Thursday, December 29, 2011

No More Regrets

Image via Moderate Voice

Wow! This is the last time I'll post in 2011... strange how quickly this year passed but how slowly it seemed to go some days!

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to leave behind this new year because my friend Darcy invited me to a Burning Bowl Ceremony at Unity Church of Overland Park. Apparently, participants burn a piece of paper with a word on it describing what they want to let go of in the coming year. After putting a great deal of reflection into what I would write, I finally realized there's just one thing I want/need to let go of:


If there's anything that keeps me from being my happiest, healthiest self, it's beating myself up for mistakes I made years and years ago when I was quite a different person. So my New Year's resolution is to let go of regrets and to be joyfully present wherever I find myself to be (which I figure is the exact opposite of living in the past).

And on a totally different topic, I posted my second article for Arts America yesterday. Click the linkage to give it a read.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Baby's First Xmas (Sort of)

Images from baby's last ultrasound

I was happily surprised by the friends & family who gave me Xmas gifts for the baby, though he's not here quite yet to enjoy them.

He received an Ugly Doll,

a teddy bear,

a set of embroidered burp cloths,

an embroidered hoodie towel,

and a knitted blanket

with matching set of booties, hat and a sweater (not pictured cause my aunt still has to put the buttons on it so she kept it).

Now I just need to get the closet I've assigned for baby stuff cleaned out, so I can start putting his stuff away! Right now it's full of art and other random bits & bobs....

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

What To Watch for the Holidays

Since we're having a baby & have been together for nearly 5 years, I've been thinking about establishing our own traditions. So for the holiday season, Matt & I started a tradition of watching a crapton of Christmas movies & episodes from TV shows. It's not a fancy tradition, but we like the ridiculousness of things made for the Xmas season.

Some of the things we've been watching are:

Gremlins (& Gremlins 2)
Image via Peony Lim

Community Christmas episodes, "Comparative Religion"

"Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"
Image via Televisionary

"Regional Holiday Music"
Image via SpoilerTV

The Santa Clause (& The Santa Clause 2)
Image via ABC Family

The Little Drummer Boy
Image via Wikia

"A Charlie Brown Christmas"
Image via ABC

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas
Image via Patrick Willems

A Muppet Christmas Carol

Jingle All The Way
Image via Signal Bleed

Die Hard
Image via Orlando Weekly

"A Pinky and the Brain Christmas"

Animaniacs Christmas Specials, "A Christmas Plotz / Little Drummer Warners"
Image via J.E. Daniels

"Twas the Day Before Christmas / Jingle Boo / The Great Wakkorotti: The Holiday Concert / Toy Shop Terror / Yakko's Universe"
Image via J.E. Daniels

Some we still plan on watching before the month is over include:

Home Alone (& Home Alone 2)
Image via Listal

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Image via SpyHunter007

The Shop Around the Corner

While You Were Sleeping
Image via

White Christmas
Image via Cocktails, 365

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Snowman
Image via Doc Smartypants

Babes in Toyland
Image via Bad Movies

How are you/have you been celebrating your Hanukkah, Yule, Solstice, Christmas or whatever?

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

May's Heavenly Creations Now Exclusively on Etsy

Sadly, Stone Spirit Lodge is closing down at the end of this month, despite winning the Pitch's Best New Age Business award this year. So that means you can ONLY buy my feather earrings on Etsy now.

I just posted the few pairs that hadn't sold at the Lodge yet:

As well as a couple feather fascinators I whipped up last week (modeled by my dear friend Darcy):

Click here to see more feathery things.

If you live locally & would like to avoid the shipping fee, feel free to hit me up at reddvenus AT gmail DOT com and we can talk options.

Related posts:
May's Heavenly Creations - Now On Etsy!
May's Heavenly Creations Available Now!

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Clive Barker's Absolute Midnight

Image via

I recently finished the 3rd in the Abarat trilogy by Clive Barker - Absolute Midnight - which was published earlier this year. Barker is best known for his horror, but the Abarat series is young adult fantasy, though still quite dark.

The Abarat trilogy follows the adventures of Candy Quackenbush, a young woman from Chickentown who is swept into the Abarat by a mysterious wave that overtakes the town one day. She is taken to the Abarat - a world where each hour of the day is an island unto itself. In the first two books her journeys take her all around the islands, to Chickentown, and back again. She makes both friends and enemies, all of which play a part in Absolute Midnight.

Image via CliveBarker.Info

In this final book, Candy and her friends must defend the islands against a darkness that would envelop the Abarat, brought about by a wicked sorceress and her mysterious allies. Candy has mastered some magic in her journeys; it enables her to fight not only the enemies of the Abarat but also her abusive, alcoholic father who (with the help of some washed-up Abarat magic) attacks Candy as she dreams.

One of the very interesting aspects of the series is how Barker creates many paintings for each one, showing pictorially the places and persons that can be somewhat difficult to imagine as they are so out of this world.

Image via Fuck Yeah Clive Barker

I have to say, I found the ending of Absolute Midnight somewhat dissatisfying... but maybe that's because I sound the story so fascinating that I just didn't want it to end. Seems like he's gearing up for a sequel? As if waiting for THIS to come out wasn't torture enough!

This trailer for Absolute Midnight shows some of the imagery from it - though the first part gets kinds boring so you might want to skip forward:

(Click here for embedded video)

Related posts:
2 Novel Approaches to Fairy Tales
2 Fantasy-Filled Web Comics
Summer Reading: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

May's Blogging for Arts America!

I'm excited that I was hired recently as the Arts America Kansas City arts museum blogger. I'll be writing at least 2 posts a month for them, starting now! Check out my short, spiffy bio:

(Click to see it larger)

They asked that my first post be a summary of the local art museum scene. I put it up earlier this week and hope you'll take a moment to check it out:

(Click image or this link)

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

May's Having a Boy

Wow.. I have been running around all day! Let's see if I can collect myself enough to write a coherent post.

I'm 20 weeks along now so Tuesday morning I had an ultrasound to check on the baby and also to determine its sex. Now, I've been assuming this entire time that I would be having a girl. I assumed this because 1) any time I've imagined myself as a parent, I imagined myself with a girl, 2) I had dreams where I saw/talked to my future child and she was a girl, and 3) my intuition (which had never failed me) was totally pointing to a girl.

So when the ultrasound technician said "Do you see that? Right there between the legs?" and I saw what was unmistakably a penis, I felt somewhat devastated. On the one hand, I was thrilled at the cute little face and body I was seeing on the screen. On the other hand, I had so many dreams and hopes pinned on having a girl that it was like experiencing a death.

When I *finally* got home after a ridiculous mix-up that had me waiting for my prenatal appointment for 3 hours, I had myself a good bawl. Yesterday and today I've been grieving a bit for the girl I thought I'd have. But I was also talking to my boy (since he can hear now that his ears are developed) and giving him my love. It's a huge mental adjustment for me to make, but I'm actually moving through it faster than I expected. I hung out with a friend who has a baby girl today and I didn't feel jealous or upset or sad or anything.

I'm overjoyed that my baby is healthy and growing. I love the little guy. I don't know how I couldn't. I just need to realign my dreams to reality - and get over my disappointment over how much less cute clothes for boys are versus clothes for girls.

So in April, I'll be having a baby boy. (I'm still getting used to saying that.)

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Concert Review: Florence + The Machine

I meant to post this yesterday, but yesterday wasn't my day so I let myself be late on this... Tho I kind of doubt anyone is really paying close attention to my posting schedule. Anyhoo... on with the show!

My fabulous friend Darcy treated me to the Night the Buzz Stole Xmas Florence + The Machine show at the lovely Midland. We arrived just in time to see the second opener, a band from Ireland called Two Door Cinema Club.

I'd never heard of them before this show, but I will definitely be on the lookout for them in the future. I love their sound. It's infectious, danceable and reminds me of OK Go. I enjoyed their set a lot.

Here's a taste of what they have to offer:

(Click here for embedded video)

After Two Door Cinema Club, the curtain went down and the anticipation became palpable. Darcy & I were in the back part of the section closest to the stage, which rapidly filled with more and more people. I was surprised by the age range of Florence fans (from teens to middle aged folks) and even more surprised later on how many of the guys weren't just there to be with their girlfriends. They were into it.

When Florence + The Machine came on, the reek of weed & the body heat made me feel swoon-y (being pregnant & dehydrated making me extra sensitive to both) so I listened to three of the first four songs while sitting on the little ledge that was the next stage of the floor up from us.

Then we moved back, which was great because we got a better view of Florence, who was wearing a gorgeous red dress. Apparently all of the tallest people were on the lowest level cause we had a crap view there (of course, made worse when you're sitting down!).

I've enjoyed listening to Florence + The Machine while hanging out with friends, but never really listened to it by myself, because there was something about the quality of her voice that I found a bit stressful to her ears. I now know that that quality is completely due to the recording process, because in person, her voice was FREAKING INCREDIBLE! It blew my mind how much better she sounded. I definitely didn't fully appreciated her talent before. Florence kept up her adorable cheeriness despite the microphones giving her a hard time - so much so that she had to re-start one of her songs.

The band and the back-up singers were also incredible performers. The entire hour and a half or so that they performed was an absolute delight to the ears. One of the songs I particularly enjoyed was "Shake It Out":

If/when they come back to town, I highly recommend you buy a ticket.

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