Saturday, January 22, 2011

Old Friend

Today I made a fresh pot of coffee and headed up to my studio to attempt to learn to use this fancy sewing machine I recently acquired. I even have the manual. Little E.T. wanted to help.

I wanted to try to make this skirt with this beautiful fabric, the most beautiful fabric ever:

After several failed attempts to get this fancy machine to produce a simple straight stitch or a simple zig zag, I threw the manual across the room and dug out my old friend, a gift from my mom when I turned 21.

Sorry fancy sewing machine, you just don't have that old  je ne sais quois.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

On the road again

In January of 2008, T. and I took 5 days off work each, packed up few items in the car, took some cash out of the bank, left Milwaukee headed for Albuquerque, NM. We had no plan or itinerary, just a simple goal: drive on as much of old Route 66 as possible until Albuquerque and then come back. We saw a lot of abandoned gas stations, motels, trucks and shanties along the way. Highlights of the trip include:
  • for me, Southwestern Oklahoma. It was all blue cloudless skies and golden fields going on and on forever. 
  • While it may not seem "highlight" worthy, the bout of food poisoning I got somewhere in Oklahoma
    (I'm blaming it on a Subway at a gas station) that caused me to pass out in the bathroom of a motel room in Amarillo, TX in the middle of the night followed by 12 hours of vomiting. Except for it really didn't seem that bad because I was on vacation.
  • Everything. Yes.
We took almost all of the pictures using T.'s polaroid, which subsequently stopped working on 2009's road trip to Florida (RIP) and was still out of commision for 2010's road trip to Georgia. This year I'm turning 30 and just maybe, we might take 10 days off work each, get in the car and head towards Big Sur, CA. Don't worry, though: for x-mas I got T. a new Fuji Instamax. We are back in business.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pyramid House

Happy New Year

"Things That Really Work" by Gary Snyder


Without further rhetoric or utopian scheming, I have a simple suggestion that if followed would begin to bring wilderness, farmers, people, and the economies back. That is: don't move. Stay still. Once you find a place that feels halfway right, and it seems time, settle down with a vow not to move any more. Then, take a look at one place on earth, one circle of people, on realm of beings over time, conviviality and maintenance will improve. School boards and planning commissions will have better people on them, and larger and more widely concerned audiences will be attending. Small environmental issues will be attended to. More voters will turn out, because local issues at least make a difference, can be won—and national scale politics too might improve, with enough folks getting out there. People begin to really notice the plants, birds, stars, when they see themselves as members of a place. Not only do they begin to work the soil, they go out hiking, explore the back country or the beach, get on the Freddies' ass for mismanaging Peoples' land, and doing that as locals counts! Early settlers, old folks, are valued and respected, we make an effort to learn their stories and pass it on to our children, who will live here too. We look deeply back in time to the original inhabitants, and far ahead to our own descendants, in the mind of knowing a context, with its own kind of tools, boots, songs. Mainstream thinkers have overlooked it: real people stay put. And when things are coasting along ok, they can also take off and travel, there's no delight like swapping stories downstream. Don't Move! I'd say this really works because here on our side of the Sierra, Yuba river country, we can begin to see some fruits of a mere fifteen years' inhabitation, it looks good.