Monday, June 27, 2011

Road Trip - Marfa and Points Beyond

There were deserts of sand...

and pillars of light...

and waves of heat...

and meals on wheels...
and flickers from the past...

and mile after mile of endless possibility.

Out here, it's America.

I'm on Interstate 10 and headed home to Hollywood.
Full recap soon.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heading Yonder

(Scotland, 2010)

"All travellers are optimists. Travel itself is a kind of optimism in action."
~Paul Theroux~

Good morning, glories!

By the time you read this post, I will be about fifty miles into a Southwestern road trip with a girlfriend of mine and our two 9-year-old boys. I spent all Sunday trying on clothes appropriate for 100-plus degree weather...and bitterly reproaching myself for behaving as though the last three weeks have been National Dessert Month. (Note to Self: Find out whether stomach crunches are possible to do in a moving car.)

Anyway, our itinerary includes staying overnight in an unfinished 1970's experimental town that looks like something out of "Logan's Run"...
(Arcosanti, Arizona)

...sledding down gleaming white mountains of sand...
(White Sands National Park, NM)

...and spending some quality time in a burgeoning art colony in one of the least populated, most isolated parts of the United States.
(Prada art installation, Marfa, TX)

Oh, and the boys are crossing their fingers that some paranormal phenomena will make an appearance too.
(Marfa Mystery Lights)

Part of taking an adventure is allowing oneself the opportunity to explore the unknown, and so we are padding our trip with enough extra time to make a few spur-of-the-moment decisions. To quote Paul Theroux again, "A tourist doesn't know where he's been. A traveller doesn't know where he's going." We're aiming for the latter.

(I am intent on posting from the road, so keep checking in this week for updates.)

Next on the agenda --

I am crazy in love with my brand-new business cards from Printed on super thick card stock, they are slimmer than regular-sized cards and feel lovely in the hand. Plus, they just look chic, don't they?

For the longest time, I've been wanting to create two-sided business cards with photos on them, but I always assumed they would cost a fortune.

Nope. On, I created 100 bespoke mini-sized cards for just $19.99.

No, I'm not kidding.

$19.99 for 100 cards.

What makes it all totally brilliant is that you can choose up to TEN images per order (the information side of the card remains the same). I went a little crazy with my photos and made some family-themed, some blog-themed, some embroidery-themed and some book/sheep/teacup-themed.

I can't wait to fan them out like a deck of cards and let people choose the one they like best.

Editor's Update:

My travelling copilot just emailed me that a friend of hers said we need to bring business cards...for the oddest of reasons....

(From her friend's email):

"Bring your biz card - if you have one - or a joker or a matchbook or cocktail napkin or dollar bill you can write your name on... For cryin' out loud....bring somethin' with yer name on it to leave on the ledge (under a little pebble) of the Prada, Marfa store."

I'd say we are good to go.

Monday, June 13, 2011

(Long Beat, then....)

Apologies for the absence. My life (like yours, I'm sure, at this time of year) has been extremely plot-heavy. School ended last week and with it came a slew of pool parties, celebrations and sleepovers, all of which required highly complicated carpool stratagems. And in a highly unusual occurrence, my husband and I spent five evenings out in a row. It was a whole lot of fun and I am a whole lot exhausted.
(Our cat Twiglet doing an uncanny impression of me)

So here's what I've been doing to remedy the situation:

In the same way that a novelist sometimes follows a chapter of intense action with one that is calmer and more reflective, I have been making a concerted effort to insert some pauses into the narrative of my life.

The results have been mixed.

When Luca and his friend woke up the other morning and embraced their first taste of summer freedom...
(Cartoons at sunrise)

...I sat outside and welcomed the June fog in my favorite tartan wrapper and tried very hard to think about absolutely nothing (i.e. the Zen approach.) This was harder than you might think and I soon abandoned my efforts for an obscenely large latté.

Later that day, after taking the boys to see the "Art in the Streets" show at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary (an expedition bookended by far too much time on the Hollywood Freeway -- at 1pm on a Thursday? Really?)...

...I took refuge in my kitchen and marvelled over The Last Moments of My Peonies. However, I became derailed by the unfairness of the word "blowsy": such a compliment to flowers, such an insult to women. Meditative mission aborted.

So today, after driving my son and his friend home from basketball camp, I tried once more to insert a peaceful pause. Slowly, slowly they climbed the stairs to Luca's bedroom. (Darling boys. They must be so tired from all their exercise.)

I stole into the living room and began to float my fingers over all the books on my shelves. Where was I going to go?

(Long beat, then at decibel levels that would make Al Pacino cower):

Luca: Dragonite! He can save people from drowning!
Friend: Oshawott! He can use his shell as a sword!
Luca: So? Tepig can blow fire from his nose!
Friend: But Snivy's so little and cute!

(Repeat ad infinitum. Add a cacophony of overhead stomps and laughter.)

I glanced over at my cat.
Talk about a call to calm.

Here I was in a perfect storm of noise.
And there he was in a perfect storm of peace.

Message received.

Immediately, I sat down and lost myself in the photographs of Tim Walker, diving headfirst into his unique world of lush eccentricity. When Luca and his friend finally emerged for a snack (Two minutes later? Two days later?), I was restored.

My Reminder For The Rest Of This Week:

It's all we have.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thank You, Inside Source

Very excited about my interview today in eBay's online magazine The Inside Source by editor Nandini d'Souza. (Note to Those Upstairs: In my next life, can I please come back with that name?)

If Nandini sounds familiar, it's because you've long been reading her articles in countless magazines like Harper's Bazaar, New York, W Magazine, In Style and others. I remember finding this recent one -- "Mistaken For The Nanny" -- about her experience being the mother of a mixed-race daughter absolutely enthralling.

Some of my favorite eBay finds over the years:

To read the article, click HERE.


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