.  Together we got all the bricks in, and cleared the yard of my various collections, in preparation for the new yard to be.  Tad came up with a lovely design to integrate the bricks into the new step down from the two porches.  I will post pictures after I get off my next workathon schedule.  It’s exciting to get the yard to a more managable state.  I’m always battling the weeds, and my latest ploy was to cover the yard in the blue synthetic paper/cloth we use to cover the surgical instruments with at work.  That was great for the first 2-3 months, and then the disintegration set in…uhhh, not so pretty.

Oh My Goodness!

March 13th, 2009

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I am working on getting all the photos taken, the descriptions written, the payment buttons installed, and all else that it takes to get the new acquisitions from the Tucson Rock and Gem show up onto the site for your perusal, dear readers!!!!  This work will be done in stages, if there is anything that you see and MUST have, feel free to contact me, and I will hasten the process for you.  Hope everyone is holding up under these stagnant, oppressive, economic conditions.  I watched Jon Stewart’s interview of Jim Cramer on the Daily Show (March 12).  I have never seen anyone hold one of those financial wheeler dealer’s feet to the fire in such a heartfelt, authentic way.  He spoke about their being two markets; the one that we lay people are constantly advised to place our 401K  and pension monies into, and the REAL market where all these hotshot, money wranglers are manipulating, short selling, and playing hocus pocus with our money, in order to make quick fortunes, regardless of the consequences to others.  It brought tears to my eyes to have someone so clearly articulate the real time, real world costs of  the games, of these arrogant jerks.  Can you imagine if some of them had to do community service such as help move the families from their foreclosed homes to the nearest shelter?  (I realize that is a big leap to assume that there IS a shelter, and that there would be room in it for more people).  Or, maybe they could pass out plastic bags for the people who are rummaging through the garbage cans for food at the back of grocery stores or restaurants?  They really don’t get the human cost of all those people who can’t retire, or the ones who actually had to go and try to find another job in this crappy job market, just to survive.  The only comfort that I have in this situation comes from my belief in Kharma.   These are hard times for many of us, remember to cut your fellow human beings some slack.   Do the best that you can, and try to give others the benefit of the doubt.   Stay well, K

 

PS  I tried to include a link to that Jon Stewart interview–my technological skills are insufficient to the task.  Go check it out, though, you too, may be moved.

PPS  I wish everyone could have a Super Secret Back Up Support Agent  (SSBUSA) like I do, thanks sweety.

If This Is February, It Must Be Time For Tucson!

February 10th, 2009

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Sister Chris, her companion Carlos, and I,  headed down to Tucson last week for the fantabulous Rock and Gem Show.  Super Secret Back Up Support Agent bankrolled the trip, as only her generous self would do!  (I wish all of you could be as lucky as I am!)  She has made many of my dreams come true.   SSBUSA is a working fiend, and sometimes has to pull vicarious pleasures into her life by helping me fund more adventures in mine.   Back to the  show:  I am amazed every year by the variety of material, jewels, and interesting people that are there from all over the world.    One of our favorite sections of this show was the open air isle with hundreds of large obilesks, crystals, crystal clusters and crystal balls.   They were striking in the sunlight.  I took pictures of them with Chris and Carlos just to give you an idea about their size.  My earring man Quaisar, from Pakistan, was in his usual spot with jewelry that was even more beautiful than last year’s.  I brought back gorgeous earrings of mookite, larimar, lapis, turquoise,  and a new stone to me:  Bulgarian opal.  This opal is similar to Peruvian opal in it’s texture and opacity.  The other new set of earring material was Sea Jasper.   The patterns are what makes it so unique; small contrasting colored circles in green, yellow and orange.  Look in the earring gallery in the next week or two for photos of these new beauties.  This is also the time for taxes, and as soon as I get THAT project completed, I will get the new treasures on line for you to oogle, marvel at, and maybe even buy! 

If you are able to, get yourself to the show in Tucson.  I think of it as the  Mecca for rock and jewelry lovers, you should go there at least once in your life!  Let me know if you had a good time.   K

Happy New Year, All!

December 31st, 2008

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The Mighty Deb (TMD) and I, just returned from our little voyage to the Salton Sea, in southern California.  I was suffering from Severe intestinal distress for half of our four days, but we both managed to have a good time, anyway.  TMD had watched a documentary on the Sea about 2 months ago, and was intrigued.   The film was narrated by John Waters, one of our favorite weirdos, so that gave it extra cache.  The Salton Sea was prominently displayed in a film that Super Secret Back Up Support Agent brought over two weeks ago; Into The Wilderness.  The movie was thought provoking and the images of the Salton Sea were captivating.  I was hooked too, so we went for a look.  See the real facts on Wikipedia,* ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salton_Sea) but for a quick sensory idea; it’s the largest lake within California, and it has salt water, not fresh water.  The area is remote and attracts unusual people, I imagine them to be independent, strong willed and probably pleased to be away from most of humanity.  There aren’t many people living in Bombay Beach, the area we checked into.  There were mostly trailers, some houses, many of both, abandoned.  I was touched by how the residents personalized their surroundings–I didn’t find them pretty, but they were interesting and creative; bowling balls–Yes! why didn’t I think of that?  We drove to the edge of the water and found ruins of old trailers that had been devastated by a couple of hurricanes, years ago.  It felt kind of eerie to see the remnants of the live’s of others.  It reminded me of older, tamer pictures of Katrina that I had seen after their catastrophe.  It smelled like the sea and the water sparkled in the afternoon light.  There were sea bird varieties such as gulls, plovers and pelicans, nearby.  There were plenty of dead tilapia fish in the sand, blessedly defleshed by that time, but it wouldn’t take too fine an imagination to anticipate the smell that would be generated by the periodic algae blooms, and fish die offs, that they have there.  The visit to Salton Sea reminded me of our trip to Hildale/Colorado City, Utah.  Both are such different worlds from the one that I live in, and I am at once attracted and repelled by what they represent.  I felt like a voyeur, but wanted to be sensitive to the inhabitants at the same time.  What’s a gawker to do?  Well, if you’re one of those, go see the photos in the California Excursions album!  I hope that you create the next year, just as you would like it!  K 

*Wikipedia is a wonderful resource for all.  They make it very easy for us to donate money on their website.  I did to the tune of $30, today.  Remember to financially support the services, people, and organizations that make the world a better place for you and others.

Ah, The Holidays !

December 3rd, 2008

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Super Secret Back Up Agent and I had planned on jumping on her precious time off and going out of town over the Thanksgiving weekend, but the weather was not cooperative. There were two storms coming in from the west that seemed to hit everywhere we considered going. After enumerable weather web checks, we gave up and decided to enjoy ourselves in town. The silver lining for me was that I got to hangout with my extended family at my Dad’s house on Saturday. We had aunts, uncles and various cousins in from 3-4 different states, it was satisfying to see them all. Even the family members in town can go for long stretches without touching in. One of the ways that my family is combatting this scattering, whirling apart phenomenon, is to plan a family game day at different members of the family’s houses once a month. And we’re not even Mormon! Connecting back up with my family reminds of of who I am, where I came from. Other than with SSBUSA, there’s no other place that I feel more loved and accepted. Large gatherings are always a challenge for me, I love seeing everyone AND, I feel scattered by so many different frequencies of energy. Usually, I can only hang in there for about 2-3 hours, than I have to take my leave, it’s nothing personal. I get a similar sense of overwhelm at the rock and gem show–so many rocks, so many vibrations!

Take time to remember and acknowledge those who make it a sweeter world for you. Why do we wait until people die to celebrate their lives, and talk about the contributions that they’ve made to those around them? I challenge you dear reader(s?), to make your love for the special people in your life known. K

Website Expansion!

November 10th, 2008

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There has been a new addition to this site; Curstein’s Corner O’ Beauty.  My sister is a crafting whirlwind!  Christine paints, beads, does mosaics, mobiles, makes soaps, and healing tinctures.  Chris got the name Curstein as a child, she was the youngest of us four, and my mother made us take her everywhere we went.  The curse of my teen years, as it were.  Chris and I have grown up to have a really sweet friendship, she is an inspiration to me in many areas, the least of which is art.  She is one of the most generous people I’ve met, sometimes to her detriment.  Check out her jewelery and paintings, immerse yourself in the world O’ Curse!

What’s This World Coming To?

November 6th, 2008

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I just got back from my local Fry’s store.  I am a regular midnight run kind’a gal, I will frequently go shopping after my late, nursing shifts.  I went in to scoop up their $1.37 a pound asparagus, duh, it’s Wednesday night, and the sales have changed.  Their ‘green asparagus’ is back up to $3.49 a pound, I did not buy any.  Fry’s was out of my favorite vegetable, green or otherwise, last night when I came in for the same reason.  Well, since I was there, I figured I may as well get a few items for the depths of the fridge–but not too many, because I had a coupon to save $5 if I spent $20, at our brand new, pretty, Fresh and Easy store.  They have interesting and tasty ready to roll foods, so it’s not hard to spend $20 at all.  I noticed that none of the cashier aisles were lit up, so I had to go to the self-checkout section.  There was a young man, maybe 17-18 years old, manning this part of the store.  I asked him “None of the aisles were open except for the self-checkout ones, is the cashier on break?”  “No, we’re trying to get the customers used to it, this is permanent”  I was taken aback.  “I just got done working a 12 and a half hour day, I don’t want to come to Fry’s, pay more money for my groceries and work some more to check them all out myself, I don’t WANT to get used to it!”  I was nice and explained that I wasn’t frustrated with him, I knew he didn’t make the rules, but that I wanted him to convey to the powers that be, that this customer didn’t want to get used to it.  I told him that I didn’t think that it was such a great idea to take away customer’s choices when Fry’s had the new Fresh and Easy stores breathing down their backs.  “Oh! They’re all about self-checkout!” he said in an excited way.  I realized then, that that is why Fry’s was making their grand cost cutting move–because that was what Fresh and Easy was doing, and being successful at.  He was helpful and got me through the bind of not finding the vegetables that I was trying to purchase on the picture chart (a good idea for our multicultural city, even if woefully incomplete).  He also pointed out that Fry’s had instituted a new policy of taking all competitors coupons and doubling or tripling them.  “Well how do you know if they are doubled or tripled?”  I asked, “Oh the machine is just supposed to figure it out automatically”.  I just happened to have one of those Fresh and Easy coupons-spend $20 and save $5.  So the young kid helped me to back track a little on the register and submit my coupon.  I had bought $20.06 and it took off $6, that doesn’t seem like double or triple the coupon value, but maybe they took off the Fry’s card discounts on the items and THEN assessed, who knows?  What I really want to know is what happened to the nice, older woman who checked me out last night?  Has she been laid off?  Have her hours been cut to make way for machines and the much smaller salary of this younger worker?  This shopping experience had an eerie resonance after I was made aware of all kinds of cutbacks made by my own company, today.  These ideas of work harder, longer, faster for the same amount of money, spend more for less, and work harder to do it at the grocery store, pay more for benefits and receive less for your efforts, place speed cameras all over the city-some in known locations, place some in surprise locations, these all lead me to a feeling of fighting to survive and control my life.  It feels like it’s getting harder to breathe every day.  Super Secret Back Up Support Agent has been trying to guide me through this highly reactivating part of my life; “Boo, you’re going to have to adjust your attitude or you won’t make it”  Words are easy, but the thing that is inspiring to me about SSBUSA, is that I witnessed her attitude readjustment over the last couple of weeks.  She did it reluctantly, but seems more at peace with her world.  I imagine that I need to do the same, because there are so many things that I can’t change.  Really, all I have control over is my reaction to the events and experiences of my life, that’s all.