Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"Welcome to Seoul"! You know, sometimes these last minute trips can actually be more exciting - because of the short time I had to prepare for this trip I had to treat it no more than a regular trip to NYC or to some school here in this country. There are times when I planned a overseas trip for MONTHS, bought books, maps, language tapes, the whole bit and not been able to put any of that to use.

I was worried because at the SD airport they cancelled all flights to LA so I had to take a van shuttle to LA 'uhoh' not a good sign. however the whole way up there was NO TRAFFIC, not even in Orange county. got there in two hours flat.

got on the plane, there was no line, and straight into business class - I can really get used to flying all the time if I could afford business or first class all the time. this trip was much easier than the one to NY a few weeks ago. the time literally flew by.

As soon as we touch down it was nonstop, it seemed.

I was picked up by a young man (note, anyone under 50 is considered young in my book) named Eun Baik, one of Rich Tannen's former students, a really nice guy and we had a rather enjoyable conversation about the travails of Rochester. He also worked for Wendell for a time.

The drive to Seoul from the took about an hour, my first impression is that the air is so dirty, smoggy. I had an headache this morning. And this morning if you look out the window everything is a grey haze.

When I got to the hotel last night, I just flopped on the bed, nearly face first. My hotel was in the Myeongdong (sp?) area, and what kept me awake was the giant screens (like in Tokyo) flashing off and on all night long.

woops gotta go, more later

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ok. its now 11 PM - and I just now finished my slideshow for Korea - and with hopes that it will run smoothly without a glitch. If not I will kill myself by gorging myself with Kim Chee. The show looks good, I edited, and changed things around, it most definitely is a shameless plug for SDSU. I didn't have a good picture of Bob but found this one taken at the Philly conference, and stuck it in the show, I know the Koreans will probably frown upon this one, but I am sure its for me when I am choking on my words as I go through this show. Kim Kelzer with her hula hoop is especially fetching.

I am relieved that I was able to take today off - not sure what I was thinking when I told everyone I would meet them for their first class. I would have been a basket case for sure. It wouldn't be so bad if my lecture wasn't scheduled so shortly after I arrive but there is no time for fiddling once I touch down in Seoul.

It hasn't really sunk in that I am going to a foreign country - it feels like another routine trip to NY or something. I just hope I brought the right clothes and that I didn't forget anything. My suitcase is bulging - filled mostly with books and other gifts - am proud of the fact that I packed lighter than usual other than that.

Sweet Pea attacked Deanza twice tonight - when Christine was here - seems that when the three dogs are too close together in a confined place and Deanza grows or snaps at Tazzie, Sweet Pea rips him apart. There was blood all over the place this time - its awful. At one time tonight I accidentally stepped on Tazzie's tail and he let out a yelp and Sweet Pea came running over again, ready to attack Deanza. I grabbed her and had to convince her that it was me it was me. Dog dynamics have run amok.

good night.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ok so I did a test run of my Korea slide show on my students. They seemed kind of bored. They laughed hysterically at parts that were not intended to be funny. I admit I did have pics of people who have less hair or are fatter or in some cases skinnier than they are depicted in the pics I found. Hell my own dad didn't recognize me in a picture of me taken when I was 30.

Worst of all, I ran into a HUGE glitch with the powerpoint show, it groaned to a halt after about the 150th slide. Discouraging news, indeed. I'll be damned if I have to start all over again.

Oh and yesterday was a helluva long day. And Convocation went well, I guess. I sat on the stage and Mom of course was upset that I wasn't wearing a suit or a skirt with heels etc. Frankly I don't even own a suit and even if I did, I wasn't going to wear it in 90 degree weather. I felt like I was dressed nicely enough - the tank top I was wearing WAS made out of silk after all. and the pants were handmade from a Kimono I found at a fleamarket in Tokyo. Isn't that nice enough? The video of me sucked but was less traumatizing than other videos I have had to suffer through, although they ended up using segments from two separate shoots, which has me switching outfits within nanoseconds. The lunch at Dr. Weber's place was nice enough although somehow I just don't feel like I fit in with the rest of the blowhards here. There were several people I recognize from the Senate meetings that can't seem to shut up and are total idiots, and except for Dr. Weber, who I think is a really great guy. These other people are faceless to me. The Dean introduced me nicely enough although she did mention the "huge machines and the little girl" commentary to which I said 'but the buttons that operate them are really small'. No one seemed to think that was funny. Oh well. I blathered on about being back at State. I was sweating like a pig.

Immediately after that I caught my flight to SF and arrived JUST IN TIME to the panel discussion of the Convergence show at the SF Museum of Craft and Design. Froze my titties off, weird to be sweating in 90 degree weather in SD and arriving to a cold windy SF in the same said outfit. Damn another fashion gaffe. And I spent an hour before planning my outfit and making sure that both would fit both the convocation and the panel discussion.

Again the question "What is Studio Furniture" came up - its odd at times, like someone asking what a navel is. But having wrassled with this slide show for Korea, it was a compelling question, what the hell is it? It basically has to do with furniture made in studios, as the name implies but studio meaning artist/designed work. But even to foreigners its an perplexing issue. I recall feeling that the English would definitely know what it is, but they were more bewildered than interested in the slides I showed.

The History of Studio Furniture starts out reasonably well but then suddenly just around the part in the 1980's it splinters out in all directions. Directions that makes sense to me but to describe it to the layperson, its mind boggling. I can't even begin to start on that here.

Had a nice visit with JoAnn Edwards - she and Ken have such a nice little house, absolutely filled with crafts, I love it. Makes me want to get all my little objects out of storage and put it all around. She has a few of my pieces which really look cute in their house. The museum is keeping her busy - I think its great that she's started it.

so now I am back, finished up the lesson plans for the semester, and am getting this other business done.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

This slide show that I am working on is taking frickin' forever. zillions of images going back to Esherick - I did find some cute old slides of Bebe and Warren when they first opened Pritam and Eames and also portraits of various artists - this of course has me going back on Memory Lane.

I also am getting a nice new stash of images for my various lesson plans - was wanting to update that and this is giving me a chance to collect new material.

Ten more days before I leave for Korea. My new passport came in the other day, and so did my FIRST CLASS ticket for Seoul. So much more to do for this trip. The text for the lecture is now about 15 pages, with an additional 10 with a list of galleries and other resource info. After my last lecture in Australia, I learned that it would be best to provide a text. the last time in Perth, they simply tape recorded our lectures and transcribed it, and it was awful because we make references to slides but without the visual information the text meant nothing.

Need to go get more images from the kids.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

WHAT is the big deal about The Hamptons??? I admit that while the estates are impressive, and the fact that many places sit right on the ocean, it seems that they took a bulldozer to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, scooped up a couple of blocks, and planted it in the middle of this beach town. Stores like Tiffanys, Coach, in the midst of what seems like a quaint village. It also looked like every other woman had a facelift and I was expecting to see Paris Hilton show up - all the younger women looked like Paris Hilton with varying degrees of plastic surgery. And kids, all of a sudden it seems that EVERYONE has 2.3 kids per family, and I saw four sets of twins in the time I traveled from San Diego to the Hamptons. Are people having "litters" of kids?

The OTHER thing that bothered me was how I was so keenly aware that everyone was white and the minorities that were there were obviously from the workforce. It made me even more acutely aware of my minority standing and normally that is not even an issue. WEIRD. It made me feel like everyone thought maybe I was a maid or a housekeeper and that I iron shirts or something.

BUT I digress. I had a GREAT time with my friends, James/Karen, Judy/Todd, with Warren and Bebe, the show looked REALLY GREAT, James and I really were amazed at how good our work looked together, I felt like it looked balanced, and not a gallery "full of furniture" - although it bothered me that someone else's table was in there, right next to James' table. As Todd said, they "should get that thing out of there". I sold my announcement piece to Ron Abramson, and that made me feel good. Some other clients might be interested in a piece like the same one - he asked a very good question about 'editions' and was wondering if the prints were editions or if the entire piece was an edition. I explained that the prints were an edition but if I were to remake the frame it would not be the same as the others.

Warren is quite the cook and has a rather zen like presence in the kitchen - frankly I love men in kitchens. James was the bartender for two nights, making Margaritas Friday night and "Mojitos" on Saturday night. All from scratch of course, juicing the limes and smashing the mint leaves. Karen looked great of course, she wore the cutest outfits - the skirts looked terrific on her - Judy and Todd looked totally relaxed and it was fun to just hang out. We were hoping that Alphonse could make the drive down but he didn't.

Some clients and friends of BB and Warren's invited us all to lunch at their home - and then we walked to the beach - we had a nice lunch out on their wide green backyard with a pool in the foreground, it was really nice. Mark and Elizabeth Lavine have collected furniture for a while now, and they are really nice people - turns out that they have my red cabinet called "Candy" in their collection, Elizabeth keeps her lingerie in it, which was exactly what I intended for that piece to do.

The beaches here are really different from the San Diego ones. First of all the sand is coarser, more like 80 grit, if you will, whereas the sand in San Diego is more like 220. And the waves are really odd - they break really short for the lack of a better term - they 'churn', rather than 'undulate'. James got completely tumbled and hurt his back. When they said a great white was spotted a few days I chose to stay out of the water. it was weird to go to a beach on a hot muggy day - there seemed to be little respite from the heat other than sticking your feet in the water - the air was so heavy and hot. It made me appreciate the San Diego beaches all the more.

egads the time I have to get ready for the shop - need to get ready for classes in addition to the trip to Korea.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How is it that some people can pack so lightly? I am debating on whether to take the minimum number of clothes to East Hampton - but I've got three pairs of favorite pants. which pants to take? white ones will get dirty right away, jeans seems too casual - and shoes...which shoes??? and airplanes are always so cold, a jacket too? And my laptop, where is it all going to fit if I take a carryon only? Who's going to help me shove it in the overhead bin???? Oh the agony. Ah fuckit I ended up going to the pet store tonight and getting treats for the dogs and cat, some new flea stuff (I got flea bites again) - and a bit of food for the flight - you know how on Southwest Airlines you are in the air for 6-7 hours and all you get is a teeny bag of peanuts. I don't like eating on flights anyway but I got some cheese, smoked almonds, a bottle of water, and crackers.

God I hate flying. And to think that I have a 14 hour flight to Korea coming up in two weeks.

Said goodbye to yet another grad student - Bob Marsh and I had coffee - sat for nearly two hours talking. Turns out that I will see him in October at the Appalachian Center but I admit I had a big lump in my throat when it came time to say goodbye to him. He drove away and I walked back to my house - and as I turned the corner, who would be driving back around again but Bob again, waving like a lunatic. made me laugh.

Ok I guess I better finish packing.

Monday, August 08, 2005

oops got an email from Roscoe Straker reminding me about SOFA Chicago, the 28th and 29th of October. nearly forgot about it. Aghh.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Birthday Parties can be fun
Rocio's 50th birthday party was lovely - got there at around 3 PM, had a nice little drink called the Hard Raspberry Lemonade, mingled with Rocio's cousins and aunts and uncles, all a very nice group of people, a lot of them came down from LA. I saw a lot of Rocio's colleagues from work, she seems to have a very supportive base of friends despite the turmoil she is going through with her job as a Vice Principal. Rocio was radiant in her size 2 red summer dress. She has the body of a 20-yr old, I swear. The food was fantastic of course (Rocio would not settle for less), Dave's buddy Chris came down from LA and of course they sat there talking about renovations, pouring concrete, foundation work. I sat with some of Rocio's cousins and her mom and sister, it was fun. I just about died when I saw Rocio's nieces. Holy Toledo - they are WOMEN now, they used to be little girls. one is 17 and the other is 16. This is when you can really watch time march on, is watching little kids grow into teenagers. It's scary indeed. I remember when my cousins Doug, Ross, Gregg, Derek and Ryan were all little babies and I was in college - now they are all over 30, Doug is married, Ross is married with a kid, and little Ryan ("eenie" we used to call him) is now engaged.

So, I was going to tell you how my hopes of having three relaxed weeks before school starts has been DASHED. I told myself that I was going to manage my commitments more carefully, space things out a little, give myself more breathing room etc.

my little list was shaping up accordingly:
  1. after a bit of debating, I decided to go to East Hampton to the opening of my show at Pritam and Eames. Am hoping to make it into a vacation of sorts.
  2. I get the Monty Award from SDSU - walk during convocation on August 25, in the morning.
  3. I am in a panel discussion in the Bay Area at the museum of craft + design - a little discussion about Tasmanian furniture makers - turned out that the only day they can do it is the same day as the convocation. Ok, I can deal with that - the convocation is in the AM - panel discussion is in the evening, plenty of time. Heck I love the Bay Area, I will stay for two days to relax, visit with friends.
  4. School starts August 29th. get ready for classes. three weeks to go after my last crate goes out, plen-ty of time.
  5. Inspired by China piece has to be designed and ready by February - the deadline was too soon, and as much as I have been tempted to make a bed, I decided I didn't need another TeaHouse debacle so have scaled down to a cosmetics box, which looks like a miniature bed anyway. will explain that some other day.
  6. sometime in the spring, go to Korea, I received a grant from the Office of International Programs to visit Hongik.
Well two weeks ago Susan Working informed me that the grant for me to return to the ranch was approved and that I could go to Colorado again this winter to work in the digital lab. Very exciting news, and I love going to Colorado in winter. I was going to continue the Men In Kimonos series but create them in Final Cut - dvd movies instead of stills. I will go in January.

Whoa. but wait. don't I have to make a piece for 'Inspired by China' by February? ooops. Ok so I decide instead to change the movie theme to something more relative to the Chinese culture or maybe a generic Asian issue. ok. whew. that could work.

So: the schedule changes:
  1. go to East Hampton to the opening of my show at Pritam and Eames. forget the vacation, do some designing for the China piece.
  2. get the Monty Award from SDSU
  3. the convocation in the AM - panel discussion is in the evening, August 25
  4. School starts August 29th. get ready for classes.
  5. Inspired by China piece has to be designed and ready by February - Start the piece in September, make the video for it in Colorado, finish the piece in the Anderson Ranch Arts Center woodshop in January.
  6. sometime in the spring, go to Korea, I received a grant from the Office of International Programs to visit Hongik.
This Week:

Sandy Simon reminds me to buy tickets to the 25th reunion of the Appalachian Center for Crafts in October. OY, it sounded like a great idea last month but.... oh god. I did promise to go. and I told myself I should go, this is a place that launched my career and added spice to my love life for five years. I should pay tribute to this place.

Got an email from Professor Choi of Hongik University in Seoul and they are inviting me to be a speaker at their conference/symposium, and offered this with all expenses paid. This supplements the grant I received nicely which barely would have covered my expenses. It is really GREAT news. I am to give a presentation about the evolution of American Studio Furniture. However, the downside is that this event takes place SEPTEMBER 1-5, which means I have to leave on August 30th. ARGGH. The first thing I did was check to make sure I had plenty of antidepressants and valium, I will need that.

The list now stands below:
  1. collect images from artists for my Korea presentation between now and August 12th.
  2. go to East Hampton to the opening of my show at Pritam and Eames. forget the vacation, write my Korea presentation on the plane, interview Bebe and Warren about the history of Studio Furniture, and design the China piece on the flight home.
  3. I get the Monty Award and rush through convocation on August 25. rush to the airport after the luncheon.
  4. Change the return flight to go back to San Diego from San Francisco from the 27th to the 26th.
  5. panel discussion for the Museum of Craft and Design in SF.
  6. Meeting with grad students about subbing for me on the days that I am in Korea.
  7. Meet with the grad class the week before classes start since I leave for Korea on the day of their class.
  8. Leave for Korea on August 30th.
  9. Appalachian Crafts Center Reunion October 15th.
  10. Inspired by China piece has to be designed and ready by February - Start the piece in September, make the video for it in Colorado, finish the piece in the Anderson Ranch Arts Center woodshop in January.
Looks like I have my work cut out for me in the next three weeks.

the good news is that I SOLD ONE OF MY PIECES ALREADY, YIPPEE. got the news from Warren at the gallery.

Nearly done

the last piece will be photographed today, thank god. a very exciting and fun series to work on though and only wish I had more time to work on each one. seems like I am always in a hurry to finish work.

My friend Barbara turned me on to this site, I have seen blogs, they seem to be self indulgent but at the same time they are also a great way of recording thoughts and sharing ideas.

at the same time I am hesitant to share all of this with the internet world but I guess as long as I don't publish, it won't go out? who knows. do I care? possibly not.

identity issues? what? who me? oh no.

Today its Rocio's 50th birthday - she is having a private party at Region - I envy her decision. It will be great fun! When I turned 50 I chose not to celebrate and in the end was given a surprise party and I wish now that I had celebrated with gusto instead of whimpering. having the party turned out to be a blessing and I appreciate my friends for doing that for me. After all you are 50 only once, and it gets worse.

Well I am about to meet the photographer to shoot this piece (pic attached sans cabinetry) My life is about to become tumultuous and I intend on blabbing to the world. I seriously told myself that I was going to R E L A X after this show.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. for reasons out of my control, that is not to be. the story shall unfold. But until then there is work to be done.