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

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

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.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precious_(film)

Into the Beehive: Colorado City

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!

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?

Retirement Home Shopping

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!

Ooooh, My Aching Back!

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!

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!

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!

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 !

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