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Category Archives: Shoegazing

Our StoryCorps Day

StoryCorps is a unique program in which average people record stories from their own lives. The recordings are stored for posterity by the Library of Congress, and a few of the more intriguing ones are excerpted for broadcast on NPR. When a Story Corps van was scheduled to come to Phoenix, Christopher immediately jumped online and booked us a reservation. He wanted the two of us to talk about ourselves — how we met, the details of our marriage in 2008, and the confusing aftermath of it. To be honest, the whole experience sounded about as fun as a root canal, but he was so enthusiastic about it I just went along (to be a supportive hubby).

We arrived at our local library to find a vintage style Airstream trailer in the parking lot. There was a nice young lady outside who smiled in recognition at our names being given. When it was finally our turn, we were greeted by another nice young lady who led us into the trailer and gave us a basic briefing on the StoryCorps concept while setting us up for recording. We sat in comfortable chairs facing each other in an intimate room with low lighting, a setting which allowed me to relax and just let the words flow. Christopher did most of the talking (of course), but I also got plenty in as well and moved things along in my role as moderator. We even had a few minutes at the end to talk about our midcentury modern designer-named pets, Eero (cat) and Aalto (dog).

After we finished, we stepped outside and found a local TV reporter who had arranged a story on StoryCorps with us. She interviewed each of us on the experience. Our story should end up on the 9 p.m. Channel 3 broadcast next week!

Here’s Christopher’s account of our exciting day.

Anniversary Fox Print

This weekend, Christopher and I celebrate the 16th anniversary of when we met. I made up a little screenprint as a gift for him. The design is based on this vintage ’60s Fox River paper box that I’ve always loved. The print came out somewhat blobby, but I like it:

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Craft Fair Day

Salutations, everybody… I’ve had a busy week that included setting up my very first craft fair to sell LitKids prints. This was the annual employee craft fair at Christopher’s workplace. It was fun, I got to meet a lot of new people and seemingly got to recite my spiel on what LitKids are about 100 times. We sold quite a few matted and bagged prints this way, including all of the Laura Ingalls prints I brought. Here are some pics of the table setup:

Craftfair

Craftfair

Craftfair

Back from Paradise

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Well, we’re back and completely rested after our October 9-13 trip to the island of Maui. Neither of us has ever been to Hawaii; it met my expectations in several areas even exceeded them (the weather and the mellow, friendly vibe of the locals). We stayed at the Honua Kai Resort and Spa, which was beautifully appointed if somewhat mainstream and white family-centric (I tend to prefer smaller, funkier lodging). The first night, we went out on the beach for a walk and beheld the most gorgeous sunset, framed by the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai. The photo above is of the two of us during our snorkeling trip. I loved the snorkeling! It’s like swimming in a giant saltwater aquarium. We also sampled a lot of food, ranging from heavenly to wretched (basically anything purchased in an airport). Everything is expensive, but I’ll learn to live with it until it’s time to pay the MasterCard bill. You can’t put a price on the memories and experiences we came away with.

I’ll post a more detailed trip report — later!

Brownie Points

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It’s my 42nd birthday today. I’ve had a nifty neat-o day. The festivities started last night, when Christopher bestowed me with several gifties off my Amazon wish list. He also had the day off today, so we went to the lunch eatery of my choosing. I chose Chili’s, a mainstream chain but I hadn’t been there in years and was salivating for a peppercorn burger, and chips with hot queso dip. We got all that and a free brownie with ice cream on top, accompanied by our server’s enthusiastic “Happy Birthday To You.” I guess he was new and didn’t know about copyright laws.

We are actually going to be away from computers and keyboards for the next few days, so there will be no Weekly Mishmash. Instead, I present an early Mini Mishmash for October 3-7:

  • Bottle Rocket (1996). Typical ’90s indie comedy. Normally I hate Wes Anderson’s cutesy, fussy films (the overlapping dialogue heard in this one is one reason why), but this one was unexpectedly sweet. Owen and Luke Wilson were both very appealing.
  • Garbo Talks (1984). Going satellite free has allowed us to check out the oddness of our local channels, like the independent station that seems to show nothing but Patty Duke Show repeats and a buttload of never-on-DVD vintage movies. Such as Sidney Lumet’s Garbo Talks. This was a rather glum drama chronicling repressed accountant Ron Silver’s efforts to fulfill the dying wish of his colorful ma (Anne Bancroft) to meet her idol, Greta Garbo. Bancroft’s soliloquy to Garbo was certainly award-worthy; the Manhattan locations and a variety of stage actors in support add a lot to its quirky appeal.
  • A Letter To Elia (American Masters, PBS). Should have more accurately been called Martin Scorsese’s Fawning Homage To The Elia Kazan Films Of His Childhood. Luckily the half hour of interviews at the end almost redeems the barfy obsequiousness that came before.
  • That’s Entertainment, Part 2 (1976). A sentimental favorite, and I must be the only person on earth who enjoyed the new bridging sequences in this film with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire on a candy-colored set (not to mention Saul Bass’ still delightful opening credits). The clips maddeningly lack context, but years of TCM viewing has deepened my appreciation of certain segments such as the James FitzPatrick TravelTalks montage or the parade of scenes involving songwriters implausibly writing classic tunes in no time flat. Above all, what these clips teach is that Gene Kelly had the finest ass in classic moviedom.
  • Troubled Water (2008). Compelling Norwegian drama about a youth, released from prison for murdering a child, who attempts to redeem himself by becoming a church organist. The child’s grieving mother happens to come across the man, then things get twisted. Well made, with nuanced performances and lovely photography. The film turns standard and thriller-like near the end, but otherwise a moving experience.

Curtain Call

About 10 years ago, I found these adorable fruit and vegetable print curtains at a thrift store. Got them home and found they were the perfect size for our kitchen window. As you can see from the photos below, they’re still cute but the colors have faded and the fabric has become threadbare. We’d like to replace them, but we’re having the hardest time trying to find something appropriate. We like retro fabric designers like Alexander Girard, Lucienne Day, Vera, Harwood Steiger — or even Charles Harper, if you applied his print style to cloth. The only limitation is that it has to have some green, since our kitchen is that color. The curtains can be pre-made or just fabric. Any ideas?

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