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Anxiety Woman celebrates 4th of July

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4th girl

Yes! That’s me. I don’t look anxious! I am a gorgeous American woman on the French Riviera, not a person who worked all day eating just an apple and several cookies then arrived at a BBQ and proceeded to eat three hamburgers.

4th boy

Yes, That’s me too!  I made these cutouts for work and brought them to the BBQ. My 4th of July leggings look like coordinated knee braces! See the hula hoop in the background? I had fun with this after the three hamburgers and wound up running to the restroom three times as well. Also I had a Klondike bar, rhubarb cake, sticky rice treat and homemade lemonade. I might have overdone it.

I am very enthusiastic about the 4th. I blew up a wading pool by hand at work. We rolled people under the sprinkler, (not like burritos but in their wheelchairs). We had a parade.  Eventually my body gave in and I had an allergy attack. No big deal. I took a Benadryl which my nurse friend informed me is Diphenhydramine. I seriously thought Benadryl was the generic name for the last 40 years or so. But then Southerners call every soda a Coke. I’m just another marcher in the long parade of American consumers of brand names.

Luckily, my difficulty breathing resulted in a retreat to my friends’ very cool basement to watch Team America: World Police. I highly recommend this as a 4th of July activity. Who doesn’t love fighting marionettes and singing  along with the theme song “America Fuck Ya!”

team america

It is a surprisingly timeless film. One could almost imagine this particular gentleman taking over a revolutionary era airport. In the movie he just destroys the Eiffel Tower and maybe The Louvre.

I went to a garage sale and got this painting that was kind of dark and stained but I spruced it up with a dose of anxiety.


My fear about blinking, or not keeping an eye out at all times, is that I will miss something fun. I like fun, but it’s no use being anxious about fun because that defeats the point, kind of like Team America defeating the world, even if the world does include Matt Damon.

I also chose the book for book club this weekend. I hoped everyone liked it as much as I did. I found it so entertaining I am going to start reading it again right after I write this. As I feared, no one else found it quite as amusing and they collectively wondered how it won the Pulitzer Prize. A book addressing anxiety about aging, love and artistic success in America not worthy?  They considered it lightweight but that was what they  asked me for “Please Joan – This time no holocaust or books containing torture.”  I highly recommend “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer for an well written laugh inducing read that you can finish in a weekend if you wish. Feel under no obligation to award it a prize.


From a review by Patrick Gale in The Guardian:

Novels about novelists are always a risk, but Less is about anyone who has allowed their calling to define them at the expense of their humanity. Writers may blush in the mirror it holds up to them, but many readers will find it as endearing as the very best of Armistead Maupin.

Please don’t be jealous of my fun filled weekend as I have no children and plenty of time to amuse myself. I can only hope that you ate as much as I did and sneezed a bit less.





Painting as an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant

Sometimes blogging makes me think too much and I need a break. Sometimes exercise is impossible due to injuries. The Salvation Army has saved my butt during several dark Alaskan winters by sponsoring an arts and crafts project called Transformed Treasures.  They give participants $50 worth of Salvation Army coupons in order to transform 3 items from their stores and then they are auctioned off in the spring. I have completed my three just in time to start rehearsals for a show.

As an unmarried woman without children I am conscious that I can not make my job or my blog or my home or my hobbies my life. I am an amateur at everything. Many people frown on this but it is my credo that if I stop loving something I should take a break from it. If I feel that something is taking on too much significance in my life, in that I am making it more important than my recovery, then I need to step back.  Obviously I can’t give up on everything. That’s what depression wants, so I have lots of alternative interests.   As an over active person, painting allows me to sit down and pursue something that has much more process than endgame.

In the past, I have painted sneakers, (trainers for you Brits) and  lamps in tribute to women artists. This year was just a fun bit of steampunk and Doctor Who. I have never painted reverse on glass so this was a great process of making mistakes and living with imperfection. Everything used was non-toxic. I especially liked aging the letter holder with acrylic paints added to watered down isopropyl alcohol and applied with a hand pump sprayer. What fun, and it looks like mold and patina.

Here is the distressed steampunk letter holder. The internet is great for finding old bills of lading and dirigible pictures to decorate with.

distressed steampunk letterholder Jcullinane Transformed Treasures

Old School is new school again. Get off line. Write notes and letters.

Here are my Doctor Who plates. Who knows why I love this show so much? The multiethnic cast? The great British actors? The broad themes of human struggle and humor that echo the original Star Trek?


I’m not really sure if there is a market for a Darlek dinner plate. I believe a child or diehard adult fan would appreciate it. It looks a little angry but perhaps angry dinner plates can be a new thing? It’s therapeutic to make something that speaks to oneself and hope that the spirit moves someone else. Even though it is not a terribly original idea, it’s still an odd one and I am proud of that.

The first piece I made is the Tardis plate which is a bit rough around the edges as I was just learning to paint on the reverse and get the lettering right.  But it does have transparent windows which are cool.


It looks like the Tardis is falling rather than flying but she often does that. I believe it will be a nice plate for fish sticks and pudding dip.

I’m happy to be giving these away.  I just hope I spelled everything right. If not they don’t have my name on them. I feel a bit less anxious but that could also be all the chocolate I’ve been eating. Bon Appetit.

Happy exclusive relationship day to you!

As you may guess, I am not currently nor have I for many years been in an exclusive relationship. I am also not polyamorous or  anything other than a long term single person. I have nothing against holidays because I live to celebrate the slightest suggestion of fun, but the Bernie Sanders in me has had it with the 1 percent of you hogging your exclusive ownership of someone’s heart. I knew early on that not buying a home or having an exclusive best friend/husband or even a steady career path was going to be challenging to the understanding of some people. That appears to be my function in the world, to challenge some people. Yet, had I known how nervous I would become by lacking the world’s approval I would have not tried so hard to please everyone and focused solely on one person for the best possible results.

I grew up when everyone in school decorated a shoe box and received penny valentines from their classmates. Of course, I wished that someone liked me enough to give me a big one with glitter on it but that meant there was pressure to reciprocate and I was not that competent at glitter at the time. I looked at a page of vintage valentines and recognized a few – kids in spaceships together, a favorite as well as a big pig/hog wishing one a lovely day. I’m sure I got the latter one at least twice. That’s the kind that falls to the person you don’t want to get any wrong ideas, the one at the bottom of the list, that your mom  reminds you is on your class roster.

I also saw some that were perfectly delightful which I wish I had received even if the person just sent it by mistake. Here are a few:


My roommates and I had to google how to percolate coffee the other day. One must time the bubbles to ensure unburning of the coffee. I think these two no doubt aluminum buddies are really cute.Seeing as I love to cook I also loved this following one which  looks a bit like me if I dyed my hair.


I can’t find my egg beater. How does one lose an egg beater? Did it elope with the shortening cutter or are they both in a threesome somewhere with the slotted spoon? I may never know. This next one is not so cute but equally archaic.


The socks I buy wear out throughout the bottom so that there is no way I can actually fix one without sewing an entire sock on top of it.  I enjoy the forlorn  look on this fellow’s face, as it he just knows he’s going to get the boot!

Here is my last vintage favorite. I know I got one like it before but it was a white potato because we were Irish.


This one is healthy. I love how he has a cane and she loves him without judging his disability.

Here are some new valentines I’ve missed out on, although I can’t complain as I have not sent any out and have adequately indulged in both ice cream and cake today.


I have not however indulged in custard with fishsticks.This one also caught my eye.


This allows me to laugh at my own phobia of love.

I hope you had a good time with your exclusive love today even though I did not, or maybe I did and your love is not as exclusive as you might think.



Nerd Alert! Nerd Alert – All personnel report to battle stations!

Doctor! Doctor?

I can not help that I am a nerd. I went on vacation to Los Angeles and instead of coming back with new shoes or a dress I came back with STUCK ON STAR TREK. This is essentially a colorforms book with which you can recreate scenes from episodes or create new ones. I have chosen the latter as I am terrible with details. I can’t even find my camera so bear with me and my cell phone.

.Doctor! Doctor?

What is the Doctor really made of?

It’s secretary’s day and Jim forgot to get The Gorn flowers. At the last minute, Kirk gives him a potted plant which does not appease him. The Gorn reverts to his former self before he went to finishing school. Jim calls The Doctor for backup.  McCoy remembers that he is a doctor, not a fighter, and takes the elevator to anywhere else but here. When Spock finds out he makes a bowl of jello for The Doctor and equates McCoy to that very substance – sweet but insubstantial. McCoy contacts the current Doctor, (the one who wears a cowboy hat), on his communicator and he shows up and takes down Spock with his cosmic screwdriver.

The little bubble from Kirk reads, “Fire”, that from the elevator reads, “I’m a doctor, Jim.”  These come with the kit. I may have to buy some other colorforms products to add to the fun.

Do you know the history of Colorforms? I found it  on http://www.

“Harry and Patricia Kislevitz discovered the elegant and simple concepts behind Colorforms’ success – adhesion and repositionability – when a friend who manufactured pocketbooks gave these two art students a roll of flexible paper-thin vinyl. The Kislevitzes discovered that the vinyl stuck to the semi-gloss paint in their bathroom, and began cutting shapes out of the material and placing them on the wall. Having fun with the process, they left extra material and a pair of scissors out for guests to add to their creation. Based on the concept’s success, the Kislevitzes decided to market their idea as a consumer product. Originally targeting other artists and adults, the product quickly became popular with children and the Colorforms brand took hold.”

This is definitely one of those things you want to try at home. Look what else I found on

"Not for children under 3 years old"

“Not for children under 3 years old”

Yup that’s what it said. Probably because the little glitter gloves could kill them.  Even though there are many tiny tribbles and guns included in my Star Trek set I found no such warning. By the way, it says “there are over 70 reusable character and object “Kling-on stickers” but most of these are tribbles so don’t get too excited.

Episode 2

The Trouble with Tumbleweeds

The Trouble with Tumbleweeds

“Beam me up, Scotty”, cries The Doctor after one too many Jim Beams at the local saloon. The authorities on Delta 9 are attempting to subdue McCoy and Chekov  who are impeding traffic on an interplanetary highway which they, in their drunken stupor, believe is a Western town of Mid -19th century America. Chekov is completely comatose after consuming much Smirnoff and is about to be bopped on the head by a tranquilizing tumbleweed which closely resembles a Tribble. They will soon join Scotty who is frequently in the brig for overindulgence in substances.

It’s too bad you can’t appreciate how lovely these really look. I have not seen a Doctor Who product like this but I would buy one if I could.

Sulu! Put your shirt back on!

Sulu! Put your shirt back on!

Episode 3

Everyone on the deck is taken aback as Sulu  tears off his shirt and pulls out a fencing foil attempting to rip the shirts off his fellow shipmates. Meanwhile, The Enterprise has flown into a cave and is in danger of landing. The Enterprise has never touched the ground before. The ship is actually  allergic to dirt. A bunch of rock eggs are sitting in the back of the cave laughing as if they were Tribbles.

Episode 4

The New Regime

The New Regime

I believe the new Klingon commander is saying “most illogical” (as there were no Klingon captions available). He is  concerned about the new dress code which has emerged since his takeover of The Enterprise.  Suddenly Ohura looks less sexy and more, well, tribbled.  Maybe incorporating Klingon colors into the uniforms was not such a good idea.

I had a good deal of fun with this. It was almost worth the money I spent at Barnes & Noble. Please let me know if you have any interesting colorforms at home. I may have to decorate my bathroom with these to cover all the black mold.

How to tell if you have a Gangnam style life

Whoa Oppa!

1.   You own an imaginary pony.

2.  You  can convince 80,000 other people to ride their imaginary ponies with you.

3.  You don’t need to take off your underwear to use the toliet.

4. Instead of playing in a fountain with your friends you like to play in a parking garage, or a sauna, an elevator or in an equestrian palace.

5. Nasty white stuff flying into your mouth can’t stop you from dancing

6. You probably have a hangover right now but you’re only wearing sunglasses because of all the nasty white stuff.

7. You like to swim and only take off your sunglasses to wear goggles.

8. You’ve learned it’s sexier to say “sexy” in a foreign language.

9.  You own a tour bus but aren’t above taking a subway to meet a pretty girl.

Gangnam timelord style

10. You’re cocky enough to think you could beat Matt Smith in a battle of the bow ties.

10 best reasons to bike to work in Anchorage

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Sadly I have another bike in the shed and there are at least 3 more sets of skis in the house

10. One less piece of sports equipment cluttering up my living room for the day

My front yard, May 7th, more where that came from

9. Still enough snow and ice to kill myself on the trail if I really

wanted to

Extra fancy moose nuggets!

8. Early morning is a great time to collect moose poop and other feces before everyone else gets it.

Death by water bottle

7. Show off my retro self-poisoning water bottle. Offer others a drink. EXTERMINATE!

6. Use wrong turn signals and potential help land a plane at Merrill field.

5. Admire the pollen.

4. Sneak up behind pedestrians and laugh like a vampire before saying “On your neck”

3. Best time to check email.

2. Always amusing at the end of the day to remember I don’t have my car.

1. Feelings of smugness and superiority I maintain until the first ten people pass me.

Christmas treasures to wear or reheat

I bought this daffy doughnut maker. I love doughnuts, homemade or Dunkin, not Krispy Kreme or Anchorage’s Golden Donut (which I  call Hepatitis Doughnut because of their sickening color.) The doughnut maker I bought doesn’t use grease so it’s supposed to be healthier but basically they’re cake donuts which are free of the delicious crisp crust. I would equate them with going to Kentucky Fried and getting skinless chicken breasts.  They also look suspiciously like bagels with  a sheen which might be because they are actually steaming themselves or it could just be plastic from the dough repository. The doughnut maker is the same as the muffin top, cake pop or Belgian waffle maker which were displayed next to it at the store.  Amazingly, it  just requires that you make homemade cake dough with buttermilk then pour it in the little molds. This dough would probably taste better baked in the oven as a cake and covered with frosting, especially if you use your own recipe. DO NOT use the doughnut machine recipe!

I have been baking for a few years and I have never seen a recipe like theirs. They had recipes for plain, chocolate, applesauce and something else I don’t even want to remember like banana or lime. They were suspiciously inconsistent in proportions. One called for 2 cups of flour another for 4 cups. The 4 Cup recipe was like tough pizza dough. I could have dipped them in tomato sauce. Did I mention that it also called for 2 and 1/2 eggs? Not 3 yolks and one white or 3 whites and 2 yolk.  It made me think that perhaps there’s either a lower standard of editing at the doughnut cookbook place than say, my blog, or they’re having fun with me for buying a stupid machine which is only worthwhile for children’s birthday parties when I have no children. Worse than that, I even tried to create 2 and 1/2 eggs and the extra half wound up on the floor because I forgot it was on a plate and I picked it up sideways so it sloshed everywhere.

Because I am a fixer I added more applesauce and buttermilk to the dough then I doused the cooked ones in cinnamon sugar. I gave these to friends to taste and they had no complaints. The chocolate ones tasted like little cakes and were good for dunkin’ and the applesauce ones were  less bagel like when the proportions of liquid to flour were rearranged. Maybe closer to a blueberry bagel than to hard tack.

On the other end of the spectrum are my wonderful new fingerless gloves from my friend Rose Anne. She got them for me at  Comic Con but they are also available at

Not my body but I do have the gloves, and the same grey jeans

Casey Storm appears to be a sci-fi  fan-girl knitter. She also has a wry sense of humor in that besides these excellent Wonder Woman gloves, (which I have been wearing with red fleece ones underneath), she has stigmata gloves, police box gloves and ones that read BAD WOLF.

I have now taken the really hard doughnuts and made doughnut pudding out of them. It ‘s pretty good, especially with whipped cream. But is there anything that isn’t better with whipped cream?