Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Blog hiatus

I just wanted to give a bit of warning that I'm not going to be posting here for a few more weeks. I'm taking a break from the blogosphere until Beltane (May 1.) I want to get back to being my usual, strange self, plus I refuse to clutter up this blog with super angsty dreck that I'd later regret posting due to sheer embarrassment.

In the last few weeks, I tipped over into a full flown, hormone fueled bout of depression. The tail end of it was especially nasty. For whatever reason, things would get progressively worse until about 2 p.m. and not matter what, I would absolutely fall apart. By night time, I would feel like myself again. Thank Whoever and Everyone Involved that it's getting better now.

It's been over thirteen years since I've gone through a bout of this and it wasn't anywhere near this bad. Granted, the last time was brought on by the situation - one of those "Ajax" moments where quite a lot of crap got cleaned out of my life in one fell swoop. This time, I don't know what brought it on. I just know it left me pining, for lack of a better word, as if I had lost something precious like a child. Yeah - it felt exactly like grieving, including that mile wide empty hole in my chest. What was I grieving? Myself? My life? Something else entirely? Ah, maybe. I don't know. I just don't know. I just know to keep moving, keep working and keep fighting.

So that's it. Let me buck tradition here for once and say an early "Happy Beltane!" to those who celebrate it. I'll see you in a few weeks.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

What a day for Sumner County

I was going to write about how my day went yesterday (from "middling" to "shot straight to hell") but that just doesn't matter anymore. In reality, the worst I experienced was being sent to the basement of the Allen County library because the tornado siren went off. While we were down there, someone mentioned that Gallatin had been hit but I didn't think much about it. In that situation, rumors fly through the air like excited little birds. Even after I got home, nothing was out of place - as if it were nothing more than a spring shower - but fifteen miles to the south, the folks in Gallatin and beyond had a much, much worse day.

(Rant Note to USA Today: Gallatin is not a suburb of Nashville. It is a city in its own right and the seat of Sumner County. Tennessee is not composed of just three major cities - Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville - and their "suburbs." Good. God. Where's your fact checker? /rant)

Channel 5's video of the destruction was, well, shocking. I was just there the day before, getting my groceries. The tornado went through the area of town that has seen a crazy amount of expansion these last few years. What shocked me the most was seeing the debris completely clogging Gallatin Road (hwy 31) - a five lane road - most which had come from the high priced subdivisions off Brown lane.

Then there was Vol State. It was a good thing it was a Friday. That's the slow day. What I understand, no one was seriously hurt. When I saw the damage to the health science building (only two years old,) the admin building (that they just renovated and expanded, no less) and all those trees down in the visitor parking, I couldn't believe it. I cried after I wondered if it would have been so damn hard for the videographer to walk to the other side of the health building to show whether the Fine Arts building survived.

Some folks around here are scrambling to help. The owner of the Bethpage Recyclers e-list is gathering things together for the folks who lost their homes. Food and shelter aren't the only things needed, though. Send plenty of prayers and strength too. These folks are going to need all they can get.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bast Update

Just posting a quick update on the painting of Bast. I'm not too happy with the belt yet. It doesn't look like she's wearing it, more like it's just sitting there. I also haven't found my way out of the "chestal" area yet...but it'll get there.

This painting is fun to do now. It's getting a lot of texture in it, where I'm using a palette knife instead of a brush. I'm just hoping I don't go into overdone territory with it.

I'll try to get a better photo where you can see the background better in the next day or so.

Well, that's it for now. Not much else to say. See you in a bit.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A page from the ol' sketch book

In my defense, it had to be done. Maybe most of the angst (read: melodrama) is finally over for a while and my world can fully return to its usual bizarre self.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Cleaning up the cemetery

No art got done today but I'm still beat. I spent a good deal of the day in the cemetery (and what girl wouldn't love that? What? Oh, just me?) picking up after last night's storms. Several big, dead tree limbs blew out of the top of the old oak tree in the back. I knew the wind was nasty last night but I had proof when I found one piece of a limb about a foot long. It had the appearance of trying to stab one of the graves - I guess I pulled three or four inches out of the ground. I ended up keeping most of the wood because it was beautiful - a creamy off white color with lots of bug tracks and "worm holes" in it. I don't what the heck I'm going to do with it but I couldn't let it go to waste.

I noticed today there were several sunken places that are unmarked graves. One gravestone is broken into about four pieces and several of the graves have some flowers on them that are so old, I can't tell what color they used to be. I also found a small piece of marble from a gravestone with a small amount of old red candlewax hidden beneath it, just enough to anchor a candle to the stone. I didn't sense any bad intentions with it, just some extraordinarily stupid judgment.

For some reason, I also found a bingo card pen with plenty of ink still in it. Is there something going on in that cemetery I don't know about? What kind of bingo prizes would the dead be interested in anyway? New satin pillows? A night at a luxurious bone bath and night Spa?

Getting back on track here, I decided something while I was out in the cemetery. I don't know why it's taken me so long to come to it. I don't have any family buried there. In fact, I don't have a clue who any of the people are, except for one guy who got the original grant for this land just after the civil war. No one's been buried here in many, many years and there is only a very occasional visitor in the warmer months. Yes, there is a guy who has family buried there who mows the cemetery every summer but this little spot of land is aching for some attention.

I will fix what I can and mark the location of graves. I'll take out the old, faded flowers and clean out that brush pile. I will care.

...and I'll try not to steal any more bingo pens.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'm an Addams! (Or Nosferatu, I'm not sure which.)

I hope this is still up: archeology April Fool's spoof: Archeology of the Undead

(Have I succeeded in making the Rocky Top Brigade regret opening its ranks to just any ol' Tennessee blogger yet? Just kidding, y'all.)

Lately, I've started collecting old photos. Not just any old photos but just whatever catches my eye, which means more than likely they've got something fairly odd about them. So imagine my delight when my mom brought over a box full of photos that had belonged to my great aunt.

Now, I don't know if it's a Southern thing or just my own weird family but there were a lot of photos of bodies in their caskets. There were just as many photos of people sitting on grave markers as if it were family reunion day at the park (hmmm...come to think of it...it could as well have been, for all I know.)

Case in point: this photo that was given to my great, great grandmother Nike. (That's pronounced like "Mike" - it's short for Monica, which in turn was pronounced "Mo-NIGH-ca.") No one knows who the person is in the casket - or the strange guy standing behind it. I just know when I saw it, I immediately said, "Uncle Fester!!" Then again, he does sort of look like the creature from the 1922 movie "Nosferatu," doesn't he?

I have my own memories of being at the funeral home and someone taking photos of the body. Mostly, the memories are of my own grandfather, who died when I was seven and we still run across the photos of that every now and then. What I can't figure out is why in the world would anyone want to remember their loved ones like this.

Huh. Maybe I should ramble about strange memories like this more often. The more I ramble, the more I'm figuring out just why I'm as warped as I am.

(edited to add an extra "great")

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