Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, here we go... 2011, here we come!

New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

dogs are some kind of miracle

You can live as if nothing is a miracle; 
you can live as if everything is a miracle.  

And all dog photos from a new book by Tim Flach.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday, Sunday, Stella

oh, stella, stop it! you're killing me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

practice being human

purely by chance, i came across my latest mantra.
practice being human is the latest work of art from carolee wheeler.
i met carolee in the building where both our studios reside.
we've hung out on only one occasion and that one occasion turned into an event.  and that one event reached far and wide in later days.  needless to say, in the days and weeks and months following, though we have yet to meet again, the packages, notes, and random objects left in front of each others studio doors... well, she's become a bit of an artistic darling for me.

this latest piece stopped me in my tracks.  it's beyond personal.  it's so personal, it felt like i was reading my own brain.  as she writes, practice being human is a small book about the experience of realizing that you are sleepwalking through life and deciding to do something about it.   

a beautiful book, no two are alike.

sometimes you have to make really big changes in your life to recognize the disconnect, re-evaluate and then re-adjust.  sometimes {it seems as if} its the littlest change that makes the biggest impact.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

sometimes, thats enough

I don't have the slightest idea where this is all going.  I don't know what to expect for the future.  I don't even know what to expect for tomorrow.  I make plans, I think things through, I don't know when it will all end, and I'm not even always sure it's totally begun.  But every day is different and every day there's a new path to walk down.

So, I'm walking it,
not unsure,
but totally unknown.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor


One thing many people in a small town complain about is that there is no privacy, everyone always knows whats going on.  They know who you're dating, or  who you have over for dinner, probably even what you're cooking.  Well, I would offer up the same thing about a great city:  it's tiny little towns in each neighborhood.  Everyone knows whats up with their neighbors.

For example, I happen to know that our recently moved-in-neighbors downstairs throw a lot of big dinner parties.  I know they cook really amazing smelling food that wafts through the building.  And I now know that the potential reason for these ultra-popular parties they're having and most definitely for the great smells wafting, is that they're barbecuing in their kitchen.  With an outdoor grill. 
Now, I know this only because of another neighbor.  One who doesn't even live in our building. 

Our next door neighbor, who, because of city-life-proximity, looks into their kitchen when he's on his back porch (full disclosure:  he can see right into our kitchen, as well, but we actually are aware of it) reported to me the very next day after amazing smells permeated the building, that he'd seen an outdoor grill in my neighbor's kitchen.  He was incensed!  I, surprised?

Sure, sure, I know it's a total fire hazard... but, I don't actually know these neighbors well enough yet to tell them what I do know about them is via the next door neighbor.  See, knowing everything about your neighbors is more of a well-kept, but ultimately known amongst good neighbors, secret.  We hear what time someone comes home;  We see the guests that come over;  We watch the dates stroll down the stairs in the morning;  We hear your baby screaming at all hours.  We've all been here a long time:  an early morning nod is as good as a two hour, smoke break, wine drinking, session you have on the front porch with each other as you're just getting home from work.  We just know.  We know each other in a neighborly way.

My building in NY was exactly the same way.  I remember the first building meeting.  Hell, I called it!  I was fairly new in the building, there was a lot of bad crud going down and I suggested we band together and hold back rent.  It was a bonding moment.  Not everyone agreed.  And I think I even started a fight with my upstairs neighbor.  But the point, the clear point, was that I was looking out for the best interests of the building and especially it's tenants.  And that's what a good neighbor does.  Even in a big city:  It's important to go borrow a cup of sugar, even if you don't always need it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The other day my 8 year old charge asked me what I'd do if someone gave me a trillion bajillion dollars.  I told him I would give half of it to charity, deposit the other half and travel, travel, travel.  He asked if I'd buy a new car?  nope.  A new house? nope.  More stuff?  prolly not. 
So, I turned it back on him, thinking for sure he'd answer: video games, toys, stuff, stuff, stuff!  But when I asked, he said, "I'd do the same thing you did."

Well, we're not giving away a trillion bajillion dollars this week, but there will be free wine and cheese and lots of people to meet and greet and ask the same question to.

Even if you don't have a trillion bajillion dollars, you can still join us and ring in the holiday cheer!  I'll be hanging out in Studio 227, 744 Alabama Street @ 19th,  with candy canes and friends.  Hope to see you there...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


One of the cooler things that happened to the business this year is representation of 8mm ideas by Crow and CanaryTraboccant with taste and cuteness, the girls of C&C rock my world!  Soon to be profiled on their adorable website, I took some shots of product to highlight:

Still in production of the thousand or so buttons to be made for Maison d'Etre, I was given positive proof that the buttons are making their rounds.  I was in Port Costa visiting friends when one of them introduced me to her daughter and friend, both of whom were wearing buttons I'd made and recently shipped to the shop!  Full circle is something you can't spit at...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sew What!

I got a sewing machine for my birthday last April.
I just pulled it out of the box.
I've wanted a sewing machine for ages:  I'm totally intimidated by how they work, both my mother and sister and master sewers, I'll probably never learn all the stitches possible...
BUT, I just want four days straight to sit down and play with it.  I want to set it up somewhere I don't have to take it down when I'm done.  I dream of sewing myself cute skirts and a jacket and gifts...

I wanna love this little machine like I love my button maker or my japanese hole punch.  I'm inspired by the wacky pouchetts friends of mine sew in Brooklyn:  Just for themselves, and just for the kick of it.

I love the devil-may-care attitude here.  I love the wild stitches and the mixed bag colors.  I love the fact that they were determined to use zippers (that's a difficult sewer's detail!).  And I love the inspiration they provide for whatever may come out of my little Brother machine...

Friday, December 3, 2010

I've adopted a word!

Words are traboccant, but may not be for long (but now that word, traboccant, will be because i just adopted it!  it means superabundant, which i'm pretty sure is a word i can use all the time) and Oxford Dictionary is out to change all that.

Each year hundreds of words are dropped from the English Language.
Old words, wise words, hard-working words.  Words that once led meaningful lives
but now lie unused, unloved and unwanted.

Today, 90% of everything we write is communicated by only 7,000 words.*

And that, my friends, seems downright injudicious!
Now's the time, with everything else in our society going to hell in a handbasket, the least we can do for one another is use some decent language.  Oxford Dictionary needs your help to save the words.
And all it takes from you is improving your vocabulary.

*excerpt from savethewords

Thursday, December 2, 2010

stand where?

I used to be in the performing world.
Sometimes I think it's actually really strange that I'm not anymore.  That I don't have rehearsals, that I'm not writing material, that I'm not practicing bits with my good friend C.
That's how into it I was.
I've been jumping on stage since I was about 5 years old,  so it's surprising to me when a friend of mine doesn't know this about me.  But I haven't really touched a stage, other than acting out kids plays, since moving to SF six years ago.  I don't bring it up, of course, regale my new friends with tales from the past.  It's like telling them I have two legs.  Isn't it obvious?

I've thought about it time and time again.  When, not if, I do get back into acting again:  is it a one-woman show? is it stand-up? is it someone else's show?  I'm just not sure.

In the meantime, I keep myself highly entertained with the musings of others...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Times Today

The NY Times is my very favorite newspaper.
I was very sad, when we moved to SF, to watch the price of the daily paper go up, but more so, the Sunday Edition.  It recently rose to $6.00!
Yes, it's cheaper than a paperback book, but it's essentially simple ephemera.
For that reason alone, it's dear to my heart.
But also for the Travel section, and the magazine, and the Sunday Styles and, of course, the wedding announcements, I LOVE this paper.

I got into this very conversation with a man in my local video/coffee store on this past Sunday.  He was buying the Times and the Chronicle (which I don't bother with at all) and started to tell me, even in Brazil, where he's from, he bought this paper.  A well-read person really shouldn't do without, no matter how far away.  I was lamenting the cost of the paper and how much I truly miss it when, from behind the counter, R. countered with:  but you can read it online, can't you?
Ah, we both agreed, but it's not the same.

He walked out with his two newspapers and I bid him good reading, with ciao!'s all around.

Less than five minutes later, he walked back in and told R. he needed to purchase another copy of the Times.  I joked that it must be for me because he thought it was sad I wouldn't be reading it today.  He finished paying, picked up the thick pages and handed them to me:   This is for you.

I was so completely taken aback, I blurted out gracias as he walked out the door,
he turned back and said, we say obrigado.

But, of course.
Obrigado, dear stranger, for your random act of kindness!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

lead, the way

He's never sold a one.  Given them all away as gifts to friends.  Each taking a few months to a few years.

It's clearly a love of pencils.  A love of lead and wood, to say nothing of the obsessiveness;  the frame of mind he must go into to get this to come out of it. 

I love pencils.  I love their beauty, their simplicity, the way the lead shines on the paper.  The daily use of pencils are one of the things that have kept me in classrooms into adulthood.  I write entire missives in pencil.  I would sign checks in pencil! if it wasn't for all the implications...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monsters aren't always that bad...

{once upon a time there was a 
monster and he was very lonely.
and he was very sad about
that nobody ever came to his
house before}

I wonder what goes on in little kids' heads.  I remember a little bit of what went on in mine.  And then I think how every single one of us is so different, imagine that magnified by being only 8.  It's a combination of having no idea what the hell is going on and feeling like you know exactly who you are and what you want.  But then a wave of 'whatthehellisthisthatsgoingon?' hits you like a ... a wave.  Every day, each and every child, this is what's going on inside.  Add that in with a society of adults.  Who have exactly the same combination of dichotomies inside of them.

When an adult tells us who they 'are', is it really any different than when a kid tells us who he or she is?  At that very moment, it is who they are.

It's like thinking somewhere, out there, is a monster who is lonely because he has no one to hang out with. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Visiting People Would Be A Whole Lot Easier

I'm always feeling like I can't really leave home because I have so much to do allllllll the time.  And everything I have to do is AT home.  But this, this is an idea I could get behind.

The clever man behind these moving homes is also the brilliance behind the busycle and the park spark

In the landscape of a new America, maybe this guy could run for President.