Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Sunday dinner. by tweetsweet
Sunday dinner., a photo by tweetsweet on Flickr.
This photo perfectly encapsulates my fantastic three day weekend. Most of which I'm not sure I could even recount, but this particular meal, much of it provided by said photographer, T., was truly memorable.

All the outside time in this partially windy, partially rainy, partially sunny town was pretty fabulous too!

And even a first: boule in the sand lots of Golden Gate Park.

T. has actually captured quite a few special moments of the last year, luckily for me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Workshop Students and Good Ole Dad

I've been holding studio lessons for some of my old students and their siblings.  It's been interesting to have a kid's eye inside my studio.  Weird, but interesting:   The way they look at the  transfer letters, or the old german foil,  wanting to use the typewriter just for the sound.  It's been a kick for sure.  Sometimes the questions they ask really make me think through why I do what I do.  It can be frightening.

But the stuff they're coming out with has been good fun.
The other day, we started a little book for father's day.  They're 7 and 8 years old, so I asked them to each write out that number of things they loved about their dad (7&8).  They came up with some doozies.

They've been keeping very good track of each of their lists.  They've added and changed and crossed out and counted down.  And they actually found the same joy I get when realizing you can make a missing letter out of other transfer letters:  theres no more 'y's left but i can make one out of the 'v' and the 'L'. wow! Yes, girls, it's true, transfer letters are completely rad and no longer made.

They'll finish up the books next week, just before father's day and I already like thinking about their dad's reaction:  It's a great appreciation of dad-ness.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Saw A Sign

I didn't think I'd ever see the day...but we were driving down the road and this sign jumped out at me.
I haven't actually placed a call yet, I'm still just amazed I finally found the place that sells it!  Woof!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stella and her good pal, Lupe, spent a lot of time in gorgeous, breathtaking, right here in the city, McLaren Park. It's a little slice of heaven right down the road. One of many spectacular parks that the world of Stella has introduced us to. When she's at McLaren with her friend, Lupe, the fun never ends. They run endlessly in huge fields of dried grass and tall wildflowers. They leap over fallen tree branches and they stick their noses as far as they'll go into gopher holes.

When you play that hard, it only seems right that you'd need to sleep it off that hard, as well. Which Lupe and Stella know how to do right.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

And No One Likes Consequences...

The big talk this weekend is all about The Rapture.
It was supposed to happen at a six pm local time YESTERDAY.

I wouldn't even think to spend my time on it:  No one we know well knew the details through and through.  But, curiosity got the best of me and I did a bit of reading on the ole internet this morn and found out just what this is all about!  And, man, it turns out A LOT of people really bought into this.

So, my big question is not why are we still here?
why don't this many people get this passionate, 
amped up, 
spend this much money,
or publicity 
The Cure For Cancer?
Feeding People in Africa?
Rebuilding Katrina?
Saving Children?
Global Warming?
Rebuilding Japan?
Endangered Animals?
and any other topic from the entire host of terrible things that are happening in our world today,
while you're still here and can do something about it.

One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.
--john f. kennedy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

post-card, now art

Every year there's a show held called The Postcard Show.  Each artist is given a small, rectangular box and can put whatever work they'd like in there, as long as it fits the dimension.  I've done the show for a few years and I usually just sell my cards.  But,  it's an interesting challenge to see what people come up with, in multiples.  There can be up to two hundred artists showing and it's a lot of work to get through, both good and bad.  One of the more interesting ones this year caught my eye for it's utter absurdity and hysterical banality (my highest praise).  I read through each and every one but had to settle on just these few.  I love them so much!  And I promised myself I would not just hang on to them like interesting little talismans left on my desk, but would send them out into the world.  To people I know would appreciate the weirdness of it all.

My big thanks to Emily Tareila, who made these juicy bits of goodness!
I only have two left and don't know yet where they will go.
Or, maybe I can convince myself it's okay to keep just two more little talismans in my life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Memory Lane: NYC style

I would most definitely say I grew up in Manhattan, New York.
Not in the way we, as a society, define grew up:  As in one certain age existing up until another certain age.  I grew up in New York the way one defines that moment they start really getting a kick out of living.  No more holding back, live confidently in whatever direction you want to head.

One thing I never really lacked a lot of confidence in, but was surely never accepted or encouraged for in my youthful days, was asking a boy out.   And not until I moved to the big apple did I know that in Manhattan, the opportunities were plentiful, and doing so was completely accepted and often encouraged.  And though it wasn't really the great date-getting that set it all off, but the stories that came with dating,  that my confidence grew, in a city that changed me for the better, where my individual self finally came together as a whole.  My best friend, having known me since the 4th grade, said to me at the time, "when you moved to new york, you totally made sense."  I take it as a compliment.
I was dying to live confidently.

This morning, I was flipping through one of the many issues of New York magazine that our neighbor generously donates to our doorstep every couple of weeks and that I devour like bacon on a Sunday.  New York City, as many a great observer has noted, is lots of little neighborhoods creating quite a small town, no matter who you are.  Before moving to the city, famous people were larger than life stars we read about or saw on the big screen.  In New York, they become part of the daily scenery to the point of normality which can be difficult to explain to visitors.  It's the best small town I've ever lived in and more often than not, NYmag reminds me why.  Unlike The New Yorker, which kept me intellectually satiated for many years after moving away, I'm now ready to reminisce about the early days of city livin' and only NY Mag can give me that fun walk down memory lane.  They write about some classic fringe, famous and infamous characters, some of which happened to be part of my growing up in this small town.
This week there was a listing in the Agenda section that caught my eye and sent me right back to this particular night I volunteered with friends for a benefit auction held at The Puck Building: 

The Puck is a ridiculously grand building that commands a corner of the city at the very heart of action in every direction.   We were dressed to the nines and already feeling fabulous when the guests arrived.  The donation tables were laden with food, done-up baskets of goodies, handbags, surfboards, wine, all very enticing to people with lots of money to donate to an incredibly worthy cause.  Because my friend was the man behind the guest list, we all knew we were about to rub elbows with some big-shots of the newsworthy sort.  One of these big-shots (said loosely) was Dan Abrams.  Before hot-shot newsman Anderson Cooper, there was Dan Abrams.  And, I don't know why, but this guy floated my boat back then and I couldn't wait to meet him. 

At first we were disappointed many of us would have to miss the where-its-at live auction in the grand ballroom and instead stand-by to man the silent-auction tables, but I soon realized, in the parlance of great parties, we were the kitchen to the living room:  and EVERYONE wants to be in the kitchen. The party raged on in front of our eyes.

I was manning the wine table, where a donor could take home a years worth of vino for the winning bid, when up walked my big-shot:  Dan Abrams.  None of my friends really knew who the hell he was, but I was instantly giddy and cool all at the same time, or so I thought.  I recognized him immediately, those ice blue eyes and that dark brown, perfectly coiffed hair... and, what?  No girl on his arm!?  I was in like flynn.  We small talked and he wrote his bid on the sheet.  He lingered a bit longer than necessary and I was sure there was some connection.  Unfortunately, he disappeared for the rest of the night, but before he did, he told me a secret:  He wasn't going to keep coming around the table to raise his bid, as others would, but he'd be back just before the bidding closed and be the last one to write down his bid and he would most definitely win!  I tittered.  I laughed.  I smiled showing teeth and smirked with closed lips.  I put a strand of very short hair behind my ear and probably batted my eyes.  I'm in on this secret with Dan Abrams!  This dapper man-child who I watch on TV has brought me into his little world!  Mostly, I thought to myself, that will be the perfect time to ask him out!  Just as he writes down his name and number, 
turns to hear that the silent auction is closed 
and he's the winner,  
he'll be in a jubilant mood, 
I'll tap him on the shoulder and, 
in my complete confidence,  
'why don't we break open the first bottle together to celebrate our cleverness?'  
or something just as sly, charming and witty.
It'll be perfect.

And it was, for the most part.  He did come round at just-before-closing, sign his name in, give me a wink and woosh, disappeared into the crowd all moving out the front door, onto their next fabulous party somewhere just as cool.  I didn't get to tap him on the shoulder.  I didn't get to throw out my witty line and show Dan Abrams that his fame didn't intimidate me:  I was too hip, too modern not to ask a man out!
But, I did come up with another idea.
With the first case of wine sitting on the table in front of me, knowing it was to be delivered to his home,  I quickly jotted a note something to the effect of 
'congratulations! your plan worked! why don't we break open the first bottle together to celebrate our cleverness?
and signed with my name and number.  
We each had to clear our table and bring the bid sheet to the volunteers running the cash-out machines.  I was overly cheery when I handed over the goods, picturing Dan Abrams opening up my note and dialing my number in the very near future.

About a month or so later, I got a call.  This message was on my machine:

Hi, um, hi, I'm a little embarrassed because I don't totally remember meeting you, but you left this note in the wine case I brought home from the auction...and...ha, hee hee, ha, it's funny.  I mean, I'm glad you left it.  Yeah, um, yeah, um, really glad.  And yeah, it would be, um, uh, yeah, it would be fun to go out with you!  Yeah, let's open this bottle up together!  Ha. Um. Yeah, uh, yeah, um, it's funny, cuz you wrote something about my plan working or it worked or something, um, but um, what did you mean? what worked? ha! um, yeah, right, great, so call me back!  My number is, um....

Yeah, it wasn't Dan Abrams.
I don't know who the guy was that actually won the wine that night, but over the next few weeks, it became increasingly clear this wasn't the outcome I had hoped for, as this guy continued to call me demanding a reason why I would leave him this note and and then not call him back. 

Oh, Dan Abrams, you missed your chance!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where NewYork mag sent me this week.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

man's best friend, indeed

The people we've met in the dog park, our dog-people, are turning out to be some of our closest friends. We all find ourselves somewhat surprised about it. But it can't be denied. We spend every morning together. When someone isn't there, he or she is asked after. We know what most everyone does for work, their marital status, and what they do for fun on their weekends. Many of us have been to each other's houses, with the dogs, just to hang out.

From an outsider's view, it might appear curious to see this big group gather in the park, first thing in the AM. We don't move much, so you know we're not exercising. There are no balloons, so it can't be a party. On closer look, one can see we are absolutely surrounded by dogs of all sorts. And perhaps notice that we will then spend the next one to two hours (sunny days and weekends? even longer) talking about life, our dogs, our dogs issues, our dogs achievements, our dogs wants and needs, our dogs pains and moments of joy. We also talk a lot about what our dogs would sound like if they had voices.

When I see videos like this, I know we are not the only ones.

merci, rk: who, i sometimes think, shows me these things just to watch me cry with laughter.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

When I walk into the white room I am alone, but I am alone with my:

body    ambition     ideas     passions
needs    memories    goals     prejudices
distractions     fears

These ten items are at the heart of what I am.  Whatever I'm going to create will be a reflection of how these have shaped my life, and how I've learned to channel my experiences into them.

The last two -- distractions and fears -- are the dangerous ones.

-twyla tharp,

Monday, May 9, 2011

shoes, socks, and one hundred million dollars: the usual stuff




Body Heat

Valley Girl

Some super cheesy, some super violent, some just super brilliant: 
Having television has shown me that, if I have the time, I'll watch almost any movie again. 
Of course, there has to be that something there the first time, for it to be a multiple repeat. 

All of the above movies I've seen multiple times.

And today, with hours of card folding & button-making in front of me, Cliffhanger is the one I come across out of a long list of free movies on tv (there's this thing called 'on demand' and i'm not really sure how many people have this thing...but we suddenly have it, it's weird). 
Every single time I see the opening of Cliffhanger, I sweat. 
My feet even sweat.  And I absolutely, positively know what happens. 
And, though you probably can't believe it now, watching Sly Stalone as a lead roll is actually pretty great.  Not to mention, John Lithgow is truly an incredibly grotesque bad guy.

Witness, the same thing happens.  The anxiety of what's going to happen (i KNOW what happens, almost word for word), the intensity of all the twists and turns and almost caught-ness.  Plus, the added bonus of remembering a time, before the earring, Harrison Ford was the ultimate:  John (heartbeat) Book.  The George Clooney of his time. 
And don't even think about interrupting me during the barn building scene.

Heat:  A ridiculously violent movie.  With three great actors, before they became caricatures.  Every time I watch it, I cry. 

Body Heat stars William Hurt.
Say no more.

And Valley Girl is a staple of my youth. 

This is a completely inconclusive list, mind you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Whatever kind of party you're into, there's always more to see in Other People's Lives.
This whole week, parties of all types are being posted as the last evidence.