Thursday, December 20, 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

For Siren 1991-2007

There is something to be said for digging a grave with your own two hands, on a crystal clear blustery day on a hill overlooking the mouth of the river and the cold blue Pacific in the distance.

There is something to be said for cutting your soft palms open with the wood of an ancient spade that has dug a hundred graves like this before and knows exactly what angle and what depth to cut the hard clay.

There is something to be said for a muddy wheelbarrow and a worn and faded blanket wrapped around a figure that should be sleeping but isn't, and seeing the sad eyes and stooped shoulders of the ones you love who help you dig the hole, knowing that the body that will fill it isn't the dog you loved, it's something else, something that needs taking care of with love and respect all the same.

There is something to be said for holding the entire span of a life in your head and in your heart, from the moment that shiny red penny of a pup came out of her mother with one ear on one side and two on the other, and the day she had to be taken to the vet to have that extra ear removed, which left the remaining ear droopy, so her head looked perpetually cocked in that, "What the hell are you talking about?" look, to the day she shredded the stack of important bills and strewed maraschino cherries on the white futon, to the moment she can't get comfortable and food tastes like ash in her mouth and she tells you it's time, and you know she's right.

There's something to be said for the heavy paving stones that have to be laid over the blanket and the earth to make the work of the coyotes harder and longer and maybe too much, but it's never enough and in six months or a year, you'll come back and have to collect the bones, because that's just the way it is.

There's something to be said for the steaming hot cup of coffee and the giggling of the baby and the warm company of family who have lived this day a hundred times and it never gets any easier, but it's right and good and the way of things.

(With apologies to Williams Carlos Williams)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Silk Hankies

Silk Hankies
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

The final product. Annatto Seeds on the left, Yellow Onion Skins on the right.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dyeing with Annatto Seeds & Onion Skins

Dyeing with Annatto Seeds & Onion Skins
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

How to make a mess with natural dyes.

Stitch Markers

Stitch Markers
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Using the round end of a toggle clasp for knitting stitch markers and the straight end for crochet stitch markers.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Squirrels In Leather

Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Still have to set the pearl acorns, dye it, figure out how to put in expansion panels at the seam in the back, and line it.

Also, the center back needs a design as yet to be determined.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Faeries & Mushrooms

If you like faery art (Brian Froud, Labyrinth, etc) and amazingly magical handmade books, you must -- right this very instant -- stop what you're doing and go to

And if you love what you see, and you can afford it, BUY SOMETHING. I can not begin to tell you how magical and wonderful her stuff really is. Seriously, you will be purchasing an amazing piece of art that will be in your collection for a life time. And you'll give an amazingly talented artist a very needed boost right now.

Shush, Kel. I'm pimping you and you'll just have to deal with it.

Oh and she does commissions! Make with the clicky already.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hello In There

I've got a headache, and it feels like it's going to be one of those headaches. The headaches that come with cheery monikers like, "Hell, Day One" and "Where's My Home Trepanning Kit When I Need It?"

Mom came out of surgery fine and her blood pressure is back up. She's still compensating, but she was in ICU last night and is still there today, not so much because she's in critical condition, but because they want to be able to get to her quickly if things do turn to shit.

Insert standard: "I feel like a horrible daughter for not sitting by her bedside but there's nothing I can do there that I can't do here."

I finished Fetching (fingerless gloves); they're now blocked and drying. I'm happy with the way they came out. I might make a pair or myself. Or I might make a pair of these, in my House Colours. (Go 'Claws!) Of course, that means finishing everything for everyone else first. Hmm.

I am determined to finish a pair of socks, though. The yarn is so wee, and the needles! It's like knitting with doll things. I love it. Socks!

Work is a real trial right now. I have a really low threshold for tolerating idiots. And it's even worse when the idiot is higher paid than you are, even though trained monkeys could do his job. (Oh, look! Yarn! Nice yarn! Maybe I could knit a hangman's noose! )

And the new fur kid is having real issues with itchies. She got a bath again last night, with special shampoo just to help her skin. She's scratching holes in herself, poor thing. But happy otherwise. It's nice to have a young cat around again.

And yeah... See, this is why I don't post more. Wow, the excitement. I think I need to go have a lie down...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

And in other news...

Mom is going back into surgery this morning. (She had her second knee replacement surgery on Monday morning.) The wound wouldn't stop bleeding yesterday and apparently, last night too. They've given her four units of blood so far. So, back in to find out what the heck's going on. It doesn't seem life threatening but still, one thing after another. She had enough gumption to be bitchy on the phone yesterday, which was a good thing, my father assured me. Only my mother could be in a foul mood while on Morphine.

Y'all, ~points at my lovely readers~ have my permission to SHOOT ME IN THE HEAD if I ever get that bad, mkay? Seriously.

I'm not dressed up at work today, which feels strange. It's a whole ~handwaves~ contractor/not-FTE thing that I don't really care to get into. Plus there's actual work to get done, and that's hard to do when you have to stop every ten minutes and demonstrate how the wings work. (Something I'd normally get a huge kick out of.)

To top it off, I had to walk passed a bowl full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups this morning on my way out the door. Damn that man for being oh so prepared. But I resisted. (Maybe there'll be some left over, y'think?)

Post pics of your costumes if you have them. Post pics of Halloweens long since passed to dust. I'd much rather be flitting about with you lot than counting mustard seeds and worrying about things I have no control over.

Hell's Angel with Wings v1.0

This was version 1.0 of the wings (circa 2003?).  Way different outline, same infrastructure.  Also, many pounds ago. 

Steampunk Aviatrix

FRIDAY, 8PM, 10/27:
Leather? Check
Canvas? Check
Metal wire, armature strength? Check
Spare altimiter? Hmm.
Rare earth magnets? Check
Copper paint? Check
Goggles? Check
Lineman's boots? Check
Chalkboard and chalk? Check
Charcoal? Check
Estes rocket? Check
Mad gleam in my eye? CHECK!

SATURDAY, 8PM, 10/28/2007
Steampunk Aviator

Steampunk Aviator

Steampunk Aviator

Steampunk Aviator's Engineer

There's a ton of things I would still like to do to it, including dye and age the wing harness; tea stain, patch & repatch the wings (my canvas shrunk in the wash. ~DOH~ I knew that!), and go with all white or brown under costume. The black didn't go well at all with the outfit, but it's what I had. And I didn't have time to hit the local military surplus shop.

Also, the pics don't show the uber-kick ass HUGAMOUS dinged-all-to-hell lineman's boots I was wearing. They're five sizes too big and go all the way up to my knees.

All in all, I'm really happy with the way it came out, considering the turnaround time from conception to execution*. I may have to put this on again and get some better "action shots". HEE.

* And yes, mine is the kind of house where we happen to have laying around: lineman's boots, leather helmet, goggles (that's just one pair), leather gauntlets, and 60" wide canvas. Things we bought: copper pipe, copper strapping tape, copper paint.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Work in progress. I don't like the picot bind off and will probably make the next one without it and then decide how to make the third glove.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bill & White Bengal Tiger Cub

Bill & White Bengal Tiger Cub
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Bill needed cheering up after his grandfather's funeral. Kittens make everything better. Tiger kittens even more so. This is the same park Bill took his nieces and nephews to after his mom passed in 1997, so it's kind of a tradition now.

Roosevelt Elk

Roosevelt Elk
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Roadside, 101 Freeway, Northern California

What's up Wallaby?

Wallaby Nose
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Noro Kureyon Colourways

Noro Kureyon Colourways [1] [2]

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

New Glass Fronted Cabinets

New Glass Fronted Cabinets
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

And these were billed as "video cabinets". We have turned them into curio cabinets... I think it works quite nicely.

New Mission Style Chair

New Mission Style Chair
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Picked this one up for less than $40 at an oak place that was going out of business.

Spinning Silk

Spinning Silk
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

What's on the wheel. Notice the WooLee Winder. I'm so buying one of these, because day-um. It's so much nicer than leaning forward every few yards and moving the pig tail. I can really focus on drafting. Highly recommended.

Lizard Ridge block (184)

Lizard Ridge block (184)
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Finished this weekend. These go fast.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The 13th Page

I was awfully fond of the last 13th Page that I did. So here we go. Pick an item, and I'll tell you the story behind it. Said story may or may not make sense. The author makes no guarantee.

First off, a junk drawer is a collection of seemingly disassociated items. We all have this drawer in our house. It's the drawer were 'everything else' ends up. Old tools, things that are broken but can't seem to be parted with, ticket stubs, washers, rubber bands, wet naps*. But as we all know, each of these items has it's own story to tell. I highly encourage any of my fellow writers, if you're stuck and wondering about a character, write a junk drawer for them. All their bus passes, their take away menus, their old Playbills and receipts. You can learn a lot just by going through the detritus of their every day life.

I typically write these when I'm feeling creative but directionless. They seem to craft their own stories. It's an amazing thing to watch. Or it could be like watching paint dry. You be the judge.

  • One red lacquered wooden chest, carven with the images of two cranes, intertwined, dimensions 12"w x 8"d x 6"h. Sealed all around with pitch. White granular residue in the bottom appears to be mineral salts.
  • One silver fork, crane pattern, tines bent, two forward, two backward, so that it might stand as if on four legs.
  • One small leather bag, brown, containing a set of six-sided dice, hand carved, square pips, one die chipped.
  • One aged paper label, pale ivory with black text, bearing the name Château Lafitte and the date 1787.
  • One ivory-handled straight razor, rusted.
  • One small handblown glass bottle, sealed with wax, containing an amber liquid, now gone murky with age.
  • One bird skull, raven, delicately wrapped in a piece of white silk.
  • One lead sphere, slightly larger than a pea, ,etched with the letter 'R', wrapped in a piece of oilskin.
  • One deck of ivory playing cards, suits without numbers, diamonds and hearts representing the House of Lancaster, spades & clubs representing House of York. The face cards have all had the faces erased.
  • One waxed paper packet containing one length of silk thread, white, ten yards, and one coin, ancient, origin undetermined.
  • Seven black beetles, threaded in order by size on a length of silk.
  • One dried poppy seed husk, pierced through with bone needle.
  • One silk square, white, folded in quarters, all four layers soaked through and encrusted with a dark brown stain.
Please, make your selection and step to the front of the line. Please have exact change ready and please mind the gap.

*Wet naps are a requirement in certain circles. The lack of wet naps has brought down entire regimes much to the chagrin of the super power with sticky hands at the wrong moment.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Exhibit 13

I love this song and it tears my heart out all over again, every time I listen to it.

For all the playful, silly, rocking things the Blueman Group have done, I thank them for Exhibit 13 the most.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

And I feel fine.

Fire: check.

Flood: check.

Hurricane: check.

Earthquake: check.

Riot: check.

~starts hanging decorations for the apocalypse party~

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

And the wheel goes round...

I spent today with the Handweavers and Spinners Guild doing a Sheep To Shawl event at the Ventura County Fair.  Pics here.

The last thing I expected to see...

This was the last thing I expected to see in the middle of the garden center @ Home Depot tonight.

Rabbit in Home Depot

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The 13th Page

The 13th Page, revealed.

~ One carven image of the goddess Sekmet, seated on her throne, two inches high, carved in soapstone, caked with an iron rich clay, oxidized to a deep blood red.

He'd walked for hours over sand hot enough to roast chestnuts on. He had no idea how slick the bottoms of his boots had grown when he reached the cliffs. The wind had worn the edges of the stone to soft, undulating curves, making each shadow sharp as obsidian. He had paused to blot the sweat from his eyes when he spotted the figurine, deep in the cool black. Not thinking, he bent to reach for it. It was just beyond the tips of his fingers. He stretched and felt the world lurch as his footing gave way.

The stone met his ribs with the force of a boxer's punch, knocking the wind out of him. He scrabbled madly to catch the lip of stone and felt it bite into his palms, his feet kicking at empty air. A stream of grit and dust poured over the lip into his eyes, his nose, his mouth. He let loose a stream of curses that would make the quartermaster proud, but he did not let go. Bloody handprints marked the stone, the moisture evaporating almost immediately. One foot and then another found purchase in the niches between the rocks. His fingers dug into the crevices, the hot stone searing his skin.

Dangling on the edge of the cliff, he could see the curve of her body, the regal tilt of her chin and the imperial line of her nose. He was a hundred miles from any city so there was little chance that she was a souvenir, carved in some Cairo back alley to amuse the white man. No, she was perhaps two thousand years old.

He levered his weight up, sucking hot air into his lungs, and groped in the space for it. His hand closed around her and darted back before the sand-coloured scorpion could bury its barb in his flesh. A part of him thought that was only to be expected. He'd have lashed out had someone disturbed his midday escape from the heat.

He took a moment to let his fingertips catalog the lines and planes of her form. The blood of his wound marked the soapstone, painting the line of her jaws with crimson, as was only befitting a goddess.

He squeezed the figurine tight in his fist, tucked it in his breast pocket and began the arduous climb back over the lip, praying to whatever deity watched over this place that he hadn't spilled his canteen.

Or worse, scattered the pages of his journal. Again.

~ One glass phial with cork stopper, filled with thumbnail sized fish scales, grey-blue, each bearing an inked number in Roman numerals. I-XXIII.

He'd been drunk on arak, and in danger of making an embarassment of himself. He pushed his glasses up onto the bridge of his nose and leaned closer over the table.

The dice were easily recognizable as knuckle bones, yellowed with age and polished to a glass finish from the years of handling. Someone nudged his arm and pressed the stem of the pipe into his hands. He only took a small puff of the cool smoke, but it went straight to his head.

He peered down at the table again, watching as coins and paper exchanged hands. The dice clattered on the brass table top again, and somewhere, he heard a fat-bellied lute being strummed.

They were gambling, he knew, but using very small discs of some material he could not identify, each hand numbered. A man would select a few and arrange them beneath a tea glass. There would be much arguing and exchanging of coins. Someone would flip the glass over, and the discs would scatter over the table top. A roar would arise from the crowd, making his head throb.

He watched for hours and never precisely determined what it was they were doing. He tried to speak to his host, but the man was too engaged in the sport to be of much assistance.

He scooped a few of them into a phial, promising himself he would catalog these strange artefacts, if only to satisfy his own curiosity.

~ One rusted rations tin, contents twenty three sea shells, the largest the size of a grown man's first thumb joint. Colours vary from white to charcoal, purple to grey green, to browns and reds.

Though he was grateful for the opportunity to linger, he'd enjoyed the hospitality of the local governor for far too many days.

Or for far too few, he thought, rattling the tin.

She'd been so beautiful, her hair long and dark, her voice unlike any he'd heard before. He'd been enamoured of her from the very first moment he'd seen her standing beneath the jasmine vines. But he was just a scholar, and she, betrothed to another, much richer and older man. It did not trouble her, for that was the way of things.

They had had only had a few weeks together, walking from her father's walled gardens, through the winding streets, passed the market place and down to the strand of beach that marked the city's edge. Each day, she'd given him a shell, to mark their day's journey.

He slipped the tin back into his pack. Days in paradise could only be counted, not kept.

~ One white, kid leather glove, female, folded in tissue paper.

It was hard to hold on to the memory of green here. Here where the heat never seemed to relent, only to retreat for the night, seceding its oppressive reign to the blight of frigid darkness.

It was difficult to remember rolling fields and stone fences. Difficult to remember riding out behind the baying pack, difficult to remember the deep shaded embrace of the ancestral grove. Here, sand undulated for mile upon mile, giving way only to stone or sea, equally barren.

Here he wore linen and sipped tepid water, longing for a night spent tucked up by the fire, wrapped in woolen blankets and sipping a proper cup of tea.

He refolded his mother's gift. Her favour, she'd called it. To help him remember grey skies and the smell of rain.

~ One strand of red silk, knotted, with ninety nine small wooden beads, bearing the sheen of hand oil.

Rahmanir Rahim
I commence with the name of God, The Compassionate and the Merciful.

The imam had pressed the strand of beads into his hand and patted him on the head, muttering something about the hand of Fatima. The next thing he knew he had been bundled onto the back of a horse like a roll of rugs.

Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
Praise Be to God, the Sustainer of all Creation.

He'd showed them the map and asked if they knew where the ruins were. That had been his first mistake, he thought, ducking as the rifle rounds zinged over his head, richocheting off the sandstone brick behind them.

Arrahmanir Rahim
The Compassionate, The Merciful

The beads clicked in his hands as he ducked even lower in the trench. Horse thieves. Of course they would know about the only oasis in a day's ride. That it was a tomb only made the locals stay away, ensuring their need for privacy. Beside him a man shouted his defiance, waving his curved blade over his head.

Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in
You alone we worship, and to You alone we pray for help.

The scholar cringed as the man crumpled, an English bullet in his heart. He tossed away the scrap of goatskin that held the map and prayed the regimental commander would believe his extraordinary bad turn of luck.

One linen scrap folded neatly around a stack of five Widow's head pennies and one golden Mohur coin. The linen scrap bears the faded emblem of the Honourable East India Company.

Silent and alone, a hundred feet beneath the floor of the jungle, covered in muck and filth from wading through the underground river, holding only a gas torch above his head, he couldn't be more pleased with himself. A thousand years ago, the Maharaja had set the counterweight of this particular door to the equivalent of one coin. One very special coin minted in his court. One coin that the scholar had spent months locating, weeks convincing the curator to let him weigh and measure it, and hours trying to duplicate that weight and diameter. He'd been contemplating creating a slug out of lead when the barkeep had shown him a trick involving a stack of pennies and the end of his elbow.

So it was that he came here to the entrance to this underground temple complex, with five pennies and a mohur. He gently laid the linen wrapped packet into the cylindrical receptacle. Something groaned and creaked.

Much later, when he came to on the pitch black shores of some underground river, coughing up a lungful of slime and water, he'd thought to himself, "Perhaps I should have factored in the weight of the fabric..."

One water-stained, dog-eared, heavy paper tag indicating Mellivora capensis, Kandahar, Baluchistan. One mammalian scientific specimen, a dessicated, grey and black furred paw, bearing four long claws. Bone structure intact.

"It will rid you of all your enemies."

"What if I have no enemies?"

"No man walks this earth who can claim to have no enemies."

He winced as the one-eyed man pressed the bony artefact into his palm. "How much?"

One wild grey eye peered at him before a gnarled finger pointed across narrow aisle of the bazaar.

The scholar looked. "A loaf of bread?"

The man nodded once sharply.

Within a week, he'd received a telegram calling him home to England. Apparently, there had been an accident. Three of his colleagues had been killed when a tiger had escaped from Chipperfield's and savaged them in the middle of Tottenham Court Road.

It wasn't precisely the manner in which he'd hoped to attain tenure, but under the circumstances, he was loathe to look a gift badger in the mouth.

He'd tried to throw the thing in the river, and it had reappeared in his jacket pocket in less than a day. He'd thrown it into the coal furnace, and within the hour, he found it tucked in the case with his glasses. He'd stood on the prow of the steamer at midnight and hurled it into black of the Indian Ocean. He found it waiting for him on the pillow of his bunk.

In a fit of inspiration, he sold it to a man named Jacobs for the measly sum of 10 shillings and a pint of stout. He didn't bother recounting its history. What difference would it make, he thought?

[ 1 ]

And if you're still reading, I challenge you to write your own junk drawer and take request for details from your readers.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The 13th Page

Found in a junk sale*, one well-used wooden box of indeterminate age, three times as long as it is wide and tall, currently painted black. Contents as follows: A rolled sheaf of parchment pages, oxidized and slightly singed at one end. One cylindrical brass trench lighter, working flint but empty of fuel, with pale blue green patina, bearing the initials HMS. One water-stained, dog-eared, heavy paper tag indicating Mellivora capensis, Kandahar, Baluchistan. One mammalian scientific specimen, a dessicated, grey and black furred paw, bearing four long claws. Bone structure intact. One glass phial with cork stopper, filled with thumbnail sized fish scales, grey-blue, each bearing an inked number in Roman numerals. I-XXIII. One linen scrap folded neatly around a stack of five Widow's head pennies and one golden Mohur coin. The linen scrap bears the faded emblem of the Honourable East India Company. One carven image of the goddess Sekmet, seated on her throne, two inches high, carved in soapstone, caked with an iron rich clay, oxidized to a deep blood red. One page, torn on one side, folded in quarters, blank, the size of a standard passport. Five rifle rounds, Mk VII, Enfield .303, four bearing the dark patina of age and one shining and bright as the day it was made. One strand of red silk, knotted, with ninety nine small wooden beads, bearing the sheen of hand oil. One rusted rations tin, contents twenty three sea shells, the largest the size of a grown man's first thumb joint. Colours vary from white to charcoal, purple to grey green, to browns and reds. One white, kid leather glove, female, folded in tissue paper.

Pick one and I'll give you a brief story.

* A junk drawer is an exercise outlining the items one might find in a junk drawer, trunk, chest, shoe box o' crap, that has been discarded or forgotten. Often the container itself is as interesting as the contents. They contain everything from tin soldiers to forgotten pizza coupons to back stage passes to wet naps. If you ever want to know more about your characters, envision what you might find in their junk drawer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pics from the Backyard

I finally figured out the macro function on my camera. Please view full for maximum wow.
Lily Red
Canna tongues
French Lavender
damned daisies
Faery House
worker bee
New roma
And one from UCSB on Saturday.
UCSB Lagoon

Thursday, June 28, 2007

8 Things

Dayle tagged me, and since this is my second tag (first one only got posted to lj), I'll do another eight things. And I don't tag, but please feel free if you haven't done this meme. Please comment with a link if you decide to do it.

The Rules:
  • We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
  • Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  • At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
1. Both of my tattoos are writing related, however tangentially.

2. I collect handmade Middle Eastern rugs. Right now I have pieces from Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya, Pakistan and Turkey, including a 3' x 3' rug that is a bridal piece. It was made to show the weaver's worth to her family when she married. It starts out kinda wonky but it gets better. It's also my favourite piece. I also have a piece that has very tasteful missiles worked into the design.

3. I've rehearsed and conducted a 32 piece orchestra. I've also directed a 75 person marching band. Somewhere there are trophies. I also play five instruments with some passing degree of competency, and I sing. Sometimes in funny languages.

4. I once drove from Baltimore, MD to Santa Barbara, CA in three and a half days.

5. I once petted a snow leopard kitten, a caracal kitten, and a Siberian lynx kitten, all in one hour.

6. I am mechanically inclined. I once took a vacuum cleaner apart and disassembled the motor, replaced the broken part, and reassembled it to a working state in one afternoon, with no manual, all on a bet.

7. It's not that I can't cook. I can. I just have other things I'd rather be doing. I much prefer to bake, and now that I have a proper kitchen, I hope to do more of that.

8. I tend to prefer non-fiction to fiction, just because truth really is stranger than fiction. People fascinate me. Mostly because I really don't understand them at all. Science and art, I get. People confound me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Please watch this and pass it along. I had never heard of inflammatory breast cancer before watching this piece from Seattle, Washington's ABC affliate, KOMO Channel 4.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A prayer for the journey

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,

pray that the road is long,

full of adventure, full of knowledge.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,

the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:

You will never find such as these on your path,

if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine

emotion touches your spirit and your body.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,

the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,

if you do not carry them within your soul,

if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.

That the summer mornings are many, when,

with such pleasure, with such joy

you will enter ports seen for the first time;

stop at Phoenician markets,

and purchase fine merchandise,

mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

and sensual perfumes of all kinds,

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

visit many Egyptian cities,

to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

To arrive there is your ultimate goal.

But do not hurry the voyage at all.

It is better to let it last for many years;

and to anchor at the island when you are old,

rich with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.

Without her you would have never set out on the road.

She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.

Wise as you have become, with so much experience,

you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

~Constantine P. Cavafy

via MoonRiver

Name Dropper

Musecrack just got a mention in one of my favourite blogs, Le Divan Fumoir Bohémien.

Thank you Florizelle!

Friday, June 15, 2007


Ira Glass, host of NPR's This American Life, talks about story telling:

Part 1: A story, at its simplest form, is the retelling of a sequence of events (YouTube)

Part 2: Cull mercilessly. (You Tube)

Part 3:
You'll make a lot of crap before you make good work. So make it. It's normal to suck. Don't worry. You'll get better.. Just don't quit. (You Tube)

Part 4:
Ira is talking to people who want to be on video, but I really think these two common mistakes apply equally to writing: Be aware of your voice. Also, make sure your personality doesn't get in the way of the story. (You Tube)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


sweet relief.

nothing in this world quite like the sight of a yellow landrover jumping the curb and tearing great gashes in the expanse of lawn between my bldg and the parking lot. nothing except maybe a yellow landrover flanked by three humvees with sixties and a bradley. i just made it out of the bldg with the mob right behind me. he pressed an AR15 into my hands and showed me where the magazine release and the safety were. i think he said something about hugs and kisses later, tactical retreat now.

i am reunited with my beloved and nothing else matters.

and i'm pretty sure all this blood is someone else's.

just be there

stupid stupid stupid.

there's a reason i tend to be a loner. it's because other people never cease to astound me with their stupidity.

they left the flamethrower i'd built behind, and they don't want to take a risk of someone getting burned! what, you'd rather be eaten? and i don't mean to be contrary, and yes, i'm not much of a team player, as you well knew, but dude, i think your comm skills leave a bit to be desired. let me spell it out for you: if you were bitten, it probably would have been a good idea to mention it BEFORE we all huddled up in a conference room and you went all bitey on us!


man, he was such a nice guy. that file cabinet popped his skull like a grape. paperless age my ass.

wolf called. he's less than a mile away. there's a lot of them still between us. and in here too. i can hear them upstairs. i don't want to get cornered inside, but i don't have much of a choice. at least i can see the parking lot from here. i'm balled up under a desk. the others. i don't know where they went and i don't care.


c'mon, it'll be fun!

my head is killing me. i... uh... startled some folks from work. they thought i was one of the walking dead. jeezus when you write it out it sounds so banal. anyway, my boss. good man, don't get me wrong. he meant well. anyway, he hit me in the face with a shovel. i think my nose is broken.

now, you ask yourself, why on earth are you blogging this. you're injured, you're bleeding, you're surrounded by a very good impression of the end of days, and you're thumb typing?

i don't have to think when i'm typing. i'm an addict my friends. and this little box is better than morphine right now.

fuck i'd kill for some morphine right now. ah. my front teeth are loose too. great.

anyway, they brought me back to the office with them. the building emptied out pretty quick and all of the dead are heading downhill for the town. which means i'm back where i started. wolf said that's okay, he'll find me. he sounds like he's actually having fun. gods i love my husband. he gives me hope and makes it easy to be afraid and still do what has to be done.

some people are talking about taking a boat. maybe the islands are safe. and me without my sunscreen.

hey socal. could you at least have the decency to be overcast on the day of the apocalypse? ~glares at cloudless sky~

run spot run

my lungs are burning. i hate running at the best of times. it's amazing how motivated you can get when they're making that ... sound.

no runners yet. only shamblers. they can move quick when they have to. i saw a few dodge a car. the rest got mucked up under the wheels, so many the driver couldn't get through them. they dragged him out and ... gods, i'll never get the sound of his screams out of my head.

fuck fuck fuck.

i broke into the bakery here. the power's out and there's no one here. there's vats of cooking oil. oil burns. gods bless donuts. plus, y'know. carbs. for the running.

Wolf's cell died, but he got another. i didn't ask how. he got sidetracked he says. coming as soon as he can. he's picked up a few people. a guy from his work whose also ex-military. and a crew. he said they're all scared kids that thought they'd been passed over for iraq. thought they'd never see action. well, today's your lucky day kids. they're in good hands with him. 11 yrs in the guard as an mp.

he'll get me out. i know he will. i just have to be in one piece when he gets here. i had the idea to sneak over to the grocery store. looks like i missed the fun part. if you keep your head down, they barely notice you. i picked up some bbq lighter fluid and a supersoaker. and a tube of bathroom caulk. and some red bull. and one of those wand lighters. and almonds. i love almonds. anyway. caulk the supersoaker. mix 3 pts veg oil w 1pt lighterfluid. rig the lighter to the trigger. hahaha. instant flamethrower.

okay use judiciously. that was close. they really don't like flame tho. awesome. zombie flambe anyone?

also, the battery on this bberry 8100 is awesome. still at 70%.

fire is your friend

i'm crouched behind a dumpster in the alley behind taco bell. gods i thought they stank.

they smelled me in the car. i heard them before i saw them. i crawled through the back seat to the trunk and found a tireiron and some road flares. i was head down in the dark when the car started rocking. i had to go out through the moon roof. i lit the flares and threw them into the grass. the brush lit up like flash paper. turns out they burn fast too. and the smell, ugh. the car started to catch too, so i didn't have any choice but to abandon it. i have my cell, a tire iron, and two flares left. Wolf called, said he's almost here, but the freeway looks post-nuclear. the bodies only stay down for a few minutes before they get back up.

Wolf says to make sure you go for the mechanical disable. hips are good. shoot em in the head from up close. don't waste your ammo.

and torch them if you can.

my mind is strangely clear. i'm already thinking about who we need to catch up with, and where we'll go. we'll need water and food. and medical supplies. and more ammo. banzai inst is pretty defensible for an interim.

oh. that must have been the gas tank going. wow. maybe he can find me from the smoke column.


posting via bberry. the freeway is a mass of hulking twisted smoking metal. they're evrywhere.

someone had crashed into the back of my car. i had to. i had to take her car. she...i couldn't do anything to help her.

i'm here at the tree. i just drove off the road and into the high brush. i called Wolf and he answered, thank gods, said he was delayed and to stay put. happy tears, laughter. he found a gunstore and helped himself. also, a landrover. that's our joke. if the apocalypse comes, i get a yellow landrover.

gods, i wonder if its yellow.

they're in the taco bell across the street. i can hear them. sounds like wet meat in a blender with a bad porno playing in the background.

flist, spare me some mojo. i know you're probably as bad off as me, but mojo grows as you share it.


Because I'm evil. That's Why.

I just didn't want to freak anyone out for reals. Sorry if that was the case.
We now return you to your zombie apocalypse, already in progress.

It starts

I just got a call from my husband. He tried to sound all calm, but he told me to meet him at the old oak tree* in half an hour. There was shouting in the background and he told me he loved me. Then I heard gun shots and his line went dead.

He's not answering his phone now.

Guys, I'm scared...

*Where we're supposed to meet if there's an earthquake or riots or something -- what? This is LA. It happens.

Another Day In Paradise

Foggy as hell coming into work this morning, which only added to the ambience of weird that continues today. The commute was strangely light, and I saw a few cars on the side of the road that looked like they'd just been abandoned. Starting to feel like it did after the riots. There wasn't anything on the news about the stuff in the harbor last night, but then, there wouldn't be, would there?

Wolf called to say he saw a convoy of tanks, and armored personnel carriers on the freeway this morning. There was a gal manning the sixty on the lead humvee. On the freakin' 101 freeway. He said to make sure to keep my cellphone handy, in case there really is something going on.

Also, file under "Some People's Children."

ETA: Okay, this is starting to creep me out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ha ha, it is to laughth

That sense of weird? Ongoing ... Had a nice evening at the textile guild, learning how to make bezants.

But on the way home, I took the way down by the harbor, because there was something going on. Some kind of training exercise or something, because the Navy had like six helicopters, the big Hueys, out over the water. It looked like they were doing training on an old oil derelict.

It had to be training, right? Why else would they bring something that huge in that close to shore? Anyway, I saw all kinds of activity on the beach coming home. Police cars and such, even a few National Guard vehicles. Yay Homeland Security.

And to top it off, I almost hit this homeless guy in the middle of the damned freeway off ramp. He was just standing in traffic in this ratty old coat, staring into the oncoming headlights. I almost lost control of the damned car! My heart's still pounding.

Seriously, people. Is it full moon already?

I can't put my finger on it.

Today started out really great. So great, in fact, that I didn't really want to go to work. I wanted to stay home and work on the house. It felt like a really good place to wake up to, y'know? A Very Good Thing (TM).

Got to work, sat down and proceeded to just vegetate my way through my work. Blah. Double blah. Makes me want to pull fire alarms just to wake some people up around here. Can we get some peppy tunes in here? Something? Anything!? I felt like I'd got a head full of Benadryl and an ass full of lead. Shuffling around like the freakin' undead.

And this afternoon. This afternoon is just shaping up pear-shaped. I can't shake the feeling that something's not right. Just this sense of foreboding in the air, I suppose. I can't put my finger on it, but it feels like this is all about to come crashing down. All the common everyday hassles that I take for granted, the commute, the boring little data munching job, all of it. It just feels strangely precious...and fragile. Just odd.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Not Dead.

Wow... ~blows dust off underwood no5~ Poor neglected journal.

Absolutely nothing remarkable has happened. Work on the new place proceeds apace.

Cat: Went back in for his recheck on his hyperthyroid, which is, after medication, at the high end of normal, but normal. Now there's this glucose thing going on. Cats have the ability to spike their bloodsugar when they're stressed. But his glucose was 100 points above normal... This is cause for concern. And cause for plastic pellets and a little paper tester strip. Yes, I have to get a single drop of cat pee to test his glucose levels... Hilarity ensues.

Baby watch 2007: My nephew is being fickle and toying with his mother's head, and he's not even born yet. I haven't even met him and I think I like him. She's due the 16th, but y'know, any minute now! {insert keystone cops impersonation here}

Work: I am actually in a conference call with Austria, Sweden and England this morning... o_0

Patio: Bought a table and chairs for the back patio. Which is interesting, considering we still don't have a proper dining room table. ~shrugs~ It's summer. We'll eat outside, yes? ~pulls on sweater against the fog~ Summer. Definitely. Table needs a coat of tung oil before it can go into service.

Gardening: Laid in roma tomatoes seedlings, green and gold bell peppers seedlings. In the ground, which is so cool. There was much slaying of weeds and augmenting of soil beforehand, and I've still got 5/6ths of the bed to go. Container garden now has Catnip, Spearmint, Lemon Balm, Pineapple Mint, Lemon Thyme, English Thyme, Oregano, Sage, French & English Lavender. The Canna Indica continues to bloom, although it's clearly been neglected. One of the two daisy monsters has been slain. The other wants for heavy equipment*, or perhaps an axe to take it down. Also, the compost bin is proceeding apace. I've yet to buy worms for it, but I need to build a shelter, both for the seedlings and so the compost doesn't roast in the sun. Bought a bunch of seeds (see above reference to shelter), since our growing season is so long.

Herbs: Bought stuff to make our herbal guild's famous bruise juice recipe. When you hang out with fighter types, who like to hit on each other with sticks, invariably bruises occur. This is an olive oil based infusion of herbs supplemented with essential oils and it's the most wonderful stuff. It clears up really ugly bruises in a fraction of the normal healing time. It's also excellent for stiff muscles.

It saved my ass a week ago when I finally realized that neck spasms were actually a pulled muscle. Judicious application of stretches, heat and bruise juice did wonders on the healing front. Thanks to strangestgirl@lj for sending me yoga for necks and shoulders. They help. A lot.

Craftroom: Getting a new bedroom set meant having extra chest of drawers, so one of them is being repurposed for herb storage. It got a stain and a coat of linseed oil on Saturday and Sunday, and a coat of bowling alley paste wax yesterday. (Have I mentioned how much I love my husband?) Next thing I need to find is the fittings. (Pics forthcoming) Assembled bookshelves.

Sun jar: Have all the pieces parts, just need to assemble them. Solar lights @ Harbor Freight - dissected for guts, Fido glass canning jar, need to get the glass frosting yet, but it looks like it's going to work quite nicely. I do so wish I could justify the cost of the cobalt blue glasses because those would be so pretty. I'm not sure the solar panel would charge through the darker glass, so I'm sticking with the clear glass. Ideas to supplement the jar include filling it with sea glass (superbright LED light is REALLY superbright).

Spinning: Plied off two bobbins. Wow did I learn my lesson. Ply as soon as you get done spinning the bobbin. Letting it rest on the bobbin for three months made plying a nightmare. Whoops.

Also in the fiber end of things, my sister "arranged" (trans. Foisted on me) four bags of Suffolk, which is full of shit and second cuts and is going to be a real pain in the ass, but best to practice on free fleece before ordering that merino I was ogling. But going out to see sheep in the fields was fun. The sheep dogs were Great Pyrenees and were the most affectionate, smelly wonderful dogs ever. Hell, even the barn cat thought we were pretty cool.

Also, new processing steps means I need new tools... Anyone have a drum carder they'd like taken off their hands? No? Hmm.

Writing: ~shifty eyes~ Haven't been writing as much as I'd like. Haven't been musecracking as much as I'd like either. ~makes note to remedy both situations~

* SCA/Gardening joke du jour: This is a bec de corbin. This is a bec de Howard.

Darach Bruise Juice (Recipe refined by Eleyn of Darach/Hope Martin)

Step 1: Infuse the base oil*

6 bay leaves
1/2 cup lavender
1/4 cup sage (or wormwood)
1/4 cup calendula
1/4 cup mugwort
1/4 cup rosemary
Olive Oil to cover

Combine herbs and oil in a pot and simmer on the stove for approximately two hours. You could also use an old crock pot or potpourri pot and simmer it overnight. Just remember to stir.

Step 2: make up the essential oil base.

Camphor oil 2 1/2 t
Eucalyptus oil 3/4t
Lavender Oil 1/2t
Peppermint oil 1T + 2t
Ginger Oil 2T
Castor Oil 3 1/2t

Step 3: take 3 1/2 oz of the oil from step 1, and add to it 3 1/2t of the oil from step 2. This will give you Bruise Juice. To make Bruise Balm, add beeswax to the still warm infused oil at the rate of 1.5:1 (base oil to beeswax) or use your preferred ratio.

* I use EVOO, with enough grapeseed oil to get it to my desired viscosity.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Henna Hands

Henna Hands
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Again, circa 1997. I would love to get my hands henna'd like this again. I had this done in a boutique down in Artesia (Little India), and I remember being peeved because my ex didn't drive. So I had to drive myself, which meant I couldn't get my palms done...

Anyway, it's gorgeous and I'd love to get it done again.

Death & Destruction

Death & Destruction
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Yeah. Finding old pics makes me want to work out like you wouldn't believe.

This is Lady Mayken and myself, circa 1997. We were known as Death & Destruction. She always got to be Destruction... so not fair.

Fizgig on the right

Fizgig on the right
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

Other things were smaller in 1998. She's all growed up now.

Sword Dancing

Sword Dancing
Originally uploaded by cavalaxis.

You find the most interesting pictures when you're packing. This is me, circa 1997. I would almost trade my entire jewellery collection to have this figure again. Nope, no almost about it.

Pardon the dust. It was a hasty scan....

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Home again.

Home again home again jiggedy jig. Pictures downloading now. Bouchon is a little slice of heaven. Absente (with the sugar and the flame) is well and truly divine. And drinking Charbay Meyer Lemon Vodka whilst wearing sable and mocking Lenin is just damned fun.

Also, the butterflies were transcedent. And I bought shoes (in black, of course).

More later, when I can see straight.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Feeding the addiction

Musecrack: Get your fix

Musecrack [myooz-krak] (n) - 1. Powerful images to feed the Muse's addiction for all things outre, savage, beautiful, subversive, etc.
2. Artwork and news articles suitable for use in feeding the Muse
3. Information designed to stimulate the creative processes

"We seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves . . . We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own . . . We demand windows." ~C.S. Lewis

Maintained by
cavalaxis, quietselkie, & lilithsaintcrow

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