Friday, January 29, 2010

Sing Like Nobody's Listening

I don't believe anyone that tells me they don't sing.  At All.  Not even in the shower?!
Nope, sorry, I don't believe it.
(personally, i think i hit my best notes in the shower, but washing-dishes-singing takes a close second)
You're walking down the street, humming a tune that, by the time you turn the key in your front door, is a full blown song you're singing under your breath,
until, you get just inside your living room and you belt out the final line.

If it's not that, it's while you work, or while you play, or while you're cleaning house, or while you're riding your bike.  It's okay, we all do it.

My aspirations for singing have gone a little further than the shower, I'm not too proud to admit it.  I've always wanted (deep down inside) to be a singer.  What kind of singer has run the gamut:  country band, background vocals for The Cure, soloist, harmonizing with John Denver, torch singer laying across the top of a piano.  You name it, I would sign up for it.   I've sung at a wedding, I've sung backup on a friends' records, I sang at my High School graduation, and as the above photo is my proof, I've just recently sung 'boy named sue' at a packed-house karaoke club.

And then, when I saw this video, I was reminded that singing in a wide-open-acoustical forest with your sister is really some of the best singing out-loud that there is.

video find thanks to a fellow blogger

Thursday, January 28, 2010

identity in others

First, you answer these 12 questions,

01. What is your first name? (molly)
02. What is your favorite food? (corn on the cob)
03. What high school did you attend? (pvhs)
04. What is your favorite color? (celadon)
05. Who is your celebrity crush? (jimmy stewart)
06. Favorite drink? (milk)
07. Dream vacation? (greece)
08. Favorite dessert? (ginger snaps)
09. What do you want to be when you grow up? (totally confident)
10. What do you love most in life? (family)
11. One word to describe you (wacky)
12. Your Flickr name (mollshot)

Then, you build a mosaic by typing your answers, one by one, into Flickr's search function. You choose one photo for each of your answers, and you can only use images that appear on the first page of  your search results.  Time consuming? Yes.   Kinda fun when it's finished? Yes.

1. morning stretches; molly, day 63, 2. Mmmmm, Corn, 3. joe, 4. Egg Love, 5. Jimmy Stewart & Family II, 6. Pure Milk, 7. OIA, handmade houses, 8. 054 | C is for Cookeh, 9. these girls have strength, 10. Let's ice skate to the sunset horizon, 11. my Momoko Family12. There was no photo for my flickr name

Wednesday, January 27, 2010



at the


First Girl at the Party has a new posting:  Kaari & Jon.  It's a 'home away from home' for me & RK.
We spend many a good time at this abode.
Kaari & Jon have a new book out that is like a family album.
Nearly the entire family went to work for this one:  We were runners and designers, models and chefs, we drank coffee, we drank wine, and we finished it all off with a huge outdoor fête into the night.
In so many ways, that book is just a little peek into life with Kaari & Jon and their entertaining ways.

ps: she's got another book coming out very soon that we had a lot of fun digging for...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Erik Otto has been down in the Dump

Erik Otto used to have a studio next door to me in the Mission.  I own one piece of his work and now dream of the day when I can afford to own more.  Not long after he moved in, he moved out and he moved on and he's done nothing but rise in his success since then.  It's been beautiful to watch from afar.  Those of us at the old studio who knew him for one hot minute get a bit giddy around him.  His always super nice, super down-to-earth attitude and his ability to articulate where his head is at regarding, not only his art, but the Artist-in-Residency program as a whole is such a pleasure in the art world.

He's just finished, what many of us consider a real 'get' of a gig, working from the dump.  It's a coveted, application-only spot for a very short amount of time.   It's 24-7 access to the immense amount of stuff that people throw away on a daily basis.

It was a 'challenge' he said, in a lot of ways-- one of the main ones was realizing just what that amount is that we're all throwing away.  Once you come to grips with that, then realizing what you can use, what you have to let go.... if you're a hoarder, or a junkie for junk, a flea market lover, a garage sale haunter, a dumpster diver, a collector of any sort, you'll relate to this feeling.  Sure, it would be hard for me, but I'm always up for a challenge.  It would be a challenge you'd learn to love because you'd discover a lot of other things.  A garage sale is usually one family's miscellany. The dump is the city's repository of thousands of people's stuff: good, bad, unused, unopened, crushed, wet, beautiful stuff.

I started dreaming about getting a spot there a couple years after we moved to San Francisco.  Then about six months ago, a guy named Michael walked into my little studio and said, you should think about the dump.

I've been thinking about it non-stop since then.

Recology's Statement:

The goal of the Artist In Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is to use art to inspire people to recycle more and conserve natural resources. The company provides selected local artists with the opportunity to create art using materials they gather from San Francisco's refuse. This includes 24-hour access to a well-equipped studio, a monthly stipend, and an exhibit at the end of their residency, but artists seem most excited about having 24-hour access to the materials. 

Now, that's a dream come true.

Talking to Erik today and hearing about the depth of the program & the depths that it took him to, I was so inspired!  I walked away wanting it even more than before.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

you got questions, i got answers

Every week in the first grade, we brainstorm sounds.  We make a chart and try to come up with as many words as possible.  I say "we" try to come up with them because really Miss P. and I are doing half the work and having most the fun.  When the kids seem at a blank for another  bŭ-  word:   They've given us bubble, bump, bunny, and bumble bee and I'll jump in with okay, what about a type of pan that you bake a cake in? know it's bu-bu-bu  and then Paula jumps in with  yeah, that's right, it's a pan or tray or some people say it's a type of cake? know, it's bu-bu-bu
and finally, with all their empty-eyed staring at us, or guess-out-loud-yelling: "BAKING PAN!", "CAKE!", "CAKE PAN!","Bŭ-TRAY!"  We usually then share a moment of i guess that mighta been a tough one while the kids sit there wondering why we're cracking each other up over the word "bundt".  They'd never heard it before.

This week was the sound "da" as in:  dance, dangle, dad, dandruff.
Two of our more curious boys sat at the this particular work station during Language Arts and one of them asked me why they couldn't use the word "damnit", because that worked too.

D: and it was up there before but Miss P. crossed it out 'cuz she said it was a swear word

ME:  well, it is a swear word

O: (perfectly innocent O.) you mean like the word 'stupid'?

ME: no, worse than that

D: you mean like the word 'fat'?

ME: no

O: you mean like the word 'idiot'?

ME: worse than that, and D, 'fat' isn't actually a swear word

D: yes it is, like if you call someone 'fat'

ME:  well, 'fat' is an insult, 'damnit' is a straight-up swear word

O: you mean like 'fuck'?

ME:  yes, O, just like that

That cleared it all up!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

doubt has never looked so sweet.  so innocent.  so rendering of something beautiful, rather than something scary.

i have lots and lots of stories, ideas, thoughts
half written, sorta begun,
pretty much thought through,
and they all sit, waiting in draft, wondering where i am.

i lament this 'wasted' time and wonder what's holding me back.
i read other people's nuggets of knowledge, funny stories,
or wondrous adventures
and think how inspiring it is to read.
i then feel inspired to write, so where does it go?

i don't know what it is but every time i sit down to write, i let something distract me,
take me away, lead me astray.

it could be a good book, a phone call that has to be made,
a letter that has to be written.
tonight, it's the continuation of Twin Peaks.
RK and i have rented the entire first season.

i do plan to overcome this  doubt
get back to blogging as usual and
stop worrying about it already.
but, when?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What's in the water but rain?

My parents told me LA was expected to get hit by a flood of biblical proportions.
Where'd you hear that craziness? I asked.
We read it in the LA Times!, they laughed, but my mom did say they were thinking of building an Ark.

I suppose we have gotten quite a bit of rain in a short amount of time.  Though "biblical" may be a bit off the mark, on my way to work this morn,  I had to walk around what appeared to be a mini swimming pool at the edge of Dolores Park.  The fire hydrant was only half visible.  Obviously the drains had gotten backed up in all the rain...  Maybe RK and I should look into some sturdy 2 by 4's ourselves...

In December, when the weather in Southern California was still gorgeous, my siblings and our spouses all took long walks on the cliffs. One day, in particular, there was quite a bit of commotion over the wales swimming by. They would blow their water spout and a big gush of human Ohhhhhhh!'s would be heard over the whole of the cliffside. Though I grew up with this wale watching, it still seemed like a bit of miracle to imagine these huge beauties out there, just out of reach.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

because this looks like something i would do...

I love this--I don't even actually know what it is and I still love it.
With all the uncertainty in life, it seemed like a really good, strong directive.
I don't know what RK and I will be doing this time next year, or even what city we'll be living in.
But I hope we'll be doing what it takes to get it done and get it done well.

Monday, January 18, 2010

You Won't Even Miss It

The Jolie-Pitt Foundation is contributing $1 million to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontiéres, whose three hospitals in Port-au-Prince were severely damaged.

Okay, so I can't donate a million dollars, but it sure did feel good to send a little help to Haiti. If you haven't done so yet...

Mercy Corps
Doctors without Borders
Project Hope
Red Cross
Clinton Foundation

Sunday, January 17, 2010


i can't read enough about you, from you

and then Regina came along and added one more dimension to my inspiration

oh, to write like that!
oh, to sing like that!

Friday, January 15, 2010

ah, but to dream...


Dallas Clayton has created a "very awesome world".  
He wrote it for his son.  And while I think it's perfect for my 1st graders, it was great to read as a 'can I really achieve all I dream about' adult.

I love day dreaming.  I love thinking that something just might happen, but it could totally not happen, too.  It's everything, always, on the edge.

I'm working on this with all different situations.  I figure, people that walk into every situation thinking they know the outcome, well, they're usually of the the-world-vs-me-attitude & that's rough to get through life with.  I know because I've tried it.  But, with day dreaming, you never have to walk into a situation with that dread of, 'ohman, i know how this is gonna go!'  Maybe it'll go one way, maybe it'll go the other.

It's why the sleep-kind-of-dreaming is soooooo much fun:  Flying, talking to animals, riding rollercoasters through new york city... whatever your thing.   RK and I often wake up saying to each other, 'man, my dreams were realistic/trippy/intense/weird/wild.'  And, depending on the ability to do it any justice in an early morning explanation (or just moving it on into your day dreaming) will decide if we say anymore.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Future of Yesterday

It's been incredibly difficult and insightful and strange cleaning out/up/in the apartment. Cleaning out our clothes closet has been tough. Now I'm on to paper files, and books and journals and calenders from years past. But, it started with the clothes.

Me, to my own head:
Well, I can't get rid of that. That little piece of fabric we once called a shirt, that little thing holds a TON of memories for me. And, no, no I can't get rid of those jeans. I wore those on the very first date I had with RK.

It's a weird trail down your past. It all takes you back to a moment in time.
And it's not just about my clothes. It's his, too.

No, no, no, dude, you can't get rid of that tshirt!

um, why not? it's got holes, it's totally worn thin, i'm not gonna wear it anymore, it's seen it's day.

yeah, but that used to wear that t-shirt all the time when we first dated!

In the opposite way one might think, I'm truly detached from some things and absolutely, down-right ridiculously sappy about others.  It's weird. 

So, now I'm in the other closet and doing the paper version of a past life.
Damn, between the two of us, we must have thousands of photos, a ton of music, a die-hard amount of vintage cameras, turquoise pottery, journals for each year of our lives, a flurry of watches, a stack of wallets, an aray of notebooks (both filled and empty)-- a lot, a lot of stuff.  That comprises a lot, a lot of memories both fresh and far. 

It's been a kick.  Though this project has been going on for months, just last night we did the mid-relationship-review of the photo-books of our high school youth- into -freshman year of college:  Always a good laugh, for both parties.

Stuff:  It's got a funny sentimentality.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Girl At The Party has a new post: Lucy & Brian.

I love Hollywood. Especially, the Hollywood Hills. So, when we all piled into the car on New Years Day and headed up into the hills, keeping our eye on the Hollywood sign that went in and out of view, having near misses with each car that was coming down the one-lane roads, it was a thrill to finally land at Lucy & Brian's apartment.

It's also been SO great to have an excuse to shoot people's homes!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Own Two Feet

While living in NY, I walked everywhere.  When I first got there, I often took the subway, but soon enough realized that walking is what really gets you somewhere.  It almost always gets you something, as well.  I gained new friendship, gathered new goodies, and rarely met a sidewalk-discarded-something-or-other I didn't pick up and take home.

I never had a car, I never longed for a car, I never needed a car.  There wasn't any other place to go, why would I need a car to get there?

When we moved to SF, everyone said it was a car-kind-of-town.  Since we had planned to drive across country, it seemed a perfect marriage of new place + used car = new life.  After 2 years of tickets, parking frustrations, and a one-time towing, the car had seen it's day (the breakdown on the freeway--the car's, then mine-- might have been the actual straw that broke the camels back).  We donated it that summer and never looked back.  We've been car-less now for a little over 2 years and, while I don't exactly love it all the time, I have recently re-discovered my old NY-walking-feet-ways!

When I was driving the car, I never looked around.  I used to get truly frustrated trying to navigate this city and it's one-way streets.  Once the car was gone, I moved to the bike, which gave me great insight to the city.  While avoiding curbs, people, poles and parked cars, I looked up, down and all around as much as possible.  I was moving slower and had a lot less blind spots than in a car.  Of course, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and that good time came to an end when my bike got stolen.
Back to my own two feet.

On foot I see things in the nooks and crannies of everyday life that I wouldn't see any other way.  I see the hidden graffiti and the small tchotchkes on window ledges indoors.  I see the strange flyers that are posted and the sorta seeming open-but might be closed-cuz i'm not sure it's a studio-or a shop shop/studio (man, I've seen the inside of a LOT of those and feel lucky to say so!). 

Maybe I'm just feeling a bit melancholy because any month now, I'm hoping we'll actually get a car.

Monday, January 11, 2010

watch how they land, always leaving a little room for something else to come along...

Oh, little house in the clouds, my little blog, don't worry... I shall return victorious!  
(very, very soon, I promise...)

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Real Estate Sale

recent Estate Sale acquisitions

I consider the attendance at an Estate Sale, a real, true Estate Sale an honor.  It's a moving thing, in a very good way, to go into these homes and find, in this total stranger's house,  a shared love of similar things you then can't live without.  And you make that thing live on.  This is the way I see it.

I also happen to pick up some seemingly strange, most definitely tiny, things.  So, it's pretty focused, pretty intense.  I'm searching through each and every box, rarely passing over anything with just a glance. 

Something that doesn't happen often, but can really throw you off your game, whether it be at an Estate Sale or a Flea Market, is a family that decides it's okay to bring their kids and let them loose.  Ugh.  This is NOT okay.  I'm in the process of digging through 60 to 80 year old stuff here, kid, pushing away cobwebs and brushing off mold in some cases,  and I don't need to hear your high pitched voice screeching "IIIIMM BOOOORED!" And then picking up objects unknown to your simple eye and shouting out "WHAT THE HECK IS THIS DAAAAD?!"  You know what that is, kid?  That's something your generation will never understand, something your generation has deemed unimportant, unnecessary!  But that, kid, is a label maker and a really sweet one at that!  And that is a hole punch, and that is an encyclopedia, and that is a wood lathe, you might not wanna mess with that... on the other hand, where's your dad again?

It's not just a sale for me.  I'm more than interested in knowing who lived there before and will do some reconnaissance of my own before I start asking questions.  Often, a seller doesn't know the history of the home or the specific item, but I was lucky this time:  A nurse who works in the neighborhood was there and gave me the whole story of the family.  B. lived to 92 years old and passed away about two months ago.  She and her husband had two kids, a boy and a girl, and had lived in that house for ages.  The nurse had nothing but good things to say about the family and that always feels good.  I left the Estate Sale that day and headed to another, on a roll with good stuff and positive vibes...