So Miss Moxie Mox and her companion Hooter Todd are off to their new home today. I’m actually a little misty to see her go. I began sewing these dolls as something to get me away from the computer. I’ve been tickled that they’ve gotten a warmer reception than just being the product of my new hobby. I have a small army of them to get photographed one of these days. Click on image to see a larger view.
I’m almost back in proper form. Not knowing what was wrong with me was really stressing me out. When I get stressed out my anxiety starts to talk smack to me. When my anxiety has me cornered in the alley telling me I wear strange shoes and have a funny looking nose I basically shut-down. I keep getting better at dealing with that though. Back in the day when my life was a long string of unhappy health woes that I juggled with some seriously defeating life moments, shutting down meant shutting the fuck down. I talk about a lot of things and yet I still have trouble talking about the way I struggle sometimes to function like a normal human being. I don’t say that for dramatic effect, I truly believe that. I’m not a get up and get stuff done kind of person. I’m a sit for a bit overthinking what I have to do until the stress of it is giving me a tummy ache and having to push myself to get up and out of the house to do it kind of person.
That aside, I did find out what has been killing me the last two months and hindering my normal eating processes. I knew it was my gallbladder. I wish it hadn’t taken two trips to the doctor to find that out. I went when I first got back from Michigan because that side pain was getting so bad and coming and going with more regularity. And I was starting to find it near impossible to eat anything without filling up three bites in or getting sick. My regular doctor was gone though so I saw his partner. She had a way cheerier personality but she chalked up my problems to torn muscles because of my physical activity (I like to knock the snot out of the boxing bag we have in the basement now) and my tummy woes was probably it balking at the exotic foods I had at my brother’s wedding reception. So I went home and followed her instructions (icy-hot, heating pad, dumbing my diet down if that were even possible at this point) and see how it went. It went worse. Went back and saw my actual doctor and he sent me for an ultrasound.
It was as I feared: That little effing bean-shaped organ is having a hissy fit. Thankfully it is not so far along that they feel it needs to be removed. We’ll try some non-invasive things first. He told me those bad pain spells I had with the itching were most likely gallbladder attacks and I really should have gone to the Urgent Care for them. Ah well. I’ve resigned myself to going back to protein shakes to get the calories I need. When I sat down and kept track of what my daily protein and calorie in take has been I was shocked. My normal is about 900 to 1000. With my physical activity and things I eat that keeps me in a place where I lose three to four pounds a month. Which is slug slow, but hey–fast weight-loss is one of the reasons the gallbladder gets pissy. It spends all day at the end of the liver’s bile conveyor belt. There’s supposed to be at least so much food stuff throughout the day to give it something to do with that bile. When you don’t have that, it has nothing to do with that bile but find creative ways to pretty it up. Or at least that’s a less gross way of sharing what I was told. At any rate, I haven’t been getting anywhere near my normal daily calories. Shocker that I’ve been exhausted and feeling like crap. With my tummy issues I’ve actually lost a dress size worth of weight. I’d be more happy about that if it didn’t come from me basically starving my body of the stuff it needs.
After a couple of days of protein shakes, forcing myself to try and eat more often if in smaller amounts, and having my anxiety pull back its alley shank and let me run away, I’m feeling better. I got my ass up and cleaned the house, that’s a good start. I’m opening my online shoppe back up after a bit of vacation mode. Although the inboxes I cover for email is rather frightening at the moment. Time to grab some ice-tea, put something inane on the television set, and settle into response writing mode. In other words, back to normal!
This isn’t even a review. Consider it a fever dream of an idea from my childhood. What does that mean? I had a dream about this movie the other night when I had an actual fever and it was uniquely strange. I was an unnamed character with a variety of strange creatures that were my friends, as well as a court no one else wanted but who I adored for their strange details. And then? I found out my head was wanted. Much of the dream was me trying to keep my head and help Fairuza Balk, who was no longer a kid, but somewhere more in her scary American History X place. So I was trying to make her open her heart to everyone in OZ while at the same time keep my noggin. It was somewhat fun, while still being a draining and stressful dream that I will be happy to not have again.
So I ask: When you were a kid (in the 80s) did you happen to get the chance to watch the sequel to The Wizard of Oz? Did you, like me, wonder how that crap got so dark? And I say this never having read the original source material or seeing the silent films before that first one. I have not gone back to re-watch this movie. I don’t want to. It has a place in my young memories where I remember something being dark and surreal and totally influenced me later in life. I don’t need to meh that up. Sometimes the things that influence you when you’re young should just stay back there–forever messed up in your more impressionable brain.
There are moments when I realize I really need to stop and take a good long look at the keywords that make me take a double take. If I could free myself from those keywords I wouldn’t be drawn in, out of pure curiosity, to a description that read Turkish surreal horror movie. My brain immediately went Ooooh, that sounds different and lovely. Play it! Play it! Bad brain! That is not to say the movie I’m about to offer my humble review for is a bad one. There are always spoilers in my reviews so if you want to take in the horrible delight that is Baskin, look away, look away! Or at least don’t click the more button.
From my posting queue for busy days: It felt like the right time to set aside the Netflix series binge (which I typically have on the in the background when I’m working) and watch an actual movie. During the day when Myke is at work I generally go for the movies he has no interest in. I decided to go the arty route and watch Hard to Be a God. I didn’t realize it was three hours long or that it would make me feel like I needed a nice hot–CLEAN–bath every ten minutes or so. A bath with really fresh and fragrant bath salts in it and afterwards drying off with some very soft and comfy towels. Seriously. It did give me an interesting though strange movie to yammer about and yammer I will. It’s just taken me a week to make it through the whole film to get to the yammering.
The film is based upon a book of the same name by Russian authors Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The basic plot is based upon a group of scientists from earth who are sent to the earth-like planet Arkanar to try and help influence the planet’s civilization that has stalled out in a primitive age; a dreary period much like the middle ages once known here. They’re not allowed to directly influence, use violence, or kill in order to do this. The story is mostly told through the viewpoint of Anton, one of these scientists who has assumed the identity of the dead nobleman Don Rumata and whom is also considered a god by some. He attempts to help save intellectuals and creative types from the religious zealots who are trying to keep civilization stunted through idiocy and fear. He comes to struggle with his role as observer who can’t directly involve himself in what is going on. Being a god-like creature (because of his advanced earth knowledge and hindsight garnered from his own world’s history) he finds himself asking the question what should a god do? That’s the gist at least, but it’ll be hard to take that from what you’re watching. The most coherent information is offered by a narrator in the first few minutes of the movie. After that things get a little wonky.
Hard to Be a God, for me, felt like walking into a never ending, never pausing Joel Peter Witkin’s photograph that was staged in the middle ages. It has the same type of dull gray landscape that frames scenes that are surreal and sometimes grotesquely beautiful–with heavy emphasis on the gross. The first ten minutes of the movie is really all you need to take in if you want to experience that for a moment. The visuals are striking and bleak, the movie’s overwhelming claustrophobic nature is immediately felt, and you quickly get a sense of the very disjointed and odd way any type of dialogue is offered. After that it’s just a state of constant movement, confusion, mud, shit, piss, snot, and an amusing amount of the main character smacking people in the head or grabbing them by the nose. Your view in the film is also hampered by everyone being aware of the camera as if you’re actually a silent person in this drama following behind Don Rumata. It’s kind of like they took the fourth wall and nuked it into nonexistence.
If you’d like to experience this without the rest of my wordy review, then move past my wee more button below and have a go of it on Netflix. Don’t bother with the popcorn; you won’t want to eat anything while watching this film. If you’d like to instead read my rambling and spoilers, well my friend, move your mouse over to that wee more button and follow Akon’s wise words and smack that.
One of those rare moments where I enjoy a Weird Al song as an seriously good sounding song. That means I look at his music as comediate moments. And it deals with my favorite thing! Conspiracy Theories! Yays!
I will be in Michigan for a bit to attend my big brother’s wedding. I will mostly likely be busy-busy so I have some random things scheduled to post here and there in my absence. I hope you’re all enjoying you May!
On this day in 28 BC one of the earliest observations of a sunspot was seen by the Han dynasty astronomers in China. In 1869 the first Transcontinental Railroad is completed linking the east to the west in the United States. And in 1908 the very first Mother’s Day is observed in the US in Grafton, West Virginia. Sidney Blower knows very little about these dates and their recorded events, but she does know a thing or two about the sun. You see, on May 10th in 1913 Ms Blower catches the sun and successfully brews it into her new tea.
The idea came to Sidney one night as she sat with her mother and father on the porch of their country home. The sun was starting to set in the distance and it took with it the last of the light her aging parents could see by. No matter how many candles she lit or how she tried to lighten up their home for those dark hours, her parents would see nothing but shadows and this distressed her so. As she watched that sun she wondered to herself if she could capture just a little of it and gift it to her parents so they had a small light in that darkness.
Sidney’s first few attempts were haphazard events that she didn’t like to think about. A sunburn came from one and a sun itch (something she would tell people you had to experience because no words could properly describe the sensation) came from the other. She knew she was onto something though. She just needed to find the right medium to work with.
There came a moment, as Sidney gently led her parents to the dinner table, where her mother reminded her to bring in their sun-tea. The young woman walked back to the porch and picked up the large jar of amber colored water that had been left with a light weave of material filled with loose tea leafs to cure in the sun. Sidney looked at that beautiful thing of tea and knew she could somehow get the sun into that jar better than just using its warmth to brew her tea.
Ooh! My birthday falls on a Friday this year. That sort of means I can booze it up and sleep in. Being an artist sort I can kind of do that whenever. Damn…. I so lack structure. Leave me alone! I do the laundry and the dishes between creating stuffs! I digress…
I sort of look at birthdays like this looming shadow character that haunts the edges of my sight and every so often, most dramatically, sets down in front of me and waggles its Dracula fingers at me while it chants my proper number of years on this planet. Yeah, it’s kind of a dick that way. I tend to squeal and ask who does its nails. It then gets more dickish and gives me the business and I pretty much channel it out because my listening skills to that which does not interest me stopped maturing at the age of seventeen. Then I look up as though it had never been there and act surprised: “Oh crap! I’m so sorry age! You were saying? What? No! I was totally listening. I was! So, um…. remind me how old I am again? Really? Are you sure? Man… I should be so much better at this thing we call life…” You know what comes of that of course, right? My brain goes somewhere else and I start humming Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and the character that is age and birthday gets pissed and leaves.
I do feel my age, I just feel no reason to get sobby about it. For good or bad, pretty much every single year of my life has been filled to the choking point with this and that which we call life. Would I rather some of it be different… better? Of course. I still can’t complain. I’m here, I have a good family, I have a good man that loves me, and I’m still got a lingering choke hold on “Wow! I didn’t know you were that old!” which I will take as a compliment from any 20 something Hamil-tucky check-out chick at Meijer. It’s the small victories that get us through life!
I have three deck projects going on right now and I have to decide which one I want to settle on. I’m working on one with a game publisher where I’m adding a minor arcana on an existing major arcana – I have a defined timeline with that. There’s wiggle room. Then I have a Lenormand and Oracle projects to do on my own time. My own time translates to what I do at the end of the night when I’m just doing stuff for me.
A few nights ago I had a conversation with Myke about creative output as an artist. For me, who has no defined income, I have to apply myself at all times to create new and make sales on the old. I have no regulated income. I take in as much as I put in and sometimes I feel like I spend all my time just putting in. Not even on one thing. I juggle because I have to. Sometimes that removes a little bit of my joy when creating something 2new that I’m into. I have long since accepted this as a part of being a working artist.
Today has been a long day and I achieved only a third of the things I needed to achieve. It started with a six am trek to the water closet only to find there was a tiny ant invasion coming in through a crack in the bathtub caulking.
I am, to my own detriment sometimes, anti-killer of anything. I get choked up when I have to prune my plants. I chalk this up to having spent so much of my younger life around so much visual ick, death, and general darkness. After a lot of horrible experiences in life, my empathy button is set to “OH THE HORROR OF THIS WORLD” so I don’t like killing anything. I have an especially strong love of insects to boot. So I don’t like having to kill them. However, the tiny ant swam in the bathroom was beyond my rounding them up and taking them outside. I also can’t abide by material killing, eating, or dirtying in my household. I had to be a bit more aggressive with them. That doesn’t mean I have to like it. This sent me back to sleep with ill thoughts on the brain.
Upon waking I set to the task of getting my shoppe stuff in order. First I ran out of shipping boxes in all sizes. Next my shipping tape and label spray adhesive died. Then I hit the bottom of my “extras” box, so I couldn’t throw in any of my traditional mini prints with my thank-you notes. So I needed to go to the store. This was alright because I already had a shop trip planned mid-day with my gent’s mum, but before I got to that into-the-world-trek the bathroom exploded with the tiny ants again.
The day got away from me after that in strange ways that don’t need a blog outline of. What the hell… *strange expression face that follows* enough so that right now I’m tucking this into my blog while I calm down watching a Reds game. Strange, strange day. Highlights that don’t suck though? The Wonder Woman trailer looked awesome. I was able to give my gent’s mum the most incredible gift of boozy gourmet shmores. And I had a chance to chat with my dad for a bit before everything went south. I will take my victories.
On that note, I so need to sleep. We’re still catching up from the past few weeks (this last weekend being an exclamation point on that time) and combating a little convention crud… oh wait, I’m sorry… Egbert, for those who read my blog. I am exhausted though. Tomorrow I catch up on my shoppe orders in earnest. (Holy heck! Speaking of which… my shoppe was lovingly attacked this weekend with orders. I had to do another special deck order to catch up so that I don’t get behind.) And then so much to do. We’re doing weekend shops this summer for my shoppe (sorry, I spell them differently) and there is so much that goes into planning that. So much inventory needs! It’s wonderful and draining all in one big beautiful moment.
Yet as I leave you… have you noticed? YES!! I’ve cleaned up and updated all my sites to make them a little more pretty, easy to move through, and connected. I’ve got a handful of small things to do, but overall? I’m really pleased. I’m a little closer to my goal of having all my sites clean, united, and easy to navigate and move through! However, right now? I’m going to happily sip a Twisted Cherry Tea (make me a teaspokeswoman!) and finish this Reds game and go to bed. See you in the AM!
The Happy Squirrelthulhu card in my Isidore Tarot’s doll size deck went over very well at the convention. I had random cards laid out for people who wanted to buy the small cards for their hats (yes, that is a thing for convention costuming) and H.S. cards were snatched right up. He is such a wonderfully dapper and quirky chap. I have been asked about regular size cards and yes, I am doing those. I’m having them printed so anyone with the rounded edges style cards from the first and second editions of the regular Isidore deck can order one to include with their own if they’d like.
I thought I was feeling mostly ok upon return from the con, though both Myke and I are displaying those minor symptoms that we might have picked up a friendly germ. A friendly germ who is like “I hate being called Con Crud! It’s so… so… demeaning! I am simply that snot-inducing well loved germy gent that connects you to all your convention friends and reminds you sharing flasks and hugging so damn much has consequences!” Apparently he’d rather be called Egbert and swears he has the good taste to keep one pinky up as he’s infecting your very fine cup of tea. Lil germy bastard! That aside, as I was saying, I was feeling mostly alright.
I woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible stitch in my side. You know that normally my body’s woes like to identify themselves by name (the body Bethalynne does host some characters after all) but this stitch said his initials were F and U and he had quite the attitude on him. I got up for a little bit and took some ibuprofen and went back to bed. Felt almost well enough, though upon waking with Myke’s alarm clock I was whiny as ever. I dozed back off. Upon waking again not long afterwards (to the warm sounds of our landlord mowing the lawn) I found myself forced into the shape of a big-butted S: A Mau at my neck, a Ghost at the back of my knees, and a Gremlin snuggled up tight at my back. Upon attempting to sit up there was a comical sound of an exaggerated spring breaking somewhere in my body like a bed on its last legs. I was heard to say a few PG unfriendly words before shaking my fist at the ceiling. For some reason the ceiling is always where those things that need shaky fist-ees hover.
Now I sit here staring down my horrible lunch choice wondering if a small bowl of rainbow parfait has ever looked as delicious to me as it does now. I think this has a lot to do with the barren fridge I’m in no hurry to shop for and the fact that this silly parfait survived an entire convention untouched when it was supposed to be my “treat”. Years of old there was so, so much horrible food had a con, but times have changed (as has the size and structure of my tummy) so I have to reel it in a bit. Egbert is assuring me he won’t ruin my rainbow parfait moment. I’m not sure I trust him though. He swore to me an approaching sneeze would be a dry and boring ordeal and in no way indicated that I would actually be running through the house looking for a tissue to hide the horror from my eyes that decided to leave my system through a powerful awwww-choo!
Oh! Wait… mmm. Thank you Kroger. That was a very delicious bite of jello with the illusion of whipped cream in it. On that note… I have to get my shoppe’s backlogged orders caught up. Have a very splendid Egbert free day.
I’m awake now. I’m positive I’m awake now. Sort of, maybe? I want to say that I’m awake but the committees in my brain are disagreeing and calling for a vote on it. I don’t know what the hell goes on in that boardroom of my brain. Mhar. I’m going to go listen to Ghost and pretend I’m still sleeping. Goodmorning then.
The Harvestor at the International Steampunk Symposium 2017 from The Attic Shoppe Trading Co. on Vimeo. – This! Joey Marsocci and his Grymm Studios created this incredible character/costume. You can find him at facebook.com/Grymm.Studios
I am so tired. So hopelessly tired and still very much in a high spirited frame of mind. Not like my spirits are up, but more like I drank too many spirits. Who knew you could get drunk off of ghosts? I can’t quite settle down to sleep, so instead I’m going to prattle on a bit until I either pass out or the hour comes to go back into the con and open my table back up.
By nature I’m an observer. I multitask to a sickening degree and this extends to being able to eavesdrop all things going on around me. I like to funnel it all into the blender that is my creative brain and use it as reference fodder for my stories. Tonight one that struck me very spying in on a Romeo & Juliet scene.
Voltaire performed this evening and he is simply one act that cannot be missed. My gent and I were more towards the back sitting on the floor and enjoying the show without having to be in the front crowd of people. At some point my gent had to duck out for a second and while he was gone I happily listened to the show and people watched. This is how I got a small window into this couple.
I’m off with the gent to the Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati. If you’re there come by and say hello. My wee Bly-con graphic below links to all of our convention posts over at my shoppe’s GhostBlog.
My last three months have been terribly hectic. Not hectic in an active sense where I’m running all over the place and don’t know if I’m coming or going. I mean hectic in a far more subdued way where you might not see me move from my computer for long stretches, but some serious poo is getting done. I haven’t been this creative, responsible, or productive for hire in a very long time. Man, it has felt so good. I thrive on that kind of hectic.
I have a few sites under my thumb. For the most part they’re all mine and are related to the creative business that is me. Keeping them current means a lot of devoted time to them and taking advantage of the wonderful thing that is scheduling a post. I’ve yet to be as good with the social media associated with them (I hate to admit that I just don’t like social media) but I’m trying to get better at that. I would probably be totally killing it (I’m taking that line from an obnoxious deodorant commercial that drives me crazy) if I didn’t also have client work to keep up with. Still, there was a time where my air fairy and procrastination disease made me a really unproductive Miss-Put-It-Off-For-Later. I don’t miss those days.
So, what? Or, where is this going? Well let me tell you… I’ve been so into my productivity that I realized I wasn’t taking any time to breath. So, after pawing through hobby sites, I decided I was going to be a doll-maker. You know, something to calm me down. Isn’t that what everyone does?! I told a friend this and she said “Okay, so… you’re going to take on another creative thing you’ll end up trying to market as a means to relax from all the other stuff you do to try and keep the bills paid?” And I said “YUP!”
Lumberjack Man – Horribly hilarious and I mean that in a good way. Doug should have been Crispen Glover. Stoner chunky guy in flannel should have been Silent Bob. So many ridiculous gratuitous tits and ass moments. Still incredibly funny. A supernatural and upset (tree faced) lumberjack seeks revenge in a wooded area by collecting the blood of some hapless Christian camp counselors to cover his flapjacks. No, seriously, that’s the point of the movie. It doesn’t even try and be serious and good on it for that. Micheal Madsen (Mr. Blonde in younger years) is doing his best Bruce Campbell throughout. This is a really good crap night hur hur movie. It just officially ended and I say “You don’t know what pancakes is” and wow… a complete piece of enjoyable horror cinema trash. I loved it! Oh yeah, I think Chef makes an appearance.
I can almost picture that eight legged fiend as he moved through my bedroom in the middle of the night. There the gent and I lay happily snoring away. The gent is probably dreaming about spending the weekend in the world’s scariest forest with nothing but a knife and wearing a loincloth. I do believe I was dreaming about living in a strange community that exists in a three level warehouse. And there, somewhere in the shadows, lurks that little arachnid bastard. After he struck? Two bites on my right arm.
I have spider allergies, but as I’ve grown older this allergy has become less and less. So my two bites were warm and annoying, but that was about it. However, come the next day my arm was swelling and seeping from the bites. I was going to do a watch and wait thing, keeping the bites clean. When my gent got home and looked at my arm he told me we were going to Urgent Care.
So, long story short, I have a staph infection in my arm. The bites allowed access and I’ve been getting over the flu so a bit of a weakened system to boot. I’m glad I got it checked out though. I’m on two antibiotics for the next couple weeks. Hopefully it clears up quickly. Bastard spider! After meeting Frederick the Fruit Fly Slayer I thought we had an understanding.
So it sounds like bad weather is approaching. I invoked knock on wood and had to search for real wood. Then, Myke informed me, I knocked wrong for the fairies. We are weird people and still…. that approaching storm sounds bad.
In a very high browed conversation with my gent he starts to giggle in the middle of it. I look at him and ask what? And he assures me it’s nothing. However, giggles ensue. So I DEMAND explanation. I am very good with the demand-ee. I work the eyebrows. I am a very special snowflake of an artist who has a crumbling ego… who giggles at me without explaining? Finally–after much well practiced evil eyeing him–he says: You said Do Do… followed by giggle. My response? You stupid ah stupid Gir fucker! There’s your intellectual artist poo for Tuesday night. Now… Face/Off!
I’m a hockey fan. A hardcore, life long, traveled this country to follow my favorite teams, kind of hockey fan. I had a hockey comic strip in my mid twenties; this is always something that gives people who know me a giggle. Not just that I created a comic strip, but that it was devoted to hockey. My Foxglove Hockey Comics Collection is probably one of my most favorite books I ever self published. Why does any of this matter? Because now I’ve added baseball to that hardcore type of fan thing. That doesn’t make people who know me giggle; it makes them scratch their head.
My path to baseball love happened in much the way it does for many ladies: My gent did his best to get me into it. It didn’t take until his father put his two cents into the mix. That is probably where the melancholy comes into play. I was thinking of this tonight as we get invested in a new baseball season. It stung a little deeper as we sat outside after the game was over, enjoying the beautiful spring night. You see, my gent might have tried to get me into the sport, but it was his father Bob who taught me the ins and outs of the game.
So this is the final color version of my more pinup-style of Bly the Automaton for the convention. I made a few changes from the drawing. Mainly Bly seems to really dig flowers, so her costumes have to reflect that. I believe we’re going to use this version of Bly for the con posters reminding the good con folks that no matter how eyebrow raising a costume may be, mind your manners sonny-jim! There’s also the adult hallway (sounds so naughty, doesn’t it?) where the room parties are held and is strictly 21+. 🙂