Posting my monthly newsletter promptly seems to be a good item to have on the New Year’s Resolution list.
Tomorrow is Black Friday and I’m a retailer so I’ll be at a show in Palm Springs. Today is Thanksgiving so I wanted to find something to be thankful for:
This Thanksgiving I am thankful that:
- the rain I set up my tent in was merely heavy rain and not freezing
- that it wasn’t windy so I could put the walls up without having to put the weights on first
- that my booth is on a well drained grassy slope
- that my truck was ignored by Palm Springs finest, alongside the red curb and half in a flood, with the park anywhere lights on
- that my truck has a heater because I was soaked from my head to my hips and my feet to my thighs
- that my truck was able to navigate the floods along Ramon Road
- that there weren’t any crazy fast drivers who caused a crash on the freeway
- that I decided to go for this wet setup so I don’t have to get up at 4 am to set up tomorrow
- that I am writing this listening to the rain on my roof while a turkey cooks
A few years back I was travelling from Southern California for a show in Bellevue – right next door to Seattle. It’s a two day drive, pretty much up the entire west coast of the US. I had kinda planned on stopping just north of the Oregon border, but didn’t make firm plans as I figured I wasn’t sure if my tiredness would get me that far, or my awakeness would let me press on further. I’d actually spotted a well-priced motel in my aim area, and sure enough, just as California disappeared in the rear view mirror, the eyelids started to droop.
I pulled off the road at what appeared to be a motel-bearing town in this rural stretch of Interstate 5. Miraculously I passed the very motel I’d seen on the internet. The parking lot was only half full. It was late, though. The office only had a dim light on. I knocked on the door. In a few moments the motel clerk appeared.
In fairness to the man, he was obviously of Indian origin – India Indian, not Native American. Different culture. I asked ‘Is there room at the inn?’ ‘No,’ he replied. Oh, ok, nevermind, I thanked him and turned to leave. I’d gotten as far as the truck when he came out after me. ‘I have room at the other end!’ Huh?
Turns out he’d misheard me as ‘Is there room at the end?’ and had completely missed the Christmas reference! In his further defense, he’d only been in the US about 5 months.
Here’s another sonnet inspired by the work of my peers – Pete – another artist I know from art fairs in Southern California, creates kaliedoscopes.
They might be colored or quite plain outside;
all understate the beauty that’s within,
the most amazing starburst hid inside –
just put it to your eye and you begin
to see the fireworks bursting on your eyes,
riot of twinkles emphasized by sun
or lamp or kitchen light – always surprise
and never the same, but guaranteed, it’s fun.
Much better than taking some kind of bad drug –
and good for kids! No age limit to awe
of sparkles, vibrant dance of shapes, the tug
of gravity on confetti’s what you saw.
When stress is high and you don’t think you can cope,
sit down and pick up your kaleidoscope.
A recent sale at Palo Alto subsequently got back to me as a pic of the painting in its forever home. This one might not look as interesting as you would think it could be, but I knew before the new owners took it home, it was going in the guest bathroom, so most of the surrounds are omitted for aesthetic reasons.
We all tend to get a little bit bitchy when we’re setting up. Everything has to look nice, plus we have a deadline to get set up, and we’re perhaps discovering something that’s forgotten or broken or misplaced. Maybe we’ve had to wait in line a long time to get loaded in.
Last year at Sedona, there was a couple in the booth across from me who were setting up. I’d not met them before and no, I don’t remember their names, so this is incognito. This husband and wife team had a range of items, some of which went on a panel on the back wall of the booth, and many that went on tables at the front. As they were working together, they were constantly bickering. This goes here, that goes there, where’s such and such, I need your help with this, I can’t I’m busy doing that. On and on.
After about 30 minutes of listening to this banter, which was getting increasingly harsh, I walked over to them and asked “Do I need to throw a bucket of water over you two?” Turns out a good laugh did help, though they admitted that though they have been married many years and still love each other, they’re usually at each other’s throats during setup.
Last weekend in Palo Alto, we were setting up booths – we start early because there is only one line of traffic allowed down the streets because of the way we set up, so the people on the non-traffic side get there at 5am to set up. By the time we’re done there’s usually a little trash that comes out of the process, and there was with mine.
Walked down the street a little to where I knew there was a trash can next to a neighbor’s booth. This is what I found.
I asked the artist next to it if it was something of his he’d rested over the can. No, the city people had come round and put the covers on. What? On a day when they expect a lot more people than usual and have many food stands, they close the trash cans. It did not make sense. Fortunately I have a few plastic bags in the box of tricks so I deployed my own trash can behind my desk for myself and my neighbors to use.
Later, when going to the restroom, I found the city had deployed larger trash barrels near the food stands and porta potties, marked recycle and landfill. It’s always interesting to go to different cities and find what is and isn’t regarded as recycle in different places, but I’m not going to do a survey on that. life is not boring enough.