Friday, December 14, 2012


When I am not in the studio, I work for a really big retail store. One of my jobs is putting stuff on the shelves. The other is picking up after people when they decide that they really don't want to purchase something. This second assignment is tremendously interesting. For example: here I am, going along, efficiently plumping up spa towels, when all of a sudden I find an Angry Birds sippy cup, tucked discretely behind a stack of Muddy Azure Luxury Bath Sheets. And look over there, behind the Down-Alternative Pillows! A manly-sized bag of beef jerky.

Because there is no designated dumping bin in the store to stash the things you realize you don't need, can't afford, or never should have picked up in the first place, you have to do something with your tube of Peppermint-flavored Pringles Potato Chips. I understand. You could trek back to the Healthy Snack Section, or you could make better use of your time and put it somewhere where it would eventually be found and returned to its proper home.

I am endlessly intrigued by this unchoosing process. As shoppers, we have a sense that there must be cameras or people watching us and that unloading the item that has lost its allure will probably be observed. Right? Wrong. I have yet to see the stashing of an orphan product, When I find one, I do like to think about the shopper's strategy: 

1) Putting this thing here is not really not too far from where I got it. 
2) It's kind of the same shape and sort of the same color as the stuff already here.
3) Someone in the diaper aisle may just happen to need romantic pillar candles.
4) I really have to get out of this store. Sorry. 

It's okay. Really.  When you have to discard a sweater in the pickle section, don't feel bad. You have entertained me.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Powerful and Sweet Dragon

I am lucky to have Louise. She has been my friend since we met in sixth grade and discovered that there could be -- if the stars are right -- someone else who is just like you. Sure, I know that it is wonderful and challenging to encounter and to love people who are total mysteries to your mind and heart, but you can't beat having a friend like Louise

She is not a simple person, although her way of living is careful and orderly. She is utterly brilliant, but her way of being in the world is respectful, inquisitive, and admiring. Louise has a potter's gesture that reveals itself when she is making tea or making up the guest room. She knows just about all there is to know about Asian ceramics but is always on the prowl for new ideas and other ways of looking at things.

For her birthday, for the new year, and to mark our long and important friendship, Louise sent me a  beautiful Vietnamese robe. She and I will wear these dragons on our spines, together, simultaneously, and forever.