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Life On The Rocinante' (After Dark!)


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I just spent my whole ride home listening to a cab driver and her wife argue and treat each other like crap.  It started because the driver took too long to call her wife back.  Then it was over RedBull.  Then it was over cat food.  And I mean, this wasn't just a little disagreement.  I found myself sitting there wondering why they are ever together.  She had her wife on speaker so I could hear everything.  It was sad. 

But then I got to thinking...  at least her wife picked up the phone.  My ex husband almost never answered the phone, returned texts, etc.  Even if it was something important or time sensitive.  He just didn't care enough about me to even bother.  The opposite of love isn't hate.  The opposite of love is indifference. 

I've spent so much of my life feeling invisible.  For the first time ever I have someone in my life who makes me feel seen and I have a professional life where I feel seen.  Funny how hearing this lady argue with her wife about trivial things made me appreciate what I have. 

No music at the moment.  Just white noise from the fan in my room. 

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The vendor app for PITC opens in 10 days.  I have it marked on my calendar.  No, this isn't the big one that I decided I can't handle this year.  This is another one I've been considering for a while but every year there's been a scheduling conflict. 

I still need to figure out how the hell I'm getting my setup home from Hell City.  I know plenty of people with big vehicles who would be willing to help, if Hell City didn't go so late on a Sunday night.  Everyone who works for me has a day job and has to be up early on Monday mornings. 

A gallery here in my area is having an art contest for Pride month.  I was tagged in the post announcing it.  I think I'm going to enter.  It's interesting because they only want submissions of concept sketches first, and then they will narrow it down and the people who get picked will go on with their creations.  And then the public votes.  And there's no entry fee.  So I don't have anything to lose.  I'm going to take my sketchbook to work tonight and see what I can draw on my break. 

My TikTok videos have really been getting a lot of views lately.  I'm not expecting to become some huge star on there.  But it's nice to gain some traction.  Every video I post is either art related or animal related. 


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I was just making sure everything was on my calendar for this year.  And I was so sad to see that WCF and SF conflict with each other.  They are both new events and both events I was so looking forward to doing.  I am not officially registered yet for either.  But I have to give one up.  I hate when this happens. 

So as of now I think my best decision is to apply for WCF because it's hard to get into and they require an app a lot sooner than SF does.  SF is a lot more lenient with who they let vend and they are usually looking for vendors right up until the week before.  So I can apply for WCF, and if they reject me I can do SF.  This sucks... I want to do both.  I mean...  WCF is a 5 day festival.  SF is only a day.  If I can get all my ducks in a row I could possibly do both.  I will just have to have an employee work the booth for that one day at WCF while I'm at SF.  The setups are different and the crowd is different.  So I might be able to pull it off if I can find someone who will work the whole day at WCF for me. 

WCF is definitely the bigger money maker.  SF is the event that is more fun.  I hate having to decide between income and mental health. 

Also... 13 weeks till Hell City.  I had to go through and trim down my list of paintings I was trying to get done.  Because there is no way I will finish them all.  It's been 2 months since I started this list and I've only finished 1.  I have 2 more that are in progress right now.  One is about 75% complete and the other still has a way to go.  But at least two are in the works. 

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App for PITC is submitted.  Let's see if I get in.  From what I've heard it's not easy.  But it's not easy because returning vendors get first priority, and space is limited.  So there isn't much room for anyone new.  It's the same way at CPPD.  Once you get in, don't give it up because it's practically impossible to get back in. 

OM this weekend.  I hope it goes well.  D has been promoting it, and me, all over social media.  I never asked him to do this.  But I think it's sweet that he did.  I don't even promote the events I do on social media.  I used to, but no one really noticed.  Organizers spend a ton of money promoting festivals.  It's not really on the vendors to do it. 

The one shop I sell at is having a contest right now to see who can put up the most Facebook posts between now and the end of February promoting their shop.  I'm not even participating.  I don't do that.  I don't want to be that annoying friend who is constantly trying to sell stuff on Facebook.  Me saying, "Hey everyone, go check out this store!" isn't going to get people to their store.  And the Facebook algorithm lowers the visibility of those kinds of posts anyway because they want you to pay for advertising.  I tried boosting some Facebook posts about 5 years ago just to see what would happen.  Nothing happened.  I just paid Facebook $20 to have a few more people like my post.  I didn't expect much, though.  I just did it because I was curious and had the disposable income at the time. 

I don't even try to sell my art on there.  Like, I don't put up a pic of a painting and be like, "Who wants to buy this?  It's 24x36, mixed media on canvas.  $XXX.  I just post my paintings when I finish them, and people buy them.  Or I get people who message me and say stuff like, "Hey, I loved that tiger painting.  Can you do a similar onebut with a cheetah instead?"  And then I get a commission. 

I hope this isn't coming across like I think I"m too good to advertise in those ways.  I just don't pour time and energy into things that don't work.  This is why I no longer have business cards at my booth.  In the almost 10 years I've been doing festivals, two people have called me after taking a business card.  And neither of them were interested in buying anything or commissioning anything.  They both just called to hit on me.  It sucks thinking of all the trees that have been wasted printing my business cards and all the money I've wasted buying them.  I made a big version of my business card that is in a 8x10 frame at my booth.  If people ask for a business card, I tell them to take a pic of it.  

I have to go meet a customer tonight at 6:30.  This meeting has been scheduled and canceled 3 time.  All three times by him.  I'm hoping it finally happens tonight.  I need the money. 

I'm hoping being at OM with me next week helps D feel better.  I am so worried about his mental state right now.  He's such a great person.  It seems like sensitive people have it the hardest sometimes.  I wish I could just take all his pain away.  Depression is an awful thing to live with. 

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So, Something happened to me last night that has never happened before.  Some lady offered me a spot at a show in May that I don't even have to pay for.  It's a 6 hour event at a night club.  They are having this fetish party and they want a few artists to come in and paint and stuff while the event is going on.  And I will also be allowed to sell prints and stuff while I'm there. 

I started doing this in 2014.  Back then it was so hard to get into events as a new vendor.  I got rejected and waitlisted so many times.  And now the pendulum is swinging back the other way, and people are contacting me saying, "Hey, I really want you to come and vend at my event."  And in this case it was, "Hey, I really want you to come and work my event, and I won't even charge you for the space."  So I'm going to do it.  The club it's at is really nice.  They have themed parties and fetish events there all the time.  My ex husband's band played a few shows there, too. 

When I was dating my ex who was also a vendor, in the beginning he seemed like royalty in the festival scene.  Everyone knew him, and he got invited to a lot of shows.  And as much of an ass as he was, he did teach me a lot of things.  I think the Universe is like a puzzle and everything fits where it's supposed to fit.  And maybe my reason for enduring that relationship was just to be better at what I do.  Who knows.  But now I am becoming scene royalty, as well.  I am becoming like all the other people I wanted to be like when I started.  I look at pics of my booth back in the day and think "How the hell did I ever think that was acceptable?"  My booth looked awful when I first started out.  My table covers didn't match.  My tent was this ugly ass blue tent that was given to me by someone I know.  Now I have one of the best looking booths at every show I do.  And that isn't me being arrogant.  I work hard at making my booth look amazing.  I have true color LEDs that I light my paintings with.  I use color changing puck lights for ambient light on the tables.  I play music in my tent.  And my setup is never exactly the same twice.  It's always a different setup.  But it always looks damn good. 

I'm doing two invitation only shows this year.  (And the big one I had to decline doing... that is invitation only too.  I just can't do it. 

I think it's funny too that my ex is so threatened by me, even though we don't sell the same thing.  I sell art, he sells leather goods.  I'm not saying one is better than the other.  But they are different things so we aren't directly competing with each other. 

He has ruined other people in our area.  So, I feel threatened by him, too.  I just hope I am the one who breaks the cycle.  He has gotten plenty of other vendors banned from pretty much everywhere.  He lies.  He pays organizers off.  He is very cutthroat.  One of these days, though. It's all going to come back to bite him in the ass.  He's going to burn the wrong bridge one day. 

So now I have two shows in May. 

I still need to put my app in for SFM.  I know I have a spot.  Jules already has it reserved for me and the app is basically just a formality.  That wll be a fun event, too.  D and I had a blast at the last one. 

Anyway...  I really need to sleep. 


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So...  been wanting to write about last weekend and OM.  Honestly, though, it might be a multi-part post because I'm low on energy this morning and need to go to bed soon.

D picked me up Thursday afternoon.  We loaded everything into the car and then I took him to the sushi place that's about 5 minutes from my house.  It was practically empty in there because it's the mid afternoon on a Thursday.  Since we never got to see each other for Valentine's Day, I had his stuffed highland cow and the drawing I did for him, and I got him a bottle of wine he really likes.  So I gave him that while we were there.  He got me a stuffed snail and some M&Ms, and he did a drawing for me, also.  I think it's so cute that the things we gave each other are similar.  He loves Highland Cows, I love Snails.  We both gave each other drawings.  I got candy, he got wine. 

We were there for over 2 hours.  Long after we were done eating we just sat there talking and drinking tea.  This place is a nice restaurant.  It's not some hole in the wall.  But this just goes to show how comfortable we are with each other and how when we are together it's easy to block out the rest of the world.  We are sitting there talking and he was telling me about some tattoos he wants.  And he just lifted his shirt up and started telling me, "Yea, I want to add more color to this right here," etc.  Like, it didn't even occur to him in the moment that we are out in public and he's just showing off his bod, lol. 

On the way back to his place we stopped at the store near his house to get some stuff.  And they had something I absolutely love and rarely ever get to enjoy because it's so hard to find... Cayenne Pepper Kombucha.  I love it.  I like things that are sweet and hot.  So I grabbed like 5 of them.  I was so excited to find hot kombucha. 

That night we just hung out and talked.  I was planning to go with him to his Ketamine Therapy appt Friday because the ketamine clinic is interested in buying some of my work for their walls. 

So Friday comes.  His son drops us off at the clinic.  (Right now they are sharing a car since D's car is still out of commission.  And he can't drive home from Ketamine therapy anyway.  So while he was in the appointment I sat in the waiting room and listened to music and drew. 

The doctor came out and asked for me, she said he needs me to go back there.  He is always really groggy and high after these sessions. So I went int he room and basically helped him get dressed.  This was interesting because he was really expressive during this time.  I mean, he usually is expressive when he's sober.  But when I was helping him get dressed he was being so loving... like more than usual.  Ketamine can cause people to revert back to a childlike state, etc.   And then he had to go sit with his counselor and talk to her for a while after, and he wanted me in the room for that, even. 

We had a few things to do after his son picked us up.  But instead of just going and doing those things we ended up driving around the city for like an hour.  And this ride was amazing in so many ways.  I love when random things like this just happen.  His son was playing music through Spottily, and I don't know if it was a mid 2000s playlist or what.  But it seemed like everything playing was from around that time.  And all three of us were just in this zone... we all three were singing along to every song and just joking around.  It was great.  I'll tell you... there are a handful of moments in my life that I wish I could just stretch on for years. I can remember them all.  These were times when I felt completely at peace and right where I wanted to be in life, and I never wanted it to end.  And that ride was one of those times.  I just remember thinking,
Everything is perfect right now, and I wish I could just ride int his car forever with D and his son singing along to songs I never really cared about, but suddenly care a lot about, etc. 

His son had to go somewhere else, I don't remember where.  And the plan was to drop us off at home first.  But D didn't want to go home, he really needed to eat something.  So we went and sat at McDonalds for a while.  Yea, I know there are probably some people thinking it's bad that we went to a fast food place.  But fast food isn't something we indulge in much, and it's what he wanted, so where's the harm?  We had this really good conversation, too.  We were talking about all the things we want to do together this summer, upcoming shows, etc. 

When we got home that night we went and laid down in bed for a while until Al came home.  When Al got home we decided when we were leaving the next day and then everyone went to sleep. 

Ok... so I will have to wait till next time to actually write about OM.  I'm tired and I need to crash for the day. 


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Ok, so, OM... 

This was the first OM show I've done since 2019.  And I feel almost guilty about that since OM is one of my babies sentimentally.  It was the first really big, juried festival I ever did.  And I love everything it stands for.  OM is basically a whole event for people who society considers weird.  SO at an OM show you might see a group of people walk by who are all dressed like Pirates, and then a group of furries go walking by followed but a group of Dolly Girls.  I've had people get a little judgy when I tell them furries are present at OM shows.  People are like, "I can't believe you interact with them.  That's so creepy."  I judge no one and I love furries.  They are a misunderstood subculture.  But anyway, OM is a huge mashup of subcultures are getting together to celebrate being themselves.  And it's awesome. 

As for why I haven't done any of their shows in so long... Well, I was signed up for all 8 of them in 2020, and then the pandemic happened.  And then in 2021-22 it seemed like every time there was an OM show I was interested in, another bigger more lucrative show was happening the same weekend.  And then there was the one I was going to do last year that fell through because they didn't hold my booth. 

But anyway... it was so good seeing the whole OM crowd.  Not just the vendors but the regulars who come to it.  Some of the regulars have really amazing costumes and really creative characters they play. 

It was chaotic when we got there, though.  This is a new venue.  The old venue kinda screwed everyone.  That's a whole other post though. 

The spot I picked was prime real estate.  It was right by the bathrooms and also right by the bar.  So I get there, and someone else's stuff is sitting there.  This guy was a new vendor.  It was his first show ever.  And I don't think he really understood how this works.  I told him this was my spot and he just immediately copped attitude.  "Well I put my stuff here!"  And I tried to respond.  All I got out was, "Well yea, but I..." And he cut me off and said, "Tough ***.  I'm not moving sweetie. Set up somewhere else." 

I wasn't even going to try to fight with this guy.  I was irritated but I really try to pick my battles in these situations.  So he got to keep my spot and I was moved somewhere else.  But the spot I got moved to was awesome with better lighting and in a really high traffic area.  So, jokes on him I guess.  I walked by his booth several times over the two days, because he was by the bathrooms, and it didn't look like he was selling much. 

D and I barely got the booth set up before we got flooded with people.  Seriously, this was the most busy I've been since CPPD last year.  I made my booth fee back in less than an hour which is almost unheard of.  And it wasn't just me, either.  Everyone in my area was just killing it.  At one point there were like ten people in line to check out and there was a whole other line just as long of people wanting to see Valentine. 

There is so much more I want to write about this whole event and just last week in general.  But I'm running out of steam.  It's time to go to sleep. 


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Working my nerves a little, since festival season is about to be in full swing...  If you're the kind of person who goes to any big event and does/says any of this stuff to the vendors, we al hate you. 

Don't bring me something from 7 booths away and try to pay for it.  We are not one giant conglomerate working together.  You have to pay for it where you found it. 

"I'm just gonna take pictures of your stuff and then go print it out at the Wal Mart kiosk.  Oh don't worry.  My iPhone 27 takes really good pictures."  Um, no.  No you're not. 

My cup, log book, chair, clothes, body and immortal soul are not for sale. I'm so sorry you decided to reach three feet across the table to pick up my cup and ask how much, and then turn it upside down and spill tea all over yourself.   Could you not see there was liquid in it? 

Neither me or any of my employees want to go home with your drunk ass. Stop hitting on us. 

"Is this stuff for sale?"  Nope.  I was out here at 5AM setting up the booth and I'm sitting here sweltering in the hot sun just to show off my talent. 

"Do you paint this stuff with your hands?"  No, I actually hold the paintbrush between my ass cheeks and I have eyes in the back of my head. 

When I have a male employee in the booth, "It's so nice of you to help your husband sell his work!" 

"So where's the artist?"  I'm right here. 

If I have an attractive female employee, "Wow, you're so talented!" 

Also when I have a male employee, customer says to me, "How much is that painting?"  I give them a price.  They then turn to my male employee to ask if that's actually the price or to haggle.  And tell me something like, "I just wanted to know for sure that's the price."  Men and women do this.  Misogyny isn't just a guy thing. 

Also if I have a male employee and I refer to him as my assistant, like, "My assistant is handling all the credit card sales today, so he will check you out."  (Because at busy shows I will handle all the cash sales and my employee will do all the card sales.)  But I say this and get laughed at, followed by comments like, "Does she call you her assistant at home too, tehehehe?" 

I currently only have male employees, so this year is going to be fun. 

"How much are the prints?"  (Despite the three colorful signs saying how much they are.)  Me: "They are $15 or two for $25."  Customer pulls out random print,  "What about this one?  How much is it?"  Me: "$15."  They pull out another print, "OK, and how about this one?" Me: $15.  "And what if I want both?"  Me: That would be $25. 

"But what do you do with it?"  Um... it's a painting.  You hang it on the wall. 

"Where do you get these paint by numbers?!?!"  All I can do is shake my head, lol. 

When I'm live painting:  "How much are your paint brushes?  Why do all your tubes of paint look used?" Etc.  Once I had one lady get really rude and snarky with me because she could just go to Michael's and buy all the same stuff.  Ok... I'm not selling my paint and stuff lady, chill out.

Not as common but this one happens occasionally, "I could find the same thing at target."  I guarantee, you aren't finding my work at Target.  And if you are then we have a big problem because someone ripped off one of my images and is now mass producing it.

"I could paint that myself."  Great.  Be my guest. 

I'm sure there are things I"m forgetting.  And most of my customers are amazing otherwise I wouldn't do this year after year.  This is just my way of blowing off some steam. 

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I am about to hyperventilate.  I have 9 weeks to finish 8 paintings.  Hell City is in 9 weeks.  Gods...  I remember writing in here a while back that I had 21 weeks until Hell City and in that time I planned to do 11 paintings.  I am so annoyed with myself.  But it isn't from lack of trying.  I also got sidetracked with commissions for a bit, too.  I made the decision I am, closing for commissions until after HC. 

I also have way higher standards for myself than I used to.  I remember when most of my paintings took about 12 hours.  My work also looked a lot less finished then.  My current painting has about 50 hours put into it.  It took me 4 hours just to draw.  It's very detailed, etc.  And it's a show peace so it's huge. 

The 8 paintings still on my list are a mix of Alice In Wonderland, Horror, Fantasy, pop culture, and of course a hint of Satanism.  It's Hell City... come on, of course I have to have one Satanic painting.  I am going to decide later today which are the biggest priority.  I will look through the sales from last year at HC and see what sold the most.  I know my Psychedelic Pennywise sold a lot of prints and I sold the original there.  But other than that I can't remember what other stars of the show there were.  Horror and pop culture are big at Hell City.  I try to tailor my work to fit whatever show I will be at. 

I also have two events before HC.  One is a Witch's gathering and the other is a club night.  It's been a while since I did a club night.  Those are fun.  They are hit or miss as far as sales.  But they are always fun.  I will be live painting during that one, also.  Live painting isn't something I get to do a lot since there's rarely room for it in the booth. 

I might have to just accept not getting everything done that I wanted to get done. It wouldn't be the first time.  I set these lofty goals for myself.  But the thing is, when I set this one I didn't think it was lofty.  I had this "this will be a piece of cake." attitude.  But I hold my work to higher standards now.  I am getting invited to shows that are hard to get into.  I can't show up with halfassed work.  Higher quality takes more time.  All I can do is my best.  Even if I only finish half of them.  The half I finish will look damn good and sell tons of prints.  I sold 2 originals last year at HC, too.  So I'm sure at least two will sell this year. 

Ok, it's time to force myself to calm down so I can sleep, and then when I wake up, the chaos begins. 


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I just submitted my app for WCF.  It amazes me how late they wait to post their app online considering how big an event it is. 

Something funny I've noticed...  WCF takes place here in my town and it's huge.  And it's like a 5 minute walk from my house.  Every year I hear the music from it.  Every year I let friends and family members park in my driveway and walk down to it, since finding parking is a nightmare.  And every year since I started vending, everybody and their brother has been telling me "You need to do WCF!"  Or asking "Why don't you do WCF?" 

The reasons for this were pretty simple.  For one, I couldn't get the time off work.  And I also didn't think I could get enough inventory together to last 6 days.  But I would tell people this and get answers like, "Well, can't you just talk to your boss?"  "Just make more inventory!  You're an artist!!!"  And sometimes even, "You must not be very motivated.  You need to think big if you want to be successful."

Now, I have a job that will let me have a week off work.  And I have enough inventory.  And now when I tell people I'm doing WCF, the reactions I get are, "Have you thought about how you're going to take all that time off work?  What if your boss won't let you?"  "Do you really think you have enough inventory for 6 days?"  "Have you thought about how you'll pay your bills for those 6 days if you don't sell anything?"  "What are you gonna do about food?  It's gonna be really expensive eating there for 6 days." 

It's just interesting the way reactions change.  When I am not doing it for practical reasons, everyone wants to tell me how to get past those practical reasons.  Then when I am doing it, people want to warn me about all the things they think I haven't thought about.   

I plan on packing food.  It's not that hard.  I pack food to take to festivals all the time.  Not only is festival food expensive but it's bad for you.  People always complain about the price of food at festivals but they don't understand how much the food vendors are getting shafted.  A lot of the festivals I do charge a crazy fee for food vendors and then take 40% of their gross sales on top of that.  The prices are high because the vendors are trying to make a living. 

WCF is intimidating.  Vendors come from all over the country.  This is stepping into new territory for me.  I think this will be a good stepping stone before trying to NF (that's the huge one, attended by half a million people) next year.  I talked to one vendor that was there last year who's work is similar to mine and she said she wasn't doing very well.  But she also was charging $30 for 8x10 prints.  I remember thinking, "No wonder you're not doing well, your prices are through the roof lady."  But I don't know her personally and there's a chance she was just telling me that to dissuade me from signing up this year because she thinks I am competition.  I don't think of other vendors as competition.  Art is personal.  If someone likes my work they will buy from me.  If they like someone else's work, they will buy from them.  I don't see it as all of us competing against each other.  I want us all to make it. 

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On 3/13/2023 at 4:51 PM, Cynder said:
On 3/13/2023 at 9:12 AM, Jibralta said:

Have you ever seen the show (or movie), What We Do in the Shadows?

I've seen the movie.  I haven't watched the series. 

Something about your previous post reminded me of it. I think it was the part where you said, "It's Hell City... come on, of course I have to have one Satanic painting." It reminded me of something one of those characters would have said. My boyfriend and I binged the series last summer. We loved it. Then we watched the movie, which was also really good. Totally different characters, though.

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I have friends who are really into New Age things like Angel numbers.  I know everyone is entitled to their opinions and if something is a positive force in someone's life I would never judge them over it. 

But, since I have friends who are really into that, I notice when I see the same number more than once in a day or whatever.  And just out of curiosity I look up what those numbers me.  (What prompted this is today I saw 77 twice.) 

It seems like no matter what, all of these Angel numbers basically mean the same thing.  77 means you're in alignment and living your soul's true purpose.  So having done this a few times now I've noticed that that's basically what they all mean.  They all basically have the same generic feel good message attached to them, but worded a little differently. 

I sometimes wonder if it's healthy to be such a skeptic.  So much of this stuff just seems so empty, especially post NDE.  So many people get really spiritual after an NDE.  For me it was the exact opposite.  I was spiritual before my NDE and then I got a taste of Death and realized it's all BS.  Knowing that is actually really liberating though.  

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9 hours ago, Cynder said:

I sometimes wonder if it's healthy to be such a skeptic.  So much of this stuff just seems so empty, especially post NDE.  So many people get really spiritual after an NDE.  For me it was the exact opposite.  I was spiritual before my NDE and then I got a taste of Death and realized it's all BS.  Knowing that is actually really liberating though.

Yay, you! I think of this as kinda like looking up dream symbols. Nobody else can really translate OUR symbols. These are like whispers to ourselves, and the 'meanings' are very personal.

You're intuitive. You know what your stuff means to you. You're learning to trust yourself, and I love to see that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know this is going to come off as really selfish and like I'm making someone's suffering all about me.  That's really not how I mean it.  It's just something I'm saying because this is my journal and I should be allowed to own whatever feelings I'm having, even if unpleasant or not flattering. 

A friend who I've known since 2016 had a medical emergency and is in the hospital.  He has been for about 4 days.  I know this guy from the festival scene, no bad blood ever between us.  I introduced him to D once, about a month ago at OM.  He put up a Facebook post where he tagged like 50 people.  It was a post thanking all his wonderful friends and loved ones for giving him a reason to get through this.  He didn't tag me in the post.  Ok that fine.  But D is tagged in the post, someone he met once.  This is the kind of stuff I encounter in my day to day life that makes me feel invisible. 

I'm not mad that he didn't tag me.  I'm not jealous that D got tagged and I didn't.  All I'm saying is this is the stuff that makes me feel invisible.  I know I shouldn't take it personally and I'm probably being dramatic.  I'm glad he is ok.  The way I feel right now isn't really about him.  I need to unpack this and learn how to not feel invisible. 

Feeling invisible is the root cause of a lot of my issues with other people.  And it's bizarre too because I really don't like being noticed, either. 

I absolutely hate it when someone else is with me in my booth and practically every customer walks in and tells them how beautiful their work is.  But I also get uncomfortable when people want to talk to me for a long time about my work and ask a lot of questions, etc. 

I remember the one show Z was at with me.  I had a male emplyee with me, Joe.  And Joe and I were at the front of the booth engaging with customers, etc.  Z looked absolutely ravishing that day.  I mean she went all out and looked really stunning.  And she was sitting in the back of the booth with her head down playing on her phone off and on throughout the day.  And so many people would either assume she is the artist, or they would assume Joe is the artist and when he said no they would point at her and be like, "Oh well it must be her.  Is she shy?"  One lady even commented on how humble and modest she is.  Like, uh hello...? 

I know it shouldn't but situations like this infuriate me.  I just want to be like, "Why in the hell does it not occur to any of you freakin' people that I could be the artist?"  There are three of us here.  Well it must be either the man or the hot chick.  No way it's the average looking chick doing most of the work. 

I'm really curious to see how people will act this year at shows when D is with me in the booth.  I know this will make me sound like a monster, but D is not conventionally attractive.  Big emphasis on conventionally.  Because he's very attractive.  But in an usual way and not in the mainstream boring way.  But he's male.  So most likely everyone will just tell him how talented he is and tell me how nice it is of me to help him at his booth.  

I also wonder if he might intimidate some people when they see him.  He is one of those people who can look really intimidating but that goes out the window as soon as he opens his mouth.  He is one of the friendliest people...  And he's really chatty and will talk to anyone.  But I wonder if some customers might think, "I'm not going in that booth because that guy is scary." 

I had an older lady I know help me at a couple shows.  She's in her mid 60s and she's not a hot healthy looking older woman.  She's one of the nicest people I know and it's nothing against her.  But to anyone who doesn't know her, she looks like an old hippie who has done lots and lots of drugs and partied really hard.  Everyone assumed she was the artist too.  And they assumed I'm her daughter.  I heard all day, "It's so great that you help you're Mom sell her work!  You must be so proud of her!  Do you plan to pursue being an artist too?" So even when there are two women in the booth and I am the prettier one, people just assume I'm the help. 

And this bothers me because my work is all I have to offer the world.  It's all I will leave behind when I'm dead.  This is what I was given and this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life.  It's the only thing people will remember me for.  So to put myself out there and have people just look right past me and praise someone else... Idk it hits a nerve. 


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12 hours ago, Cynder said:

And this bothers me because my work is all I have to offer the world.  It's all I will leave behind when I'm dead.  This is what I was given and this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life.  It's the only thing people will remember me for.  So to put myself out there and have people just look right past me and praise someone else... Idk it hits a nerve. 

You're following in the illustrious footprints of Vincent Van Goh, Emily ***enson, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allen Poe, Johannes Vermeer, and many others. In the immortal words of another little-known artist:

You're Famous When You're Dead,

Edited to add: I remember this being a lot harder. It's so tame now!! Some hard stuff doesn't age well, I guess.

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34 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

You're following in the illustrious footprints of Vincent Van Goh, Emily ***enson, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allen Poe, Johannes Vermeer, and many others. In the immortal words of another little-known artist:

You're Famous When You're Dead,

Edited to add: I remember this being a lot harder. It's so tame now!! Some hard stuff doesn't age well, I guess.

I don't want to be famous.  I just want people to acknowledge me.  Fame ruins people.   

It's not just me.  I know other female artists who's bfs/hisbands help them in the booth and they deal with it too.  I get more upset than they do though which is 100% my issue.  I don't get visibly upset but I am fuming on the inside whenever it happens.  

I'm sure it goes back to childhood when nothing good I did was ever acknowledged but bad things I did were blown way out of proportion and made a huge deal of.  

I am trying to frame it differently.  Instead of just being pissed and thinking my customers are a bunch of misogynists, I want to start telling myself I raise awareness a little every time this happens.  Every time someone assumes my male employee is the one with all the talent and I'm just here to be a helper and we tell them different, they probably feel a little called out and check themselves, even just a little.  

I would love to just ask a customer some time, "OK, in all honesty why do you assume I'm not the artist?" Especiall these people who seem REALLY shocked when they find out who did all the art they are looking at.  But I would never put a customer on the spot like that.  

I did lose my cool once with some guy at CPPD in 2021.  That was the last show L helped me at and I was not happy with her at all because of the adult tantrum she threw earlier in the day.  And it was also 2 weeks after Z left.  So emotionally I was just raw and barely keeping it together.  And after about 6 times hearing people tell L how talented she is and shower her with compliments about her work, some dude who was very obviously hitting on her brought her ice cream, told her she deserves it for all her hard work and talent, and then asked her how long it takes her to finish a painting.  She pointed at me and said "Ask her. They're her paintings." And I looked this dude straight in the face and said something like "Yea I know it's hard to believe but ugly people can be talented and work hard too."  This dude looked so embarrassed.  I'm conflicted on this even now. I feel bad for doing it but in the moment it was SO satisfying.  

Since that happened I have stopped calling myself/thinking of myself as ugly.  Thinking of myself as average is as generous as I can be right now, though.  

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So, something occurred to me last night when I was eating.  I have been reading the book High Magick by Damian Echols.  It's about the spiritual practices that kept him alive while on death row.  And there's a part in it where he talks about meditative eating.  I won't go into all the details but basically really taking the time to be aware of all the flavors and textures of the food while eating it, etc.  And I tried that last night when I was eating my lunch.  I make amazing salads.  Every night I take a salad to work with some protein (usually salmon) and either a fruit or a vegetable.  And sometimes I bring yogurt and stuff but that's a once in a while treat.  Yogurt has the potential to be healthy but most of it is loaded with sugar. 

So now I have to get off topic for a minute and talk about something else so this all makes sense.  But before drinking Ayahuasca, people do this thing called Dieta.  The short explanation is eating really healthy (as much raw as you can) and giving up any drugs (even over the counter stuff) for a certain amount of time before drinking.  I could go into the logic behind this and the benefits of doing this, etc.  But I'm really tired and I'm trying to keep this as short as possible.  Dieta is a topic I could write a lot about.  I've drank 12 times and there were times I stuck to it almost fanatically.  But there were also times I was loose with it.  But every single time I've gone through dieta (I usually do it for 30 days.) I always feel absolutely amazing and I always tell myself after the ceremony I"m staying on it.  And then I never do.  Once it's been a few days and my stomach has recovered from drinking a massive dose of poison (I don't sugar coat things.  That's what Ayahuasca is from a purely scientific perspective.  It is toxic and your body reacts to it accordingly.  Hence all the vomit and other nastiness.)  But it's always something like, "Well now I can eat whatever I want again, so it's time for greasy fries and ice cream and Dr. Pepper, and whatever else I want today." I don't eat like this all the time but I always indulge after coming off dieta.  And then I never go back to it.  I tell myself I will go back on it when I'm done pigging out like a teenager.  And then I never do. 

So anyway last night when I was eating/meditating I started thinking about this.  And it hit me that I basically eat like I'm on dieta now and I don't feel like I'm restricting anything.  I've heard a few Shamans say that most people do eventually find themselves living basically a permanent dieta.  Like eventually you just get so in tune with your body that you know what to give it and you lose desire to give it junk.  Interesting how it snuck up on me like this.  I'm not complaining, though.  I really wish I would have started eating like this when I was younger.  My parents were not health conscious people and we ate tons of junk when I was growing up.  And I continued eating like that for way too long into adulthood. 

Thank Gods I had the self awareness to quit drinking like I used to.  Good Gods... I never reached alcoholic status but I think I would be an alcoholic now if I didn't check myself when I did.  There was no huge moment of clarity.  Nothing like that.  I just realized I better really check myself or else I will turn into my parents. 

But yea...  I am basically on dieta without being on it.  This is something that makes me happy. 


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So, looks like festival season is starting earlier than anticipated this year.  Another show has been added to the roster on April 16th.  I am thinking of this as a warm up show.  It's the first year it's happening and it's right here in my town.  My knows how to throw a good festival, so I have high hopes but I am also being realistic. 

The off season is spent hoarding inventory for the on season...  and then the on season is spent hoarding money to get through the off season. 

OFPC...  I wonder what the psychology is behind me abbreviating every single show I do when I write about them here... except for Hell City.  I have always just called it Hell City.  Hell City is currently the biggest event I do.  So even if someone googled the vendor list, it would still be really hard to find me.  Someone would have to be awfully dedicated.  And it's not my actual name that's on the list.  It's the name of my business. 

But yea... OFPC will be a nice little warm up show before CMF at the and of this month... and then in May all Hell breaks loose.  And that actually has a double meaning because Hell City is in May but I also have 2 other shows in May. 

The LGBTQ Pride festival I applied for and WCF are still up in the air.  I'm getting a little antsy about Pride.  It's in the beginning of June.  Like, come on, you need to let me know. 

On a different subject... last night at work during the slow time of the night when I am usually sitting in the back room folding laundry, D and I had this really deep conversation.  I have been craving that for weeks.  After a lot of general banter and short answers from him because he's depressed, I really needed to have a conversation that went beyond superficial with him. 

He is actually one of two people I know personally who have also had a NDE.  Another close friend of mine was rushed to the ER back in 2011 for abdominal pain and ended up being in a coma for weeks and flatlining on the operating table during emergency surgery.  So not only has he had a NDE but he also has all these crazy stories about coma dreams and what it's really like being in a coma. 

D had his NDE in 2005 when he overdosed.

And of all three of us, none of us had the classic NDE that you always hear about.  Whenever you see someone on TV talking about a NDE it's always a bright light, a tunnel, dead loved ones, etc.  I didn't experience any of that and neither did D or B (my friend who was comatose in 2011.)

The thing that really struck me about mine was the loss of any comprehension of language.  We don't realize how much language limits us until we know what it's like to be without it.  The only people who have no comprehension of language are babies.  And then don't remember it. Very few adults know what this is like. 

Neither D or I had the classic NDE, but that detaching from language is something we both experienced.  And last night somehow we got on that subject and ended up having this really deep conversation for over an hour.  And during this whole time no one came in the room and asked me for anything.  No one needed a tanning bed set.  No one needed help with a machine, etc.  It was almost like it was meant to happen that way and the Universe was letting us have our time. 

These are the conversations that stopped when he got really depressed, and this is one of the things I miss the most about our relationship pre New Year's Eve.  NYE was the night that triggered this whole episode for him.  (And I really don't like calling it an episode...  that word has negative connotations when talking about mental health.  But I just don't know what other word to use.  (See... language limits us, lol.) 

I've been a really depressed person who wished I was dead both pre and post NDE.  When you're depressed and want to die... and you've already died and survived... it's a really interesting headspace.  He isn't experiencing suicidal ideation.  But he does want to sleep a lot more than usual because sleep is an escape.  And I was telling him that I have to force myself to sleep when I'm really happy but when I'm depressed I want to sleep a lot too because I just get tired of existing.  

And then we got talking about what keeps us both going when we get depressed.  And honestly, the things that keep me going are things I learned during my NDE.  So that's how it all came up and what started this conversation, etc.  

I'm hoping this is a good sign and that he might be coming out of this.  I feel so bad for him.  I hate watching him suffer and not being able to do anything.  But it can't rain all the time. The sky won't fall forever.  

Alright I really need to go and force myself to sleep now because I have a meeting later today about the video project I've been involved in for about a year and a half.   

And this is only fitting...


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So many times it's happened at work...  I am working away doing whatever needs to be done, and someone will come up to me and be like, "Can you get someone who works here?"  There was one lady who even did it while I was behind the desk logging tanning information into the computer.  She came walking up and was like, "Where's the person who works up front?" or something.  All I could think was, "Lady... I'm right here up front working.  How much more obvious could it be?" 

This happened last night twice.  The last guy was like, "So is anyone here who actually works here or is it just the cleaning crew?"  Um... the cleaning crew are employees and we do all the same customer service/clerical stuff that the regular employees do. 

This pisses me off in the same way that people coming into my booth and assuming whoever else is there is the artist... but it doesn't cut quite as deep because I don't have the same personal attachment to my job that I do to my business. 

When I worked at the rehab center...  I was a receptionist.  So many times FedEx and UPS would come walking in with packages that needed to be signed for.  And so many times I heard, "I need an employee to sign for this.  I can't have a resident sign for it."  Most of them just looked a little embarrassed when I said I am an employee.  One guy insisted I go get my supervisor so he could confirm that I am not a resident.  She was in a meeting so that resulted in some awkward time where he was just standing there while I answered a few phone calls.

Then early this morning, this regular who comes int here all the time to tan was there.  She always books her tanning like ten minutes beforehand and then just stands there at the desk making small talk for ten minutes.  I don't mind this because she's never made me uncomfortable. But this morning she saw my sketchbook sitting there.  I always take a sketchbook and drawing pens to work and I draw on my breaks.  She was like, "Do you draw?" And I said, "Yea, on my break I do." And she asked if she could look at my drawings.  So I let her.  She was commenting on them and saying how good I am.  And I told her I have an art degree.  And then this really surprised me because it's so unlike her.  But she was like, "It's unfortunate that you never did anything with it." 

I smiled and told her, "I travel around and sell my work at festivals.  I've had my stuff in galleries.  I've done album covers and book covers.  People commission me all the time.  I'm doing more with my art degree than most people do with their degrees."  I didn't say this in a snarky tone.  I made it a point to be really polite when I was telling her this.  But I was raging on the inside.  In my head I was thinking, "Lady, you don't know what the hell I'm doing with my life outside of this place.  Just because I set your damn tanning bed every morning doesn't mean that's all I know how to do." 

This stuff annoys me when it happens to other people, too.  I guess the bottom line is I hate it when people assume things about others. 

It's a Moon Duo kind of day...  I guess that's fitting in a way since the moon was really beautiful last night. 


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I just ordered a black toilet for my upstairs bathroom. Yep, it's black.  Both my bathrooms are Gothic themed.  The upstairs one is more modern Goth, downstairs is more Victorian era.  The walls in the downstairs bathrooms are purple and I have Victorian-esque ink drawings hanging up of women in corsets, etc.  That room is really pretty.  I want to add a black lace border to the top of the walls.  I have stencils to do it, just haven't gotten around to painting it yet. 

My upstairs bathroom is still a work in progress, though. 

It will be so nice to have two working toilets in the house again.  The upstairs shower needs work done too, but that's a big project that I am saving up for. 

D has a bidet at his house.  Man... let me tell you... using a bidet is really interesting when you're not used to it, especially when the water is cold.  He keeps telling me I need one and pointing out how inexpensive they are.  Maybe if this season goes well I will add one to my black toilet upstairs. 


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