Tuesday, August 29, 2006


The other day, a friend of mine happened to mention how she liked the actor Ben Browder and wondered what exactly it was about the man that she found attractive, barring a slight (her words) resemblance to her husband !

That got me thinking – not just about Ben Browder, his tour on Farscape and his recent, and recently canceled tour on Stargate SG1, but about why I watch television in the first place – and what makes a man attractive.

And I have determined, through scientific study and deep, philosophical contemplation, that . . . I have no idea !

But who cares ? They’re just good-lookin’. So let’s enjoy, and I’ll blog something intelligent later in the week!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

So You Wanna Be An Artist?

This past weekend was a big show for us (us being my sister and I). We do this Art Show in Poulsbo every summer, it's a big draw and always filled with tourists and lots of cash. But I gotta tell ya, if you've never done anything like this before, you'd be surprised at what your fellow humans are capable of. Seriously.

First, let me just say that selling your art at a Show or Farmer's Market is truly enjoyable, nine times out of ten you make good money, you get great compliments, and after a few years and a few shows, you get to know the community of artists you belong to. And they're a great bunch of people. We all get to know each other, look after each other, and you become a sort of Family.

But there's always one that just doesn't want to fit in. A vendor who sees these Shows as cutthroat competition, instead of mutual artistic respect. And damn if there wasn't a doozy this time ! I won't mention her name because frankly, I have no idea what it was. She was there last year and made it clear to all vendors around her that she would not tolerate another vendor looking at her product ! (just so you know, all of us vendors like to be friendly and we do look at each other's product, it's just polite). She would throw a fit every time I walked by on the way to the restrooms, and bodily throw herself in front of her tent !

So this year, she comes again, and has a spot a few vendors over from us. I figure she's out of the way, and won't freak whenever nature calls, so we're ignoring her. And our section of the show was a lovely little cul-de-sac on a grassy section in front of the marina. It's truly a beautiful spot. Well Saturday was crazy for us -- our new line was a big hit and we were busy all day, but we couldn't help notice she wasn't making any sales. Now normally we commiserate with a vendor who isn't doing well, but this woman is just so snarky, we all get a kick out of it. ( I know, I know, rot in hell and all that)

Then comes Sunday. This little Snark decides that she was too hot in the sun where she was, so she decides - completely on her own - to move her entire tent (these things are 10 x 10 and large, with sidewalls and such) right into the CENTER of the cul-de-sac area ! So now, she's completely blockading the section, planting her large ass right in front of my own booth and that of 3 other vendors !

Well you can bet I blew a gasket. I'm sure my blood pressure was up that morning, but I had the other vendors behind me and we marched up to her and politely offered to assist her in moving her sorry ass right back to where she belonged. She refused, and continued to set up, so we went for the big guns and found the very nice man who runs the joint, and sure enough he moved her outta there.

Well, he moved her directly opposite us, where she thought she'd have more shade (come on, it's a park, in the sun, and it was 89* - we were ALL sweating !) Luckily for the little devil inside's entertainment value, she was now beside the volunteer booth that painted children's faces - and we saw a dog pee on her tables when she wasn't lookin' .

Yeah yeah, I'm evil. So sue me.

But she's the exception, thank goodness. Most vendors are fantastic people.

Then there are the customers ! These people are another breed entirely. A good ninety eight percent are normal human beings, like you and I. But there are exceptions.

The "gemologist" who thought we wanted to know she'd just been to Bali and paid an astronomical amount of money for a genuine opal -- she's a gemologist and knew they were genuine -- necklace that she really shouldn't have bought but the gems were of such high quality -- she knew because she was a gemologist -- she couldn't resist, even though the man selling it thought they were worth more than they were and she certainly knew better, being a registered gemologist and all.

Did I mention she was a gemologist? She certainly did often enough.

Then there was the 70-something woman who, out of the blue, hiked up her skirt to her hip - her HIP - to show us the scar from her recent surgery.

And the three women who ran into a friend of theirs INSIDE our booth, then proceeded to spend 10 minutes catching up on old times INSIDE our booth.

The lady who had a hard time seeing, so she'd pick up each and every stone, hold it up to us and ask what color it was.

And who could forget the two -- TWO -- people who thought, since we mine, cut, grind, shape, tumble and polish our own Agates, that meant they could bring us a rock they'd found years ago and have us make them a necklace.

I loved the little 30-something Princess who picks up one stone, holds it up to the light and declares to her friend that it's a pretty purple. She then asked me what it was called. "Blue lace agate" I replied. "But it's purple," she insisted, to which I shrugged and said "Actually it's blue, hence the name Blue Lace Agate" to which she turns to her friend and declares "Well this lady's colorblind, because that's purple." Luckily two other customers declared it very lovely blue, and the Princess stormed off.

There were no boogers on the velvet this time, but more than one person thought they could set their coke down and leave it. Put their GIANT purses on top of everything so they could look at one thing, thus preventing other customers from seeing anything aside from the giant purse. And the very nice man who parked his handicapped scooter in our tent, decided he'd use his cane for a few minutes, then wandered off with the key to the scooter, leaving said motor vehicle inside our booth.

All in all, it was the most profitable weekend we'd had in a long time, which we attributed to the new line of Lapidary work. And aside from the Vendor From Hades, everyone had a good time.

Now we get to stock up and wait for the Holiday Shows. They're another brand of Booger entirely !

Friday, August 18, 2006

Workin' on a Chain Blog

So this Writer’s Forum I joined a while back, Absolute Write has a fantastically challenging thing called a Blog Chain, where several of us get together, without any prior thought or planning, and link our blogs. The first one in line makes a post, and the rest of us follow, taking a piece here and a bit there, and passing on the baton.

So here it is, my turn. I’ve been handed the torch by
Just a Small Town Girl and she’s left me with rather large shoes to fill, and on a Friday night ! In her blog, I read a very telling story about a Mother trying to endure a son - and one she should be very proud of indeed - going through his teenage years. In previous blogs, we’ve read stories about family, vacationing, random acts of kindness from strangers and as well as people known since childhood – and all of these things have put me in a very nostalgic mood.

When I was young, during my pre-teen and teenage years, my family owned property at Lake Cushman, in the Olympic Mountains. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t wealthy or anything. But as circumstance had it, we had this property right on the lake, and a nice little boat we skied with. My summers were spent up there, for weeks at a time, living in a tent and using a scary little portable toilet with "walls" around it as a bathroom! My sisters and I entered the dreaded teenage period out there in the wilderness, and maybe that made life a little easier on my Mother, who had live as a buffer between her three daughters and an alcoholic Father.

I don’t dwell on that part of childhood anymore. My Father died last year, after a good – if not late – reconciliation and I miss him terribly.

But my teenage years up there at the lake were golden. I remember long summer days swimming, hiking, and playing with my Mother’s Irish Setter. The smell of the campfire, the way you feel when you’ve been sleeping on the ground for weeks at a time – achy and stiff, but loving every minute of it. And those incredible nights sitting around the fire, staring up at a sky that was filled with so many stars it made you dizzy just thinking about them !

That’s where my Muse was born.

I started writing then. I mean really writing, building my own worlds and characters and working out stories in my head. Back then they were my mental entertainment, and a place I would retreat to in my head when nothing else was happening, or when things were getting bad and I needed to hide. I could write a story while sitting in the car on long rides, or there around the campfire while the adults were talking. I even acted out scenes while running around in the woods or canoeing to interesting places along the lake.

On the opposite side from where our property was (this lake was quite large) there was an old, abandoned house they all say was haunted, so naturally we’d go there at least once a summer and walk around, scaring ourselves and each other.

It was a magical time.

My teenage years were, as most teenagers, filled with violent shifts in mood and atmosphere. Home would vary from extremely stressful to average every-day, depending on teenage emotions and my Father’s drinking.

But those summers up at the lake – where my love of creating characters, stories, situations, other worlds and exciting adventures – is a place and a time I will always remember with extreme fondness and great nostalgia.

I think that’s why I enjoy this special tea so much. Everyone in my family hates it, and doesn’t even like to be in the room with me if I’m drinking it. It’s called Lapsang Souchong, and it smells very strongly of a campfire. When I drink this tea, I’m taken back to my teenage years, back to the lake, to the campfire and those magical, mystical nights filled with stars and crickets and crackling logs. My Muse stirs when I lift the cup to my lips, and the smell of burning wood reaches my nose, tickling my senses and urging me to dream of daring men flying through space and having grand adventures!

I think it’s time for a nice cup of tea !

Next in this chain of blogs is Kappa No He Go check it out!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm gonna BLOW a freakin' gasket!

Okay, so I go to the Dr. the other day, 'cause I'm passing small kidney stones again (nothing new there) and this nurse, she takes my blood pressure and gets a way high reading - like WAY high. She comments on how horrifically high it is, says she's going to have to mention this to the doctor, and out she goes.

So I'm sitting there thinking "Why didn't she take it one more time? Or try the other arm? Or even once consider, if it was indeed that ridiculously high and unusual, that she'd done it wrong?"

But no, off she goes. In comes the doctor, we chat about kidney stones, et al, and out she leaves. Tells me she'll call about a urine culture in 3 days.

Not word one about the blood pressure or the possibility that I might be Mount Vesuvius in the making. And no, I didn't ask because *I* assumed the nurse f-ed up.

Then, that NIGHT mind you, at 8:30 I get this call from the doctor, telling me my blood pressure was WAY out of line, and that I absolutely MUST check it several times a day for the next few days and report back to her, and possibly go on medication (NOT!)

Okay, I play nice. I borrow one of those home monitor thingies from my Mother, and I've so far checked it 6 times, and 4 out of the 6 it was well within norms. The other 2 times, it was "slightly" elevated on one number, not the second number, but each of those times I'd just climbed a flight of stairs.

So I email those results, and ask if she wants me to keep checking ('cause I'm thinking it's fine now, right?) OMG - she's insisting that I'm way too high, and have to continue to monitor it.

I checked my math, five times ! I swear to you, on a stack of Ryan Reynoldses, that my readings are BELOW 140/90, and she's telling me that my target (of 140/90) is still what I should be and I'm way above that and to continue checking.

I'm so freakin' confused and angry about this, I'm raising my blood pressure ! Can she not read? Was her calculator out of batteries? What was it about the numbers I showed her -- numbers that were BELOW 140/90 4 out of 6 times -- does she not see??

That's it, man. I'm checking it another few times, maybe tonight and tomorrow, and calling it good even if I have to LIE to her about the results.

*wanders off mumbling in search of Rum*

Monday, August 14, 2006

Are We There Yet?

I'm so sick of summer.

Yes, you heard me ! I live in the Pacific Northwet for a reason, you know. Well sure, okay, I was born here and never left. But I never left for a reason, you know!

I hate hot weather. I get cranky when the temps creak up much higher than 70*F In fact, I prefer it down around the 60's, where it belongs. And blue sky is so over rated. I like a few clouds in the mix. Break up all that color with some visual interest.

I love Fall the best. Time to wear long sleeved sweaters and pretty little jackets. Time to cuddle up in the evening, watching TV on the couch with a warm sweatshirt on, sweat pants and thick socks, sipping a cup of tea with two cats snuggling on the couch wanting lovin'.

Time to sleep UNDER the blankets, when the room air is slightly chilled but the bed is oh so warm.

And I love how it gets dark early, and the world has that snuggled-up feeling. Makes me want to take a nap. And the colors all change from five thousand shades of green to grays and oranges and yellows.

There's nothing quite like driving home after work on a Friday, going around the bay when the sky and water are the exact same shade of grey, and it's already getting dark enough to turn the headlights on for safety. When the weatherman is pretty sure the weekend will be stormy, lots of wind, and you're thinking of nothing more than getting home, changing into something warm and comfortable, and sitting on the couch with a good cup of tea and a couple of cats, then putting in a nice, long DVD and enjoying the fact that it's Friday.

Are we there yet?

Thursday, August 10, 2006



We breed, you know. Like bunnies.

Then we link to each other, in something we call an AW Blog Chain, and we spin around and get dizzy.

It's fun!

So anyway, here's the deal. The writing group I'm with (Absolute Write) has various blog chains, to which I have become intertwined. One person starts a'talkin', then the next person takes over, and then passes the torch, ad infinitum. And there's the list I'm in:


Pass the Torch

The Road Less Travelled

Fireflies in the Cloud

Even in a Little Thing

The Secret Government Eggo Project

Curiouser and Curiouser

At Home, Writing

Mad Scientist Matt's Lair

I, Misanthrope - The Dairy of a Dyslexic Writer

Beyond the Great Chimney Production Log

Flying Shoes

Everything Indian

The Hal Spacejock Series

Organized Chaos

Of Chapters and Reels

Just a Small town girl

Midnight Muse

Kappa no He

So go visit, read, leave comments. Visit early, visit often. These are very interesting, talented people with very interesting, talented things to say.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. But YES, they do allow me to play !

So shuddap and go check everyone out.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Boogers on Velvet

Yep, it's nearly that time of year again. The time when my sister and I work an art show in Poulsbo, selling our jewelry, and get to put up with Humans Acting Strange.

It never ceases to amaze me how people will act, and the things people will say, right to your face. It's as if the mere fact that you're the Seller, and they're the potential Buyer, gives them carte blanche for lettin'-it-all-hang-out. Like they've been given a Free Pass, and can say things they would never say to another human being in any other situation. A Free Pass to do stuff they'd never think to do in someone's home, or in any other public place.

After years of doing this, going to certain shows in the area and working the crowds, you get to know the other vendors, and share your stories of the clients and the strange things they do.

But some of my all time favorites are classic, and shared among other vendors. Here's my Top Five.

See if you've ever done this:

5) The Parent Trap. "Don't touch, Bobby." "I told you not to touch." "Stop touching that." "Don't touch things." "If I have to tell you one more time, you're going to get in trouble." "I said stop touching." "Bobby, if you touch one more thing we're leaving." "Stop touching." "I told you look with your eyes." "Keep your hands in your pockets." "Stop touching!"

4) The Poker. Women walk up to your counter, look down at the jewelry, and POKE it with a finger, as if it might possibly be alive and just to make sure, let's give it a poke. Well that one didn't move, so let's poke this one. Now let's poke all the others, just to see if we can find the live one.

3) The Fashionista. Lady holds up necklace, smiles widely, turns to Lady-friends and announces boldly. "Look how gaudy this is! Can you believe someone would wear this?" Then turns to creator of said neckace, still grinning, and asks. "Who would wear something this gaudy?"

2) The DIY. Walks into booth with friend, glances at product (happens to every vendor, regardless of product) and declares "Oh you could make this, Maude. Just take a photo of it." Then picks up product and gives it a good go-over. "Sure, this is easy. And then you could charge twice what they're asking and make money.

And my all-time favorite:

1) Boogers on Velvet. You get a parent, sometimes two, dragging along a kid who has no interest in being there. Thankfully, they don't want to touch, but mostly it's because they're already diggin' for gold up that left nostril. The mother looks harried. The kid looks rude. While the mother is glancing at your product, sighing heavily with the mental angst of her life, and asking you if those pearls are real, her son removes said finger — with a full load — and attempts to wipe that precious booger on the black velvet fabric your jewels on resting on.

Ah yes, the glamorous world of Art.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Newest of the New.

Where to begin?

Okay, so much has been going on lately. My sister lost her job due to outsourcing to India, of all places. So she was unemployed from March 25th until just a few weeks ago. A little stressful for me, considering I'd just had arm surgery myself.

And on that, after 3 weeks of medical leave, all is well. It was a lovely break from work, I can tell you that! And the arm is fixed, though still sore now and again. They told me it would be for one year.

But I can type again ! Though my stamina has to improve. And I managed a little stock pile of pain pills that I use to encourage the Muse :D (ain't sayin' if I'm lyin' or not!)

I'm writing again - and there's the real news.

I've joined a group of writers, published and otherwise, on the Internet. So far this has been the best thing I could ever have hoped to find. These people are more than helpful and twice as wise ! I've learned a lot, taught a lot, and continue to mind meld with them and perfect my craft.

Which brings us to what I'm doing nowadays. I've written a humor piece you can read here: www.AbsoluteWrite.com

And I've just now completed the first draft edits to a story entitled: Mick Danger; Private Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat. Yep, it's a comedy :D

Only this one's destined for publishing. You know, the legitimate way most writers aim for. After a friend of mine gives it some scrubbing and a good wash-down, I'll be kissing up to a few agents and working that publishing contract angle.

Stop laughing.

Putting my fiction on the Internet, free for everyone, was in hindsight a stupid move. However, my ego really enjoys the groupies. And those stories aren't what publishers are looking for anyway, really. Think of any book you've purchased lately, and it'll have more sex, romance and wizards than what I write. That equals no-pay, which equals no publishing.

Hence my change in path.

Okay, but for those of you who already hammered me via email - I am still going to put out another Alex and Evan tale. If for no other reason than to get my sister - Evan's biggest fan - off my back!

Speaking of backs, mine's aching sitting here so long, so that's enough for now. More updates to come as I get my crap corralled and those ducks lined up.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Oh goodness

Look at the time! I can't believe it's been so long since I came and updated this thing.

Well I'm just a bad, bad girl.

Okay, just a quickie right now - I'll be back this weekend and update the dust bunnies. Meanwhile I'm going to see if I can change the name of this blog so it will coincide with the web page.

But we'll see !

Meanwhile, if you've emailed me and I haven't replied, I will. I promise. It's been busy around here!!