Monday, December 31, 2012

Very Odd Sign

This morning when I went to go pay bills I saw several flocks (3 or 4 groupings) flying north west???  WTF does that mean?  I look for signs all the time.  Signs from nature, not advertising signs.  Because I don't have a TV and because I am missing my left eye, I don't respond the same way other people do to advertising.  I have finally concluded that bill boards and magazine ads just do not register in the left side of my brain. right eye takes in the image without the words, or something like that.  It is hard to know for sure as I haven't ever gotten to talk with any expert about my particular visual perceptions.  It could very well be that if I was missing my right eye instead of my left, that I would ignore the visual image in these ads, and only read the words.  What I do respond to dramatically though is a visual and audio combination.
When a flock of birds fly over my head, I can't help but pay attention.  It seems like I am hard wired that way, and couldn't be trained to ignore it, even if I wanted to!  When several flocks fly over, I become alarmed...sort of.  In this instance, I would expect them to be flying south this time of year.  There must be something going on in the south that would cause them to shift to the north west.  I could not find any google images of several flocks of geese in formation in a single photo, and I was so amazed at what I was seeing that I failed to get my camera out in time to capture my experience this morning.  One thing for sure though...they know something we don't!  More will be revealed.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Power Of Making A List

On the eve of New Years Eve I find myself contemplating as many people do, the idea of making a list of New Years Resolutions.  I have had more success in list making than anyone I have ever met and discussed this with.  The power of the list exceeds the power of a list of new year resolutions for sure.  As a magician I have learned that sketches of that which I wish to attain, placed strategically on the refrigerator betters my chances even more than a verbal list.  When I ponder my sketches and lists over the years I am amazed at how often I get exactly what I want.  I have kept a scrapbook of these experiments over the years and even though I can't tell you exactly how it works, my scrapbook proves to me that it has, does, and will continue to work.  In retrospect, I wish I had put dates on the original list, and then the date the item was obtained.  I marvel at the magic of these lists for myself and there are hints that these lists are equally powerful for other people who are not magicians as well.  Perhaps my greatest example of a non magicians list is an album called The List by Roseanne Cash.

  The list that she materialized into album form was her father's list of mostly country songs that were the quintessential 100 songs that Johnny Cash believed she should seek out and learn.  What a great list it was too, and I would guess that it may have been hard for her to choose a half dozen of those songs for an album, and just maybe the list will continue to be published for us in the future.  The list is on my list of albums to get from the library this year and add it to my computer music.  I have loved every song I have heard her sing from the list...and if I were to make such a list, I would include some of her father's music in addition.  

There are all sorts of roadblocks out there to not even bother making a new years resolution list...mostly big brother wants you to believe that mindless consumerism is something you just can not overcome.  The message is why make resolutions if you are just going to break them?  That is a very powerful message, but it is a message that is a lie.  We do have the power of our yes's to be yes's and our no's to be no's.  The capitalistic machine depends on us believing we have less power than we do.  I encourage you dearest readership to make your own list, and don't put it away till next year.  Keep it out where you can see it everyday.  Add to it, if you can.  Put a date on the parts that you make come true for yourself.  Practice unbending intent.  With each success you have, you will become even more resolute to make the rest of the list happen as well.  Don't make the mistake of being passive about is a very powerful and good thing!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Omnivores Dilemma

I have been reading Michael Pollan's book Omnivore's Dilemma  for a couple days.  I had heard this guy interviewed on Terry Gross NPR a couple years ago and his books have been on my reading list since then.  As I was reading the first few chapters of his book I realized the key to my mysterious weight gain and equally mysterious recent weight loss even though he is writing about cattle in cattle feed lots and not humans!  The more I read, the more it becomes clear to me.  If I want to keep off the weight I gained while living in Columbus, I will need to carefully select my food.  I am only halfway through his book and will be trying to find his other books in the meantime.  The secret is corn!  Cattle are not evolved to digest corn, and big ag is force feeding them corn instead of grass resulting in all sorts of terrible things to the cattle, and ultimately humans who consume them.  That is the simple version of Michael's message.  Corn is in virtually everything we eat under various being gluten.  Hooray for Capitalism once again to put dollars ahead of the well being of animals and humans, as well as the soil they damage in the process.  I am almost convinced that Capitalism at it's core is EVIL, and my new years resolution is to try to not buy into it from this day forward.  Why should my health be compromised by these fat cats?  One of the most powerful things I can do as a single human being alive on this planet right now, is to begin only eating food that is not processed!  If I do that one thing, I will be more healthy and if enough of us do this one thing, eventually all of nature will be better off.  It is just too bad we can't put all the capitalists into their own feed lots and force feed them up to slaughter time.  If I were goddess, I would put that feedlot in Washington D.C. and start with the lobbyist's that promote this.  I am fairly confident that after that...we could round up all the big oil industry folks, and lets see, make them eat petroleum until slaughter.  I could have a hey day if I were goddess for a day.  I have a friend who recently had much improved health by just not eating gluten.  She will probably find that finding meat that is not forced to eat gluten is much more difficult, but maybe someday this will all change and we won't have to actually study in order to eat right.  Happy New Year.  May you be strong healthy...and wise.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Feather Bracelet Number One

I had a great time after Solstice finishing this piece in time for Christmas Eve for a friend of mine.  Just in the "nick" of time I will add.  I cut this piece of Lapis (the blue stone) a couple of years ago when I got the opportunity for a day and a half to work in a lapidary shop.  It was just one of those magical opportunities that I took on the fly and have some wonderful stones from that day and a half!  Most of my rock cutting equipment was sold years ago...reluctantly.  It was more of a safety issue than anything else.  My grinder took Kerosine as the lubricant.  Not only would the Kerosine spray back upon me when I was cutting the stone, but it was a difficult machine to store in between my...nomadic adventures (to say the kindest thing I can think about in relation to having to store my workshop)!  It was a highly flammable machine which is not really welcome in any storage shed I have ever contracted for.  This last stay in the storage shed cost me all my glues and most of my solvents which are pretty much out of my reach to replace as these things are not what jewelry is made of, but necessary for the process of putting the pieces together.  I am somewhat "crippled" without these substances but I somehow prevailed without them for a year.  So...all that being said about my workshop losses, I mostly am grateful that I got to keep most everything of major importance, and both last Christmas and this Christmas I didn't have to miss a beat.

 For the holiday I got to work on a wonderful gift for someone, in reverence for the workshop and tools that I worked so hard to save from various forms of disasters.  And when I really think about it, I have had to fight to save my workshop and equipment for years before Nesley's deceptions, or even Lori's burial house.  Mostly I remember I have always had to hide my hobby (landlords and thieves) and any cats (landlords and sicko's), I might have lurking my space.  Saving cats and saving my workshop have always been paramount.  I also sold three silver feathers on Solstice night which paid for my trip to and from Columbus.  The art council came through that very day, so I was able to spend some of my grant money at Werkhaven to replace some of the necessary items from my shop.  I also went to the hardware store the next day and picked up the framing supplies for Elizabeth Brims Quilt that I hope to put into a traveling exhibition in January.  I will be writing my representative to thank them for contributing to the Ohio Arts Council in the next few day...and seeking a matching grant of some sort.  I will also be busy on my home computer the next few days writing those letters and trying to free up some disk space.  I am not connected to the internet and won't be until Lori pays the unpaid phone and internet bill, plus court costs.  I feel sorry for her most of the time, as I tried so hard to be fair and square with her, only for her to have done this "crippling thing".  If I were goddess of the universe, I would cause her to lose her own phone service and internet until she paid this off.  It is a good thing I am not the goddess of the Universe as there would be a lot more "crippled up" people....if only because they took advantage of my disabilities.  There would be alot more fingers pointed back upon the finger pointers permanently disfigured until repentance.  Oh well...I am sure the Universe is alot more smart and just than I am.  I will no doubt have to garnish both Lori and Nesley in order for them to take responsibility for their damages.  In the meantime, I feel sorry for them, and bask in the shafts of sunlight that sometimes streams into my sacred workshop.  It must be hell to not ever have that sort of gratitude.  It must be hell to be them.  I won't be getting in the way of any of that of course.  Sympathy is one thing, forgiveness another.  Neither one of them has asked for forgiveness and both apparently feel justified for their damage.  I will be contacting the court later on this month and finding out exactly what I have to do in order to get this phone bill and internet bill paid, even if I have to garnish her income tax return.  Nesley has two months to fess up to her new attorney as I am guessing she hasn't admitted any wrong doing.  Maybe he will find his way to this blog and go way back to August 2010 and find all the flooding, doors falling off, destruction of the kiln...just maybe the guy hates pedophiles and drug dealers.  She won't know, if she doesn't confide in him.  Blankenship knew her deceptions and was actually part of them for years.  He was in for the penny and then in for the pound!  But this new guy Richard Parry actually might be ethical.  If he is, then she is in deep trouble.  I look forward to seeing her smug mug again February 28th which just happens to be Lori Rayburns birthday.  History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes I am told girlz...I will see you in court...or hell, whichever comes first.
Dear readership, I may not be back till after the new year as I have much to complete on my workbench, and more to study.  It will mostly depend on library hours and the weather.  I don't know from one day to the next if I can drive my truck...or if I SHOULD drive my truck.  Happy New Year dear readership, and please be safe.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Have A Safe And Merry Christmas

This blog should need no explanation.  I am on a recall list, so everyday some product or another is being recalled for some reason or another.  If there is a way for humans to get hurt on something, it usually gets done.  Guns are not the only thing that kill people.  Stupidity kills people probably more often than guns do.  The ritual of keeping a Christmas tree in the home, with flammable items underneath, and hot lights to ignite is probably one of the dumbest "necessary evils" I can think of...aside from bringing in the outside grill and lighter fluid to barbeque inside, or keep warm when the electric goes out.  As the plant life diminishes on the planet and people become more virtual, do you suppose we could all just dispense with this dangerous ritual, and maybe do Christmas Tree screen savers or something?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Winter Solstice 2012

I had a wonderful Solstice ceremony last night in spite of the weather.  I got my art council money in the mail, and headed to Cow Town to get some silversmithing supplies for the new year.  I stopped and saw my friend Bill in the early afternoon and headed off to Clintonville and the Werkhaven crew for supplies.  I had a wonderful quick lunch at Chipoltles, and then went to the Whetstone library to kill a little time on the computer.  It had been so long since I had heard any news story or NPR, so after I finished at the library, I sat in the truck in the parking lot of the church to catch up on what is going on in the world by listening to the radio.  My... my... time fly's when it is not dragging!  When folks started arriving for the ceremony, I unloaded my drums and went inside to warm up a bit.  I had been afraid that the weather might keep me from drumming with my drum sisters (Columbus Womens Drum Chorus), so going in 6 hours early eased my anxiety a bit.  But once I was in Columbus, I had to worry about the drive home.  
I sold 3 feathers before the ceremony, so I had plenty of cash to get home with.  The wind was fierce and State Route 70 was mostly just wet.  But when I got off the 37 exit ramp I drove into an icy battle zone.  If people would realize that I can not stop without sliding, they might think twice about pulling out in front of me on ice.  I had a couple of really close calls because people take stupid chances instead of waiting for assured clear distance!  My truck does not do well on ice, or mud, so I feel fortunate to have made it home on that icy stretch of road last night.   Drumming with my drum sisters was worth the fright factor though, and today I am safe and warm.  I will be doing Santa's elf work right up till Christmas eve, which is what I love to do this time of year.  I don't celebrate Christmas at my house.  I will probably kick back with some nice doom and gloom movies with Syd.  If you are wondering why I posted this picture of Stonehenge after snowfall...  It is the only place I can think of that I would rather spend Solstice, than drumming in the increasing light with my drum sisters!  I will be back tomorrow dearest readership, and that will be the last blog till the 26th as the library is closed Christmas Eve, and Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Recess Is Over!

Here I am Concha Castaneda at the end of all days (at my local library of course).  If you didn't read my blog yesterday, you might want to do that.  I got a pretty clear message from the goddess a couple days ago, and she says "recess is over".  I was never in the End Game camp, and was pretty firmly in the Reset group in terms of the Mayan Calendar running out.  I always figured it was like the math in Pi, after a while a person figuring pi would lose interest, or die of old age.  I know I wouldn't want to spend my whole life working on pi, or any math for that matter.  I was going to try to make a joke and use the Bugs Bunny "That's All Folks" loony tunes graphic, and say something like....this is what is on the back of the Mayan Calendar.  But now that the goddess has spoken to me after the bell tone...well it is just not that funny of a thing to be joking about now is it?  I will be in Columbus all day today (Friday), maybe I will see you around.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Goddess Said

I got the good word from the goddess the other morning right when the bell went off on my toaster for dramatic effect.  She said "Recess is over!".  Not game over, it is the end of the world.  Not reset the time because the calendar ran out.  I can see how those two camps might have misheard her.  But...she told me that recess is over and I know what that means. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Finish By Thursday

I have had a very productive last few days in the workshop.  I riveted these feathers in place before soldering them and before bending the bracelet into shape.  I did this because I don't want them to move.   Sometimes they move when the solder flows.  I also riveted the middle bezel in place so that it wouldn't move as I hate nothing more than an off center stone in a bracelet.  This piece is coming along nicely, but I have run out of drill bits and am low on medium solder.  No court this week as the plaintiff obtained her 3rd or 4th continuance.  I am guessing they want another judge, and another attempt at summary judgement.  I don't think it is gonna happen, but I will gladly put away the briefcase for a month or so and work on Bridgids projects.  Hey Nesley,  if you somehow trick your own attorney, and get him to trick the interim judge, I will still come after you in another court.  Get over yourself already, you can't squirm your way out of this.  Maybe by the time this all comes to court they will have caught you for your other transgressions.  And maybe I can send the bar association the emails I have to your previous attorney and maybe they will see that he has acted unethically AGAIN!  Fraudsters.....beware.  I am coming to get ya!  It might not be this week, or next....but I am coming for you.  You can count on it.  My friends believe Nesley is just trying to wear me down.  But it is not wearing me down.  As time goes on, I become more empowered.  Each time she seeks a continuance, I realize she has NO CASE.  But I am not going away...(taps her fingers on desk).  I would guess Nesley is out of continuances.  I have guessed that before and been wrong.  February is good.  I can do that.  I will have garnished my February court win from last year.  I may set the garnishment in motion this week or the following week.  But Lori is out of time.  Nesley won't want it to get to garnishment as she would have to list her properties...and therefor list (get caught) her non payment of taxes, and non transfer of titles...You can just bet, she doesn't want it to go that far.  Don't worry Nesley, the county auditor won't be sleeping much longer....he is going to catch you, and fine you, and possibly take some of your properties away.  Slumlords are going down in 2013....I heard the word!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kiln Award

Several years ago I received a blue ribbon and an award for this mask I entered in a ceramics show at Vets Memorial.  As I was looking at this award this morning, it dawned on me that the award (symbolically) is supposed to be a pot being fired inside a kiln.  They apparently forgot to put glaze on the flames surrounding the pot.  If irony couldn't be more ironic, I remembered that one of the boys (in the photo Nesley's smug mug) who destroyed my kiln was also in that same show, that same year.  Of course he didn't have to worry about how or if his piece was ever fired or not, he just painted the piece, and turned it in.  Somebody else had to fire it for him, and he never had to give it any thought.  No wonder he thinks he is special and thinks he is magic!  I, on the other hand made my piece at Denison University, and had to bisque fire it and hope that it made it through that process without some other art student accidentally bumping it, or destroying it.  I was so looking forward to being able to control the outcome of my projects by having my own kiln.  I hope the Universe will punish everyone involved in the destruction of my kiln.  I imagine each of the boys in that photo trying to eat a bowl of cereal, only to have the bowl shatter in their hands, or the bong in their lips melting before they can inhale...anything ceramic in the future that requires a kiln, may they learn just exactly what it is that they helped destroy, by any means necessary...So Mote It Be!  Aren't you glad I am not in charge of punishments? 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Feather Bracelet

The Universe in all her wisdom has granted my request to get back to my workbench this week and make a Christmas present for a patron.  The stone is Lapis Lazuli which is a very bright almost electric blue which this photo does not do justice.  I cut up an old undersized and under-appreciated bracelet that was hammered sterling from 1995 for my feather shapes.  Everything in this project is something I already had, so it will be almost 100% profit when I get it completed.  I would much rather be working on something like this than going over the heinous details of my upcoming trial.  Maybe I can strike a balance.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

By The Cauldron

The Quilt Of Elizabeth Brim is now hanging above the cauldron of leftover tins.  I have leftover bow ties and squares enough to start another quilt which is in the works.  If someone comes by I will gladly pose in the empty chair and use the photo for a press release to our (mostly republican) paper who would rather print "untruths" about the Granville Labyrinth project, than the new truth about the artist who returns to her home town to work on the next thing.  According to all the grant books, we are supposed to do press releases whenever we receive a grant or an award as that is not only news, but news that can be used to get further grants and awards.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Making A Spectacle

I know this doesn't look like much right now.  But I assure you dearest readership I experienced a break through this morning on my friends glasses.  In the background is a bracelet I am putting together for a Christmas present.  There was a bit of sawing to do, and after I was finished with the bracelet pieces, and before putting my saw aside, I decided to jump back over on the spectacle project.
The original glasses are a friend of mine's glasses that he broke and tried to glue back together to no avail.  Neither he nor I have any disposable income to replace these, and he needs them to be legal as a driver.  I traced the two lenses onto a piece of cardboard, and then I glued the cardboard template down to a thrift store grey metal slide box.  Back in the day, photographers used these boxes to order their slides...before digital photography made most of this process obsolete.  I disassembled the slide box and cut out the pieces for the new glasses out of that grey metal.  I don't have any hinges, or glasses type hardware, nor any money to purchase these things, so I am trying to figure out ways to reassemble these glasses without the use of the usual hardware.  On the left side of the glasses you see the original tabs that I cut...just to see whether I could get away with holding the glass in with a series of over and under tabs.  It worked, but they are so long that they would interfere with the line of vision.  The right side is the shortened tabs that still successfully hold in the lens.  These are definitely a rough version of what they can be when I am finished with them.  I just needed to see if I could come up with an alternative way of holding in the glass that did not involve screws and tension as I don't have the equipment to do that, and his original glasses destroyed any of those pieces.  Now that I know the shorter tabs will work, I can remove the lens and cut them off to match the other side.  I am thinking about discarding the ear pieces altogether in favor of a headband that could become part of a ball cap and the glasses around the hat band until they need to come down for use.  I can finish the metal anyway I can think of, and the sky is the limit!  But it has to be functional before it is pretty.  So far this project has not cost me anything (except time) as I already had the grey file box left over from the metal quilt project.  These doomer glasses are just a prototype.  They are the sketch in a sense.  I can tell you this...I will never throw away an old pair of glasses again, as the new glasses out there for poor people are plastic, made in China pieces of shit!

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Granville Labyrinth Project

I don't have a lot of pictures of the First Baptist Church labyrinth I helped them make in 1996.  I do have this picture that someone gave me a while back.  I am drumming in the far background for a couple of labyrinth walkers in this shot.  I worked hard on that project, and am thankful that there are people that are still around that remember me, and know that the new "revised" and recent history is false (September Advocate).  I wrote to the local paper, sent them the old press release and article, but I am not expecting a retraction or anything.  You can bet this isn't the last of it though.  I don't have to know exactly what they (the evil church) are up to in order to try and circumvent their goals.  Some of the folks on that original project would be in their 70's by now...not much labyrinth walking left in them I would guess.  But...second generation WASP's might pick up where they left off.  
I have a bracelet commissioned to finish this weekend, and preparations for Thursdays' trial.  My writing muse continues to wake me and remind me that I have stories to tell.  The second metal quilt replica is well on it's way to being finished as soon as I can re up on my drill bits and find another back board.  So much to do and not much light to do it in.  I look forward to the increasing light beginning December 21st.      

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Zero Tolerance For Rip Offs

A few years ago I was living in an intolerable location and stuck there because I had no money to go anywhere else.  I was paying for a room at the downtown YWCA with most of my household belongings in a nearby storage facility.  What made it intolerable for me was that it was an institutional setting, and I was paying almost as much to live there as I would pay for an apartment.  I started selling my plasma in order to save enough money for the deposit on a new apartment.  Selling plasma is pretty much a bummer, but it beats stealing.  I walked from downtown Columbus to Clintonville 3 times a week for 7 months.  It involved at the very least 3 hours of my time, an hour in the waiting room, an hour in the extraction chair, and the hour it took to walk to and from the blood bank.  Sitting in the waiting room with the crack heads was the worst part of it.  I always took my own food to eat just prior to donating as I didn't like to get sick.  The crack heads always wanted my food, and I always felt embarrassed to say no to them.  I didn't have enough food for all of them, and it just was a horrible feeling to have them ask me for a bite of my sandwich or a piece of whatever I was eating....I can't tell you the shame I endured each and every time I had to say no.  But I survived and moved out of that horrible room at the Y, and because of that experience I have a zero tolerance for cheats and thieves.  And in spite of what some people have thought and said to me (Bonie B. comes to mind), I haven't had anything handed to me ever!  Not ever, and if you looked into it a little deeper and listened to my story as a handicapped person, you would know that and not assume I get anything for free.  I have always had to work really hard to get and keep anything I have ever had.  Be damned if someone is going to cheat me, or steal from me, or break my kiln without me coming after them.  7 days Nesley.  I will be seeing you in 7 days, even if I have to walk!  Even if I have to start walking the night before court, I will be there to make you accountable for what you have taken without thought.  Don't forget to bring your check book Nesley.  And Lori, if you are reading this too, I haven't forgotten about you.  You will be garnished as soon as I am finished with Nesley.  I have gone without a phone and computer because of you running up a tab on my account, and I haven't ever seen either you or Nesley down at the blood bank.  You bitches have had everything handed to you.  You have had support from your families.  And you folks that have been indifferent....well I can tell you the Universe doesn't appreciate indifference any more than she appreciates the original evil deed.  May we all get what we deserve, in perfect time, in perfect trust, so mote it be!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Who Murdered Suede Brown

This story has been trying to come bubbling up from my cauldron for over a year.  You are probably not going to like this story any more than I like this story.  But it has to be told.  It is still in rough form, but I couldn't sleep last night for the haunting of Suede Brown.  I may not be back here for a few days as I want to work on my upcoming trial and all the other stories that are trying to be written.

                 From The Book Of  Nightmares         

I met Suede Brown when he was a little boy, the day before his house burnt down to the ground.  I was visiting my sister at the time, and she took me to their house because she wanted me to meet her best friend Carry, the mother of Suede.  It was pretty freaky to meet them one day and to see their house in flame from the freeway by that evening.  Lucky for the whole family, they were away on a houseboat when it burnt.  Suede was my nephew Taran’s best friend, and my sister loved him as a second son.

I saw him again two springs ago in 2010 and got to play guitar and sing with him and my nephew on another visit to my sister.  That was in May or June to my recollection and by August he was dead.  My memory of that musical evening and following morning is still vivid and fresh in my mind.  He was a good looking charming young man who seemingly had his whole life ahead of him.  He had a girlfriend, job, and was expected to go into the service later in the year.

His death was ruled an accidental suicide.  He took an antique pistol he had been carrying around, went to the picture window of the house, tapped on the window to get his girlfriend’s attention, smiled and then pulled the trigger that resulted in his death.  They examined the bullets left in the gun and determined there had been several misfires that marked the casings of the unused bullets.  There is a good chance that Suede was just fooling around and did not know the gun would fire.  I have spoken with my sister, my nephew and even a phone conversation with Suede’s grandmother and I can safely say that the more I hear, the less it makes sense…that is going by what others have said.

The last conversation I had with Suede was lighthearted.  I asked him at one point if he was gay.  He said No, but it is kool if you are!  We laughed and that was the end of that.  I knew he was lying and I thought I understood why he lied, and I forgave him for it.  I grew up a few miles from there myself, and know first hand it is not a safe place to “come out” if you are homosexual.

My sister took Suede’s death very hard.  She was very sad, and just could not pull herself up out of her grief.  I talked with her over the phone for a couple months and I was alarmed at some of the things she was telling me.  My nephew who was grieving in his own way was acting out in threatening ways towards my sister, demanding money while calling her bitch.  He had secured the combination of her gun safe from his father (her x) and managed to get the key out of her purse and rob the safe after creating a scene that caused her to leave the house without her purse.  I determined that she needed to make a stand and I decided to move in with her through the winter in hopes that she would gather her strength and do what was necessary for her safety.  My nephew and Suede Brown had been hanging out with a local crystal meth nest, and all that goes with that.  My sister was in trouble and alone while the meth nest was ever on the hunt for new places to rob, and the general mischief and desperation that happens almost simultaneously with that particular substance.

I moved in and my sister reversed her decision to not participate in the use of that chemical.  So there I was in the way of the regularly scheduled drama intrinsic to the crystal meth crowd.  I didn’t know she was using, but I did know something was wrong.  I tried my best to keep communications open and be as supportive as I could be without advocating and pretending that crystal meth could be used recreationally.

It was sometime in late December that I began receiving threatening emails from Dee Ames my X’s X who’s two girlfriends had shot themselves with Dee’s service revolver, resulting in one of their deaths.  Dee was not a safe person for me, and so was not permitted in my X and my home.  We fought about it, and I won that battle.  I don’t let “offenders” into my safe space.  I can’t.  If I permit that, then it is no longer a safe space.  So when Dee began harassing me by email, I realized my X was using her as a tool to get to me, as she had run up a $160 phone bill after I moved that was on my credit report.  I was taking her to small claims court over that, and so she sicked Dee on me.

Dee’s emails were pretty sick and very threatening to me, so I contacted the appropriate authorities and requested they call her and ask her to stop.  As a courtesy to my sister, I showed her the emails.  I didn’t want to jeopardize her safety in her home.  Even though I suspected Dee was just a blow gut, I still felt my sister needed to know just in case Dee might try to come out and make trouble.  My sister read some of the emails and made me copies of them in case I needed to take them to the Columbus prosecutor’s office.  I thought that was probably the end of it, so I was amazed when my sister asked me a few days later “Do you want me to take care of Dee Ames for you?.  I didn’t catch what she meant at first.  She followed up by telling me she knew some people in a local (Russian) gang that would do it for $5000.  I quickly knew what she meant and told her it was not necessary.  Dee had stuck her nose in something that wasn’t any of her business and Lori was using her as a tool.  I assured my sister that I was taking care of it myself and I was sorry I burdened her with it.

The next few days we joked about Dee speculating how even if she had a GPS in her SUV she wouldn’t be able to find us as those systems don’t work out there!  We laughed because Dee’s vehicles have no scratches, and she washes her SUV every time it gets a little mud on it.  My sister’s roads are very hard on even 4 wheel drive vehicles.  My muffler was falling off from just the vibration of the road and all of the pot holes.  Mud was a given.  So we made fun of her my sister and I and I put the matter to rest and concentrated on my upcoming hearing about the phone bill.

Several days later I found my sister smiling on the phone, and she looked up at me and asked me “Is Dee Ames A Lesbian?”.  I said “yes, of course she is”.  She went back to her phone conversation, smiled some more and nodded her head.  She pause and looked up at me still smiling and said “they say they will do it for nothing”.

It was at that very moment that I knew who had killed Suede Brown.  My sister had killed him.  My nephew had killed him.  His parents had killed him.  The whole community had killed him just as if they had loaded that pistol cocked it and put it to his head.  It was not safe to be who he really was…not even around the people he loved.

Since then I moved out, and moved on.  I think about how sad, frightening it all was, and is.  I think about Dee Ames and how if she was to be so stupid as to go out there and try to find me…She would have no doubt been invited to what they call out there The Frazeysburg Pride Parade.  They would have tied her to a truck with a rope and drug her down the parade route Matthew Shepherd style.  If she would have lived through that, she would have begged them to put her out of her misery.  If she didn’t live through the parade, they would have put her with all the Pride floats from previous such parades.  I resent my X for putting Dee in that sort of mortal danger.  Neither of them know about the intolerance and hatred towards gay people out there and what sort of things happen to gay people out there.  I lived there for 16 years and never met a gay person.  In fact the only gay person I ever met out there was Suede Brown, and he is dead and gone his secret buried with him in The Frazeysburg cemetery.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Hammer Of Lorelei

One of my teachers was a blacksmith named Lorelei Sims.  She is a blacksmith in Illinois and I had the privilege of taking a couple weekend workshops with her.  In 1999 I sculpted this piece out of sculptures wax given to me by another metal smith named Whitehorn.  Both Whitehorn and Lorelei mentioned Elizabeth Brim to me, and I believe Lorelei has worked directly with her.
When I worked at 5 Points Blacksmith Shop with Lorelei, I tried out her hammer.  The one she uses most often was a bit heavy for me, but it didn't stop me from trying it out!  Lorelei taught me that it is not necessarily "brute strength" that is needed for the art of blacksmithing.  She pointed out both Samuel Yellin and Elizabeth Brims work to me, as both artists can make metal appear fluid, or like cloth.
I poured the flask and mold for this piece in 1999 but it was not until mid 2000's that I got a chance to cast it as I have been somewhat "nomadic" and have to wait to complete some projects when I can get a hold of the right equipment.  In the instance of this piece, my burn out oven was not big enough to contain the flask, so it was done in Columbus at The Arsenal.  I worked at the Arsenal as an apprentice for two women instructors that also had worked directly with Elizabeth Brim and pointed me back in the direction of her work.  All 3 women who have taught me so much have a playfulness in their own work that is akin to the playfulness in Elizabeth's work.
Lorelei has not seen the hammer I named after her yet.  I hope to get back there someday and show her in person.  The photo behind the silver hammer is from her book The Backyard Blacksmith. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Twenty Five Or Six Two Four

I have been aMAZED at how I have picked up followers to this blog recently!  Today I have one more follower since yesterday!  Welcome.  I hope I don't disappoint.  There is lots of stuff boiling up from the bottom of the cauldron these days.  Some of it is creative and wonderful, and some of it is dark and not so wonderful.  I live in a world of both and I don't ever really know which thing will be begging my attention and will end up in my daily web blog.  This weekend I have examined this photo of the destruction of my kiln June 4, 2010 from another angle.  There is much more here than meets the eye.  You might be wondering how in the world this woman (Nesley Thomas) could coax three men to break the law and my lease for her only 4 days after she didn't receive rent?  There are clues in this photo that may not be apparent, but are there for the inquiring mind to see and decern.  Two of the men in this photo are teenage boys (at the time of the photo).  The other man is a tenant.  In fact they are all 3 tenants in her neighborhood.  The elbow on the truck belongs to one of the boys mother, who is in the original photo (cut off by google for this blog).  You should see the ugly look on her face when all this is happening.  I shot 3 photos while they destroyed the kiln that day and have the other two safely unseen (this blog) for the judge to inspect.  The boy who belongs to the elbow on the truck that belongs to the mother of the boy has been drugged since grade school.  I was there when that decision was made, and I strongly opposed it to no avail when they told me about it.  So picture this dear readership:  The boy who has been drugged since 2nd grade was acting up at school most probably because his parents were violent alcoholics, and his home life was lonely and hellish.  The system in all it's wisdom, treats and punishes the symptoms in almost all cases, rather than treating the problem.  I opposed the drugging of Ronnie, and was outvoted.  It wasn't too long before his mother (who belongs to the elbow on the truck) started taking her sons prescription (Ritalin), as she bragged till the day I last saw her .  I am not kidding.  I couldn't make this shit up!  So these fiends drug Ronnie, while telling him he is a powerful witch (flattering him) and dragging him along to Nesley's drug deals.  To my knowledge he has received no real training in the occult...just the flattery!
Let's not forget Nesley is a pedophile that got her charge reduced to contributing to the delinquency of a minor (wise legal system to go along with the wise medical and educational system).  Instead of counting her blessings because she doesn't have to have the restrictions that a fully charged pedophile has....she "dabbles" with a pyramid sex toy business (operated by her tenants of course), takes the boys on drug deal excursions, gives their mother's shelter, which gives them a place to live, and of course supplies them with dope.  How easy it must have been when two of these boys came "of age" to get them to do her bidding.  She is their landlord, their drug dealer, and in the instance of this photo, their employer (kiln delivery without the dolly). 

In Plain City where they all live, Nesley is a powerful figure indeed.  Above and below the law!  I can see the possibility of them not being able to refuse her...for now.  I objected to Ronnie being drugged as a little boy, and I objected to her bringing him along to deliver dope to our home.  But instead of changing her ways, she always punished the boys, and "the girl (there was a girl too who is now in the military thank goodness", by making them go to the car, or making them sit in a different room away from the adults who were indulging.  Punnishing them for our discomfort!  What a fucking buzz kill.  She hasn't changed her ways in the least.  She is as grandiose and self righteous as ever...and corrupt to boot.  Ah... but I have faith in those boys and "that girl".  I really do.  If they can get away from Plain City and the fiends that have them in captivity they will see that they have been in a trap.  They can't see it now because she owns them, supplies their drugs, has groomed them, and probably can get them to do even more horrific things for her in the future.  As I told Lori (my x who also disapproved of teenagers coming along for the drug deal), it is not that difficult to find a bag of dope that doesn't come with the baggage of the abuser.  We were always uncomfortable, but not uncomfortable enough to put our foot down and say.....look, leave the teenagers at home, or we are not going to buy anything from you.  She just inconveniently forgot from time to time...just like bringing the puppy into the house when she was told not to.  Rules and laws don't apply to Nesley Thomas!  That is what needs to happen.  Someone needs to put the smackdown on this pedophile, in a higher court of law than small claims.  If I were a praying woman, I would pray for those kids.  How easy it must have been to graduate them from prescription medication to marijuana.  And once they graduated, they realized how much more interesting marijuana is than Ritalin.  And just maybe someday the sleeping children will wake up and realize their mothers have manipulated them all along...for their own selfish purposes.  They will find their way out of the labyrinth and the maze that encloses it.  I am about 10 days away from taking this pedophile to trial.  Even though it is only a small court claim, it is important for her "tenants" to see she is not in power in other towns, and certainly has no power over me!  She had no power the day I chose not to give her rent money.

  I was not able to stand up to the pedophiles in my own childhood.  My parents didn't seem to see them for what they were.  Perhaps they were too busy letting their own hair down with alcohol in those days.   I wasn't able to stand up to them without the support of a parent who would believe me.  But two years ago I was able to tell my uncle in another state that my aunt had shared what he had done to her, and that I still remembered what he had done to me...and if he contacted me again, I was going to contact law enforcement in his area and put him out of commission (statute of limitations for pedophilia should be a thousand years).  The abuser wants lifetime control, and I was putting that to an end with that email to him.  I never heard from him again!  He is dead now (a friend googled his name and told me), and can not ever hurt another child.  Nesley has already damaged several children.  I wouldn't dream of just walking away (letting her win in court) and letting her use kids that I defended and tried to advocate for, do her bidding in spite of landlord tenant laws about destroying tenants property.   She must be bat shit crazy if she thinks I won't show up and kick her ass even if she gets Perry Mason (her attorney just withdrew from the case). Those boys were scared the day they busted my kiln.  Not of me, of her!  I could have called the police.  I could have gone inside and got my rifle or shot gun and run them off.  I did not.  That could and most certainly would have backfired.  What would that have taught them?  Instead I chose to snap pictures and hope for the day I could expose her.  And when she loses in court (December 20th), you can bet all her tenants, serfs, and slaves will on some level rejoice in her loss.  You don't have to recognize the bars to see that you are in a cage afterall!  They will resent you Nesley, and I doubt very seriously if any of them will allow you access to their children.  So Mote It Be!

post note... 25 or 6 to 4 was a Chicago song back in the day.  I have no idea even now what the song was about.  Some things still escape me!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Twenty Four And Counting

I noticed this morning that I have 24 followers to this blog as of today and over 350 page views a couple days ago.  I can not imagine what is going on to attract this much interest!  I renamed the metal quilt again.  It is now called The Quilt Of Elizabeth Brim.  It has a better ring to it....less awkward.
3 of my apprenticeships have been with women who have worked directly with Elizabeth Brim.  All 3 women have 3 sets of stories about Elizabeth and all 3 of them have recommended that I do a workshop with or study her.  So it is not any wonder that after finishing the metal quilt replica that I am reminded of the playfulness that Elizabeth approaches the anvil with.
Maybe the next grant I write, I will write it so that I can work with Elizabeth Brim at Penland.  Then I can gather my own stories in addition to the stories I already know about her.  Maybe I am the woman who is supposed to write her biography!  It has a great ring to it "The Biography Of Elizabeth Brim by Concha Castaneda".  Wouldn't that be something?
Here is a shot of the metal archway from the local library.  The building through the arch is called Avalon.  It is a historic building in Newark that I look forward to learning more about.  The arch made out of books is a little reminiscent of Elizabeth Brim in that she knows how to make metal look like something paper, cloth, or ribbon.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Elizabeth Brim's Quilt Piece

I entered my metal quilt replica into a traveling exhibition this week.  Keep your fingers crossed for me dear readership as the opportunity to show it around here are limited.  I realized after I sent in the application, that my title "Metal Quilt Replica" was rather boring and non-descriptive.  This morning I sent them this photo (they requested a JEPEG whatever the hell that is!), and I respectfully requested to change the name of the piece.  The new name for this work is Elizabeth Brim's Quilt Piece.  I have not ever had the opportunity to work with Elizabeth, but she has effected me and my work through 3 of my metal teachers who have worked with her.
  I would very much like to do a workshop with Elizabeth Brim someday, and I would love to do her biography as well.  In fact I would rather start her biography today!  BUT NOooooo, Concha can't work on something that kool or wholesome.  Concha has to file an objection to the plaintiff's objection or some other happy horseshit.  Nesley's attorney has had to step down because of health reasons and a new attorney will replace him.  Meanwhile his final unethical act as an attorney is once again trying to ask for a summary judgement to circumvent the whole trial!  Above this, and below my metal quilt is a piece done by Elizabeth Brim.  It captures her genius quite well, as she is able to make metal look like ribbon, paper...sometimes cloth.  You can read about Elizabeth Brim and see other samples of her work here.  Oh....and before I forget.  Welcome Sean J. newest follower to this blog.  Sean is my 23rd follower, but I had 300 hits to this blog on the 5th, and it looks like about 250 people hit this blog in between blogs.  I will try my best not to disappoint!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Double Fold

I just finished Double Fold by Nicholson Baker and I am going to have to conclude that it is worse than what I previously thought (the vanishing books in my local library).  I recommend that my readership read Bakers book and start trying to collect these books from libraries all over the place and save them from the dump.  From what I am gathering, we (society) are creating an Easter Island type of scenario with libraries (the island) by microfilm, and digitizing and discarding the originals.  It is not clear that the substances that microfilm, and CD ROM are sustainable or any more durable than the paper copies!
All my life I have observed my fellow humans throwing out the old and outdated in order to bring in the new.  Just last week some neighbor put out an oak kitchen table by the dumpster.  Next to that was the box that the new kitchen table from target had come in.  I scratched my head.  How could someone value a made in China particle board flimsy kitchen table, over a valuable antique?  I realize we are living in a disposable society...or so the powers that be would have us believe.  Perhaps the Mayans just ran out of paper before they could finish their calendar.  Those people on Easter Island should have got online and just ordered more trees before they ran out.  And what of the tower of Babel?  Perhaps there is more to that story than a simple paragraph can explain.  I say, grab those discards dear readers and if you have to, line every wall and available space in your house with them.  Use them as insulation!  By the time the rest of the world figures out that the plastic replica's of the book, is not the book, and not readable without artificial light and fuel to purchase the material and will be too late.  We have already used up half the oil in the ground, and the other half is not going to be that easy to get!  All this stuff, cell phones, computer chips, microfilm....not sustainable when you consider that we have used half the oil and tripled the population on the planet.  Don't throw your paper copies away, and make sure you watch the discard bins in your own local library.  It would not be the first time so called humanity has went down a false path and lost valuable artifacts along the way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Press Release

Here is a labyrinth ring and pendant I made in the late 90's out of a mixture of gold and silver called Electrum.  There are 8 diamonds in the center of the pendant, and one diamond in the center of the ring.  When my mother died in 1995 I got a broken shard that had been a diamond ring with 9 diamonds in a marque formation.  It was pretty jagged and no one in my family wanted it, it could not be repaired, so they gave it to me.  The broken shard of a ring my mother loved has been transformed.  I like to think of "transformation" in relation to the labyrinth and the Labyrinth Project of Granville from that same time period (in spite of what the local paper says).  I still have all the molds, drawings, plans, press releases, newspaper articles....even the pencils we used to draw that labyrinth onto the canvas.  I am looking forward to helping the paper revise their recent story.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Of My Creations

Here is a photo of Margo Adler (1996) wearing an amulet I made out of silver and meteorite.  I was thrilled to no end that Margo wore my creation for a solstice gathering that year, and I like to think the piece still carries her energy!  My sister Raquel told me once that people are interested in the story behind each of my pieces of jewelry.  The meteor in this piece landed in Australia and was named Miles.  There is not very much of Miles, so I am pleased to have a piece of it at all.  This picture does not really do it justice, so I will be re taking some pictures soon.  Margo is a reporter for NPR and wrote a book Drawing Down The Moon.  I treasure this picture and I think I am going to wear that pendant for Winter Solstice this month.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just What Would She Do?

I don't know, but I don't want to be around when she starts throwing things!

I got some good news today.  My grant money is on the way.  I can start replacing drill bits, flux, and metal... and get the stuff I need to keep my shop open and operational.  What a relief.  The art council shares my grief over the loss of my kiln.  Nesley, you have no idea how many people hate what you did.  I look forward to taking you to task in about 17 days.  Durga gonna whip your ass!