Friday, February 23, 2018

REMEMBER It could always be worse...

Overdue blog post, take 2.

And by "take 2" I think I mean more like *actually* take FIVE (5) because I have started and stopped and edited this post on more than a few separate dates/occasions thus far.

Life is hard still, but tbh did I anticipate it getting magically suddenly blissfully easy, all of a sudden? No. And it didn't, and shit is still hanging over me like a dark cloud of gloom & doom... Sorta like in that movie from the 80's, "The Neverending Story", how the "villian" isn't so much as a physical person or creature and instead there is just this black hole of despair eating up the entire universe (the "Fantasia" universe?) killing everything... No, just destroying everything in it's path, and what is this existential conceptual bad guy(/thing) called?? It's called "The Nothing", and it's not an entity so much as a really unfortunate life-sucking energy VOID. (Okay fine, there is that mean growling wolf thing, but if I recall correctly he's just a henchman of sorts, doing the bidding of this cloud-void jawn, probably just waiting to die also and justify his shitty hobby of taking away everyone and everything from all of existence!)

Whew. Depressing. This was a KIDS MOVIE BTW, and actually one of my favorite movies ever as a young impressionable 'Tina.

Sundays are rough. Sigh.

Before I freak out about any bad shit... I gotta try and remind myself of some (any) of the good stuff, the things I'm thankful for, the things I'm blessed to have in my life ( ... #blessed lololol some of y'all know that joke but I imagine it's going right over all y'alls heads.) I gotta do this so I don't default into the (aforementioned) gloomy dark cloud that seems to be following me around lately, like some kind of demented Eeyore Shadow Person Guardian Demon.

If it were an entity of some kind, at least I could work on developing some kind of counter attack.

Instead it just looms, heavy, occasionally whispering really awful ideas in my ears. Not actually. But it may as well be. "Punch that b*tch in the face!" Or "Jump in front of that incoming train." ( I promise this is just dark humor and I am not actually suicidal. )

On that note, here's a dark & spooky painting I very recently sold!

Since once again, I'm on my phone writing this, creating formatted, nice captions allude me still. SO, this is my "Skeleton Queen", and she is a small (not quite 8"X 10") oil and mixed media painting on a wood panel. I am almost certain prints will be available also. She began as an 'ooops too much paint' side painting and morphed into well... This! 🌹💀🌹💀🌹💀🌹💀

On a side note, by comparison to past creative spells of madness, I am doing a lot LESS fine art/painting lately and have gotten deep a.f. into making jewelry. Maybe because it's a little more consistent money maker... Maybe it's because I was bored with making "art" for art's sake... Regardless, behold the fruits of my (not profitable enough to be an actual business yet) main squeeze side hustle...

This is my table display setup from last weekend's vending adventures at the Philadelphia Visionary Arts Gallery on Fabric Row in South ish Philly.

Which has really morphed into an interesting neighborhood, btw. Philly's once famous textile district, Fabric Row, which runs down 4th St just south of South Street -- equally famous though now totally played out 90's/early 00's underground music/arts/cultural epicentre -- had long been a site of antiquated textile/fabric wholesale shops, interesting yet incredibly specific, and like all of oir countries once great & powerful industries, with out hesitation have all but disappeared from our borders. With major global textile manufacturers coming out of places like China and similar exotic and depressing far off places for many many years now, it was only a matter of time. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did, actually.

I was supposed to end this post with a list of GOOD THINGS, to balance out all the bad shit. That said, I'm in a slightly darker mood than when I started writing this.

I know it won't be awful forever. I know there's more I can do to make my life a little less crappy, make my bank account a little less barren, and turn the depressing reality of things into anything even mildly more positive. But today I haven't a clue what those things are and/or how to ya know, make that change that you want to see (in the world, in yourself, whatever.)

It's just increasingly difficult to navigate this reality where it seems like not only will I be walking to work since I don't seem to have money for train fare but there is no foreseeable end to this poverty in sight.

(I say this as I was *supposed* to be selling a painting today, and had my phone near me for hours with no indication of texts or calls only to hear just now that the person tried both and failed to reach me somehow. WTF WHY IS THIS MY LIFE??)

Also sales of art, jewelry and other handmade things. Not sure what else to do.
Quit making things? Find a second real job?


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I am in dire need of like... An art patron or commission or something, ANYTHING. What I'm doing just isn't cutting it right now. Does anyone want a print of any paintings or custom jewelry or anything else?

Cause I am broke AS A JOKE and days like today I *might* leave work with $20. If I'm lucky.

Let's give it a try at least.
18×24 archival Premium Epson print of my most "G famous" painting, 'The Honeycomb Merkaba', on sale now for $115 ! Limited edition run. Got a few more left!

Hit me up, or PayPal me at to donate funds or buy a print! ( ya never know....)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Education, rehabilitation station

What did we learn today...?

We learned that if the dude you're currently sleeping with asks you to "lick his taint", it does NOT mean he is gay. Necessarily. I mean, he might be but unless youre both dudes, probably not. And that is OK. And even if he likes dudes sometimes, but is with you now, that's ok too.

Real conversations from my day.

It's gonna be a long week, guys. Real long. One day I'll explain everything, for now, wish me luck. I'll need it.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

"The Trouble with Progress", part 7

The Trouble With Progress
Part 7

Oh hai guys. It's def been only... A day! And here we are again. 

o I

Today is one of those ill-fated 2 steps forward, 10 steps back sorta deals. One of my favorite expressions has always been a simple one and coincidentally was also the title of my senior thesis project video, pictured above. That was hmmm circa 2005, & (if I do say myself, and I do) pretty freaking progressive and alarming to the traditional art institution. Now they have a special "ALT" performance ish fashion show every year where I must assume the artists present weird ass funky shit, a la my obvious inspiration, and the "normal" fibers/fashionistas don't have to worry about their entire art future career in the fashion world (or wherever) being at all tainted by that icky conceptual fine art weirdness! 
Pray tell. We would not want THAT NOW WOULD WE. 

Well, that was what *I* was like roughly 13 years ago. Consequently, one of my younger café co-workers was just graduating the 8th grade, and thusly I am reminded how decidedly un-27 I am. Though this is my fake age, guessed by the general populous or at least suggested in an effort to avoid offending me as a female (by erring on the higher age numbers, which is just some sexist ass blasphemy but I'll take it!) 

(Xtiina looks not so bad for 49, right? BAHHH gotcha. I'm only like.... 31 ish here guyz. And probably fresh off a fire gig, hair n makeup all did. Makeup = my fountain of youth/fakeout... Its like painting guys, just on your skin instead of canvas. Easy peasy, practice makes perfect. )

I'll just let you do the math. Around about when I crafted this video, I was turning 21 & probably puking off my rooftop during a mid summer bday party rager where I personally knew like... 1/3 to 1/4 of the guests in attendance. (Mind you, this was MY birthday party.) And to top it all off, at the time I worked at this ancient copy shop print place called "Kinko's", so NATURALLY I made myself many, many neon colored fliers for said birthday party, which I gave out to literally NO ONE but covered my front door in my apartment building with, that featured a photo of myself, dressed up, as I was often known to do back then, wearing my ghetto version of a fat suit in a mayo-eating alter ego character with a shitty blonde wig that I liked to call "Darlene". God, I definitely have a print or file of that SOMEWHERE AND I WILL FIND IT. I have Darlene photos somewhere too. Ah, those were the days. Back during a time when life was more simple, and also when wigs would still fit over my head. (The hair is too much now. I don't even try.) 

Ooh! The even better kicker. These fliers which I must reiterate I LITERALLY GAVE TO NO ONE, totally got me in deep shit with my crappy slumlord landlord company after the fact, when I went on vacation with my parents and of course forgot to remove them. They took one look at that flier and called my parents. I happened to be WITH them at the time, and I like to think my dad believed my (very true) account of what happened but.... I'm not absolutely certain. I should probably ask him one of these days. 

Anyway, in the spirit of taking more STEPS BACK than forward in one day, enjoy my reminiscing and college art video of mayhem wrought upon an overpriced, over-caucasioned foo foo art school, which btw I am still paying back. It was so much fun though. Wouldn't change a second of it. Even the rooftop puking part, which I am almost certain definitely happened on my 21st bday rager. (Thanks for throwing that epic party for me, K-Tin!)💜💛💚💙

A few more videos of just music I saved forever ago that I was re-jamming out to, in the spirit of uplifting my shite mood. Because, bubble butts, borders, and the sky is forever. Boom Shaka laka. 
One of my fav videos of 2017, brilliant song, video, and direction. You tell em what's up MIA YASSSSS QUEEN. Enjoy. 

Because like, I need to laugh at SOMEthing today besides myself. "That beat is fucking dope" "Ya how do I look?" (Dolphin noises, steel drum weird DnB) "Like a fucking slut" YASSSSS SO GOOD. (Apologies for the left side thing, phone editing is nearly literally impossible. #willfixitlater )

Ah now THIS ONE IS JUST GOOD. REAL GOOD. Like DnB Like I do? (LOVE, correction.) Great, you'll like it to. Don't? Still might dig it cause it's just GOOD. MAD PROPS to both these guys,  who independently are talented but together are fucking electric. 

I apologize really sincerely for the wack ass formatting. Blasted phone blogging. (Awful, terrible word.) The perfectionist editor in me is embarrassed to publish something so full of formatting flaws, but I gotta get it out and I'm starting to care way less. I'll drag my laptop to a cafe with wifi in the very near future and fix all deez entries up REAL NICE FER YOUS GUYS. Promise. My fingertips and a really shitty, really cracked, totally busticated smartphone are not making this easier. At all. 

On that note, I have work far too early again tomorrow. 

Ciao bellas, till a few days or maybe even tomorrow. (Depends on how good of a day I have. Hooray!) 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Xtina, Pity Party of 1? F THAT! A list of 10-nay, 11 things ya probably missed

HELLO 2018. And good riddance to 2017, 16, 15 & whenever the hell else I visited this mess.

And WOWWWWW I have been a terrible, TERRIBLE BLOGGER.

(Please re: I hate that word.)

I'm sorry it's been like... 5 years since my last cheeky blog post. Funny though, cause it feels like literally nothing has changed.

While that is undoubtedly partially true, it's also not. Hmmm, what actually has changed? Let's see...

1) First and foremost, as well as most "life-changing" (& not in a good way...) my husband lost his job nearly exactly one year ago. Not his fault, the company he worked for, after a few strings of serious layoffs ended up closing their entire Philly electronics branch. Ho hum, welcome to 2017. And now 2018. Hooooray.

2) Thanks to #1, we are dirt f&$@ing poor. Still. Thanks Vane Bro's!

3) #1 happened just as FREAKING JUST AS we returned from our first Christmas holiday visiting my parents (in sunny Miami Florida!) in a LONG time, having thus decided (well I decided/was finally ok with) f&$@ this winter shit, he works on boats let's gtf out of Philly. (Note; he has been into this idea since his first visit down there to like, meet my
parents, over 10 years ago. I was holding on to the Nooooo but I live here now all my friends are here! Except now they aren't, not All of them, and also F*** THIS F***ING WINTER BULLSHIT!)

4) Needless to say, we are currently still in Philly. Ugh. (Naw PHL, I do love you, I just really really am ready to leave you now.)

5) I am still at the same god damn job.

6) I still live in the same shithole apartment.

7) Ooh! A GOOD THING. I have been making and selling my bejeweled wares via the non website and non Etsy platforms....mainly Facebook, Instagram & friends/word of mouth.
(Check that out @zefluxuria on IG & ! Also a store in Baltimore selling my stuff, Night Owl Gallery in Highlandtown!)

8) I have taken an extensive hiatus from my most beloved fire group, Lux Arati, mostly for financial & emotional reasons, that suck and I hate them. (The reasons, not Lux. Will always #lovemyluxies)

9) Thanks again to #1 & just life being crappy sometimes, we are car-less and also wifi ness, which is real fun. (Actually, our car is currently in mechanical purgatory, thanks to us not having the coin to get it fixed, registered in PA & all that jazz...)

10) Thanks to #9, I am currently composing this on my shitty, shitty shit piece of shit phone, which I also hate. (P.S.: It is REALLY HARD to edit this on said shitty phone. Sorry, one pic only bc I'm already way too frustrated.)

11) What else totally sucks right now? Hmm. I owe a lot of people money.... Including various financial institutions & friends/employers... it's cold a.f. outside.... Oh. And I'm OUT OF WEED & didn't know I was also out of cash when I spent all my tips today on booze. Sweet. (thx babe!)

Florida, I wanna be (back) in you.

Guys, shit is real dark for me right now. Quite possibly never been darker, only because any OTHER time in my life that's been REAL bad, you know... Like wow, at least I'm not 22 and my bf is using my parents stolen CC # to bail himself out of jail bad...any OTHER time that has been awful, I could blame it on someone besides myself. Oh, well clearly my 22 year old predicament was the Ex BF! Or oh, shit, my mom is distraught because my sis ODed for the 5th time this year, or whatever. Or, I don't have a car right now because a drunk driver hit it while it was parked on the side of the road....! Totes not my fault. And those are ALL real life examples of some of the shit that has befallen me in my short, lame ass 34 years.

This time... Well fuck. I guess I'm just as much to blame as my husband, whom I still love dearly no matter how many tears I've shed while moaning about how "this should not be my life" & "boohoo, why does everything suck?"

It just does sometimes, amirite? I can't be the only one who feels or has felt like they're failing at life. I have to believe that this will be the year that things get better. Despite the despicable leader of our country, despite the .24¢ in my bank account, despite the very unglamorous job I share with coworkers 10 years my junior. I HAVE TO HAVE HOPE THAT THINGS WILL CHANGE.

Otherwise, there's no hope for me, is there...?

Not to get dark, or add to the 11 mostly depressing life updates... But we did lose a few good ones since my last entry. Prince. Bowie. My epically dark and beautiful sad, sad photographer GENIUS friend of ye olde livejournal initial friendship, Krystal Layton aka Zvandrythx (RIP BISH I MISS YOU! Once I get back to Florida I PROMISE I WILL FRAME AND HANG YOUR PHOTOS IN MY NEW PAD I SWEAR.) And of course the only girl I could stand to be that close to my husband, the amazing Steph K. I miss you both more than you know.

F*ck it's been a rough few years.

Writing helps. It helps me process things, it helps me get IT out. I've always done this, though not usually so publicly. I'll probably share this on the book of faces. Will anyone read it? No clue. Krystal probably would have, because she was a writer like me. Hopefully not anyone that'll be too worried. Don't get worried guys! Just like, buy me a drink some night, or better yet, buy a print of my artwork or some ZefLux jewelry. I'll be ok, eventually. Once I get out of this bloody hole of despair and darkness, I vow... 2018, YOU WILL BE MY BITCH.

At least I still have my sense of humor. AMIRITE?????

I've already reminded a few very close friends.... Don't worry about me, please, unless it appears my sense if humor is suddenly gone. If I ain't cracking jokes, come pay me a visit, JUUUUUST in case. K? K.

Love n kisses, and may y'all never feel this kinda poor in your lifetime.

Trudging onward. Forward. No looking back. One day at a motherfucking time.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wordiness of it all: Writing in excess, explaining into the most epic distraction ever, and an undying love for too many beautiful words

After spewing out a short novel marauding as a comment (to someone else's Facebook post),  I must share my additional thoughts about the wordiness of it all.

"I am part of a dying breed of wordy folks..." 
... it began, and it just kept going on into the most infinite reaches of my sanity, 
exhaustion, and mind for the evening. 

If you know me well, you must know this to be true. I am part of this dying breed of writers, of excessively wordy folk. Emails, text messages, comments posted on social media... truly, this is my nature and I cannot help it. I wrote many things once... (long ago, in a land far-far away, when the only people that had their own computers were rich white people... and absolutely no one had their own personal computers in their pockets, desperately in need of someone else's charger.) Sometimes I even still write things (like in these long, forgotten times...) I had a blog before they were called such silly names -- back then, they were merely "online journals", much like a regular BOUND physical journal or diary (it's kind of like a "book", we still have a few of those lying around do we not?), also these old-fashioned means of communication we once called "letters" that came slowly over long distances between friends, family, or people you met while on vacation. It took a long time to get where they were going, traveling through something called "the mail" (which we now use primarily to receive goods one purchases in online retail stores.) I painstakingly and carefully penned many essays, articles, a few decent short stories (still have one in the works yet, but it appears then again that it's plot is unfinished) and even had one of my creative writing attempts actually be selected for something so special, it made my college education a few thousand dollars cheaper. One year, anyway. (I later made that story into a movie, so no one ever has to actually read it, it promptly was released to video/DVD, but as they usually are it's just NOTHING like the "book."  I have one remaining pen-pal, and we've been telling our stories to one another back and forth for years now. (Jethro Rebollar ! It is way overdue my turn, but I want you to know there is a half-finished letter for you right now in my possession/sight!) We accept, maybe even sometimes use but still kind of hate the abbreviations the internet somehow made "okay" in our complex language... (...the "U"s, the "R"s, the numbers, the piss poor grammar, nonexistent spelling skills, etc.) We love words, we love weaving that delicate language into something a little bit more beautiful than what our eyes and brains experience on a daily basis. We may not have a lot of different or incredibly important things to say, but damn if we won't take our time saying it exactly how we feel it should be expressed. And it will look damn fine doing so. And maybe... just maybe, a few of you out there will enjoy reading it all.

So here's to the story, the novel, the letter writers out there still providing that lengthy commentary in and out of the internet's available avenues... the ones that have reluctantly morphed into "bloggers", the real diehard and nouveau bloggers too (more words than pictures please, and recipes don't count), especially the ones that aren't quite sure a lot of the time exactly what they are writing about... and who they are writing to... and definitely often if anyone is reading any of this at all. The super-readers (who write by default) that are admittedly in love with words, that tend to write a little too much by default, especially those who sometimes do so in slightly inappropriate places. Here's to you, if you're still out there that is, and those like you, and definitely those who made it this far. Finally, here's to me, this, words in general and this tired but determined brain explosion of the extra, ultra, superbly wordy people still out there, and all of those friends and family that actually make it to the bottom of the page. Thank YOU. And goodnight.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What a slacker!

This happens every year. I get too busy and totally, completely neglect my poor blog.

Back in the early days of social networking (we're talking EARLY, like AOL chat rooms were still around, and Facebook wasn't even a glimmer in Mark Zuckerberg's twinkly little eyes...) I had something called a "Livejournal", an ancient, primitive form of this thing we have here. It was very anonymous and very few people used it to it's full potential. I, however, wrote it in frequently, as have I written in a pen-and-paper journal for most of my life. It's a sad, sad thing that I realize I'm not writing in ANYTHING as much as I used to or even should be. Do I have nothing to say? Do I have no time?

Who knows, but this is my "Art/Creative" blog anyway, so I should probably stop typing and show you guys some bloody pictures, huh?

Works for me.
In progress painting of Ganesha. I started this after extensive subject research for
some murals that I should be painting in a local yoga studio sometime early next year. One may be a Ganesha, but not the first one I'll be doing. That I will come back to in another post. 

I made these for a Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos!) inspired costume for a performance
on (you guessed it) November 1st. I even hand-painted the little sugar skulls and one of them has rhinestones in his eyes. Aren't they just effing adorable?? Yea they are. I also made a more comprehensive headdress that I ended up NOT wearing with these little guys but wore it later to a DOTD themed party (on November 1st.) Haven't managed a picture of that one yet, but here I am at said party wearing the headdress I was just referring to. 

I'm finally having fun here after a long day of regular work 
and a long night of performing. Thanks PEX for another fantastic Halloween party, even
if I did have to leave early and work way too early the next morning. 

Performing! Right, there I am. In case you were wondering, yes, 
I am spinning fire as I often do, except  at this event, we were performing in a graveyard. 

Another graveyard gig shot. These shots were from Lux Arati's Halloween performance 
for the Sexton Sideshow at Old Swedes Church in Philadelphia. I'm probably kneeling 
on some way-long-dead people right here. And then I ate fire. MAGIC!

And here is the whole Luxie family, dressed up in our DOTD makeup, 
magically matching one another and looking damn fine, if I do say so myself. 
What a fabulous bunch of ladies, by the way. I am blessed!

Alright, back to creative stuff. Made and sold these feather earrings a 
couple months ago to a friend. But I can absolutely do custom orders. Ask me! 

THESE I made for another friend as a wedding gift. I still have not gotten these to her. 
(Sorry Kristin! They're waiting for ya!)

AND, finally, for the month of November I hung my work in a local bar/restaurant called
Cedar Point. It was pretty anticlimactic, as I never got my shit together to host an opening or closing reception (also, the girl who asked me to hang my work ALSO totally did not respond to my "Hey girl, would this date work for a closing?" inquiries. It's cool though, because I really just didn't feel like it. I also admit that I didn't try THAT hard to make it happen.) This is a new series of paintings, a mathematical triptych, the specific names of which allude me temporarily and I really just am too lazy to look them up. You're getting photos AND a blog post, people, be happy. Be semi-satisfied... satiated, even. I'll tell you all about them later. With a better, clearer picture of each one. Anyway, they're tiny, each is 8"x8" I believe, and they are all math inspired and finally finished. (Some of these have been in-progress for quite a while. Like months, maybe years.) And they are STILL FOR SALE!

Last but not least... here is a shot of my newest toy -- a fire staff! I have no idea what to do with it yet (dance, fire spinning wise) and it's still unlit (virgin wicks!) and mostly un-played with. This new toy came to me as a very very belated birthday gift (it arrived late November and my birthday is in July...) from my amazing, thoughtful husband Alex. His birthday just passed a little over a week ago and I expect to give him his gift around late May, early June. :) Considering how we do things a bit backwards, I assumed that would only be appropriate. 

On that note, hoping I will get my shit together and do an end-of-year recap... or something... since 2013 held very few updates for all my faithful (now probably lost) readers. I guess my life has alternated between being incredibly busy and an incredible mess these past 6 months. Working on it, as usual. Life sometimes takes a backseat to everything else, I guess, and I have no idea where the time has gone. 2013 feels like a blur. Productive in many ways, intense in many ways, and a blur of "What on earth just happened" in too many ways. Working on it, my friends. Hoping to come out of the clouds in the near future and get on with it all. Till next time... and THANK YOU if you are reading these words!