Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rats!

I can't quite do it justice. So, you'll just have to look for yourself.


One clever, clever artist, Dan Witz.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I heard it on the radio


I listen to a lot of radio on the web.
On any given day, I click onto one of my faves and am entertained for hours on end:
KQED
and KCRW,
Kitchen Radio,
Little Radio,
and Radio David Byrne....and a lot more.

But, today, on KCRW, is a day of silence. They are doing a special to highlight the Internet Radio Equality Act. Without this act, webcasters that stream music (to keep the rest of us happy all day long) "will soon face greatly-increased fees for streaming music on their stations." Those fees will be retroactive to 2006. It could make a number of them file for bankruptcy or just plain shut down. For those of us who depend on these stations for music, news and a link to the outside world, it'll be more than just a darn shame.


{I'm currently listening to Kitchen Radio and am in heaven...this is just a good ole dj, sittin in her kitchen, spinning the discs, scratches and all...and doin' it well)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Countin' Cards


I've been happily printing, packing and shipping cards for the last two weeks (with great thanks to RK, Mo, T, and Chip) watching all this hard work become a reality. Man, it feels so good. Many a time, while folding and stuffing, I was moved to happy tears that the dream is becoming reality. I would shake my head with a big ole smile and mumble to myself, 'i can't believe it.' In a week or so, my very own cards will be in Paper Source stores around the country. They'll be shinning in their little cello packets in two juicy stores in Canada! And the fun part of that is that everyone around me has been so supportive, reaffirming these wonderful feelings.

So, with just a few more boxes to be shipped and a couple more phone calls to make...I've started dreaming of the studio. Ahhhh, the studio. I haven't been in the studio in over a month and I am jonesing for it. I've got all these ideas swirling around in my head, my ipod is loaded up with new music to work by, and it's just down the street I must go...
I cannot wait.

(T. took the window-gazing photo of me and my cards, above)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

How Sesame Street Can Save Your Life

This is unbelievably good.

And this is Me and Grover(one of the key stars in Sesame Street) sitting in D.'s front yard. And that is my family's VW van in our front yard, next door.

interesting note: D., holding a snoopy doll, is now a billionaire.

And, not that I'm saying anything against him personally (i haven't seen him in years) but I'd like to think, while I enjoyed the Peanuts, too, and I might not have a lot of money, the end result of being a die-hard Seasame Street fan is that I've got a lot of soul.


(big, big thanks to Chas Bowie for always having his metaphorical finger on the pulse of great stuff--spend some serious time at his site, people)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Past Life of Furniture



Recently my friend Ian told me he was moving again. The poor guy has moved three times in as many months and for any of you who have moved even once in your life, you know how huge a hassle it can be. You usually end up leaving something behind, tossing away some fabulous thing or passing it on to a friend... and this is where I come in. Before Ian knew he had to move, he had me over to his latest apartment where I spied a beyond-gorgeous couch I'd never seen before. It was his grandfathers and he recently inherited it. I told him he could never get rid of it and if he was even thinking about it, I would take it in a millisecond. Of course, I have no place for another couch. We already have a gorgeous old, wood-framed, 9-foot couch that we bought in a thrift store and took about 3 and a half hours for my friend, Mike, and I to get up to this apartment. That was 3 and a half hours just in the stairwell. Stuck. Trying to figure out how in the hell we were gonna get it up the next two flight of stairs without ripping out the building's railing. RK and I also own about 12 chairs, two bar stools, a couple of vintage odd chairs, a bench, two step stools and the previously mentioned 9-foot couch. We only have one table. Why, just yesterday, my brother who was visiting this week, found us four more gorgeous 1940's wooden folding chairs on one of his major scavenging hunts. Thank god they fold up, we thought, we have absolutely no room for them. But, just like with all the other odd furniture, we couldn't resist and accepted them graciously.
So, when Ian called me the other day and told me he was moving, he also told me he couldn't take his grandfather's couch with him and would I please take it off his hands. I was speechless. I wanted that couch. And it made me start to think about all the other furniture in this apartment and how almost everything we own either came from friends or a good find off the street or a thrift store.

One of my early acquirement's: when I moved from upstate NY to the city, Charles & Helen were cleaning out their barn and gave me these juicy nesting tables. These probably get used more than any piece of furniture in our house.

When my grampa passed away, I told my mom I'd like anything and everything that she was willing to pass on. I have tons of his books, some of his tools, and this fantastic clock that, when wound up, ticks and tocks louder than the loudest rock music. So, you can imagine the alarm on it!


This fantastic hutch came out of C & K's old apartment building. It wasn't actually even in the apartment anymore. Everyone in their building was getting evicted by a not-so-cool landlord and so it was a free-for-all in the storage room. There were three of these in there and we each got one. The physical pain that it took to move this thing and get it up to our apartment was worth it. Well, I actually didn't endure any of the physical pain. But I'm sure the boys would agree. Right, guys?


These mirrors all came from my grandparents house... i wish they could talk.


The most recent table and chairs set we own came from our good friend, Quinn, who's x-girlfriend actually bought it. He didn't want it around anymore, but doesn't seem to mind hanging out on it at our house. He got rid of a lot of stuff when he moved down south, but he can actually visit most of his stuff right here at our place now.


And this piano has lived many, many lives...I got it from my friend Mike, but before that, it lived in the apartment two flights up from us in nyc. The neighbors that sold it to Mike said the guy that lived there before them left it behind. When Mikey decided it was taking up too much room and he wanted to let it go, he moved it into the hall of our building, waiting for it to get picked up by my sister (she wanted Sofia to learn how to play). It sat in the hallway, between our two apartments, for months. I remember one time my parents were visiting around Christmas and one of our neighbors came down and started playing xmas carols on it. We opened my apartment door, my family and I sitting around my kitchen table, and listened to him play. We clapped, he kept playing. If it hadn't been for the super threatening to toss it out, it could have stayed there forever. An unattended piano in a run-down apartment building is hard to pass up if you know how to play. The funny thing is, other than one song I taught myself when I was 11 (Stevie Wonder's, "for once in my life"), I have no idea how to play. But, my sister decided she didn't want it and into my apartment it moved. Luckily, I met RK, who knows how to play and has entertained me for hours on it. When we knew we were moving to CA, I said, "we're leaving the piano behind. we're not paying to move that big ole thing." RK said no way, we're absolutely taking it with us! Three months later, when it finally came time to move, he gave in and said, "okay, we can leave it behind." But, by that time, I'd grown to realize what a major role it had played in our life and I wasn't willing to let it go. So, along it came...


We may have to move some chairs to the side, but I'm just sure we'll find a place for Ian's couch.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Dad's Day


Father's day was this past Sunday & because I was out of town, I didn't get the chance to honor my own pop. So, a day or so late, but the sentiment holds true all year long...

My dad's a true believer in pulling-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps and making your dreams come true. His own dad wanted him to follow in his footsteps and be an insurance salesman. He tried it, he really did, but he knew that wasn't where his heart truly was. So, he worked and worked and worked some more and became his own kind of salesman. My pop loves modern furniture and beautiful flatware and gorgeous crystal pieces and spectacular craftsmanship. Until this past year, he was a sales rep for some of the most beautiful high-end lines created. He owned his own company for most of his life: He was his own boss and made his own successes. He raised five kids in a gorgeous town by the ocean and introduced us to sushi and anchovies and skiing, all before we were five years old. He taught us you catch most bees with honey, and introducing yourself when you walk in a room opens up a world of possibilities. He's always the first to try something new and now, in his 70's, has started two groups with his friends: E.A.T.S. (i can't remember what it stands for, but it's all about eating unusual food that each one of them has made) and a wine group (all different price categories, but one type of wine, to see if a $5 bottle can't be as yummy as a $100 bottle). He's a big one for totally relying on family and standing by you when you're the underdog. He doesn't always agree with all your choices and he's reeeeeeal comfortable telling you that. But, I wouldn't have gotten as far as I have in this life without the support of my dad over the years. I wouldn't have the anal-organizing gene, which saves me many a time. And I wouldn't believe you can do anything you put your mind to if it weren't for my dad.

Happy Fathers Day and beyond, Pop. Love you!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Good old fashioned post!


Last week I walked out of my apartment and just wanted to look in the mailbox on my way out. I LOVE getting mail. I love seeing my name or RK's name or one of our last names, lovingly hand-written on an envelope, package, or postcard. LOVE it! But, on that day, when I opened the box, there was nuthin but junk mail. Boo-hoo. I thought about it for a few blocks, actually, and it reminded me of the patch I bought from modern times bookstore just last weekend: the moment I saw it (that's it above), I knew I had to have it. I have no problem making that kind of statement on my chest! (it is soon to be sewn on to a tshirt, at a little craft night i'm gonna have at T's)
Gosh dangit, I believe in the USPS! Well, at least I believe in the power of mail. It's not always true that you'll get a letter if you write a letter--and in this case, I'd like to quote the Rolling Stones when they say, "You can't always get what you want
but if you try sometimes, well you might find you get what you need".
And if that ain't the truth...so, no more pondering on junk mail and bills, I need to stop my complaining and check out the bounty that has arrived in my postbox over the last few weeks--just beautiful!
Before I headed out to NYC for the show, my sister, Kaari, thought I might need a boost and sent me some really juicy postcards from an artist named Pam Garrison. It was a gorgeous package to match the beautiful work inside. She hand painted the entire envelope and it blew my mind!

Then, last week, totally out of the blue, I got this package from Melissa, who is packing up her big ole apartment to move to Dumbo and I made her swear not to just toss anything out. She did not disappoint a basic postal envelope filled to the brim with all these goodies! I love notebooks, too and this should keep me in good steed for awhile. Thanks, Melissa!

Just yesterday, I got back from a fantastic weekend in Ojai with RK and there were two big envelopes, totally decorated, as well, addressed to little ole moi! One was from Christina, who has sent me many, many things in the mail (she loves a bit o' the ole mail as well)and inside were multiple goodies. Some juicy little paper bits and things she'd bought in NYC and some Sukie sticki-notes I just plain love!
Thanks, T!!!

And the other envelope I'd received this day was from a great girl I met in SF when I first moved here. We were both volunteers for 826Valencia and it just clicked: our little walks and bike rides and finding unusual things around the city. She was the first person to introduce me to the magical, secret-seeming South Parkneighborhood downtown. In her decorated envelope were pages from a book she'd found about horse-riding. They're beautiful old, worn pages that feel like a brown paper bag and my favorite part is the dedication. She writes,
"To My Husband
Who Remained Patient, Amiable and Encouraging
in the Face of a Hectic Home Life
During the Writing of This Book"
(all caps are hers)
Celine said she'd hoped I'd find some material to use in these pages, and I just know I will.

And a promise here and now, never to complain about an empty mailbox, because you never know what might be winging it's way towards your very address!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Time For Hats

How marvellous of you to know exactly the right hat to wear at seven o'clock in the morning to meet a friend who has been away.
- Oscar Wilde

Speaking of friends and hats, I'd like to introduce my fabulous friend, Kelly Christy*. She made my piece-of-candy-hat (above photo)for my wedding, specifically to match the fabric of my dress (which was my mom's). And she makes a ton of other hats, too!

She's been in the biz for years. And with so few true milliners around these days, it's best to go to the source. She makes mens and womens and everything you never knew you needed but once you see it you have to have it! When I lived in nyc, I used to hang out at her shop and try on all the hats. If someone would walk in while I was playing around, I'd offer to try on any hat they wanted to see. I became an un-official model of kelly's hats (or, at least that's how I remember it!). We could talk about hats, fabric, feathers and trim for hours on end. Some of my sweetest memories are hanging out at Kelly's old shop on Elizabeth Street. Many a day we spent sitting on her special little wooden chairs out front, Kelly pounding out a hat, me, just people watching. Everyone in the neighborhood knew her and they would stop and talk about the 'hood and how it was changing so quickly. It came to pass that even Kelly's shop would change. It's no wonder at this point; have you seen Elizabeth Street lately?

Luckily, the brilliance lives on in a nearby studio suited with an orange door (pure serendipity, that happens to be Kelly's logo color, as well). And if you live in the new york area, well, she's even started teaching classes. There is a part two of the classes, not yet listed, but if you're interested, you should give them a call.

Everyone needs at least one hat.

*i just found these funny little notes i'd made when i was hanging out with kelly last month in nyc: kelly christy taught me about the "glass" of beer as opposed to the whole pint. She taught me anything goes, but manners still count. She always know how to put a silver lining on something.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I can say I knew her when...



My niece made this awesome piece. She gave us one while we were down in LA for her birthday (note the limited series in the lower left hand corner, she's not handing these out to just anyone!). She's been taking a lot of cool classes on a lot of sorta old school techniques, this one being screen printing. As with most amazing things she creates, she was very nonchalant whilst handing it over to us.

"Hey, Molly, I have something for you guys."

"OH, SOFIA! I love it! Thank you. You know what? I love the color orange and we love carrots, too! So, that works out really well..."

Sofia lets out a big sigh and a sort of roll-of-the-eyes and says, "Gawd, I'm so glad you know what they are. Some people thought they were flaming pizza slices."

I suppose, if you're thinking pizza...there is a slight resemblance, but I think the big smiles and high five arms give it away as carrots immediately.
Pizza never shows that much emotion.

Monday, June 11, 2007

having a dream, making it happen



This is it.
This is just the beginning.
Don't be scared. Don't be worried.
You get what you go for.
Put your all into it.
I know, it's a lot of investment: (Do you trust this one? Do you have the stamina to see it through?) It's an emotional, monetary, lifestyle, lifetime investment.
But, I just know it's worth it.
This is the one.
This is it.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Found: sweet-juniper


I think it's amazing that two people can be SO open and out there on the big ole web AND be fantastic, interesting writers, as well. It's a joy to read.


I've been scanning their site for one, just one, at least, post to reference here (i wanted to link to this one post about this young kid with a yo-yo..but, i can't find it again!)...instead, I got so sucked in....i've been at it for 40 minutes. Every single one I read is excellent, makes me laugh out loud.
For you san franciscans, you'll dig this one.
This one is quite good,too.

It's a blog about parenting, parenting differently, they say. It feels like more than that.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Blogs: The wonderful world of random communication!


I've been tagged by Christina. Now, full disclosure...i'm fairly new to all this, so maybe it's widely known by others, but i'd never heard of "getting tagged". I had to link along from T's blog to find out exactly what it means. So, I'm gonna list 7 random things about myself and then tag 7 more people to do the same.
Let me just say, I dig it.

1. Stationary stores, especially old ones, really make my heart pound. I could spend an entire day and lots of money on old paperclips, ledgers, and labels.

2. I LOVE taking baths. My favorite thing to do, growing up, was to get a good book and spend hours upon hours in the bath reading. I would miss dinner for it and let the water get cold before I was ready to come out. I need to take up that habit again.

3. I would like to have children that my parents and RK's parents have the opportunity to grow old with.

4. Witness, with Harrison Ford, is one of my favorite films of all time.

5. I'm happier than I've ever been. My life gets juicier all the time.

6. I love being open to colors. I can be frozen still by seeing a great orange slide or a bright red bench or a purple flower.
I mean, a PURPLE flower! How do they that?

7. I'm a BIG crier. I tend to cry really, really hard when I'm happy or moved by something beautiful.

Now, going with the flow... I have to "tag" 7 other people, I'm not sure I know 7 other bloggers, darnit! but i'll try... Here goes: I tag Danica, megan, mike, ummmm...do you need to actually know the people you tag? If so, I've got to leave it there. But I sure had fun doing it! Thanks, T!

*Ah, I'd like to add two more: Nora & Damond, who's fun blog I just discovered and Deb Stein, after this incredible post she wrote about me, it's the least I could do (this put me in tears of happiness for a good 20 minutes, at least!)

... tag, gang, you're it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

When Genius meets Genius



It's not that they were so incredibly cool when paired together. In fact, almost the opposite. But, they're coolness alone made it doubly good to be there.

One of the greater things I did in while I was in nyc was go to the Public Library with Suzanne and enter from the side door, into the Humanities and Social Sciences library, to see Miranda July read from her new book, hear Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond and have David Byrne wrap it all up, with both an interview and a song.

Miranda July made Me and You and Everyone We Know, a movie that is so juicy it's hard to describe. I highly recommend watching it though.
I included that link to it, but I suggest not reading the blurb about it. It can't describe it either. It's supposedly a summary, but you can't summarize this movie. At least, you shouldn't have to.

Besides making this happen for awhile now....recently, Miss July came out with a book, titled, No One Belongs Here More Than You. She read a few passages from it and we, her audience, were mesmerized. I want to buy the book, but I want her to come over and read it to me. Probably not gonna happen. So, I got the most out of the moments we were there. She also had an audience participation part, sorta, in that, we, the audience, were taken in by her off-the-cuff-stories at one point. Only to be highly amused later when it was revealed those stories were true but the people pointed out as characters were just innocent by-standers. It was an awesome roller coaster.

David Byrne, never one to disappoint, gave a quirky, somewhat halting "interview" with Miranda in part III of the night. You could tell he'd put a lot of thought into his questions. So much so that the questions were more like musings and then the "what up with that?" bit at the end. It was curious to watch. One of his questions was about the dis-illusioned utopias her characters seem to invent/live in. And she answered that she didn't see those characters as dis-illusioned or ill-fated, but believed that those characters, like alot of us, have hope that that utopia does exist,
"Having that hope is almost the same as living there," she said.
(i shouted out a big 'right on!' and started clapping, as others joined in)

Miranda July's website is worth spending some serious time with, and if you haven't already discovered David Byrne's Journal, go there now and eat up some culture and politics davidbyrne style.


*the top tri-image is from joanie4jackie, a miranda july project
*the image of the crowd is from david byrne's journal, 4-7-06

It's A Beautiful Thing...


I was more than inspired on this trip to new york, I was moved. So different than the last time I was here. Maybe it was the strange overcast skies, that never broke rain. Or maybe it was after 8 hours in the javitz center, where there are no windows, no natural light at all, no real sounds, and pumped in air, kaari, suzanne and i walked out onto to 10th avenue and 35th street and decided to hoof it downtown. The weather was perfect, the streets busy like i remembered them and the sun was going down slowly over all these old buildings and i saw the old new york that i fell in love with many years ago like paint peeling off an old piece of furniture and you remember the good-time years it was painted hot pink. You know, it probably has alot to do with the fact that i stayed in my old apartment. The old corner, the old coffee shop, tony the guy on the corner, joe who owns the hardware shop--strange, even though the neighborhood has changed--it feels good, and familiar, and comfortable.
It was interesting, also, to come back to ny on these terms: i'm starting this business. i'm putting my product out to a real base of people for the first time. [a couple of my friends had asked me if i was nervous the day before the show and i said, 'nope. not a bit. whats to be nervous about?' and then....it hit me at some point while standing there in my booth, i could barely eat, my stomach felt full of nerves. thankfully, it passed, it passed.] And i was rewarded, greatly. What a treat, not only to re-connect with old friends and shop owners we loved, but to meet so many new, fantastically excited new friends and shop owners. We met a great woman from canada, who ended up visiting the booth at the end of each day, talking about the best places to eat, or get a drink. By the time we broke down the booth, she felt like family. The connections made with these new shop owners feel like i'm on the right road to something wonderful. There was also the fab little connection with a freeman fellow: freeman is the thinly disguised "mafia" that runs the equipment side of the javits center. Day one, kaari and i decided we better get to know one of the guys so we could have a little 'in' (you always need something in that place: an extra chair, another metal bar for the booth, a wine opener) and our pal, jim, never failed to come thru for us. He started leaving heaps of candy from other people's booths on our chairs, covered with fabric...there for the finding... He'd stop by in the middle of the day to make sure everything was okay, or to update us about his whereabouts. jim was great. He really made our show. So did our booth neighbors, lisa and chase. They rocked as neighbors. I met some of my favorite card designers: the girls at yee haw, and fomato and a cool guy named Robert Warner. He has a studio that you can visit at South Street Seaport Museum. It's called Bowne & Co. Stationers. Old school i'm assuming. He was a really nice guy and very into the world of paper, which i get into heavily myself (oh, please, i can talk 'ephemera' and the-great-finds til the cows come home! it's why our friend, amy, doesn't let my sister, kaari, and i sit next to each other at the dinner table.) anyhoo, robert warner seemed like a very nice man and his studio seemed like a good place to visit. His calling card is beautiful. And on the same trip, my friend, melissa (who's got incredible taste), gave me a postcard that he'd made. She said she'd had it for ages and had meant to give it to me...she'd been to his studio and thought this was perfect for me. I absolutely agree. So, i haven't been yet, but if you ever get to 211 water street, ny, ny, lemme know! i hope to go the next time i'm there.

So, the stationary show was wonderful.

I couldn't have done it without the intricate web of amazing people i know and love. I couldn't have done the show, or shown the wares, or stayed in the city, or had the dinners i had, or the moments of pure joy at being part of all this if it weren't for the following: RK, Kaari, Jon Z, Suzanne, Sue, Brendan, Stella, T, Shereif,and Mona. And getting to spend some quality time with jason, meseke, melissa, kelly, amy and caroline didn't hurt either!
The entire time I was there I was thinking, if i could just....get..... to... a.... com....pu....ter (sorta like that superman feeling, when he's around kryptonite, or the person that knows what happened that night of the murder in clue and they would tell all if they could just....get....to....that....phone.....), i would write it all down, i would put it all into words, i would post it online and out to those few that read this, just so they could truly know, and i would forever capture that feeling that was going on. Funny, I hadn't thought about it until now, but maybe that's why i never got to a computer...i was committing the moment to memory by being engaged and present. It really got to me this time. I think of those two weeks now and it makes me smile. Over and over and over.

I know i'll want to revisit many of those people and moments over the next few months and share em with you few who read this...

Friday, June 1, 2007

A decade of love



It's my niece, Sofia's, tenth birthday today. So, RK and I headed to LA to celebrate with her. We got off the plane and she was waiting outside the doors and came running, with a huge smile on her face, and leaped into my arms. It made me realize how grown up she really is. I used to be able to put her on my back and walk the city for hours. Now, she's like a little adult.

Ten years ago today, I had no idea how totally amazing this person would become in my life. I had no idea that I would cry when she first tried to say my name and instead called me "mallah" for years. And then, the first time she wrote the letters, all totally out of order, but they were there (L-L-Y-M-O) I bawled over the piece of paper like it was a picasso. She did it to me again.

It was Sofia who solidified the name of my business, 8mm, by finding an old wooden 8mm hand-stamp on the street in nyc and looked up at my sister and said, 'you know who would love this? mallah!' And, she was right, I did.

It was Sofia who told me what clothes looked good together (at her tender age of five) and what looked absolutely horrid, while I raced around trying to get dressed for some special occasion.

It was Sofia who got me to make up stories about penguins and ladybugs and magical lands and who sang songs to me about her own magical, mystical places in her head.

Even though I'm many, many years older than her, I feel like we grew up together. For six years, we lived just blocks from each other in the city, and hung out together on a daily basis... she was the first one to ask RK if we were gonna get married, and made it clear she was going to be a flower girl on our big day.

She has a mind like a sponge and can imitate everyone in our family, just like I used to do. She once wrote in a school paper that when she grows up, she'd like to be like her aunt molly. Yes, I sobbed a cheerful ton of tears over that one, too.

She feels like my sister and my kid, and sometimes my mentor, all in one. She's smart and beautiful and a wonderful friend as well as a great daughter and fantastic niece...and I can't wait to keep growing up with her.

Happy Birthday, Sofia. How lucky we are to know you....