Monday, August 31, 2009

"If we could learn to see sideways..."

The name of this blog is "Millions of People Happy." I'm sure I've written it somewhere, but in case there are any new readers out there, the thought of making "millions of people happy" is what motivates Kermit-the-Frog to leave his swamp and move to Hollywood in the original Muppet Movie. This was on my mind when I came out here two years ago, particularly on the days when I would ask myself "what the **** am I doing here?!"

I think most people who know me would attest to the fact that I am a positive person. I can be very sarcastic, but I am by nature pretty cheerful, or glad, or "happy" (to use a more meaningless word.) I was reading some of my older posts the other day, and it occurred to me that on this oh-so public blog thing, I present to you strangers an often dopey-sounding super-positive look at things.

So I've been thinking about how its probably only my really close friends that know how I've been in a bad mood for the past couple of years...(and lets just skip the "moode" puns) Things have been on the upswing since I had my wisdom teeth out in January. And folks, I must say: these days, I am sincerely happy.

I'm a frantically glad optimistic mess!

Okay, on to some news:

On Saturday I was a vendor at the LA Printer's Fair. It was a long hot-as-the-blazes-of-hell day in Carson, at the International Printing Museum. In spite of the heat, it was a FANTASTIC day. This place is amazing, it was a very well-attended event, and I came home with a nice pile of money to roll around on.

Look, I took pictures!

You go to a "printers fair" and may count on good signage.

I'm selling books now. I make books, and I sell them.

But, really.

So much type and so many type cases for sale...

There's no part of me that wants to own a press right now, and if I did it wouldn't be a letterpress. But OH it was fun to look around!

mmm.....this place is amazing. Sure, the heat may have had a little to do with it, but I spent most of my time walking around smiling like an idiot.

Come on.

It was damn hot. See?

This little lady is going to have some of my paper sculptures hanging over her bed. She's excited...just sleepy from the heat.

Anyway...what a good day. I'm teaching now, and that's keeping me on my toes...but I am going to look for more events like this to do in the coming months. If anyone has any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Better than Fine.

Every post needs a picture.....

Today is my two-year Californiversary. I am proud of myself for being capable of maneuvering around this metropolis, and I can drive in traffic without freaking out.

I can do all kinds of things without freaking out, folks.

I also know the bits and pieces of Los Angeles (and California) that I love, and am continuing to make discoveries.

I love my apartment, and am looking forward to "settling in" in the coming months. Its good to be home. I am pleased to report that my plants miraculously survived their recent neglect.

Everyone wins!

Today has been good: It was surprisingly cool and grey for August, and I even saw a few (a very few) raindrops. I walked to the grocery store, and the post office, and the bank. Then I drove out to CSUN to turn in some paperwork and get my parking tag, and other start-of-the-semester business. Now I need to get to work on the actual planning for my classes.....

Say, I reopened my Etsy store, although I have yet to post any new work. Soon, dear friends, soon.

And now I shall see about a cup of tea.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Going Places.

Climb Mount Fuji,
O Snail
But slowly, slowly.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Post-Penland Blues, and Other Mysteries.

Here is Michelle C. Moode last week: tired and heart-broken, and unfortunately in Georgia.


I am finally on my way home, and ready to conclude what has been an exhausting, wonderful summer. I start teaching again very soon, and I need to put aside my summer wonderment for a while.

Just to get you caught up: this summer I went from LA to Nashville to Murray, KY back to LA via Texas, (that was the “get-everything-I-own-in-one-state” phase.)

Then I was in LA for a while...then to Visalia and Bakersfield, CA.

Then to Seattle, with an unexpected detour to Las Vegas (THAT was an unfortunate day of air travel.)

Then to Asheville on a red-eye, via Atlanta, and then up a mountain to Penland for a very long three weeks.

After that the plan had been to be in Atlanta, Georgia to make books and have a show. That didn’t work out due to unfortunate miscommunications, so lets leave the topic like Maranda and I left Georgia: itchy, and in a hurry.

I spent a few days making books and laughing uncontrollably in Murray, Kentucky. I did not expect to be back so soon, but it all worked out for the best I s’pose.

Where am I now? Hell, I don’t know. Oh wait...I’m at my parents in Nacogdoches, Texas again. God, I am so ready to be at home. I hope I remember the way.

Penland penland penland penland penland.” I could go on and on. I must get it out of my system.

Young’s Mountain Music, down the hill from the school. A few students played there one night, and it seemed about half of Penland was in attendance for the show.

This is Freya, whom I met in 2003 at Penland. I did not expect to see her again. She was my favorite friend to share secrets with in the past month, (besides Maranda; there was an almost seamless transition) and I miss her so much already.

This is Loring. Loring and I were studio mates in lower metals, and he taught me a game he called "I hit you with a brass rod." He also played "Its a hard knock life" (yep, from "ANNIE") in the dishwashing room one day. What few people know is that he also played it three times in the studio before that. I miss this guy a lot. Boy, did we laugh. I remember lying on my back in yoga, quietly laughing to myself at something he had said earlier that day, and also because I could hear him quietly snoring near me...

Part of my work/study job was to wipe up dear little crumbs like these in the Dining Hall, the Pines. I love them, and this picture.

So, my class was two and a half weeks long, and after that was Penland's Annual Benefit Auction. This was my EIGHTH (!?) year managing the Pines for this crazy-exhausting weekend. My crew, "Team Awesome," washed all this rental stuff...that's 400+ dinner plates, desert plates, water, wine, and highball glasses, silverware...and we washed it all twice. We also washed everything that the kitchen was getting dirty for the volunteer meals, and the caterer's serving pieces (out of the goodness of our hearts.) Of course, (as always!) I had good help...

My ol' travel pal Maranda (from Murray State) arrived just in time to help me out in a million helping 'clean' this bowl of chocolate.

My "god-parents," Megan and Jack. I think this was their third auction working on my team.

And the rest of "Team Awesome '09."

This is my good friend Kate Boyd, who actually organizes the Benefit Auction. I'm just "the help."

Lastly, here is my dear friend Wes Stitt, with his "Lady," the Pines Dining Hall. He manages the Pines, except for the few days when it gets all messed up by the Auction. (although all would be left in chaos without me around.) Of all the friends I've made in the past month, I spent the most time with Wes, and he is a kindred spirit.

I will continue posting pictures on my flickr site...but I am at my limit for this month I believe.

In another post, I shall share the Ballad of Maranda and Michelle, and what adventures we found after Penland.

Lastly, here's an early-auction-morning, before they turned the mountains on:

Monday, August 10, 2009

It could be worse.

Oh, I could tell lots of stories.

But all I'll say at the moment is THANK YOU to my very dear friend Maranda Allbritten, who has been running with me these last few days.

Running on fields of green grass.
Running around a dishwashing room.
Running toward Atlanta singing "Country Roads" and "Hey Jude"
Running toward truffles, coffee and ice cream.
Running into a Motel 6 in Nowhere, Georgia where we put on dresses, drank red wine, and made the best of a bad situation....

Thanks, Maranda. I'd be freaking out even more without you driving me around. Let's go to Kentucky.

More to tell soon.
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