Author Archives: mariadeathstar

About mariadeathstar

This is where I express myself. The real me. Prolly not for the faint hearted. I'm also real on twitter: @mariadeathstar

Follow the money. Then refuse.


Most days I don’t feel very smart, or nearly as smart as most of the people around me.

But I have not entirely wasted these 63 years, so I have learned a few things.

Like this…

Nearly all people have goodness at the core. They are not by nature filled with hate. They did not start out hating people of other colors, religions or creeds.

But humans are prone to being moved by drama that provokes fear. And when exposed on a continuous or even continual basis to thoughts and words designed to make them afraid, they become fearful. And stressed. It eats away at their health, their spirit. And when they feel cornered in a cage, they will do anything to survive.

I don’t listen to talk radio or watch television “news” shows that feature pundits or talking heads. On either side of issues. I believe those “experts” are paid to create drama rather than impart insights, they are playing a cynical game, they are condescending to us all. But somehow enough people are willing to hear and watch this form of made up drama that media companies design programming around it and advertisers pay because they think this audience will buy their wares. Go figure.

But these shows are making us stupid. They are making us mean. They are making us afraid of one another.

Yesterday I saw a clip on hulu of a moment from one of these shows from election night coverage where Mary Matalin called President Barack Obama a “narcissistic sociopath.”

Besides reminding me why I never watch these clown shows, I wondered what I would think of our president if my exposure to him was limited to hearing the voices of people who are paid to shout obscenities and create drama and behave on screen in ways that would embarrass our parents or grandparents.

Let’s start with the fact that “narcissistic sociopath” is a medical condition that only doctors who study for years and treat many patients are permitted to diagnose.

If our words are to mean anything, or we hold any regard for the medical profession and think that training and practice is an important qualification to diagnose illness, then I don’t think it’s okay that a paid talking head lay person can proclaim medical diagnoses. Kind of makes me think they are trying to practice medicine without a license, which I hear is a legal problem.

But of course mainly her words were designed to make people afraid of him. To hate him. To dismiss him. To disrespect him.

Now why would anyone pay her to do that? A civics lesson, perhaps? To educate us? Hardly. She’s being paid to create drama and make audiences thirst for the next chapter. It’s a soap opera, with caricatures in all the roles. For whose benefit? Only those being paid. Follow the money.

But that’s how people talk on these shows, it’s just part of the game, you might be thinking.


That is the game. And we are all being played. And it is dumbing us down and making us disrespectful, mean and afraid of one another.

The 63-year lesson I have learned is this: what we surround ourselves with, the voices we listen to, the hate and fear we expose ourselves to… all that is what we become. Is that what you want to be?

I refuse.

What if we all did?

CKC #53: Nearing the end, feeling the love


It’s hot, so I only have energy to show you a couple of photos. I expect there will be only one or two more entries in these chronicles, as we are nearing the very end of our project. We have a new kitchen. We’re almost moved all the way back in. I love it so very much. I never imagined having a home this wonderful.

One of the last pieces to fall into place was this bench seat cushion, which only went in yesterday. This is where the pillows I showed you the other day live. I love love love the bench seat fabric, it played a very important role in the colors of the kitchen.

I can’t resist showing you another view of cushion/pillow land, featuring Ric’s purple guitar at one end. And please note the adorable fan I found that’s perfect for a Portlandia kitchen. It’s running right now, in fact.

And this is my view while I am sitting at the table creating a blog post. Still life is good. :) So is life.

A botched circumcision? the unkindest cut of all?


This morning we woke to find that the most glorious member of our newly re-emerged streetscape phallic forest had been decapitated. What kind of villain would do such a dastardly deed, leaving only a nub of a stem behind? Its former stature has been reduced to a point it now appears impotent compared with its smaller neighbor.

Have rogue bands of circumsizers been set loose among us? What was their tool? Please tell me Mike Tyson was not involved.

Be wary, my friends. Evil moves among us.

A botched circumcision? Or some other unkindest cut of all?

CKC #52: Second course, as viewed in morning light


More glimpses of the almost finished kitchen. This time in morning light.

This is the view from my morning office today, it’s too hot on the second floor where my regular office is, so I have my laptop set up on the kitchen table.

I even made coffee, which means our kitchen is no longer cookless… and these chronicles will come to an end soon.

And this is what the chair I’m sitting in looks like when I’m not sitting in it :) Isn’t it divine?! And the dishtowel almost matches it. Yes, I do realize I am ridiculous. In case you were wondering.

Here’s another little pop of red I forgot to show you last time.

Whenever and wherever there’s an opportunity to display the color story of the kitchen, I take it.

And have I mentioned how much I love pillows?

Naturally, we put a bird on it. This is a Portlandia kitchen, after all.







CKC #51: The first course of the photo reveal


If you ask me what I’ve been doing the last few days, my answer will be something to do with the kitchen. Mostly moving back in. While there are miles to go before we sleep, I’m posting a few photos as, well, more than appetizers, let’s call them the first course.

south end of kitchen

This photo looks at the southwest corner of the kitchen, you can see the upper cabinets, the countertop that includes a little extension that accommodates two bar stools, and a ceramic pendant light that is really cool. On the right side is the sink with another pendant, this one made of Venetian glass. Please note the orchids are back in the garden window too!

See how the slits in the ceramic shade cast pieces of light that look like bamboo leaves when it’s dark in the room.


A closeup of the mixer (that started the kitchen hope chest) and little spoon man.


To the right of the kitchen sink is the espresso machine, toaster, bread box and, like several other places, a pop of red.

Another little pop of red, including the little ladybugs crawling on the berry basket. No, not real ladybugs, but the artistry of Meghan and Jenn of jampdx (see their jampdx etsy shop)

The bookshelves are beginning to flll. Can you figure out my organization system. It ain’t Dewey Decimal, that’s for sure. I confess it was inspired by Portlandia.




CKC #50: An appetizer


Between granddaughte3rs vcisiting and tile taking longer and putting us later than we hoped, I haven’t had a moment to spare to create an update for you. Though the full meal deal is not ready to serve yet, here is a tasty morsel to whet your appetite.

Just an appetizer, full reveal will come soon!