Sunday, December 29, 2013

What Happened to the First Half of my Life?

For the past few years, I've been going through a sort of "dark night of the soul".  This post is my attempt to verbalize my thoughts and feelings.  Feel free to skip it if you like, as it may turn out to be more emo than goth.  Never having met any emo people (that I know of), I really can't tell.

I moved to the East Bay from San Francisco when I was 25 years old and had just gotten married.  Things have changed a lot in The City (and in my life) in the last 26 years, more than I could have believed possible.

The apartment building I lived in from the time I was four years old until I was 22 is still standing, but I heard that the inside was entirely renovated several years ago, and I wouldn't recognize it today.  It's also now priced higher than I could afford on my current salary.  I think my mom was paying less than $400 a month for it when she moved out.

The last time I drove through the neighborhood where I grew up, most of the businesses I remember were gone.  A few of the "big" stores and restaurants were still there, but it was basically a strange place to me.  If I hadn't recognized the street names, I'd have thought I was lost!

I was filling out a job application several months ago on which I was asked to list the names, addresses and phone numbers of all the employers I've ever had.  It's been so many years since I worked for most of them that I had to look them up, and I was shocked beyond belief to discover that every one of them has either gone out of business or been taken over by another company in a merger and now bears that other company's name.  Every.  Single.  One.

Since then, I've been informed by professionals that prospective employers don't want to know what you were doing more than 10-15 years ago, so those jobs have been removed from my resume.  Now it appears that my current employer is the only one I've ever worked for, which is totally depressing.

Now, combine all that with the fact that I started working for my current employer right after I left my ex and  moved into my current apartment, and then I met my current husband. New home, new job, new man, new life, all at the same time.  I'm starting to feel as though the whole first half of my life has disappeared.  Other than in my memory, there is little, if any, evidence that it ever existed.  Does that mean I'm disappearing as well??

In early October, quite possibly on my father's death anniversary, my father-in-law had a heart attack.  He sees his doctor regularly, gets tested yearly for any problems with his cholesterol, and no one had ANY idea that one of his arteries was in the process of becoming completely blocked.  Fortunately it was "mild" attack, meaning there was no damage to his heart.  They put in a couple of stints, and he stayed in the hospital while they figured out the right combination of medications.  A couple of days later, they went back in and put in a pacemaker while he was still in good condition, "just in case".

This was a wake-up call, not only to him, but to me.  And I realized that all this is connected, even if it seems a bit convoluted.  Our culture, and indeed, most cultures today, run on chronos (linear) time, which has a beginning, a middle and and end, and is broken up into specific, measurable amounts.  We have calendars, birthdays, deadlines, and all sorts of devices to remind us constantly of "what time it is".  And our hearts (or pacemakers) are ticking steadily away, marking the passing of our lives.

On the other hand, Nature runs on kairos (cyclical) time, which has no noticeable beginning or end because everything is one eternal round.  Spring turns into Summer, which merges into Fall, which eventually leads to Winter, which gradually becomes Spring again.  Seeds are planted, they grow into plants that flower, go to seed, then die; when winter is past, the new seeds grow into plants that flower, then...  You get the idea.

Now here's where it gets interesting -- as in the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times".  What happens when you combine linear time with cyclical time? For me, the problem is when something like work, that should be on linear time, feels like it's on cyclical time.  Then the work becomes just one eternal round that goes on forever and will never end. This is what I've been feeling for the past five years. Combine that with the disappearance of my early life, and what do I get?  Well, it feels like the death and decay of all I ever was before this moment in time, with this current moment going on forever, and I do not like it.  Not one little bit.

So, now what?  My hope is that, when I finally find a new job to grow into, I will be able to grow in other ways as well. But I know it's not just the job situation, it's ME in general that needs to grow into something new.  That's probably what's happening, and hopefully I'll enjoy the results, but the process is extremely painful, more so than I've ever experienced before. 

So... have you ever had a "dark night of the soul"?   What kind of person did you become in the process?  What differences do you see in yourself now?  Are you happy with the changes?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have a Joyous Holiday, Everyone!!!

No matter what your spiritual path may be, we are all beings on this Earth together.  May the Spirit of the Season surround you and those you love with love, peace and goodwill!!  And LOTS of black!!!  ;-)


Hey, if THEY can do it, so can we!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My 100th Post, and Being a Museum Advocate

Happy 100th Post Day to me!!

In my other blog, I never bothered to count my posts, but for some reason I got excited about this one.  So, since it's a VERY blahhh day at work, I wanted to come up with something special, and I did.  It's not my own work, though, so here is a link to the blog where the original post may be found.  I DO have permission from them to post it here.

This is from the Center for the Future of Museums blog, which I just recently discovered.  Even though I've never gotten past the volunteer stage (yet!!) in my museum career, I try to join or follow as many groups, blogs, and other things pertaining to museums as I can.  Hopefully, I will one day actually work in one for money, but in the meantime, I can at least be an advocate for museums in general.

I love this poem, not just because it's funny (actually, it's hilarious), but because it's a true commentary on our society today, and it's not a pretty picture.  I try not to feel smug because I'm a self-styled "technosaurus"; I don't own a cell phone, smart or otherwise, I'm not exactly sure what an "app" is, and I don't need to be connected to the general population of the world through electronic devices every second of my day.  But I don't think I'm succeeding...  ::smug smile::

Anyway, without further ado, I give you:

A Christmas Carol for the Collaborative Economy

Subtitle: (St. Entropy has an app for that…)
‘Twas the night before Christmas in the Museum’s big hall,
And all through the building soft echoes did fall.
Not a creature was stirring, from microbe to ‘gator—
Not mice, and not people, not one stray curator.
The museum was peaceful from tail tip to snout,
'Cause most of the staff jobs had been parceled out.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
By Millennials learning that "real" jobs are rare.
The curators were nestled, as was their sad habit,
But they all were gig workers assigned by TaskRabbit®.
And all of the creatures that had been in the cases
Were leased to retailers and other such places.
[Want a real live (dead) polar bear at your reception?
You can have it, no questions--for cash, no exception.
Deer, 'possums, frogs, each exquisitely posed,
For a nominal fee make great party tableaux.]
I was hunched at my desk with Jingle Bells blaring
Counting receipts for the loot from this "sharing"
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I quaked in my boots, my teeth started to chatter.
Away to the guard booth I flew just to see
What images appeared on the CCTV.
There, decked with a giant pink mustache (quite spiff)
Came a miniature sleigh, arranged via Lyft®.
With a jolly old driver, now drawing so near
I could see that his steeds were from Rent-A-Reindeer.
More rapid than updates his curses now came
As he whistled and shouted out dating app’s names,
“Not Grindr, not Tinder! And please not OKCupid.
I just want this iPhone to quit making me stupid.”
And then, in a twinkling, as I turned around,
Down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound.
His eyes, how they glistened; his hair, what a mess.
I knew in a moment he had the wrong address.
“What’s this?” said Santa, waving our master key.
"This can't be the museum I leased through Airbnb®!
It was supposed to have specimens! Curators! Cases!
Instead it's impoverished, and lacking all graces.
You had dioramas. You had stories to tell.
You had magic and logic and that rare old book smell."
"Oh, well," he said, "Your lesson is learned,
"What was given away was worth more than was earned."
Then he pulled from his bag all the stuff we were missing:
Dinosaurs, preparators, even two interns, kissing.
From the dregs of the sack he fished out our director
(Who long had been absent, leased to a collector).
As the poor woman, dazed, looked around her in awe,
Santa leapt on his sleigh and let loose a guffaw,
And, putting his finger aside of his nose
(Not inside, thank goodness), through the ductwork he rose.
And I heard him exclaim, as he rose through the night,
“Take back what you own, and take care of it right!”
--Elizabeth Merritt, Sally Shelton, and John Simmons have never been leased out to anyone, though John did attempt to sell Sally once.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December: "I'm SO Goth..."

Behold, our new I'm SO Goth poster girl!  Thank you, Nightwind, for the suggestion.  :-)

Have a Gloomy December! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

The 13 Days of Creepmas: Day 13

"On the Thirteenth Day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me
Thirteen witches washing!"

What could be creepier than seeing witches doing their laundry?????

I've got this on my desk as part of my graveyard scene at work...

If I could duplicate myself like this, it WOULD speed things up!

Brrrrr, I sure hope this wasn't painted in December!  (Witches by Corinth Lovis)

I've heard that making your own detergent is cheaper, but this is ridiculous!

NO, put the delicate colors in COLD water!!!  Oh well, I think it's a lost cause at this point...

So, there you have them... the Thirteen Days of Creepmas!!  I hope you had as much fun reading them as I did creating them. 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled December...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The 13 Days of Creepmas: Day 12

On the Twelfth Day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me
Twelve black cats hissing!"







 Whew, this last one is REALLY creepy!  Bet you weren't expecting a panther...

By now, you should be thoroughly hissed off!  Hope you enjoyed it, hehehehe!!  (At my house, this is common... with nine cats, we hear hissing all the time.)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The 13 Days of Creepmas: Day 11

"On the Eleventh Day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me
Eleven mummies meditating!"

(PLEASE NOTE: These are images of actual mummies; no cartoons, drawings, cakes, or CG here.  Some are a bit graphic, so if you feel uncomfortable viewing human remains, you may want to skip this post.)

Ancient Egyptian mummy

Even more ancient Egyptian mummy

Incan mummy

Not sure where this gentlemummy is from...

Peruvian mummy

Tollund Man (European bog mummy)

17th-century German nobleman preserved in the crypt of his family's castle
(From Mummies of the World exhibit)

Peruvian mummy  (Mummies of the World exhibit)

Egyptian mummy

Chinese mummy

Making a modern American mummy (USA, 2001)

One thing I can never be is disrespectful to actual mummies, human or animal.  I find them incredibly fascinating, because they were once human beings, perhaps ancestors of mine or of someone I know.

BUT that doesn't mean I can't include them in a Creepmas post!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The 13 Days of Creepmas: Day 10

"On the Tenth Day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me
Ten haunted houses!"

(Yes, I know this is the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland...) 


(Photo: Courtesy of The Lemp Mansion)

And finally:

Okay, so the last one probably isn't really haunted... but it IS creepy!!  ;-)

All these pictures can be found on Google images under "haunted houses".  Are they all actually haunted?  Who knows... But they're all real places (well, except for the cake), and I think they're all really creepy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The 13 Days of Creepmas: Day 9

"On the Ninth Day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me
Nine corpses drinking!"

 (From Tim Burton's Corpse Bride)

Would you believe that there are exactly nine corpses in this picture!  How lucky is that??  :-)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The 13 Days of Creepmas: Day 8

"On the Eighth Day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me
Eight ravens cawing!"

Hey, I actually found eight ravens...

(Found on:

I wouldn't mind having a print of this on my wall, if I'm every lucky enough to find one.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The 13 Days of Creepmas: Day 7

"On the Seventh Day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me
Seven ghosts a-haunting!"

Better be good, or they might decide to come to YOUR house to visit!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The 13 Days of Creepmas: Day 6

"On the Sixth Day of Creepmas, my true love gave to me
Six creeps a-posing!"

Posing for their pictures, that is...

Well, THIS is a VERY creepy pic, if you ask me!  The Grinch and Jack Skellington just DO NOT mix well..

 Ick.  Just... Ick.  Although I do like the mangy cat with the fake horn.  But take a really close look at the "presents" and "decorations", not to mention the guy's hands...

This last one isn't creepy (at least, not to me), but it's fun!  It was taken by a student or teacher in a real biology class.  Now that's MY kind of class!  ;-)