Thursday, August 21, 2008

Well I wish that you could see me
when I'm flying in my dreams
The way I laugh there way up high
The way I look when I fly
The way I live
The way I fly
--patty griffin

Monday was a This-is-the-first-day-of-the-rest-of-your-life kinda day.
I started a new job.
Let me introduce myself : I'm your new First Grade Associate Teacher.

Now, I know a lot of jobs can be loved in the first "fun" week and then quickly turn into a "job" where there is no f-u-n. To that I would say: let me have my moment. I just got back from an overnight retreat with all the faculty and I feel like a giddy, little kid (but on the big, grown-up side now).

I feel like I've finally landed. I had just about started to ask myself, "why didn't you do this before?", and then quickly felt the answer come right back: This is just the right moment, the exact right moment, for this to be.

A school that encourages students to live in greatness, to be themselves, and to treat every human with respect; All things that I strive for and am happy to be passing the word about. I do wish I could be a bit more articulate about what a great feeling it is combine a love of so many things in one job. The feeling is palpable.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Games People Play

Other than playing Pong at Denise Bedrosian's house and Ms. Pac-Man at The Red Onion while growing up, I was never much of a video game player. Maybe it's my lack of hand-eye coordination? Maybe it's my competitive nature that sucks all the fun out of it? (I truly hate to lose) Maybe it's my lack of math skills, needed to play the odds. I never gave it much thought, until I married a man who loves himself some video games. Not only can RK stayed entertained by trying to get a little rectangle to fit next to another rectangle to make a block of rectangles....but he's really, really good at it, too. Me, when I even see it on a screen, I go blank. My eyes glaze over and I wonder who is singing that song that's stuck in my head, or I bury my head in a book. I understand it's a skill--it's just one of those, as I mentioned, that I don't possess and makes me feel slightly inferior.

So, when I came across this video (via this blog), I laughed out loud (probably from sheer relief that I recognized what the heck it was about!) and immediately thought of RK. With a shout out to video game players everywhere, I give you the Game Over project:

and, yes, they've done Pong for those of us who's "gamin' skills" stopped there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What the eye sees...

I love, love, love photography. At a point in my life, not that long ago, I actually thought that might be my grown-up profession. Or, at the very least, a really fantastic free-lance gig. Instead, when that didn't totally pan out, I let it become a hobby that I like to pick up and put down. Someday, I hope to scan in a bunch of old photos that I've taken over the years -- the ones that were going to be my "portfolio" if I ever got off my a** and did something about it. That's someday.
For right now, I love looking at other people's photos while I keep myself entertained adding to our vintage camera collection and snapping away like mad with a digital (it's like crack: a whole lot of use, with not much to show for it). I love how fantastic photos inspire me. I'm amazed at how each photographer has his or her own take on the amazing in the average and the strange of the everyday.

Here's a few incredibly talented beauties of late:
Bob O'Connor (credit 1st photo)
Andrew Bush(credit 2nd photo)
William Lamson (credit 3rd photo)
Lily McElroy (credit 4th photo)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday's Fly By

Click HERE and let the fun begin

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thrifty Me

Reading a blog I like to check into, I was inspired by her recent post about thrifting, $8 plus Tax. And got me thinking about my most recent little thrift find. I, too, spent about $8 total for ten pieces of vintage glassware. When I go to a thrift store, there's three main things I look for: vintage glassware, vintage dishes, and old photos. Luckily, we live just mere blocks from two really great thrift stores. One is on the way to my studio and the other one is directly below my studio: Community Thrift and Thrift Town, respectively. They're both good digs in their own way. I actually never find good glassware or dishes at Thrift Town, but I find good books, old games, and unusual smalls in their cases. On the other hand, Community Thrift can't be beat for cheap, amazing finds. And, the first Monday of every month, everything is 50% off. Hello! Of course, it's a madhouse on these Mondays, but I stick to what I know and what I like and don't look sideways at seemingly good deals on rocking chairs or victrolas. I also tend to revel in something my sister once told me: Other people aren't really looking for the same things we are, which is a good thing.

The most recent glassware find. Four old AB wine/juice/anything glasses. These were $.25 each.

We christened these gorgeous etched champagne glasses last night.

There were eight of these, but I only took six because the other two had a different weight to the glass and didn't seem to match. Even though they were the same design. These were $1.00 each.

And then I got all excited and started pulling out all kinds of thrift shop finds from years past...
One of my very favorites. I had six of them and have only two left. They were $.25 each.

These juicy little things are this really beautiful, delicate pink that were hard to capture. These, too, have suffered loss...I have two left.

A Wisconsin find. I think there were three. Now there are two, but only one is still 'drinkable'.

For awhile there I was collecting anything with you, me, or people's names etched onto them. I'm still happy to collect them, but the good ones are rare.

A true France find.

With everything you buy, at some point, you have to let go of it's importance and when it falls from the cupboard and shatters, or it becomes a party casualty, you can't get upset. I used to guard things like this with all manner of caution, but now I just think, there's always more good stuff out there.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Playing with dolls

I'm an Obama supporter. I'm saying it loud, saying it proud. I believe in the man the way people believed in JFK, with emotion and excitement and an almost girly scream at the back of my throat with the idea of meeting him in person: A man who can change the way things are done, a man who will listen (as closely as is possible when you're running the free world) to us little folk. And then, with no comparison to JFK, I believe he's a man who respects women--as evidenced by his clearly happy marriage to a strong woman. I believe he's a forward-thinker and he doesn't look back. I believe he'll surround himself with young, intellegent, forward-thinking men and women who will guide him to another four years (yes, I am assuming he's got the first four in the bag).

Now, in saying all this, I haven't started wearing an Obama t-shirt or pins or put a bumper sticker on my bike...but I am thinking of getting a stack of these...this is something they surely would have had in JFK's day, too.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I was there too!

Every Marriage Is a Courtroom. Drawings by the fantastic Chris Ware for the fabulous This American Life.
(first saw here.thank you!!)

As a really happily married person, with both parents and in-laws who have great roll-model marriages, I didn't just love this video...I completely related. So often, RK and I find ourselves saying, '"um, didn't I tell you that?" while the other one looks, wide-eyed, blankly back at the questioner. Is that possible? you think to yourself ... or, a number of times, we'll be looking at photographs and I'll jump in with, "oh yeah, I took that one..." (waiting for the love-o'-my-life to compliment me on my exposure and cropping abilities) and he'll say, kindly, "um, no, I did." Oh.

And the whole re-telling of a "shared" experience, well, I've listened to my parents tell me about the same experience in totally different ways enough times that apparently, it's rubbed off on my own story telling. Or, so I hear...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Miracle Mara

I held in my hands last week a bit of perfection. A pure human, who was only five days old: Mara Clare Kemp-Malone . One of my oldest, dearest friends just gave birth to this little miracle. A few days later, she let me hold her for three hours straight. It was heaven.

When she first handed her over to me and then left the room for a moment, I looked down at this tiny little 8 pound beauty and started bawling. Just lost it completely. These huge tears dropping down on her soft cotton onesie. She was so pure, so perfect, so innocent. I couldn't believe I was holding such a tiny human in my arms. A little girl who's never felt pain or caused harm. We were all once this small. Okay, maybe some of us were smaller (or, bigger). But, we all started there. That clean slate of purity. When Mara seemed to look at me, or gave one of those fabulous newborn smiles over to me, it was hard for me to imagine what could be going through her brain. All I could whisper was, "hello".

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A walk with no resting place

Taking a little walk with my friend, Nancy (mother of Jack), the other day and came across these benches. No, we didn't sit down. We weren't invited to.

It did make me excited to be a senior someday. Not many public spaces can make you feel that way.

I figure, I've got years to sit down... at this point, we can keep on walking.

(as is always the case, to see photos bigger, click on photo)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bike Me

A classic photo of my mom, Kick, in the 7th grade.

I don't try to hide it: I have a big love of bikes. And not the kind of love that could tell you what sort of fixed-gear or ten speed is flying by me on the street. Not the kind of love that means I'm out riding with the crew every early Saturday morning without fail (though, I'd like to give it a try...).

I'm talking about the kind of bike love that comes from admiring the sheer beauty of the machine itself. I love that two wheels and a steel frame, and perhaps a little bell on the handlebars, can get you almost anywhere you want to go. You don't need petrol, you don't need a driver, you don't need a/c, you don't need a fan belt, the list goes on... And it's been around for ages. Vintage bikes are a true favorite of mine. I ride a classic, black, old BSA that lot, has no gears, and pretty slim foot brakes. I bought it at the 24th Street flea market in NYC (the one that now has a parking lot where stalls used to go). I don't think I paid more than $20 for it and it's served me well. I rode it all over the city, even after I was doored by a cab carrying two harried tourists. I ride it all over this city, even though the hills here in SF try to deter me. No matter how many times I hear, "have you ever thought of getting a real bike?", I'll never give up my perfect personal transport. My bike bell says it all (purchased for me by my good friend and favorite NYC fireman, Marcel): I (heart) my bike.

All this to say, I have a little collection of vintage bike photos that I'm really in love with and hope to keep growing. I finally decided to scan them and hopefully, something with them. In the meantime, I guess I'll keep making bicycle themed cards as a way to share the love. And, maybe, go on a Saturday ride with the crew....

Friday, August 1, 2008


Above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that's why I made works of art.
- Felix

Gads it felt good to get back in the studio after so long away...I think I was dying of thirst and didn't even know it. I got in there on Wednesday (after defering jury duty to another date) and just ate it up. I have three projects on my plate: a commission piece for someone I've never met; voter-DNC-themed cards for a cool shop in Denver, and an 80th birthday gift for my Uncle. I dropped in on all three today and, dang, did it feel good!

My Aunt sent me a scrapbook awhile back and told me I could do anything I wanted with it, but asked if I would use these little Japanese cards to make my Uncle (her sweetheart) a birthday gift of some sort.

It went through a few stages, as most of my things do, until I made a final decision. It's not my usual topic, so it was pretty random to work with, but I think it'll be just right for my Uncle.