Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moving Up with the Cemetery Friends

Earlier this month I attended the first 2014 meeting of the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery Friends... and I leaped off the cliff and volunteered.  I am now the official Volunteer Coordinator.  Eeek!

Normally when I volunteer for things, I like to stay behind the scenes as much as possible.  I don't mind doing grunt work, but DO NOT put me on stage with lines to speak!  I do not want to be in charge or out in front.  However, I decided that I needed to do this so that I could include the experience on my museum resume, since most museums now depend on volunteers a LOT more than they should have to.

My duties will include knowing who will be attending each function (other than regular meetings), assigning people to the various tasks, and also recruiting more volunteers.  Speaking of which, I managed to snag my first (potential) new volunteer, too!  :-)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thank You!

Many thanks to all of you who read my last post and commented, and also to all of you who didn't comment but who kept me and my mother in your prayers.  I cannot express how much that means to me.

My mother had surgery to replace the valve in her heart last Tuesday.  As of today (Friday), she is doing extremely well, and (fingers crossed!) may actually be released from the hospital into a convalescent home next Sunday or Monday!  woo-HOOO!!  I will still have to go up there every other weekend for a bit to pay bills and help my grandmother, but at least things are on the upswing for her.  I can handle that.

This has been quite a week of revelations for me.  Living in a house with no TV, no computer, no husband or cats, and no access to most of my friends or family except via land-line telephone, I discovered that I do indeed have a limit to how much solitude I am comfortable with.  I also discovered how difficult it is to deal with so many things on someone else's behalf that are no trouble when I deal with them for myself.  Being the rock everyone else is leaning on is NOT fun, especially when you have no one to lean on yourself.

I'm sure I'll have more to say later, but now I'm so exhausted that I'm falling asleep at my keyboard, so I will just say again, Thank you!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Please Remember Me...

Earlier this week, I got a call from my mom.  To make a long story short, she is in the hospital and will be having heart surgery next week, so tomorrow I am going to be looking after my grandmother.  Hopefully, my uncle and aunt will be able to go and stay with her later in the week, or take her to their place, because I only have so much vacation time, and I may need it for my mom in the future.

Neither my mom or grandmother have a computer, and I don't have a laptop, so I will not be online until I get back.

Please remember my mother, grandmother and me in your prayers, if you will.  We NEED them, and will greatly appreciate them.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What I'd LIKE to do at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

The other night I was hosting a 20-minute pity party for myself because I'm still not working in a museum, and I had a small brainstorm about what I'd like to do to at the REM.  Since I don't work there, I thought I would share it with you and see what you think.  (I know this post isn't particularly goth, but just think about the mummies, and that should help.)  ;-)

The museum itself was built in 1966; while the outside was modeled and painted to resemble a temple of the Amarna period in ancient Egypt, the galleries inside are pretty standard "traditional" museum rooms, with blah beige or brown walls and carpets with glass and plastic cases painted to match.  BOR-ring!!!


Splendid outside!  :-)
Ho-hum inside...  :-(

Too many people think of museums as dusty rooms full of cases of "boring old stuff", with boring cards giving them bits of information they don't care about and will forget before they walk out the door.  The way I see it, these galleries could be spiced up quite nicely just by painting them as though they were the inner rooms of an Egyptian tomb!  Especially the areas where the mummies are, as their names (if known) could be painted in hieroglyphs either above or below them, with appropriate prayers or other things as well (with English translations, of course).  See those two people in the back right, behind the replica of Tutankhamun's golden coffin?  They are looking at the Mystery Mummy, fondly known as NoNameHotep by the docents when I was an intern there.  Look at all that dark, empty space on the wall behind him and around him; wouldn't it be much nicer if it were decorated with hieroglyphs and beautiful things, or at least pictures of them?  I imagine this is NOT the kind of afterlife he had in mind!

I think most museums should be "redecorated", so to speak, every 5-6 years so that patrons don't get tired of the same old thing.  And I would want to get input from the museum members -- you know, those people smart enough to buy memberships to the museum because they want to come frequently and don't want to have to plunk down cash or plastic every time they walk through the doors.  My game plan would be to send out surveys to all the museum members, regardless of their membership type (to get the starving students, the rich socialites, AND everyone in between!), letting them know which galleries are going to be updated and asking for their ideas, complaints, fantasies, and suggestions of what to keep and what to change.  When the updated gallery is ready to open, there should be a special "Pre-Opening Members Night" when ONLY members are allowed to visit, before the gallery is reopened to the public.  And those members who submitted their surveys should be listed on a temporary board hanging just outside or inside the gallery for a few months, so they can see their names in print and feel like they've contributed something.

Yes, I know that this kind of thing is time consuming, and I also know that you can't please everyone, but I think that museum patrons would feel more like it was their museum if they were encouraged to provide input, and then got patted on the back for doing so.  They might come more often AND encourage friends and family to do so as well.  And museums like the REM that house ancient things don't get as many updates and "face lifts" as those with more modern or technological exhibits, so I feel they need to be a bit more concerned about keeping the term "boring museum" as far away from them as possible!

So, what do you think of my ideas?  You've all been to various kinds of museums, I'm sure.Which museums have impressed (or depressed) you, and why?  What kinds of things would you like to see changed or added?  What would you want to remain as it was when you saw it?  What would be the ideal museum for YOU?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When I'm 64: Thoughts about Dressing Goth after 60

Okay, I've been having lots of fun discovering my own personal goth style that looks good on me while not being "too young" for my age... but what happens when I get into my 60's??  Not many "SuperElderGoths" around to ask, so we'll all have to invent this one on our own.  How delightful!!  Not.

Right now, I'm leaning toward a mixture of Morticia Addams and Stevie Nicks -- you know, long and flowing, very elegant, with extravagant shoes. I recently picked up this awesome dress at Hot Topic, at 25% off!
I think the bare leg look sucks with it, but I've got some patterned black tights that will look awesome, along with heels, of course.  (These boots are great for clubbing, but not for a professional or Morticia Addams look.  For Stevie, you would want platform boots and a huge chiffon scarf.)

However, recently I found this article called "Top 10 Items You're Too Old to Wear" that totally set me off... and NOT in a good way.  Are we living in "Logan's Run" here??  Some things I did agree with, totally or in part, but most of them are just absurd!  In a nutshell, here is what they say, and what I think of what they say (hey, who ARE "they", anyway???  Nobody I want to know!!):

1.  No message t-shirts after 30.

What, people over 30 have nothing to say?? Nope, guess we're too OLD to have anything worth saying.

2. No "too trendy" denim after 35.

This includes jeans with rhinestones or designs on the back pockets.  And we should only wear black or dark denim, no light colors.  Say WHAT??  Oh, that's right, we OLD PEOPLE have nothing to say.

3. No "costume shoes"  (impractical, wildly crazy shoes) after the mid-40's.

Sorry, I'm not turning my 4-inch Demonia platform Mary Janes over to Goodwill anytime soon.  Did Stevie give hers away??  Nope.  And I firmly believe that every woman should have at least ONE pair of fantastic shoes, preferably ones that she can walk in, but if not, oh well. 

4. No micro-mini skirts after 40.

I can't argue with this one too much, especially since most women under 40 don't look all that great in micro minis (you know, the kind that disappear when you sit down).  But if you've still got great legs and thighs, honey, I say flaunt 'em, regardless of your age!!

5. Nothing showing "excessive cleavage" after 50.

To my husband (and probably to most men), there's no such thing as "excessive cleavage" unless it's covered in wrinkles, so I'm not going to worry about this one too much.  If I don't want to see it, I won't be showing it, anyway.

6. No white ribbed-cotton tank tops after 40.

Wait, are they saying we shouldn't wear white, we shouldn't wear cotton, or we shouldn't wear tank tops??  Or maybe we shouldn't be wearing ribs...  ;-)

7. No hair gadgets after 30.

Geez!  I guess we're supposed to let our hair flap all over the place instead, or wear granny buns.  Next thing you know, we'll be told we aren't supposed to have HAIR after 30...  I know, let's all shave our heads, then it won't be a problem!!  Move over, Sade!!

8. No oversized, overly decorated hobo bags after 50.

I've never been fond of those bags, anyway.  But it seems to me that the older you get, the more stuff you need to haul around, like all those pills you have to take now, a fold-up cane, Ex-Lax, reading glasses, driving glasses, extra hearing aid batteries, extra false teeth, Depends, your will...

9. No cheap, unflattering underwear after 40.

Now this one I actually agree with!  But why wait until 40 to get good stuff that fits you properly??  Do that NOW, before you even need to worry about how it looks!  Then you won't feel like a fool when you realize that you do actually need bras (or other things) that cover things up, smooth things over, or hold things in.  I can't remember having cheap or unflattering underthings since I was a kid, and I intend to keep it that way!

10. No "loud accessories" after 35.

Two of the first things mentioned on the list are black nail polish and "goth-inspired studded belts". Do you want to hold them down while I bitch-slap them, or would you prefer to do the slapping?  Either way works for me.


Please notice that according to the article, no one over 50 should be wearing or carrying any of the above.  This means that at 60, I should dress like... who, Granny in "The Beverly Hillbillies"???  Somehow, I just can't see myself going along with that one.  Can you see yourself that way?  Nope, neither can I.

Now, here is MY advice for these self-styled "fashion advisors"... GET OVER YOURSELVES!  Real women wear what we want, when we want to and how we want to. If you don't feel comfortable wearing something, don't wear it, but stop trying to tell the rest of us what we can and cannot wear. 

Life is too short to be a dull white sheep; become the shiny black sheep you know you are!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bat Fit 2014: January Post

Bat Fit 2014   

Welcome to my first Bat Fit 2014 post!  In keeping with this year's theme, "DETOXIFY", and also in keeping with the holistic ideals of Bat Fit (being not just for weight loss any more), I've decided to divide my goals into four areas: Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual.

Physical:  In December, I decided that I need to get back to exercising at least every other day.  But I have to admit, I've gotten slightly bored with the tai chi and yoga DVDs I was using.  I'd used them so much I practically had them memorized, which is good to a point, but causes eventual boredom and then, of course, a stoppage of bothering to use them, which could be considered a form of toxicity, don't you think?  So I finally exercised my fingers by pushing the buttons on my computer, and ordered a new DVD, "The Industrial Strength Dance Workout with Shakra: Dance Fitness with an Industrial Edge".  It has arrived, so now I just have to figure out how to fit it into my schedule.

Mental:  In this area, I'm continuing my search for a new job/career, because I'm definitely experiencing the need to detoxify my work life!  Last Sunday I spent over two hours with a friend who has been job hunting for months now.  Because she was laid off, her old employer paid for her to take classes/seminars in job search skills from a company that specializes in helping people relocate to new jobs and/or careers.  She was kind enough to offer me access to her paperwork and the website, as well as looking over my resume and answering many questions.  So now I'll be better equipped to continue my quest!

Emotional:  I'm including this area with the Mental area (at least for the moment), because they are very closely connected for me right now. However, I'm also including my decision to begin being more honest in how I feel about things rather than suppressing my feelings to avoid controversy or argument.  I've gotten better at it over time, but it still needs improvement.

Spiritual:  I've really let this area slide for the past several months, partly because I'm going through such a period of upheaval that I'm questioning EVERYTHING.  However, I'm currently reading Thomas Moore's Dark Nights of the Soul, which is helping me accept that questioning is okay, even if you do it more than once in your lifetime, and even if it takes years.  So for now, my goal here is to finish reading the book in a thoughtful manner, absorbing as much as possible, and then seeing where my heart takes me from there.

For information on Bat Fit 2014 and how you can participate, click here!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Gothic New Year Begins!

Happy New Year, everyone!!  It has certainly been a happy one for me so far, because...


(WARNING: Large picture below!)

I woke up this morning in a blah, slightly grumpy mood.  Too much sun was coming in through the windows...  I did all the usual morning things -- breakfast, shower, feed cats, get dressed -- then thought I would start the new year off right by doing laundry.  While waiting for the first load to dry, I checked my bank account.  To my surprise, my December paycheck was actually in, although I had not expected it until tomorrow.  Happiness is!  Then I checked my e-mail, and found one from a friend reminding me that if I wanted to come and meet the tarantula at the wildlife sanctuary she works at, I should come between 9:30-9:45 as she would probably be leaving around 10ish.  I had totally forgotten about the offer she made me on Sunday when we got together!  My clock said 9:57, but Martin said he could get us there in 15 minutes, so I called her.  Fortunately, she was willing to wait, so we FLEW over.

I met a rosy Mexican tarantula named Terra.  She was a LOT bigger than I expected, but I wasn't nervous at all (well, maybe just a little).  She was also very soft and light; somehow I'd expected her to be a bit heavier, but she felt like a feather.  I was worried that she might fall off my arm, but then she reminded me that her legs have tiny hooks on the ends, so no worries.  My friend commented that Terra was very lively this morning.  Normally she knows she must sit quietly in people's hands when they are showing her to a group, but she kept marching up my arm in a very determined fashion.  Finally we just let her go, and she made straight for my shirt, then stopped dead directly in front of it.  We started laughing when we realized why... I was wearing a black t-shirt with a white web and a very large red spider on the front, and she was investigating the "new" spider in town!  After staring at it for a bit, she apparently decided it wasn't a threat or a potential mate, and wandered back down my arm.  :-)  Too bad tarantulas can't read English, or she might have gotten a chuckle out of the words on the shirt:  "It's not like I'm going to BITE you..."

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I have been an arachnophobe for most of my life.  It has taken me several years of work to get to the point where just looking at a tarantula on a computer or TV screen was possible for me, let alone holding a live one.  I shall post the pictures Martin took as soon as I get them developed.  Meanwhile, here is one so you get the idea.  She was about this size, too, maybe just a little smaller:

 Rose Hair tarantula for sale

Anyway, meeting Terra got my year off to a wonderful start!! 

While I don't believe in "New Year's Resolutions", mostly because I have never known anyone who actually kept them for more than a month, I do try to think of things to do to make each year better.  It doesn't always work, but then, what does??  Anyway, I came across an article called "The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying", and after reading it, I thought that avoiding these regrets would be a perfect plan for my 2014 goals!  Here they are, rewritten as goals rather than as regrets:

1. Have the courage to live a life that is true to my Self, not the life others expect of me.

2. Don't spend too much of my life on the treadmill of a work existence; spend more time with family and friends.

3. Have the courage to express my feelings, not just suppress them.

4. Stay in touch with my friends.

5. Let myself be happy.

I think I have gotten a head start on at least three of them, but I am going to make them a daily priority and see how far I can get.

I hope all of us have a terrific and gothic year!!