Top 10 WTF

So tonight I stopped off at the Safeway for a light grocery shopping escapade.  You know, the basics:  milk, eggs, fruits 'n' veggies, and donuts.  As I walked into the store I was greeted by a very friendly, snack laden kiosk.  And yes, I gave in and got myself a "skinny" turkey sandwich, to offset the extra calories hiding in the donuts. 

When I got home I was pretty excited to chow down.  I opened my sandwich to put mayo on it and this is what I discovered:

ok, I know this is a minor thing...but why do they so frequently do this?  All the turkey AND the lettuce is clumped in a ball in the middle of the bread.  It doesn't go out to the corners or even to the edges, and once you re-distribute the turkey, you can see they probably did it that way to make it look bigger.   PEOPLE.  YOU NEED TO SPREAD YOUR INGREDIENTS OUT.  if you are too lazy to do it, then for christssakes get a smaller piece of bread. 

Anyhow, this terrible experience this evening got me to thinking about other things that really need to be rectified here on planet earth.  Here are a few...

1.  (Appears above)

2.  Perfume-y products designed to hide the smell of something that stinks (kitty litter, for example.) because yes, poop + perfume = better than just poop.  (NOT.)

3.  Blue carnations and cyan colored orchids. 

4.  People who hear "YES" or "MAYBE" when what you said was "NO."  

5.  People who are too wimpy to say "NO."  So they say, "maybe" and then simply become unavailable or elusive at the designated time.

6.  Plastic pour spouts in milk cartons.  Seriously, folks...was it that hard to unfold the paper tops? 

7.  People who never stop talking, because it's the people who never stop talking that seem to have the least to say.

8.  People who say they have a top ten list when all they have is 7.  :)


her hand on the edge of my mattress
soft and curled round like pulled taffy.
zephyr to zero point gravity...right there, on the name of my neck. 

and she holds me now as nest and fur and sweet-worm-earth pull to pin-points. 
and speaks to me of trees uptorn and vessels lost.
we are as sea of vapors 
as deep and cold 
distilled to a single line 
of pins and needles 
end to end.

Frida Kahlo...a quote.

I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.

pull tabs...yes, pull tabs

Cat food...Don'tcha wonder what they really put in that stuff? I do. and I don't even bother to repress a shudder when I try to imagine what part of the CowChickenPigTurkeyFish actually looks like that. So today when I opened that super yummy can of "whitefish" i perused the label a little, not imagining that my best LOL of the day might come from the side of a cat food can.

Yes, for those isolated souls, who've been raised in self-sustained oceanic ecodomes, or for those terran pioneers who set up the first martian colony 45 years ago, purina has taken it upon itself to assist us in the comprehension of the ever-enigmatic pull top:

Yes, indeed - that's right up there with the "do not eat" label printed onto pillows of desiccant. ARE WE REALLY SO STUPID??? Hm...judging from the last election, perhaps yes.

And while on the topic of pull-tabs, today my sister sent me a forwarded-forwarded-forwarded-forward of images with accompanying comical commentary, that had been cut from a 1977 jc penney catalog.

the person's commentary on the image to the left: What. The. Hell. I'm guessing the snap front gives you quick access to the chest hair. The little tie must be the pull tab.

see?? pull tabs are good for more than opening cat food cans. and yes, there was commentary on the second image as well, but who needs it? it's no challenge to notice the visual confusion of arm/hand/pocket, and of course the matching coffee cup

And now this: 

Yes, it's a peanut...I bet you thought it was going to be a pull tab.

Good night world.

I am getting a chance to finish and exhibit my "Ghost Ships" project at Wolff Gallery!  I am so delighted!   It's not for another year, as my dates are for February and March of 2018, but I am already beginning to weave ideas around the possibilities.  

Hill House

Hill House

I have so many images.  During the studio visit Shannon said, "Wow, that's beautiful!  (indicating a framed photo) I didn't see it on your website."  Well, it's not on my website, and I got to wondering:  What percentage of my photos is not on display on my main page?  The number is big...maybe 75% of my work is not posted here.  And I do keep meaning to add more images, but then I don't really love crafting web pages.  and i DO really love crafting items in my home!  and so it goes...

The image above won't be one of the Ghost Ships simply because the format won't fit into my antique frames.  I'm using oval and "octagon" style convex glass frames.  And will also be crafting sculptural items for a shelf.  Feathers falling from hands.  Antique photo albums with ships and passing forms...old pottery shards.  I was thinking it might be fun to recreate a wall out of scavenged house parts, but we will see about that. 

*** *** ***

On another note, the universe is putting interesting people in my life right now.  I really like my penpal.  He's older than me -in his 70's and I believe has a different kind of background.  When was the last time somebody wanted to chat with me about Henry Miller and Rainer Rilke?  It's been a long time.  Anyhow, I find him interesting and sensitive and human.  I hope he likes my letter enough to write back.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have met a really wonderful person in his 30's who, among other things, teaches the flying trapese!! I mean really?  yep.  I've seen photos. 

Date tonight with Amanda.  We got some srs bzns to talk about!



I'm trying to deal with the fact that one of my pieces was broken during a recent show in Boston.  Here is what my box actually looks like....

From the inside, one of the scrolls has been knocked loose and some of the little bee-bodies are coming out.  The inside is easy...I can just glue the scroll back in.  The bee-bodies?  I'm the only one who will know that they're missing...still, it does matter to me that they're gone. 

All told, my box is not in a million tiny splinters...I mean, there it is -it still exists.  But it is DEFINITELY, and without a doubt, broken.  When I sent it, it was perfect.  I don't send them out unless they are perfect.  You can clearly see in the first picture where my box hit the floor.  The paint is broken, some of it is missing, and the pigment in the acrylic skin is also broken off.  I haven't peeled anything off yet to see how the joint is.  I don't really wanna know.  The other corner is rounded (so it must also have taken some impact) and a small scuff took the pigment off the photo.  In the third photo --it was hard to get a picture of, but the surface/varnish scratched and pocked.  And the hinges are looser than they formerly were, and the box is dented. 

If you look at any of my boxes it looks like the paint on the edges is separate from the photo-skin, but in fact everything on either side is all one, smooth thing.  So in order to make this as it originally was, I would have to sand off the entire back side of the box and re-do it.  and I won't do that.  Because the integrity of the box isn't's looser, and not being sure of the future of the joint on the bottom left, it just makes more sense for me to try to recreate a new one with a new box that is solid and un-banged-up.

I'm still upset about it as this is my favorite thing I've ever made.

So I get home from work on Friday night.  and find an email in my box from the gallery owner saying that her insurance company wants to talk to me on the PHONE.  Because it's "oddly quicker" (gallery person's words) than via email.

here is my reply:

Hi ________,
It doesn't make sense that they want to speak with me over the phone when 
all of my information would be electronically generated. Additionally, email 
leaves a communication trail that phone calls don't. And insurance companies 
are well-oiled machines...skilled at managing the lowest possible payouts to 
people who file claims, whereas I have filed precisely one claim in my entire
life, 36 years ago when I was 24 years old. So, no. This needs to happen via
email, where I can see what is happening and give thoughtful replies that are
not steered by an insurance company.

Another thing is this...I don't actually think I should have to go through 
this. I applied for the show and listed the price of the box on my 
application. You accepted it, and other galleries and museum curators have 
juried that particular box into shows at the same price. I have also shown 
other boxes and for all of them, I have set my prices carefully, after doing 
research, AND with the assistance of an experienced gallery owner. Here are
a couple that are up on PhotoEye.

If you would like, I will ask the gallerist who helped me set the prices if 
she will vouch for me/my work/our pricing decisions. But...I think this isn't
right. I sent the box in good faith, and it was broken while on display there.

I believe the person whose child broke the box should have paid for it.
So that is where I am at right now.
Thanks for understanding.

Why do I have to justify my prices to the insurance people AT ALL?  I have this idea that what they want to do is get me on the phone and ask me questions such as this:

How much does the paint that is actually on there cost?  $5.00?  oh, + $5 now how much did you spend on that bee hive?  nothing?  ok, so that is + $0.  And they will somehow wind up justifying sending me a check for $100 because that is the "value" of the individual materials that went into crafting the thing.

But what about all the other stuff that goes into all artists' creations?  What about the LIFETIME I've spent becoming the best at what I do?  What about the $ I've spent over the years just to get here?  on schooling, on supplies, on experimenting so that I could actually get something that looks like this?  What about just the time it took to make this?  How do I quantify that?  What about the value that exists because the sum of the parts is greater than the individual bits that went into making it?  What about the artistry?  What about the fact that this box, and all my boxes are containers of meaning.  That they are important things, that I cannot just let this roll off like so much water off a duck's back?

I'm tired.  Like sick and tired of taking all the financial hits.  WE ARTISTS pay for EVERYTHING.  We pay and pay and pay.  I've accepted that, to a certain extent.  That the power is lop-sided for most of us...that's just how it is.  But the very least galleries can do is not damage the work.  They charge us for applying, they have us pay for shipping to AND FROM the gallery and we provide them with free cool-as-shit inventory for a month.  But I am NOT paying for it when they break my things.  Nope.  Not.  Happening.

If this isn't resolved in a fair way I am taking it public, will post it on Facebook, will say who the gallery is, everything.  Because no.  I can't take it anymore. 

Learning new things

I think I wrote awhile ago that I wanted to learn how to sew.  The first thing I wanted to do was to make awesome clothing for myself.  Then, maybe if I get good enough and actually enjoy it, I'll make a few things for others...set up an Etsy store and peddle my dresses there.

One thing I've learned is this:  sewing is something I can do while I'm working during the school year, whereas creating my boxes is too intensive to do when I'm teaching full time.  Partly it's a time thing, but it's also a brain-thing.  Not sure how to explain it, but it's hard to shift mental gears when I'm in the middle of a box, and then go in and explain how cameras work.  Those mental processes are incompatible somehow. 

Not true with sewing.  I can do "this little thing" or "that little thing" in small time chunks and never feel like I'm losing track or like I can't remember where I am in my class schedule.

Anyhow, here is my latest dress.  I really like it.  I always like the thing I did last the best. 

morning, noon and night all rolled up into one thing.
and my heart is free!
someone told me I could skate, and it was true. i didn't even need wheels on my feet; i could skate in my shoes.

and me, now skating on leather soles down the middle of grand avenue, with a bunch of others also skating wheel-free. how beautiful they are!! so many colors! hair flying, all interwoven. i watch them, i can see they also watch me. i wonder why it took me so long to figure this out.

and suddenly it's night time and i have to go.
i don't know where i'm going, but it was never far away. i'm driving. and making a left hand turn onto a ramp.

and there, as i'm making that turn, i see another car coming towards me in the dark -its headlights off. it's impervious, moving mindlessly through the on autopilot. i mean, i see no driver. i am already moving through the turn; it's too late to make a different choice, so i mash down hard on the gas, but it doesn't work.

now i see my driver's wheel is somehow on the right hand side of the car, like i'm sitting in the passenger seat. and the oncoming, unlit sedan crashes into me...into ME. not into the metal of my car, but into my own body.

there is no pain, only confusion. everything is gray, and i don't know where i am. i don't know if i'm dead but then decide that if i were, i would be able to see myself lying there. i know i'm injured, but i don't know how much or if there is a place to draw a line, put a boundary, a period. to know anything.

and i think about skating on my shoes, and wonder if i will ever skate again or be with the others. or if i am stuck, blind, in the gray Nothingness forever.