Monday, November 14, 2011

Not My Problem.

Watched this...

(Note: Despise the video title, but, oh, Comedy Gold at 0:56)

Made this...


Monday, November 7, 2011

The Funeral/Sneaky "Handling The Dead" Book Review.

My grandma passed away on August 4th, 2009.  She passed while I was a million miles away, trying to get a flight into the country.  She died while my father was in the air, even he didn't get to say goodbye.

It still feels like yesterday and I'm the first to admit that whenever I talk about her, tears well up in the back of my eyes and sadness wells up in the back of my heart and I usually have to excuse myself and have a cry. Her loss hit me hard, it was like losing my mother.

Over the past two years, time has done anything but heal old wounds.  I hate that adage.  It's not up to time to heal old wounds, that wasn't part of Time's job description and Time refuses to be held accountable for fixing your neurosis. It's up to you to heal your wounds.

So why do I feel like I'm just picking at this one?

She raised me from an infant like another mother.  Like many of my generation, I had two working parents, both very busy and not always able to ferry me to and from school or be there in the evenings when I got home.  Plus, my mum often worked nights as a pediatric nurse, so I was always over at grandma & granddad's, occupying the bed to my fullest capacity under those heavy down sheets and getting tea and biscuits served to me in the morning (I KNOW. Grandmas, right?). She was my other major female role model and taught me so many of the things I can do today.  I owe to her my powers of dance, powers of baking incredible sponge cakes, and powers of a bizarre sense of humor, among other things.

Her funeral was a disaster.

As our procession car pulled up to the front of the church, my heart was warmed seeing the droves of old and familiar faces, conjuring up many happy memories from my childhood.  Dowdy old ladies who, when seeing me in my stroller, would coo and give me sweeties or chocolates or something shiny to play with.  Those flat-capped kindly old men who smelled of fertilizer and Woodbine cigarettes, who knew my grandfather and would make sure I got home safely after coming from the garden allotment garden by myself. Alighting from the car and following the crowd inside the church, we were immediately led to the front by the usher and the reverend began. I couldn't wait to say hello to all those old folks after the service. It had been 16 years, after all. Wouldn't they be excited to see how I've grown up to be so much like my grandmother!

The eulogy was great, the reverend was warm, sincere and not too sentimental. Once it was over, my father, cousin, auntie and I made our way outside to pick the tissue shreds off our faces and mingle.

Instead of the expected embracing and condolences, the "she was wonderful"s and the "you must come over for tea before you go"s, my father and I found ourselves ostracized and avoided. Like unwelcome ghosts.

I mean it. Ignored. COMPLETELY.

They even went so far as to collectively boycott the wake we had arranged, attending a private one they had secretly planned to further highlight their disdain for us.

I had never felt so alone in my entire life. I have no siblings to deal with, my parents live far away, and I no longer have any reason to visit my hometown that I loved so dearly. I'm not sure if they knew how hurtful they were being and how damaging their effect. They were merely trying to prove a point, spiteful as it may be.

Our emigration to the US had left bitter tastes in their stagnant old mouths.  Northern English sensibilities often include a vast dislike for people who attempt to improve their lives by leaving. Viewing us as traitors, turncoats, "abandoners of the elderly", they chose to enact their bitterness and anger at us at the most sensitive and unpleasant times of my entire life.  As a result, I think I'm having a hard time moving on from her death.  It still feels so fresh, like no scab has ever formed.

I recently read the John Ajvide Lindqvist novel "Handling The Dead", which is, ostensibly, a zombie novel with a difference:  the dead are semi-cogent, less than 2 months dead, and aren't (for the most part) violent. Unusually, it not only delves into the socioeconomic and political impact of the "re-living" (as they are required to address them...the terms "zombies" and "undead" are deemed politically incorrect), but into collective emotional states within societies and dares ask one of the ultimate questions...would we really want our deceased loved ones to live again?

Ultimately, it's a book about death, life, re-life and, most importantly, letting go. What began as an anticipated gore-fest turned out to be a deeply emotional and haunting examination of our relationship to death. It helped me realize that I'm not alone in my wish to have her back, to do things differently.  Anyone who is having trouble moving past the death of a loved one should give this a read.  It's not a self-help book, but really conceptualizes grief as a collective experience and encourages the "moving on" phase of grief.

I'm working on letting it go. Slowly forcing the anger and resentment and blame and grief to coccoon itself, spark a metamorphosis and someday release it into something more beautiful, something more fitting of my grandmother's life.

To be continued. 

Cheers, Grandma! 

Le Grand Decolletage


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Octoposse Resurrected

A few years back, I had an online store called "The Octoposse". It was quite successful and I ended up making scores of 8-legged beasties for both adults and kids alike. I think I'm at a point in my life where I have the time, energy and resources to start something up again involving the creative arts 
(and making cash thereof).

If anyone is interested in having an Octoposse Octoplush for the holidays, please contact me directly at  

Prices range from $15-$40, gift wrapping and custom orders are available.  

Not limited to octopii, I am also available for custom toy orders of anything you can imagine. 
 No request is too big or too weird...just ask! 

Lindsey Mac Designs

Coming VERY Soon...Lindsey Mac Designs Website by Little Bee

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


This September, I was contacted by Roaring Camp Railroad to organize a multi-agency adoption event to benefit the animal shelters in attendance.  I was all over it like vimto on my mum's brand new carpet when I was 8 (crap, guess she knows now).

Oh hell yes. 

Seriously: Redwoods, trains, and animals getting homes...I wasn't sure my brain could take it.  Too much awesome for one event.

Fur Babies from Heading Home Shelter
After just over a month of planning, the event went off without a hitch.  Heading Home Shelter in Boulder Creek,  Animal Shelter Relief Rescue , Cavy House Guinea Pig Rescue and the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter all came out with their precious homeless animals and, I'm THRILLED to say, each rescue had adoptions!  Constance Chandlee, an incredible local artist who donates her entire proceeds to the Friends of Watsonville Animal Shelter (FOWAS) and also donated the poster art (poster designed by Whitney Wilde), brought her beautiful art works with the hopes of raising some money for animals in need.  The Honorable Dalmatian came out with her beautiful animal-related apparel, gifts, jewelry and proved extremely popular among a massive wedding party that came to enjoy the beautiful Roaring Camp surroundings. It's freaking gorgeous, in case you don't know. 

Costume Contest Winner, Paco
The proceeds of the raffle, costume contests and weenie bobbing contest (ever seen a pug in a neck brace dressed as a pumpkin standing in a trough of water trying to eat pieces of veggie dogs?) all went to the shelters, as did a personal donation from Roaring Camp Marketing Manager, Paul Nakamoto, and from The Honorable Dalmatian who gave a portion of her proceeds from the event. 

Liz Lange from Animal Hospital of Soquel  (who also took the fabulous photos on this page (and more here on their Facebook page) judged the costume contest and, let me tell you, I did NOT envy her position one bit.  During the costume contest, several times I felt the need to shield my eyes away from the overwhelming cuteness and uncontrollable adorability happening in front of me. It was just too much. 

Here is a fantastic write-up of the event in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and here is a link to the write-up in Spotted Tails...and below is a photo that you will thank me for posting. 

Where I Was: 

Roaring Camp Railroads

Roaring Camp Railroads, Inc.
5401 Graham Hill Road
Felton, CA 95018

Information: (831)335-4484

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pacific Pinball Expo '11/Geezer Bait

From the very corner of my eye, I noticed an older, well-dressed gentleman striding towards the vintage pinball machine I had just started getting into. It was the first pinball machine that took my fancy at the Expo and I was only on my second ball. As I frantically slapped the aging, lumbering flipper buttons (my over-indulged, product-of-80's-pinball wrists were clearly stating their displeasure/wish to get over to the post-70s tables with the lighter, sexier flipper mechanism ASAP), the toupee, mustache, gold chain and Eau De Granddad cologne came into range and, at first, I would have sworn to you he was Robert Goulet.

Him: "That's an appropriate table you're playing"

Me: "SAY WHAT?!" (it's sometimes necessary to shout at the Pinball Expo due to the constant cacophony of bells, flippers, cheers and the occasional expletive")

Him: "I said, that's an appropriate table you're playing..." he pointed at the backboard art on the machine in front of me.

"...The Slick Chick"

The Slick Chick Herself

Now, let me preempt the next bit with a disclaimer: you are completely justified in being disappointed in me for my response. Girl, I know what you're thinking: had I not rehearsed something to say in this very situation? Something witty and biting, but not too insulting, perhaps?

You guys, this is me we're talking about: of course not.

Naturally, my brain froze up faster than witness at a mob trial. I just stood there, neglecting my game and guttering the ball. So here's the best thing my neurons could throw together:

"Uhhhhh...Tttthhhhhank you?"

I thanked him.


"That'll teach you to wear boots, shorts and tights to a pinball expo", Melissa would later joke.

She was right.

I NEVER get hit on. It don't know if it's the angry-girl walk or the fact that my eyes are drastically different sizes, I just don't get hit on. And I'm fine with that. Today, however, I had nadvertantly come dressed as a 1960s go-go dancer. I was geezer bait and this was a writhing geezer pit.
Geezer Row

It happened in slow motion. As I looked over at him, this man, old enough to be my grandfather, grasped the VIP pass around his neck, twirled it around, gave me the smuttiest "up and down" stare, winked at me in the most lecherous way imaginable, spun on his white loafers ( joke) and strutted away like an ancient, toupee'd cockerel.

This would be the first of many geezer encounters throughout the day. They were all, however, entirely harmless, rather endearing, somewhat flattering, and well-meaning. It did become somewhat of an obstacle course of middle-aged plus men trying to cajole me into "tournament mode" with them. And, no, that is not a euphemism. At least, I don't think it was.

This encounter could pretty much be a metaphor for the Pacific Pinball Expo 2011 held in the Marin County Expo Hall on September 23rd-25th. Weird, funny, smooth as all hell and unexpected. We went on the Friday (23rd) to avoid the crowds, and we were right to do so. The later it got, the more crowded it got, but it was still highly enjoyable due to the sheer size of the venue and sheer number of tables to occupy even the most hard-core pinball junkie.

Primordial Pinball

Having recently visited the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, I was familiar with a lot of the tables on display and was excited to see their fantastic and eclectic collection again. I was surprised, however, to discover the sheer multitude of collectors and enthusiasts willing to transport the cumbersome equipment all the way to Marin and let the public have a go on their personal collection.

Sounds a bit rude. It stays.

It seemed as though every square inch of the exposition hall was occupied with a pinball table of some variety. In reality, it was merely the noise and old-man cologne/nerd sweat that permeated every square inch of the room...a small price to pay to play some of the rarest (and oldest) machines in the world.

In the Zone. 

From the time Melissa, her boyfriend Jeremiah and I got wrist-banded at the door to the time we left (4pm, 9pm, respectively), my fingers barely left the buttons. All my favorite tables made it to the party: Dr. Who, Family Guy, Addams Family, Pinball Wizard, Lord of the Rings, and I added a few to the favorite roster while I was there: Twilight Zone, CSI, Creature from the Black Lagoon (I'm starting to see a theme here).

I was so in the zone that I didn't hear my number called for the raffle. Either that, or the continuous trill of bells and buzzers (did I mention the noise yet?) had made my eardrums recede in fear. I still maintain I was in the zone. Two tickets to the Asian Art Museum were mine and I didn't even know it (I got a call later that week letting me know they were in the mail, so it was like I got three awesome days for the price of one).

SPEAKING OF IN THE ZONE: Pinball Posse Member Melissa Zahn achieved a high score on the Apollo 13 table. She will be promoted to House of 13 Balls in a secret and slightly weird ritual.

3/4ths of the Pinball Posse, plus a sample of those tights I mentioned.
(From Right: Little Bee, Merrri$$a, Jeremiah "Hot Flips" J.")

Also, you didn't think I could go somewhere without making a new friend, did you? This is Taro. He helped me pick out the pinballs I got for the Pinball Posse. He was criminally handsome.

Where I Went:

Pacific Pinball Expo 2011
September 23rd-25th
Venue: Marin Civic Center Exhibition Hall
10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 94903 (Directions)
Admission: Daily ~ Child under 12/$15 Daily Adult/$25
2 Day Pass ~ Child/$25 Adult/$45 3 Day Pass (Fri-Sat-Sun) ~ Child/$30 Adult/$60

Pacific Pinball Museum
Address : 1510 Webster Street, Alameda, CA
Weekdays: Tues, Wed, Thurs - 2pm to 9pm - Friday 2pm to 12 midnight (Closed Mondays)
Weekends: Saturday 11am to 12 midnight - Sunday: 11am to 9pm

For Information (510) 205-9793