Sunday, September 30, 2007


I am making progress on the first project for Gala Corina. More details are coming through and I'm now adding a thin, red piping around the black wave accents for 'Swept Under'. I want the 'water' to look oily, thick and impenetrable on the bottom of the coat. Nothing for it but to use black Egyptian cotton. I used linen on another coat called 'Midnight Seas' when I wanted to accent the highlights of the moon on the ocean surface under the ship on the back and it worked well.

Made a mile of red bias for the piping and accents and the bases for both the outer layer and lining of the coat are together, if not pressed. I'll do that tonight. I used extra fabric for godets matching the stripes on the outer layer and lining that will look like a huge swell when the coat is worn in performance. I learned this trick ages ago when stage costuming to give that floating look like Frank Langela coming over the foggy backlit bridge or opening his cape on stage in an old Dracula take off. The air picks up the extra large bottom of the cape and makes it span out because of the bias. The air literally plays the hand of the bias.

Hopefully, the camera will be up and fully functional so I can show you what I mean. A picture is worth....

Research on the figures for the counterpane inside that Lufthansa gave me is sobering. The numbers of disappeared, sold into slavery and kidnapped for the sex trade and slave labor is appalling. I mean. My god. It's the 21st century NOT Medieval Europe or the American South of the 1860s!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


There he stood at the Delta Airlines gate, fatigues wrinkled and the polish waning on his combat boots from the 26 hour plane ride. Amazing how long a plane ride is on top of the planet when you could hook a string on them and pull them through the planet so much more quickly.

He's still beautiful! Almond shaped green eyes, head full of thick brown hair, broad shoulders. Mom always told me he was a spit for the old heartthrob actor Stewart Granger. Whatever. My Bobby's back home from the war.

He dropped his duffel bag and carry-on and ran for me. We were all over each other in 3 seconds flat. Yep. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. And the panties drift to the floor. After our long reunion weekend, we went out visiting old friends, my parents, the little tropical secluded park with clear springs and orchids where we used to go spooning. We made love on the hill and then discovered my butt had covered the copper headstone of the old park ranger buried there. Hope he enjoyed the worm's eye view. We certainly did try to wake the dead. I wanted to make my soldier happy.

And he was happy, but reserved those days. I often caught him looking at nothing, seeing nothing, and yet acutely aware of every fly buzz and door slam and change of temperature. If I spoke to him then, he would startle and spin on me wildly, arms up in an awkward pose as if holding something out in front of him. Then he would settle. Lord knows how many quarts of adrenaline coursed around that body then!!

Can't remember the exact occasion and why we were playing lawn tennis on the hill next to the park, but there we were with friends. Beautiful Fall weather with just a hint of chill in the air. Someone handed Bobby their new baby chihuahua puppy to admire while he waited for a serve. A bit of the haunted look left his eyes as he marveled being able to hold the entirety of the little brown thing in the palm of one hand. One of the guys yelled, 'Heads up! Incoming!', an unfortunate phrasing and meant as a joke.

Bobby reacted by dropping the puppy and volleying the ball back with a double-fisted volley so hard that it landed across the parking lot, the look of wonder replaced by grim panic and clenched jaw. This all happened before the pup hit the ground because, you see, a soldier is ingrained with this action/reaction thing. It gets in their cells after being a warrior. If they shave those cells off, new ones grow back with their beards.

The puppy yelped and Bobby gently picked it up as we all ran over. One of the tiny little back legs was obviously broken, twisted at an odd angle and already beginning to swell. The little thing just whimpered and shook in Bobby's hands. The woman who owned the new pup started screaming and yelling. "You broke it, you bought it!!", she rails at him. He looked absolutely stricken.

Everyone is discussing where to take the dog for care and someone suggests a close by emergency vet clinic. The dog gets there, is treated, sedated heavily and goes home with us. He's nervous and never really the same trusting being. I'm talking about the dog here but it applies to my guy, too. Bobby disappears shortly afterward.

When next I see him, he's wearing my dad's old 1950s sports coat. I still have it, moth holes and all. Cream colored wool with navy blue and red specks sprinkled over it like nonpareils on an Uncle Sam cupcake. The wide lapels and heavily padded shoulders date the coat and make him look even more broad shouldered than he is.

"Where have you been?", I ask. He looks calmer now, but distant. The edginess is gone replaced with something else I can't quite put my finger on.

"I could have killed that puppy", he looks at me and turns to walk away. He's escaping me, the injured dog, and himself.

"Robert Allen Wujick", I yell in my best authoritative voice. "It was an accident, a reaction. It's to be expected. You just got back from a place where split seconds mean the difference between coming home or not. It's just not your fault and the dog will be fine."

He turns, smiles that smile that lets you know that it's not a smile and shakes his head. "Doesn't matter. None of us will ever be the same. That's what they do to you. And you know, it don't mean shit. It's for absolutely nothing. It's money. Just about money. Absolutely nothing.", and he walks away. This time, I don't see him again. Ever. Now. On to reality.

You see, Bobby brought his coping mechanism home with him like lots of vets do. He self treated his raging case of PTSD with injectable cocaine between his toes so he could keep it to himself. I was so naive that I didn't know until the cops showed up at our door on Crenshaw Avenue to get back the stuff he stole from the stockroom of his job to fence for drugs. I learned about the cocaine and it's hiding place when he tried to flush the kit and it's contents down the toilet while I was talking to the cops in the living room. He showed me how the soldiers took apart a Burma Shave can and stashed their drugs inside with paper towels around them so the needles and spoon didn't rattle.

He then took to private enterprise selling marijuana from our front porch hidden in plain site in jars between my begonia plants and African violets. Still naive, I let him water the plants as he insisted on doing.
I found out about the marijuana market when a high school friend ended up being the telephone repairman come to fix the beeping and outages on the phone. He came back in the house and showed me a wiry little gadget taken from the big telephone box across the street. "This is your problem," Whitey said. "It's a tapping device to listen in on your calls."

The man in the black suit and hat reading a paper in the green Ford Fairlane on our side street reading the newspaper during the hottest of Florida days suddenly made sense. The driveby's of police cruisers that I applauded as just keeping our dicey neighborhood safe with extra patrols also got real clear for me. I quit waving and smiling at the cops. I was being watched. And tapped. Don't let anyone tell you that the spying on Americans is just a latter day anomaly, it's modernity in the Patriot Act.

I confronted Bobby on both of these drug related issues. We eventually temporarily separated over the drugs, the heartache of a miscarriage, and his inability to sleep because of night terrors and hold a job. Then I really never did see him again. He was beheaded when his van left the highway along Alligator Alley and went straight into a tree. He was coming back to Tampa with a load of recreational drugs and fell asleep at the wheel.

I still carry a spot of him on my left thigh. A 2" X 4" bit of jungle rot he gave me brought back from the war. It itches a lot. It's brown. I dutifully put antifungal's, steroids, melaleuca alternifolia on it. Nothing can kill it. It stays there right on my thigh. After all this time 40 years later. Right on the place he used to like to put his hand. 'The perfect armrest,' he said.

Bobby said they used to pass the time between patrols and skirmishes playing poker. Life is kinda like that. It really is a poker game with bluffs, steely eyed determination and the luck of the draw. So.

I'll see you, Bobby. And raise you one Chihuahua.

(Note: This is a cautionary tale. History repeats itself if we do not learn from it. Part of the above is my dream from last night. My current spate of standing on street corners holding anti-war signs and activism probably brought it on. You figure out which part. The rest is a recounting of life after he returned from Viet Nam in November of 1967. There are no good wars. Vietnam killed Bobby just as sure as a bullet, only slower and much more painfully. I had a good old cry. I guess you never do get over grieving. Or maybe I haven't done enough of it. )

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm An Artist. Again.

So. Martha Marshall took me by my little hand almost 20 years ago when I announced that I wanted to 'do' an art show. I corraled her into doing this since, a: I'd never been in a real art show, and b: didn't know how to 'do' it, and c: had never been to art school, and d: passed along the fact that we all hang onto someone when we need to get our sea legs under us.

My sister, Linda clung onto me for balance at our tap dance lessons when we were gangly little girls, me only slightly more graceful and able to stand on my one leg while the other did a step-ball-chain. So. I clung onto Martha.

Now. That Martha consented to hit the ball and drag Fred with me is a-mazing in itself. She's like this world-class, very well known American artist who exemplifies hard work and success. The fact that she's been my friend for almost two decades makes me puff up big with pride. Google Martha Brooks Marshall or even just Martha Marshall and you'll see what I mean. Her works are all over the planet and she has at least a dozen shows and projects going on at any one time.

She's generous with more than just me. She mentors others about their art like a mother hen, pushing, coaxing, giving art supplies and instant support and tries to pass along what she's learned. She's no dilletante about that.

Okay. So almost 20 years ago, I decided I wanted to show what I call my Dream Coats. Back then, this title was exclusive to me and my work. Now, the phrase is kind of hackneyed. I could truly call mine Dream Coats because the ideas for them, nay, the entire design, color, writings and construction come to me in a 3-D, Panavision and Technicolor dream. If you're a past reader of my blog, you know that my dream life is very vivid, rich and detailed.

An alter personality I call Miss Lufthanza (because the 'voice' she uses in my dreams sounds very much like a stewardess on an International flight giving directions for the exit, fasten your seatbelt and no smoking signs), does a sort of drum roll in my sleeping brain and announces that I'm about to get instructions for a coat. I ignore many of these because there's just not enough time and material to make them all. As Martha says, "So much art, not enough lifetimes".

So. Lufthanza shows me in my dream mind a coat. I get to scan inside seams for construction details, the colors, materiels and then she gives me a counterpane that is mostly to go on a panel inside the back of the coat next to the wearer's back so it gets absorbed. The pockets turn inside out so I can see if anything is to be written there. All I have to do is wake up, sketch it, write it down and make it. As I said, many of them never get made. But I'd done a few and wanted Marty to show me how to get them out in the public to be seen.

Sometimes, there are moving parts and lights in them. One coat called "Paper Dolls with Bishop's Mitre" featured a photo of me in my underwear pushing a vacuum and several paper doll figures with various forms of women's roles - like a June Cleaver mother, Nun, School Girl, Las Vegas mannequin complete with crystal chandelier headdress, a pinup coming out of a cake all lit up with flashing lights, Maids, Teachers, Professional Call Girls -- you get the idea. There were also a pair of silicone breast implants next to a Frederick's of Hollywood ad for a padded butt enhancer.

I played "I want a Paper Doll" by the the Mills Brothers on a continuous loop and hung a purple and white Bishop's Mitre above the coat for the installation. It won best of show but was not allowed to travel with the rest of the art because it was considered too controversial. Secretaries are scary you know. Or maybe it was me in my underwear.

Another one is my signature piece. Called "Lotus Robe", it has 3 very detailed lotus blossoms petaled in 3-D parts with metal dew drops, crystal stamens and a stuffed fish in a pond in the train of the coat. Several other fishes are swim between the layers of the pond. The fact that this piece is brilliant shot violet and hot pink makes it one that you can't sneak around in. That one's won me lots of ribbons, money and has been worn on stage by director Anna Brennan, been the bride's coat at a wedding and has appeared at several operas. I have no idea where it is now. I'm hoping to find it in some of the mountains of fiber and trims I have here at Dog Patch.

I've since done many gallery shows, been invited by colleges and universities, even the State of Florida to participate in shows. Then I stopped. The reasons are too convoluted to explain here, but I've only made a very limited few since showtime. Most of them were for private collectors like hispanic artist Pedro Parra who wears his every year to the local gay film festival and other events. And Jan Roberts who heads up a national green movement owns one. Director/actor Anna Brennan finally got one of her own. My friend, Annie Shanahan owns the most of them and wears them around the house for empowerment. I'm willing her all the remaining coats because she loves them the most.

Now another flood of coats have come up and I can't ignore them. I applied to Gala Corina in Ybor. It's a very prestigious show and I knew that only the best of the best would be judged in. I've never been turned down for a judged show, but figured that this could be my first one since humility seems to be a theme in my life just now. Glory. I got in! They deposited my entry fee check and I'm a participant. I'm so excited I could pee my pants!!

I just started the first coat for the project this past weekend when I got notice. My coats are usually very attractive and it's only on closer inspection that you see the gaffs, barbs and uglies. This one is no different. If I can figure out how to get my camera loaded onto my new computer, I'll take a few photos for you to see as I construct it. It's called 'Swept Under'. When you see it, you'll know why.
(Note: The three coats above are construction pictures of "Elemental Fire", "Donatatus' Tragedia et Comedie", the the missing for now "Lotus Robe". My gallery pictures of the completed coats are buried on the hard drive of my defunct old computer.)

Friday, September 21, 2007


Now that I got your attention with my attitude, I've belonged to the Apollo Alliance Project for years. I'd love to introduce you if you aren't already familiar. The wars will stop only when there's no profit in fighting them.

I'd also like to forward a movie and a movement called 'Zeitgeist'. The movie is almost 2 hours long and can be watched in each of it's three segments. My friends Joan and Andi O introduced it to me. It cover ways in which we, the Great Unwashed are being curried for a world government run by the very wealthiest of people.

Some of it may be hard to watch, hard to swallow. But it will change your outlook and fire you up for revolutionary thinking. You'll start questioning everything. I've talked about the dumbing down of America forever, maintain that religion is crowd control, and know the pagan origins of many of Judeo-Christian myths. It may offend. Offense gets our blood up and snaps dendrites to attention. It makes your hair curl. It makes us think.

Part Two raises the provocative issues surrounding manufactured wars through the vehicle of terror and fear, how we were duped en masse into attacking Afghanistan and Iraq for hidden interests. The movie will ask you to use your logic to explain several very obvious malapropisms surrounding the 9/11 attacks. You'll get a short view of history.

The conclusion talks about entertainment and mind occupation and how media is a willing cohort in this plan. You'll learn about the banking interests that make up the Fed Reserve, the IRS, the North American Partnership treaty I spoke about the I.D.s being introduced in the Carolinas for at Wednesday's meeting.

Before you write this off as mad rambling, there are back up articles, references, a soon-to-be interactive feature with all materiels documented in the film listed in the links from A-list sources.

I hope you'll join me in watching it as you can, seeing it through to the end, forwarding it to as many of your upline as you can to spread the word. You'll know by the credits why Brandon is such an onclave of conservatism and sheep.

Helps to have a high rez 'puter screen to view it.


Ed. Note: (I sent the above email to my activist group and my upline. I hope you'll do the same after the viewing. We all need awakening. The wake up photo was graciously shared with me by my cousing, Deb - thanks, baby.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Seasons are changing. The Earth is getting ready to bed down for winter time. The leaves are turning ever so slightly on the trees. Even here in sunny Florida I can feel the turn of the seasons. You develop an accute nose when you live here. The sunlight gets thinner, longer. Doesn't look quite like blindingly brilliant midday in Miami Beach in mid July where any vulgar deed has to be examined under incendiary light.

There's also a tang in the air that is less of the ocean and more of the earth and mold. Things are going underground, including a friend or two.

Shirley died at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday morning. I'd gone over Monday while some of her friends were throwing her a cheese cake and cocktail party. Now. M'Lady was already in that coma state where you know that the person is out of the body, already packed bags, but keeping the sack of bones alive just in case someone needs a good shock.

After the crowds left, a few of us diehards sang pagan songs to her 'til about 10:00 p.m.:

The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water,

Return, return, return, return...


May the Circle be open and never broken,

May the love of the Lady be forever on your heart,

Merry meet, and merry part,

And merry meet again.

Shirley's sack of bones snorkled a few times, opened clouded eyes and glaced at us all and she wiggled her legs a bit as if dancing the spiral one more time. But she was already gone then. I knew it. I left.

Took care of business, a doctor's appointment in the a.m., mailed a few packages and arrived about an hour after she cut the cord. Ray looks like a spiked deer, lost and unsure of the next direction to travel. Judy, Shirley's daughter got in her car to go back to West Palm and check herself back into hospital for the pneumonia she was in for. Hospice counted the sacks of meds, checked the morphine and filled out papers. Jeannie and a nurse washed the body and put on her favorite oils. A long stem yellow rose was placed on her pillow.

I'm sure she was catatonic at seeing herself look ever so shitty bloodless holding a beautiful bloom. Three of us circled her and sang the goodbye cup to her and the crematorium was called to remove the remains.
I went to Joanne's Fabrics, the grocery store, saw a friend I haven't seen in ages and chatted her up. I wonder if any of them knew that I had kissed a corpse with lavender oil on her forhead not an hour or so before?
I'm happy. I mean, truly calm, singing happy. I did all my crying and wailing while she was going through the guts and nuts of dying. Now the deed is done, so are the tears.

I'll see you soon enough, my friend.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Strange title to put with a protest picture. Makes sense when I tell you that I protest having an enlarged appendix in my Crone years. Cat scan says it's enlarged like the rest of me. Baffled appendixes are usually an adolescent things. What does this mean? Are the Goddesses trying to tell me that my second childhood is coming soon? If so, I'm ready to start playing.
The photo is one taken by the Move On folks at the war protest the other evening. I'm the dumpling on the right standing behind one of our vets and his flag. I'm hoping to show you less of myself in upcoming months. Martha and I are on a diet to pound of some pounds of flesh. We'll see if my non-existant thyroid cooperates.
I gave up meat a while back after having seen some video on how the meat industry treats animals. Before you write that off as bleeding heart shit, take a look at it. There's enough toxins, hormones and just plain wrongness to this to make you refuse to even look at a burger commercial. I seem to be turning into a late age hippie with social conciousness.
Sat with Shirley again this past week. Her open wound and the fistulas are actually looking better. You can no longer see into her inner workings like an ant farm but the yeast infection in her system has given her more blisters. I'm going to try to pick up another shift or two with my recalcitrant appendix in mind. I'll be closer to Brandon Hospital from her house.