Friday, September 23, 2011

it's just like that

If you had told me twenty years ago that as I grow older, time would get faster,  I wouldn't have believed you.  It won't be speeding up for everyone, you tell me, just myself and the people my age and people older than me.  The kids I teach, the hipsters that hang out at Dolores Park, the young sons and daughters of friends, they won't have the same concept of time, therefore, their 24 hours a day will last much longer than mine.  I won't be able to do all that needs to get done while I'm awake.  I will never feel bored again and I will wish for more than seven days in a normal week.  I will look forward to the weekends, when I can work on my own time.  If you had told me this feeling of not enough time vs. how much needs to get done can be so overwhelming you freeze.  In mid-thought.  And just decide to eat a grilled cheese and read Vanity Fair until you finish every article.  Well, i Just wouldn't have believed you.
This concept is now nothing but a reality.  And some days, it's really quite difficult to swallow.

I know my mom will tell me "i TOLD you that!" and my dad will say, "isn't it weird?", while my older siblings can only shake their head in acknowledgement.  Some days, it doesn't pay to even think about it, let alone give into it.  Some days, it's better to just believe all our 24 hours are the same.

(video:  a big blog thanks to a woman who seems to have 72 hours in her 24 and shares it with the world)

Thursday, September 22, 2011


8mm ideas' cards are in this super fabulous, cooler than cool shop down under and now the owner, Stefanie, is holding this competition for all you letter writers!  I, myself, cannot wait to enter and be part of their gorgeous window display (check out their facebook page for photos of all their current juicy stuff!)

I encourage anyone and everyone who loves mail and would love to see it come out of it's slump and keep on coming, snail-wise, to enter and enjoy!  Feel free to tell Stephanie 8mm ideas says 'allo'!
And here's a little mail inspiration, courtesy of my dear friend Melissa, to get you going...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A kid by any other name

If Stella were my kid, which she's not, I totally realize that, don't worry,
but IF she were my kid, she's the best kid I could hope for.

the stella coat, priceless

It's not that she's perfect, I don't believe in perfect, that would be silly, and stupid, and inane, and a way to drive yourself crazy, 'cuz perfect doesn't exist, but she's really awfully close.  The good, the bad, the lack of wetting the bed, the lack of crying all night, or talking back to me... it's all there.  She's a good friend, she's a bit of a soothing therapist, she sleeps in like a log and she's totally potty trained.  The list is endless and I only wish that everyone could have a kid dog this fabulous. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goodbye's Suck

It's funny when you meet a new friend
and quicker than you can say, 'sheesh, i love our friendship!'
they're moving back to Australia.

Sometimes it's the people that we spend the shortest amount of time with that influence us the most.  My friend, Catherine, has been that for me.  Besides being a person brimming with knowledge and excitement for life and a great eye for design, she's also quite clever at connecting the dots and recommending the brilliant finds around her.  Over the last year, she's turned me on to quite a few things I'd known nothing about and this latest piece is at the top of the list for numerous reasons: We Are All Savages Inside.  It must be read.

And before she left, Catherine gave us the sweetest little book, inscribed to all three of us:  Me, RK and Stella, of course, in her incredibly thoughtful way, called I Like You.

I like you and I know why.
I like you because you are a good person to like.
I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it’s special
And you remember it a long, long time.
You say, Remember when you told me something special
And both of us remember


You really like me, don’t you
And I really like you back
And you like me back and I like you back
And that’s the way we keep on going every day

I like you because I don’t know why but
Everything that happens is nicer with you
I can’t remember when I didn’t like you
It must have been lonesome then

I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me
Over and over again
That’s how it would happen every time
I don’t know why
I guess I don’t know why I really like you
Why do I like you
I guess I just like you
I guess I just like you because I like you.

 -- by Sandol Warburg

So long for now, Catherine.
We're awfully sad to see you go.
We'll see you down under.

Friday, September 16, 2011

This was our neighborhood in 1916.

I keep it on my desktop to remind myself, sometimes the best way to move forward is to peek backwards at how far things have come...

Here's to filled weekends and moments of grace.  A happy Friday to all and to all a good night.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's Contagious

I think this video has probably been making the rounds for a couple of years, but I just saw it this morning and it made me smile ear to ear. I am this guy. This guy is me: At every concert, at the sound of any good music wafting through the air, in a shop that's rocking tunes, I can't help but move to the groove.  When I'm listening to my walkman and headed down the street, I'm barely making a straight line for all the foot stepping and arm waving that's taken over my body.  I wouldn't have joined this guy on the grass that day, I would have already been dancing to the music, too busy to notice a crowd had gathered.

(thanks to RK who always picks me up when he shows me a great little video and loves me because the music moves me)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I've Been Everywhere, Man

I have been to many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone. I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips, thanks to my friends, family and work. I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump and I'm not much on physical activity.

(i don't know who wrote it, but it's my mother who sent it;  thanks mom!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Like My Mother Before Me

I am my mothers daughter.
Just as she is her mothers daughter before me.
ie:  We are all our mothers!

Now, I know many would disagree and tell me, 'i'm nothing like my mother!'  But I would ask that you take a closer look.  When you make a certain movement, did you learn it from her?  When you say a certain phrase, do you say it like she did?  Do you press your garlic the way you saw your mom do it?  For me, in all these ways, the answer is yes.

One of my favorite things learned from my mother, learned from her mother before her, is the sending on of newspaper clippings.  These clippings derive mostly from the local paper, but sometimes it's a magazine article, or a great ad seen in a flyer.  And not very often, but every once in awhile, it's someone we know from the wedding or the obits page.  My mom always laughs and says she can't believe she's sending the articles on to me, but her mom did it to her and now I do it to others, as well.

Today's clippings in the mail ran the gamut:  One was on book making (my latest and one of my greatest phases, for sure) with a note at the top 'so sorry about the spills on this- it was next to the stove', while another was an editor's letter with a photo that clearly looked like me and my mother's handwritten note said, 'oj said "who do you think this looks like?"'  OJ is my brother.  It's a nickname he earned when the grand kids were little and they couldn't say John and said uge-J instead, which morphed into OJ.  He's a trusted right hand man at the kitchen table in our house, scouring the LA Times with an eye like no-one else.  So, of course he'd see me in a photo that isn't really me.  And then, the third clipping, I knew it was coming one of these days... a quick jot from my mom that ended in two exclamation points:  More reason for you to move South!! It was an article about the naked dudes in SF.  Not just any naked guys, but more and more naked guys in this wacky city.  And they're not just walking around naked, but sitting down on the same seats you and I sit on.  So, a city ordinance is being talked about here and hopefully is put in place before my mother comes to visit!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Two Big Events in One Small Town

When it rains, it pours and it's pouring this coming weekend...
I'd already signed up for the ever exciting Rock Make Festival when our Open Studios, at Art Explosion, were then announced on the same weekend!  But I'm making them both happen and looking forward to the totally different experiences they are.

First and Foremost:  Rock Make Festival, in it's 4th year, is a rocking and rolling street fair with a band stage at either end of the closed off street in the Mission.  I've gone to check it out every year and always thought, 'I should do this!'  So, I've enlisted RK and we're going in with style!  I'll be hawking wares of far and near, somethings brand new, others are old favorites.  RK will be hawking his organic dog biscuits and showing the world how a real dog should be 'treated'!  His dog treats are always a big hit and now it's time to introduce them to the rock&roll kids that cruise the Festival.  And our big treat for that day, if it all works out, is to take photobooth-style polaroids of peeps and their dogs in our booth. 

Surrounding the outdoor festival is Art Explosion's Open Studios weekend.  I'll be doing OS on the Friday night, which is always a fantastic party, missing it on Saturday (where you'll find me at Rock Make) and then again on Sunday, for a final wrap-up of all those people who haven't yet made it through.  Open Studios is always a great gathering, bring a whole lot of random, fabulous people together just to talk about art.  It's great feedback and exciting to see so many artists in their element with their doors wide open to the public!  It's a gallery show explosion and so much fun!

Friday, September 9, 2011

How Can There Be Any Sin in Sincere?

I LOVE barbershop quartets.

A definite hand-me-down from my parents, I've always been a big fan. 
The singing starts and it stops me in my tracks.  
And a real plus? I actually feel really lucky to love 'em;
some people positively hate barbershop quartets! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

City Livin

I wrote the third police statement of my life this morning.
The first one I had to fill out, about 15 years ago, was a tear-strewn mess, with myself as the perp.
The second one was seven years ago, on the eve of our wedding day, when a conversation with our drug-fueled, upstairs-neighbors went terrible awry.
And today's statement took place before 9AM, while we were finishing our coffee.
Only in the city, man, only in the city....

We were having our daily dog-park roundabout, with about 8 or so of our other dog-owner friends, when I saw a guy punch a girl in the face and keep on walking.  She ran after him screaming.  They were gone from our sight very quickly.  We all thought we heard shots... and then, way off in the distance, someone saw this same guy jump over our neighbor's fence.  Within minutes, the police were there and asking us to fill out paper work.

What's strange about this is not the scenario itself, but the fact that this didn't really feel all that strange.  A wonder, an unfortunate incident, and curious, most definitely, but quite of the norm, really. 
City Life.  It is the way it is. 
And since the bug of city living (all the highs and all the lows, all the good, all the bad, and of course, all the ugly) bit me years ago on Carmine Street  and never let up, I just believed once a city dweller, always a city dweller.  How could I possibly give all this up?!

I'm also not the least bit unique to have the idea of packing up the few bits you own, heading for the hills, keeping your eyes out for a little house and a huge backyard, to get as far off the grid as possible and not look back.
I just didn't know this idea would be so damn persistent.   The country vs. The city?!
With the conversation in the past, it always ended with a 'yeah, but what in the world would we do?'  Nowdays, it seems to end with 'yes, oh gads yes, but where shall we go?'

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

why can't we all just get along?

i mean, if they can do it...why can't we?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I love mutts, too!

My sister sent me this fantastic walk thru the history of dogs as portrayed in the art world,

and I've decided to add a collection of photos of the beautiful mutts I've met since living with my mutt, Stella Marie.

felt mutt

patrick bru's mutt

car watching mutt

cutest dog contest mutt

street market mutt

street market mutt who hears his dinner bowl

museum mutt

insanely cute flea market mutt

toulouse flea market mutt

stella's first swim and her mutt pal, penny

regal, sleepy mutt, nemo

lupe, a guatamalan mutt, hugging stella

three mutts on the beach, lupe, stella and penny

Monday, September 5, 2011

People Are Strange When You're A Stranger

some good advice via 8mm ideas

Friends say they think I have some sort of gene or scent or something that attracts strange, weird and interesting people to me.  Really doesn't matter where I am, I usually have some sort of encounter with someone that ends in a story that must be repeated.  Often, when I'm in a shop, people assume I work there and start asking me questions that, funny enough, I tend to be able to answer.  Or, I work really hard at helping them find the answer.  To the point of feeling like I should ask for a paycheck from said shop we're in.  It's that kind of above and beyond and I just can't help myself.  I've always been amazed that with a little bit of effort, a sincere interest in others, and a serious curiosity about human nature, you can talk about almost anything with anybody.

Just a couple nights ago, at the shop I actually do work at, a man came in with long white hair and a Harley Davidson t-shirt and was sauntering through the aisles when I asked if he needed any help. He turned to me, put one hand over his neck and spoke in a way that I knew he no longer had a voice box in there:  Some dude is smoking next door in the bar, he growled, and it's bugging me out, so I had to get away from it.  I made some comment about how he must not smoke anymore and next thing I knew he was encouraging me to look down into this hole in his neck to see if I could glimpse his lungs.  Sounds strange, but it didn't feel strange.  Even when I told him I didn't think I should look down that hole in case I saw something I couldn't get over anytime soon, he pushed it, asked me to get a flashlight and insisted if I'd never experienced this before, it was a long time coming. We talked for quite awhile about it:  How it happened, what he can and can't do anymore (riding his Harley, yes, diving for abalone, no) and how one time he almost drowned in the shower.  He answered all my questions, wasn't insulted by my ignorance and truly was in the mood to talk.
Luckily, so was I, and that's usually the case.
But, sometimes, all this constant interaction can take a toll on me and I clearly need a break.

This past week, coming home from a long week away, where our social conversation/interaction meter was on high, I plopped into my middle-seat on the airplane, plugged in to my walkman, opened my magazine and got ready for six hours of relaxation.

This relaxation I speak of, this did not come in great waves.
I just happened to sit between two women who brought absolutely nothing to do on the plane and were ready to talk.  When the woman on my right started in with how happy she was that I seemed so nice because she hates sitting next to people who aren't nice or who won't share the armrest or who glare at her when she gets up from her seat, well, let's just say she was ecstatic it was me at that moment instead of them.  I got through her initial seat-mate excitement bit and again, put both earphones in and spread my magazine open a little wider to let it be known that, yes, i'm nice, it's true, i can't say no, BUT I am going to relax and I am not available for small talk for the duration of this flight, and that's when the woman on my left leaned forward in her seat, made crazy-eyed contact with me and began to talk.  At first I wasn't sure what she was saying (mainly because I'd just plugged into my own happy space), but then I slowly took out my earphones and heard her little voice talk about a party she and her brother had just been to.  Okay, that's nice, thanks for filling me in.  I sit back and recline my seat as far as it will go, out of clear eye contact and burrow into my fake private space.

It was a short time later, the woman on my right decided to tap my arm and ask me a favor.  What could I do?  I unplugged, I sat up and I listened:
I know it seems strange and you'll probably think me crazy! But I'm scared to go into those little bathrooms and have the door shut and I'm in there all closed up and I get very claustrophobic and so I usually don't drink anything on these long flights because I don't want to have to go in there, but I've had some water and some apple juice on this flight and I know I'm going to have to go to that little room but I'm very very nervous about it and I was just wondering if you could do me this small favor, I'm sure you'll think I'm crazy but if you could help me out that would be just great, if you could just, when I have to go, when it's time for me to go up there to the bathroom, if you would just hold your hand in the door?  so the door doesn't close in on me... I would just need to see your fingers, you know, not the whole hand, but your fingers like michael the archangel, holding my lifeline and then I could go and then it would all be okay.  okay? would you do that for me?  when it's my turn to go? You'll hold the door for me so I'm not closed in there? Yes? Yes? Okay? 

OH shit.
No need to go into details.  It happened exactly the way you're imagining it.  I walked up with her to the little room, I held my hand in the door, I was very discreet about it, it was over and done and we both went back to our seats.
So, now I figure I've friggin earned my alone time for the rest of the flight for that one, but it turns out, no.  Seeing me help this lady on our right, this common seatmate of ours, must've triggered something for the woman on my left who waited until I'd come back, sat down, put on my walkman, opened my magazine and reclined in my seat before she leaned all the way forward to make eye contact with me and start speaking.  Again, I can't hear her for the music blaring in my ears, so I remove my earphones and very politely say, I'm sorry, what?!
Well, I don't even like cake, but this party we just went to everyone was eating cake.  All around us were different cakes, laid out, in all their cake forms and I don't really like cake.  I don't eat cake, but I felt like I had to eat cake because there was so much of it and everyone else was eating cake.  It was funny, but I didn't know what else to do, so I ate cake.  Do you like cake?  I don't.  I know a lot of people do though, it's cake.

Oh shit.
Part deux.

Well, it keeps life interesting.