Friday, December 29, 2006

Note from Troy

I had second thoughts about attending as well, but I have to agree, it would seem odd to cancel a tradition where Wylie was such a staple. Reminds me...I need to get a bottle of port for Troy. There will be much toasting as everyone celebrates the memory of Sir Wylie's life.

FPXVII: Godspeed

I am at the end of my endurance at the moment, so I'll get right to the point. Many of you already know of this, but for those who do not, the core of this crowd has been savaged by the death of one whom we loved well--Wylie Reeves died on December 23rd. I have been as deeply rent by shock and loss as any of us, and my initial impulse was to cancel the party entirely, thinking it no longer appropriate after the death of my friend. I inquired with other good friends, however, and their universal response (and my own feeling, ultimately) has been that Wylie would have been furious with me if I were to do any such thing. Therefore, our grief notwithstanding, Squalor shall be open as planned on New Year's Eve. And not only will it be open, but it will be as wild as we survivors can make it. That might be as fine a celebration of his memory as any other, especially since he was among the most flamboyant of us. I'm thinking that we need to do this for ourselves as well, to set aside as much as we can of the burdens we've been bearing this week. So, the Funeral Party shall go forward, with fireworks, fire, food, drink, loud music, and as much outrageous, cathartic excess as we can create.

Godspeed, Sir Wylie. I will drink for you on New Year's Eve.


On a related note, I think it would be good to reproduce the amazing drawing Troy did for fliers for this event.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Beautiful Carlitos

This was a completely impromptu shoot and I'm so glad I decided to bring my camera with me. Carlos is an old college buddy mine and drop dead gorgeous.

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Bittersweet Christmas

Goddamnit, Wylie. You would have turned 40 on January 3rd. If only you could see all the tears of sadness, frustration and anger pouring out of your friends right now...

(portrait by Kyle Cassidy)

Wylie Erwin Reeves(from the Gazette-Enterprise)
Wylie Erwin Reeves passed away at the age of 39.

He is survived his parents Preston and Lynda Reeves, aunt Paula Speed and husband Arlin, cousins Jeanette Speed, Anita Speed and Kevin Speed.

Wylie was a History Teacher at Navarro High School, he loved teaching and especially teaching the students from Navarro High School.

A memorial service will be held Friday, Dec. 29, 2006 at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Texas Lutheran University.

Memorial tributes may be made online at .

Arrangements are under the direction of Goetz Funeral Home, 713 North Austin Street, Seguin, TX 78155

We're all so emotionally spent--all of us for various reasons....divorces, job crisis, sickness and now another tragic death.

I didn't know Wylie as well as my other friends did, but he was a constant in the social circle I joined more than 10 years ago. My own friends who are hurting so much is what is affecting me most at the moment. I'm just numb to the death itself. Every now and then, I feel a pang of guilt as I ponder how he passed away, contemplate the reasons and count down the number of friends who have died by their own hand. Three this year alone...

I remember his dry wit and his dark humor. I still recall him cuddling comfortably with my friend Wendy when we all went out to hear Salim Nourallah perform during Lisa's birthday bash.

They ended their relationship on good terms a while ago, but he was there for her when she was picking up the pieces and starting her life over after her divorce. He helped her find love once more. In her darkest times, he helped her realize she had so much to live for. As Wendy mentioned so poignantly in her writings:

I just wish I could have helped you see those same things in yourself.

She has been handling it really well and bravely, often the one making the phone calls delivering the sad news to loved ones and friends. I heard the news through my friend Bobby who also plays soccer with Travis. Wylie was on the team for a while. I was expecting to see him at Troy's annual New Year's bash affectionately named the "Funeral Party" (where us aging Goths say goodbye to the old year and celebreate the coming of the new one in glammed up decadant garb). I just did not expect an actual funeral this time.

It's a bittersweet Christmas season. Times like this, I realize what wonderful friends I have. I'm lucky to have a supportive husband and very loving and close family. I'm thankful to those around me who helped me out of the dark and difficult times, to help me realize there is so much to live for.

Wherever Wylie is, I hope he's released from whatever pain and suffering he was feeling. I hope he's at peace now.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

She Wants Revenge: "Kidnap the Sandy Claws"

To get us into the holiday mood, here's a great song suggestion from my best buddy Shawn, who almost submitted this for Tim Young's latest holiday themed Contrast Podcast. If you check out Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas special edition soundtrack 2 CD set, you'll find this cool dance remix of "Kidnap of the Sandy Claws" on disc number 2.

I don't know much about the band She Wants Revenge, but from what I've heard so far, I think they're worth checking out. I do tend to trust Shawn's musical tastes anyway.

Listen to:
"Kidnap of the Sandy Claws"
She Wants Revenge's Official Website
She Wants Revenge's Myspace
Buy A Nightmare Before Christmas Special Edition Soundtrack from Amazon

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Cards

I don't normally send out Christmas Cards except to those who I haven't seen in ages or who live far away, however with the barrage of mail we've getting getting lately, this overwheliming sense of guilt has kicked in and I did send out a small pile this morning. Sure, Summer and Roger live a block away but I don't want them to think I'm not thinking of them!

What to include? While long synopsis of the past year can be interesting, they just don't feel particularly personable. I also think the general public will not care that we got our kitty declawed (cute pic here) or that my friend threw up on a security guard at the last NIN concert.

I had this idea of cutting old christmas cards, rearranging the images and drawing around them to make a new card. Certain people thought that would be in bad taste and wrinkled their nose at the idea of a homemade card. I share this same annoyance with Sammi--Why do people seem to think purchased gifts are somehow valuable? Besides, wouldn't it be cool to get a card with Jesus and Snoopy sitting on Santa's lap? I kid of course.

So instead of making cards, I set up the self timer on camera and jumped on the Holiday Family Photo bandwagon. I refuse to let Sears take pictures of me. I can do that myself, thank you very much, and thank God for Adobe photoshop and HP photo paper. With that said, it was a bit ambitious to try to get all 3 cats into the pic. Close to impossible, but Hippo at least played along.

On a tangential note, I sent off that pic of Jay and I to my mentor Nancy Lamm who is the graduate student coordinator in the math department. She's the person who really holds the department together and I absolutely love her to death. Anyway, she got a great kick out of the picture. She replied with the note:

I love it!!! I printed off the picture of you and Jay - it will be on the board in my office for YEARS to come!

Hee hee. I'd say it s a good thing that we've been immortalized in the math department.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

another hippo post! more job musings

Because it's Hippo.
Sorry Jbro, I know it's been a while since i've talked about dolphins, but Hippo is dolphin colored at least.

She was acting mopyish, so I made her a bettalien--as in little itty bitty bed. It seemed to cheer her up. She used it immediately but still looks a little sad. Poor thing:

An epiphany occurred to me this morning. When I first interviewed for my
systems analyst position, one of the questions asked by my boss was:

"What do you seeyourself doing when your 3 years is up?"

(in training, you promise to work 3 years at the University in the capacity of a programmer)

I said I envisioned myself going back to the UT Learning Center to help
them get their processes interfaced with the Student Records
offices--something they badly needed. They had a vendor package that
constantly needed to be customized. But because the business processes
there are so complicated and vast, only someone who has really worked
there for some time would be able to properly serve them as a
developer. It dawned on me...

My 3 years are pretty much up and I have to tool set to help them. When I spoke to the person who encouraged me to change jobs, he mentioned that my term ends in
January. So, in some sense, I was supposed to leave anyway.

I'm telling you things happen for a reason.

I'm thankful that Sandy managed to drag me to the Student Services Christmas party. It's pure luck that UTLC just happend to sit next to my department's table and even more fortunate that Jay decided to attend. It's serendipity that this morning I found my photo album of all my former student employees wrought with notes and anecdotes on each of them causing me to remember that particular interview question.

All the good people are in positions of authority now. I wonder...I'm suddenly feeling inspired again and I just wonder, maybe I can make things work there in a little while.

Maybe I can go back home.

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Beta blogger

Okay, I'm not totally digging this new version of blogger. :( It's messing up my formatting and styles, editing is a pain, and for some reason and it thinks Sarah is a stranger.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Teddybears: Soft Machine

There has been a lot of blog activity about this group and they live up to the hype. I have to thank the man over at SAS
for putting them on his podcast because otherwise I would have missed out on a great band. From the first time I heard the song "Hey Boy" off of their first album Fresh I was hooked. Soft Machine is their second disc.

sound is poppy, electronic and danceable with shades of hip hop and reggae. And as many mention, you've got your self a variedplay list just popping in one of their CDs. The styles and sound swing all over the place and offer something for all listeners. Definitely a party pleaser. I highly recommend this CD.

Listen to:
"Different Sound" (featuring Malte)
"Little Stereo" (featuring Daddy Boastin')
Teddybears Myspace
Teddybears Official Website
Buy Soft Machine at Amazon

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's a boy!

My sister in law is pregnant again. For some reason both T and I were thinking it would probably be a boy and we were right!

Look at this can see his brain!

Since she was taking name suggestions, I offered "Alessando Trent." I suspect she was not amused.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

moldavite step pendeloque

I just now finished a step pear cut (pendeloque) in a green moldavite. I have no idea how I should set it, but isn't the green just divine?

In case you're wonder, I put the entire cutting process, along with pictures up on

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Victor Scott: "Gotta Go"

After several months, Victor Scott's video for "Gotta Go" is finally finished and boy, is it worth the wait! Michaelle Stikich and Drew McGaraghan from do a bloody fantastic job with the editing and effects. Now aren't you sorry you didn't take part? I sure am!

You can view the video here:

As mentioned before there was a call for submissions from Victor for people dancing around to this song and one such contributor is of course the much beloved Tim Young from Contrast Podcast (by the way, don't forget to listen to the newest episode, CP36). Check out his video footage with his own acapella cover of "Gotta Go"

Pretty cool eh?

Listen to:
"Gotta Go" (original courtesy of Victor Scott)
"Gotta Go"(Tim Young acapella cover version)

Victor Scott's Official Website
Victor Scott's Myspace
Purchast Happy Days from SVC Records

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Lookin like a druggie and Podcast #8

I have 2 huge bruises on my arms this morning due to yesterday blood drawing mishap involving a vet tech intern, a tensed out Cindy and a crowded clinic.

Both my arms hurt and oddly, I can't straighten them at my sides so I just feel plain awkward. As my darlin husband recapped to his buddies:

Student: "Hang on, I think I got it".
*Cindy yowls*
Student: "Oh, oh, no. Ok, NOW, I have it"!
*Cindy yowls louder*
Teacher: "No, you're doing it wrong. Do it like this" *demonstrates, and Cindy yowls* "Ok, now try again."
*Cindy runs screaming from the room, wearing only the hospital gown*

Not too far off. I won't even go into the acrobatics of the urine test that followed...

Essentially I've got 2 pricks on my left arm from the med tech student and on on my right from the veteran nurse although both arms bruised up. This normally doesn'thappen. In fact, druggies and nurses alike tell me I have fabulously large veins. I think the whole fiasco all stared when I walked in and the tech timidly mentioned that she was a student on her first day, and then I got tense....and then my veins cowered in fear.

She went after my left vein twice--the first time completely missing and the second time hitting it, but not forcing the tip of the needle in deep enough to allow for the blood to flow freely into the test tube. That's when it started to pool up beneath the dermis and I started to feel icky and swoony.

Anyhow, I wore my most pathetic, wimpy, puppy eye face and longingly looked towards the direction of the supervising nurse channeling "Help me. Help me! Heeeellp Meeeeee." She took notice and stuck me in the other arm while cooing words of comfort. Oy. She was a pro, so she got 2 test tubes worth easily, but by then I was so rattled and tense. I didn't even notice the other med tech forgot to take off the arm band from my left arm until the nurse pointed it out to her.

To add insult to injury, both my hubby and I are feeling awful this morning. Headachy, sore and stopped up. I suspect we caught something from the waiting room although we both already got our flu shots, so I'm hoping this will pass. Bleah.

In totally unrelated news I did find the time to upload podcast #8. This time featuring harps and harpsichords. You can literally hear my voice get hoarse and crud filled as the episode goes on. :(

Adzuki Bean Pod #8 is up!

Yay! I finally finished compiling Adzuki Bean Pod #8. Things have been crazy busy and I'm switching jobs so needless to say, I've been preoccupied with other stuff, but hey, I finished it. :)

Adzuki Bean Pod #8: H is for Harps and Harpsichords

Admittedly, there is more Harp music than harpsichord music on there. Ah well...
Do give it a listen and tell me what you think. I even give a small demo at the end. :)

Look at this gnarly electric harp from Stephen Gutierrez

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Gary Numan: Jagged

If the only Gary Numan songs you know are "Cars" and "Are Friends Electric" please take the time to get to know more of his music. Besides, anyone who loves cats enough to be a patron of a cat charity gets an A in my gradebook.

I'm a relative newcomer to Gary Numan (born Gary Anthony James Webb) and I owe a lot of my education to Botley of Echoing the Sound. I was already somewhat familiar with his songs back in the 80's and 90's but my first album I ever purchased was the 2003 release Hybrid which had a harder feel than most of his typical synth pop/darkwave sound due in part to production assistance with the likes of Flood and Alan Moulder and I fell in love with it instantly. Keep in mind that Numan has had a long, steady and sucessful career. His first album came out in the 70's.

I'm not as enamored with Jagged as I was with Hybrid, however it is still a good album that stands on it's own. The tracks tie together thematically and flow into one another with ease. The sound is often soaring and haunting with unquestionably industrial soundscapes containing orchestral and electronic overtones. What Numan excels at the most though, are his simple yet profound lyrics. Take this snippet from the title track, Jagged:

What have we become?
All that we could be?
Think of this as mercy, a small gift from me
What does a confession ever do
But take my guilt away

Listen to:
Gary Numan's Official Website
Gary Numan Wiki Entry
Buy Jagged from Amazon