Archive for February, 2010

Alter Egos: Bertha

Blue woman with Yellow dress, hair and boots, holding red apple up; red apple on ground behind; series of profiles creates her hair; alter ego boots spewing from one profile's mouth.

Ms. Hubbard plus the Boot/Bag Affair

She no longer looked like an old woman and she no longer lived in a shoe. She wished the images of all those children sitting in that Oxford work boot would leave her mind. Was someone following her? Why did she never feel like she was alone? She held up her shiny apple, casually, as if to admire its brilliance, and was able to see behind her in the reflection. Was that the same apple that had been behind her at the bus stop?

Meanwhile, the boot bag gazed pensively into the distance. She had been in love with the right boot for years…Mr. Right. Only twice in all that time had they touched. But the left boot, oh how she hated that left boot. He looked at her all day long. Tried to peek inside every time Ms. unzipped her. And at night, somehow he managed to land between her and Mr. Right every single night. What a heel.

Pouting…this is not a self portrait; I never pout as long as I get my own way.

Pencil Drawing of orange woman sitting and pouting by Sarah Curtiss, Grace Art Group


Piano playing for life!

The End of Emergency in Ottawa

Sarah Curtiss painting of red woman with yellow hair and elbows out; pear body alter ego

Mabel, Mabel, strong and able

All right…this is the final result of my near death experience in Ottawa (earlier post). I went to a neurologist a couple of days ago and she told me I had damaged the nerve that runs over my elbow…she called it my funny bone. I think we should call it my crazy bone as I obviously lost my mind during this entire experience. She then warned me about putting my elbows on the table…even asked me if I had my elbow on the table when I was at the restaurant in Ottawa when the initial problem happened…probably, with a book in my hand. After trips to two different emergency rooms, making my stomach bleed from taking all that aspirin, caffeine withdrawal headaches and all the accompanying stress, my diagnosis is that I must have hit my crazy bone! Suggested treatment: keep your elbows off all hard surfaces…Mabel Mabel, strong and able, get your elbows off the table. The universe has a really good sense of humor.

Fabulous Flower Pictures

Cream colored rose past the first bloom of life

Middle aged Rose: Because the bloom is off my blossom

This link will only be good (as a flower link) until I add more favorites, but for today, this is a group of unbelievably beautiful flower pictures from Redbubble artists:

My Redbubble Favorites

Why can’t MUNI look like this? Why can’t all subways be art projects?

I want to go to Stockholm to see this. I want to remodel our underground into a giant art project. Who can we contact to get going on this?

Stockholm Subway Art

Link courtesy of Mary O’Toole

Tweaked or not?

Not sure which version I prefer of these sketches. The original is blue ink on grey paper. The gold one was tweaked in Photoshop.

Blue ink sketch of surreal humans with animal body parts by Sarah Curtiss of Grace Art Group

Humans living in multiple dimensions with built-in pets (original)

Surreal humanoid sketches of people with animal body parts protruding

Humans living in multiple dimensions with built-in pets (tweaked)

Emergency in Ottawa

Fat red girl acrylic painting with texture

I have been very worried lately.


I had a big health issue while I was on a project in Canada recently…I’m fine, all is well. I didn’t call my dear friend and neighbor who is a doctor, nor my sister who is a nurse, because I thought they would tell me to quit the project and come home, plus I am a bit of an idiot about my own health, which will become evident to all who read this. 

 A buzz zipped down my left arm and my fingers became numb for a couple of days. I thought I might have had a stroke and began taking 500 mg tablets of aspirin to try to get through the project. I read on the internet that aspirin was the thing to take if you think you are having a stroke and I figured more aspirin would be better than less aspirin. This is not true. I’m not telling how many of these tablets I took over a 3-day period before I became extremely dizzy with terrible stomach pains and finally went to emergency, worried that I was having another stroke. Because of the stomach problems, I was unable to drink coffee which is probably why I also had a terrible headache. The doctor at Ottawa emergency thought I had had a TIA (miniature stroke) and that my carotid arteries might be blocked! It was a nightmare. I didn’t sleep the entire night before flying home the next day, so was a total mess by the time I arrived in SF.

The doctors in SF asked me if I could have done anything to have pinched a nerve. No, no I didn’t do anything, I told them earnestly. After a barrage of tests, I was given the good news that I hadn’t had a stroke and that my arteries were fine. Mylanta had cooled my bleeding stomach and my caffeine headaches were over. At that point, an image of me hauling a 30 pound purse around with me everywhere for a couple of weeks passed through my empty head, as well as falling TWICE on black ice one evening, with aforementioned purse.

The doctors here also asked me where I got my hands on 500 mg tablets of aspirin. I felt like I had been dealing in illegal contraband. Apparently we don’t even sell such high dose aspirin in the U.S. Canada really is the place to buy your meds these days!

My fingers are no longer numb, I have no pain…all is well. However, deals have been made with the universe…the universe came through on its end, now I must make good on mine.

I first told this sorry story to my younger brother and told it in chronological order…omitting the “I am fine and I didn’t have a stroke” part until the end of the story. He advised me to re-think the telling of it and add the I’m fine part in the beginning so that no one else has a stroke, stomachache or headache while hearing it.

By the way, no one has as much sympathy for you when you have a pinched nerve, major stomach issues and bad headaches caused by your own stupidity as they do when they think you have had a stroke.

Stockholm subway stairs turned into a piano

This is sooooooo cooooooooool.

The night the leopard lay down with the baboon baby

This is pretty interesting…I love seeing this type of inter-species relationship.

Lion and oryx

There is another wonderful combo on YouTube…lots of different videos…of a giant tortoise and a baby hippo. This might be the oddest couple of all. Here is the link to their written story…look them up on YouTube, too.  Owen and Mazee

Favorite “Fusion” albums…a list by Jim Charlton

Ten in alphabetical order:

Patricia Barber “Modern Cool”
Donald Byrd “Blackbird”
Miles Davis “Bitches Brew”
Lila Downs “Border”
Bill Frisell “Intercontinentals”
Getz/Gilberto “Getz/Gilberto”
Irakere “Best of”
Pharoh Sanders “Priceless Jazz Collections”
Ali Santana, McLaughlin “Love, Devotion, Surrender”
Farka Toure “Talking Timbuktu”

Who is Jim Charlton?

Identity of my good luck money bone!

Woman with Star, eyes closed and wishing

Wishing on a star


It’s from a mapache…otherwise known as raccoon…and NOT, as suggested by the representative of a litigious (and negligent, I might add) Indian Shrew, the aforementioned Mr. Shrew’s lost appendage. See the earlier post for a picture of my lucky money bone.   

I have a long history with raccoons, so it is fitting that my lucky bone should be from a raccoon…not so lucky for the raccoon, though, is it?   

I used to leave my bedroom window open so my cat could run in and out…not a lot of us have screens in San Francisco. My bed was under the window and I would feel him run over me several times during the night, but I didn’t bother opening my eyes. Then one night I found 2 raccoons in the kitchen eating his food in the middle of the night. They chittered away at me like they knew me; no aggressive behaviour, just a hey Sarah, what’s happenin’ kind of attitude. When I yelled at them they ran into my bedroom (rather than out the door I had opened for them) and over my bed, looking behind them as if to say what IS your problem; we like you better when you are sleeping.   

Another time, during the day, they sat up in my living room and ate almost an entire box of 12 PowerBars and a large brownie. I arrived home in the middle of their eating spree and heard something running through my office. When I looked out the window, there were two raccoons with PowerBars in their hands trying to hobble off and not lose their loot. Back in the living room, my couch was littered with PowerBar wrappers.   

With all the raccoon stories I have up my sleeve, one would think I would have a picture of one of them, but one would be wrong. I only have the picture of my lucky bone which is in an earlier post. And so, I am posting a picture of the singing elephant seal sisters from a day trip to Año Nuevo.   

Elephant Seals singing

I think they were singing

Testicles of the Right Whale

I just saw a special on mammals and it said the Right Whale has testicles that weigh one ton and a 12 foot penis. I rented this series from Netflix. I must say my partner, William, wasn’t all that excited when all 3 movies arrived in the mail and turned out to be documentaries on mammals, but he was pretty impressed with the Right Whale…and there were pictures of it in action! The flexible penis works like an elephant’s trunk. Highly recommend this series…I consider it a great compromise between action movies, pornography and chick flicks.

Colored pencil drawing of avant garde rat

Avant Garde Rat


I don’t have any drawings of whales, so have added my rat. Why? Because the rat may have a bigger testicle to body-size ratio than the right whale. “The first sight of a male rat can be a shock to the uninitiated. Those testicles, giant pillow-like things hanging behind the rump, seem to take up one’s entire field of vision. Rat testicles — also known as torpedoes [damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead] and goolies…” from Check out the site and read about the reason for these large goolies yourself. My Avant Garde Rat is, obviously, a female so there are no goolies. I like this word. I think we should all use this word instead of the common slang terms. Goodness gracious, great goolies of fire…I don’t think that really works.

It’s not over ’til the Fat Lady sings

Another self portrait?

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