Friday, March 30, 2007


It's been three days now of incredible Spring thunderstorms moving through my neck of the woods, which means limited Internet time for me. I do have surge protectors for the major appliances, but "better safe than fried" is my motto at this point of my life. This weather is familiar to me, the kind of Spring I remember as a child. Full of tornado watches and evening thunderstorms. We actually got seven inches of rain last night, and it is predicted we'll get even more through the weekend. So I've taken the opportunity to read and write in my journal, and just enjoy the rain.
Next week we finish Mom's wishes and spread her ashes over Spring bluebonnet fields in Texas. I am so glad we waited for this year, there are huge fields of them everywhere. She would be so happy with this, and Patty and I finish in Galveston for a day or so of relaxation. Many encrustations will be consumed, I am sure.(LOL) It will feel good to have finished this for Mom.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Runescape Closet

Several friends have written me asking why my little Avatar Lava is dressed as a medieval princess pulling a sword from the stone here, so I am coming out of the closet today. Mom...I'm gay. Oh sorry...wrong closet (LOL) OK :::deep breath::: I've been playing Runescape.
For years I have been a SIMS devotee. Something about that electronic dollhouse was fun to me, and I crawled all over the net finding amazing furnishings and clothing for my little SIMS people. I even set up entire neighborhoods of my actual friends. I have made the statement to several closest to me that when I die, let my SIMS game be played at my wake so everyone could find themselves in the game and enjoy my little obsession. That was until Runescape.
It started out easy enough. But any description I could write here would not do this online game justice. It is set in medieval times, and populated by actual online users 24 hours a day on 200+ servers around the globe. Twenty three different skill areas to master, unlimited items to buy and sell in auction-like stores. Rewards for mastery, it fosters goal setting and critical math skills. GOD help me, right up my alley. My friends Risley and Brooke played online with me, and I made an internal goal (very early on) to reach 50 in every discipline (that is 1/2 way...the best is 99 in each) on the game. Above is my Runescape scorecard, and as everyone can see I only have five more areas to bring up to 50. After several months of intense playing. Scary but true. I thought this would bring me up to a level that it would be fun playing in, middle of the pack. Enough knowledge to not get killed by every giant spider or tree frog walking around on the game. I have since learned that I am ranked in the top 1000 players of this game with these scores. There are over 500,000 players at any one time, and the developer Jagex states there are well over one million users. Yikes!
So what happens at 50+ you may ask? Well, since I know how this works...I am already starting to limit my time and not play as hard at it. No internal promises to go for 99 in each area within a certain time frame, as I would think my only reward there would be a straight jacket. So I am reclaiming my head space for what it was intended for. But it has been fun, and I have learned a lot about how I think and what my strengths are in life by playing this game. So if anybody is wanting to develop an online game, give me a call...(LOL) I have a few ideas after playing this one. :)

Visions of DIM SUM Danced in her head...

I'll admit it out loud, I have missed it. It was a staple of my diet for years, and moving from Seattle meant Dim Sum dining would never be the same. Oh, I did find a small Dim Sum restaurant in St. Louis, and was grateful to have it, but it paled in comparison to Seattle China Town. In Texas this craving is fierce sometimes, causing me to attend those massive "China Buffet" Restaurants and eating only shrimp dishes to fool myself into believing in Dim Sum again. Or going to Asian markets and buying frozen Dim Sum (that could be made of rubber actually..must check the ingredients next time) to warm up in the oven.:::sigh::: Not even close substitutions.
So enter Barbara, who assured me there actually was a DIM SUM restaurant in Dallas. I was tickled beyond belief to know this, and so Sunday was Happy Happy Dim Sum Day. She met me with champagne in large restaurant in Garland. (Yes Rogie...GARLAND...who knew! This may have to replace Whattaburger as "restaurant du jour" when you visit :) ) and we had the Texas DIM SUM experience. My, oh my. It was actually pretty good, and definitely an amazing accomplishment for landlocked Dallas. As good as it tasted, it was like chicken soup for my battered soul. Life may be worth living if Dim Sum is in it. :::wink::: Thanks Barbara...for everything.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Unsolicited Product Endorsement

When these little tins appeared on store shelves in December I winced. A total Cinnamon Altoid lover (cinnamon tricks the tongue into thinking it has had nicotine as well) I was dismayed at this new development...who would dare defile Cinnamon Altoids with chocolate! Normally I am all for chocolate in it's many forms...but on my beloved Altoids? So recently incognito, when I was sure no one would catch me, I snuck into my local store and bought a tin of these to try. I couldn't help it, I am the curious sort.
OMG These are incr--freaking--edible. Like adult Junior Mints with a hard mint center. So nice I would suggest no one within a hundred miles of my home buy them so I never run out. Just goes to show you can't always judge a mint by it's tin so to speak. Innovation is good, resistance is futile.

Could this be any more WRONG or what ?? (LOL)

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Boston

You definitely have a Boston accent, even if you think you don't. Of course, that doesn't mean you are from the Boston area, you may also be from New Hampshire or Maine.

The Midland
The West
The Northeast
The Inland North
North Central
The South
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Friday, March 23, 2007

What I am reading: "COLOR - A Natural History of the Pallette" by Victoria Finlay

I was given this book at Christmas (Thanks Rogie), and I had no idea what to expect. I am pleased to report it is fascinating! I am about 1/2 of the way through and as much art history as I have read in my life this is a subject I never really seen covered before. The natural history and process of making the colors used in painting and how they were discovered. Ms. Finlay has done a lot of travel and research, and it is amazing to understand regional color discoveries and how this knowledge was passed down through the centuries. It is a dense book, but in a style that captures the imagination and really illustrates the "blood" that makes paintings work. I would recommend this book for those interested in history, and especially those who make or love art.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

An Internet Public Service Announcement

Recently a friend was contacted in an attempt at intimidation offline when her full name was found on her blog and was used to find her place of business in an attempt to harass her. Because of her experience, I thought long and hard about taking my own name off this blog in the interest of personal safety. I have come to realize that people that would do such a thing in the anonymity of cyberspace are terrorists, pure and simple. And cowardly ones at that. I have made the decision my name will stand on this blog. I will not cower in fear for my opinion and words. I haven't yet in life, and I won't start now. I realize there are lesbian women that can't afford to do this, I am happy to do this in honor of them.
And to all those who participate in these acts take notice; Karma knows no difference between real life and electronic media. I believe the energy you use in these pursuits is the energy you attract in your life eventually. So when you feel self satisfied with your behavior, feel you have "fooled" or feel pride that you have hurt someone else just know when it comes back around to you intensified in the cycle of life you yourself attracted it.

Back to regularly scheduled blogging. :)

Chicken Fried Steak Anyone?

And just when I got home and unpacked from my five day trip with Wade, I had just enough time to do laundry before I jumped right back out and traveled down to Meridian, Texas to help my friends Lisa and Dot with a Texas Chuckwagon Competition. Never one to miss a chicken fried steak as good as Dottie's, it was actually a working trip, since two of their regular crew could not make it for this show. Yes, the day found Genie and I scrubbing out cast iron pots as big as most people's cars but all the work was well worth it and the pay in being fed was great :). Dottie's chuckwagon garnered four awards including: 1st place Beans, 1st place Biscuits, 2nd place Chicken Fried Steak (she was robbed) and 2nd place mashed potatoes. All the chuck wagons entered were required to make the same menu, and Dotty just missed best of show by two points! Quite an accomplishment for an all female crew in the vast male dominated field.
The highlight of the trip for me was meeting my first three pound potato. No kidding, I have never seen a potato this size in my entire life. Even Dottie who has met many, many potatoes agreed it was special, and like Wilber the pig in "Charlotte's Web" it's potato life was spared because it was "some potato." YES...I did get a picture of it so you can tell your own friends you have witnessed this phenomenon yourself. Not thanks necessary, I am, as always here to report the facts. (LOL)

The Amazing Julie Speed

You may recognize this Julie Speed painting as the illustration on Shawn Colvin's Grammy-winning album "A Few Small Repairs. " It was so much fun to finally meet and see her amazing work and studio in person, and her newer work was very inspiring to me. Working in printmaking, oil, and also gouache( where I am here to tell you she works some magic in a very difficult medium) I found her to be delightful in person. Her move from Austin to Marfa has agreed with her, and subtle changes are already emerging in her imagery because of it. Here is Wade, Julie, and Barbara posing outside her studio with "Hot Mama", our "art visiting art" sculptural mascot. A truly memorable visit, please see her link for updated works. Julie Speed Home

Is this any way to treat a President?

What is any party without fabulous swag, and I found these in my goodie bag from Wade's Party. Think he has a handle on my political leanings? (LOL) Candies and gum from Blue Q, one of my favorite companies. I read recently that the Bush Administration has had a huge group of irreverent products aimed at them in the last eight years, far more than any president in recorded history. Well, duh. It is a well known fact real Democrats (when they aren't wrapped up in appearing politically correct) have a sense of humor. You Republicans should try that, it's called laughter. It can be fun...really. And if Nero could fiddle as Rome burned we can laugh while our version destroys the world as we know it. Sometimes that is the only thing you can do to keep from weeping.

OOOO...Another Spooky Texas Story

Part of the charm of visiting Marfa, Texas is the world famous Marfa Lights. This strange phenomenon can be observed on clear nights right outside of the city, and the Texas Highway Department (Your tax dollars at work) have even erected a viewing area off the side of the road. The lights blink on the far horizon, change colors, and look to be moving toward you when you are watching them.
I was pleased when they decided to show for Wade's party. It was pitch black, and the stars were incredibly visible, that in itself inspiring. When we entered the viewing pavilion it wasn't long until a Marfa light formed in front of us. A large one, bluish in color, pulsated for the entire time we stood there. It became larger and looked as if it was coming toward us, and certain members of our party decided it had to be a light reflected on the side of a barn because of it's vague squarish shape. There are some that think the lights are mineral deposits giving off gas at ground level, and some believe the Marfa lights are ghosts of Indians killed on those grounds. If it was an illusion based on the drinking with did with dinner it was certainly "en masse". (LOL) Whatever it was, it was sufficiently spooky and did give us a real excuse to be crawling around West Texas at night.

Handbook of Texas Online:

Another Milestone

As of today, it has been 216 days since I quit smoking. I am very proud of this small accomplishment, and as hard as it has been this time to quit I know I am off smoking for good. In thanks to all that have supported this I will continue to update status until it has been a year. Only 140 days to go...I am waaay over the hump :)

The 50th Birthday Party Event of the YEAR

If you are planning a big 50th Birthday Party, Wade is your "go-to" guy. I can not imagine it being planned any better or involving any nicer people, and it was sooo Wade and so much fun.

Wade's big birthday found all roads leading to Marfa, Texas in the middle of the west Texas wilderness. OK, they do have a PRADA store, even if it isn't really functional. (LOL) But I am getting ahead of myself here. Wade, his good friend Barbara and I set out from Houston on the 10 hour car trek with good music and even better conversation. Stopping only for gasoline and Bar-B-Que on the way (who doesn't stop for Texas Bar-B-Que?) we reached Marfa in the late afternoon.

Now Marfa, Texas is a tiny little town in West Texas about a zillion miles from civilization, or so it would seem. Offical population a whopping 2112 (I saw the sign); It had been years since I had rolled through here in college. My last visit a sorority pledge prank to see the Marfa Lights (I will post on this further) the most distinctive feature of the town for years. My, oh things change. Little Marfa, Texas has become a serious ART MECCA, probably not unlike the small town Santa Fe was when Georgia O Keefe started hanging around. The perfect spot for Wade to celebrate, since his life is in so many ways all about art :)

The weekend was a blur...literally..of great art, good friends, good conversation, excellent food, wine and champagne of course. The Hotel Paisano was the hotel that housed the stars of "Giant" during the filming, and we were convinced the suite where we stayed had been Rock Hudson's suite (but this is because we took in consideration he probably slept in them all.. LOL). The highlight of my trip (besides being with one of my favorite people on his 50th birthday) was finally meeting Julie Speed and seeing her studio up close and personal. I was also delighted in meeting so many great new people, what a fabulous group of friends! Who could possibly need anything more in their lives than this? And a telling sign of a good friend is the people they call friends..

And about that PRADA store. Well, it is a conceptual art piece dropped smack down in the West Texas wilderness. You drive and drive in the countryside, no gas stations or other signs of civilization and there it suddenly is. I couldn't help but see it was like certain people in your life, a tiny oasis of art in the wilderness. And that, my dear friend Wade, is what you are to me. :) The happiest of birthdays to you, I guess it is on to 100 now.>>wink<<

Prada Marfa.


The pile of stuff on my desk to blog about has reached the ceiling practically in the last six weeks. I developed a really nasty head cold this last weekend, so while I am just sitting around trying to feel better (with my feet bathed in Mentholatum in fuzzy socks...really!) I thought I would update this poor neglected blog. Don't know why I've gotten out of the habit of writing on it, but I am going to try my best once again to do so. I know, I know...promises, promises.
I am really a visual person, writing does not come that easily for me. Especially when I am blue or busy just getting through whatever is on my plate. In therapy once I was given an assignment to use my art to describe my angst or sadness, and I found I couldn't do it, as it came from a hopeful childlike place in me. I am finding this true around writing as well. I believe this is a lot of people's struggle at the present time when the world is in so much darkness. Just some are more effective at writing about it.
In any case here I am...blogging away. I have so much to upload, so I will get to it. :) Enjoy!