Sunday, November 21, 2010

lil' baby tour with girls in trouble in the homeland

Couple months ago, Alicia called me up and suggested we do a mini tour of the south. Her band Girls in Trouble were offered a sweet gig in New Orleans. We decided to make a trip out of it! And we did, last week! Alicia had booked a couple tours before and so had her husband, Aaron. But, they were in Europe. It was up to me to get the ball rolling. It was kinda difficult at first to figure out who to contact and where to even start. We went the friend of friends route and finally settled on 3 shows in 3 towns: New Orleans, Ocean Springs, and Jackson. Thanks Alex, Lance, and Marsh! We do hope to do another tour sometime soon, with more lead time so we can get more gigs set up! Cross your fingers, ok! And holler at me if you want us to come to your town....

After at least 10 years of absence from the big easy it was great to be back. I had forgotten how much I loved this city. Evidence of the flood was still there and clearly still in the hearts and minds of the people who lived there, but she still felt the same, smelled the same, and sounded even better. We had a great time, exploring the quarter, the garden district, and making new friends. It was fun for me to see Aaron sample all the local foods. So far I haven't found a vegan poboy in NOLA but I am still looking.Our show was at a place called the Saturn Bar. Our new friend Alex set it up and his band the Tom Paines played an awesome set. Old time music with a bit of Tom Waits thrown in and some humor too. The turn out was slim, but we had to get our feet wet and start somewhere. The full GIT band played that night and they were great! Alicia is a wizard with her pedals and an amazing song writer. Elena was on electric guitar. Aaron on bass. Jonathan played accordion and Alicia guitar, fiddle and said magical pedals. But, I believe she makes magic with anything she touches. They are a fun band to watch. Everything just seems to come so easily and naturally to them all. I loved it. That night after the show we met Kourtney, Alex's amazing wife and got the tour of their expansive envy inspiring back yard and house. They took good care of us and the conversation was good. Alex and I have some music tastes in common and that is always fun. Sarah was there too, keeping us on course and generously allowing us crash in her living room Thank you!After the Saturn gig, and then GIT fancy gig, the rest of the band headed back to NY. We met up with friends at Mimi's for some great swing music and dancing. (No, I don't know how to swing dance, but I am waiting for someone to teach me.) Before meeting up with Aaron and Alicia and the gang at Mimi's I was whisked all around town by and old friend from my MS days to a bar where a bluegrass jam was happening, another bar where some sort of electric blues was happening and another where a friend was working. It was a super fun night and I was glad after like 14 years of not seeing my friends that they had turned out to be so cool!

The next morning we (me, Alicia, and Aaron) piled in to my little Ford Ranger (Hank the Silver Dragon) and headed East. Ocean Springs or bust!! (It is my blog, I can type cheesy things like that if I want.) The trip is pretty short at about an hour and a half, we listened to some great stuff on New Orleans public radio. We talked a lot and I tried to give as much of a history lesson as I could, surely getting most of my facts wrong. We stopped around the state line for Cajun boiled peanuts, yum! We pulled off the interstate early to explore old Biloxi a little and stop at the Biloxi Schooner for lunch. By this time we had all had our fill of fried things though... but it was good. We drove over the bridge to Ocean Springs. It was fun to give them a tour of my home town. We made it to Dad and Harriet's in time for a little tour there too, satsumas from the garden and a short nap before we headed to the gig.

My old friend from the little house days, Lance hosted us at his new bar the Squeaky Lizard . We had such a good time there and the turn out was pretty good. Bunch of old friends and my parents came and I was happy to see them and feeling lucky to be supported. My friend Peter played some original tunes and he was great! Lance included us on his ? um wall of fame. We got our silhouettes painted for prosperity! Alicia joined me on fiddle and harmony singing on one of my songs and I always like it when that happens.The next morning we hit up the famous tatonut and I cheated on the vegan thing in order to have one. (don't tell the vegan police) It was yummy!!! We drove on to Jackson stopping somewhere on hwy 49 in an old gas station that was like something out of Deliverance, good ole boys and fried Chicken! We made it to Jackson in time to have lunch with Aunt Ginger at Keifer's and she educated Aaron and Alicia on a lot of things not limited to yazoo clay. Little while later we met up with Marsh and had a drive by food madness at a yummy indian place and headed over to Hal and Mals. This tuned out to be the best show of the trip. Ending on a high note (pun intended). Alicia had done some foot work getting the word out to the Jewish Community there and a bunch of Marsh and Daphne's friends came. Thanks y'all for the full house! Alicia and Aaron played a great show and I learned the rules of show business from Aaron!

It was sad to say goodbye the next day to A and A. But, we had a good go of it and I am always grateful for their friendship and endless support! I sent them off with a bunch of satsumas and we all giggled at the deserted Jackson airport, man that place was EMPTY!

That afternoon I met up with Daphne and Marsh and their friends at a good pizza place, maybe if they read this they can tell me the name. I drove on to Meridian, MS to see Jimmie Rodgers grave site. I sat on the bench there and yodeled for him a bit. I met back up with M and D in Birmingham, AL a few hours later (after I dropped 20 bucks at the thrift store) and saw a great show there at the Bottle Tree. Their band, Overnight Lows were great and I met some nice people! Crashed in Birmingham and headed back to Atlanta the next day and suddenly it was Fall.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Things that are paper.

See some of the neat stuff I worked on with David for West Elm.

David Stark Holiday Collection from west elm on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tornados, Martha, and Notes on Sailing

Ok, so yes, again I have been delinquent. And, yes, again I have lots to tell you! So, a few weeks back, with just a few days to recover after the bike trip, I headed to NY to do some work and see some friends. The work part was great, I got to be involved in some neat projects, and I am always happy to see and collaborate with all my old co-workers. Some highlights were, the Metropolitan Opera, and a wedding at Marthas' (yes, that Martha). Her estate was gorgeous, no surprise there, and the ceremony turned out beautiful. She was happy and very gracious and I am glad to have first hand experience. The Opera was lovely too, you can see pics here at David's blog.

Seeing friends, was also a nice bonus. I am all by my lonesome in GA. (Especially now that my SUPER AWESOME TOTALLY COOL brother is working again. Come visit, we'll make tea.) Anyway, one of my most memorable evenings was one spent with an old college friend. He and I walked around Park Slope, but is wasn't its usual tree lined self, no, quite a few of those babies were down! It was nuts! A tornado in Brooklyn, several apparently. It felt so surreal. Here are a few picks. Luckily, very few people were hurt, and the most damage was done to cars and a few sky lights.
After about 2 solid weeks of working and leeching off my friends generosity, I caught a flight to Halifax, Nova Scotia. My first time in Canada. First impressions: they were very friendly, and had a funny accent.So, Rachel picked me up and we had about a hour drive to the boat. I had been on the Unicorn before, but not when she was in work mode. 13 people aboard (11 women, 2 men) and we started early! Wake up call at 5:30. The Unicorn is usually an all female run boat. She hosts programs for girls called Sisters Under Sail during the summer months (this year in the great lakes). I was with them, as were the men that were allowed on board to get her back to her winter harbor (Bridgeport, CT). Anyway, it was all hands on deck to leave our port in Lunenburg and head south.The first few hours of the morning after breakfast, was navigating out of the harbor, safety drills, and teaching the new girl (me) all the ins and outs. After we broke up into watches, 4 people to a watch and 3 watches. Depending on the time of day you are on or off for 4 or 6 hours and then on again as the rotation comes up. My watch was up first and as I was learning how to check the engine room, lay down a plot, and check the bilges. All of which happens every half hour or hour. Anyway, at this point we are out to sea and it was rockin' and I was feeling it. Yep, totally sea sick for the next 48 hours. But, I managed, I don't think I made a great first impression on some of my crew mates, but even still I learned a lot those first few days! Lowering and raising the sails, hauling, sheeting and more. I was struggling to learn fast and keep up. The roughest part was crossing the Bay of Fundy, the waves were at about 6 feet and when you got up, well, you held on! After Fundy, we were in Maine waters, and that is when the lobster pot hell started. Those suckers are everywhere, doesn't seem to be any rules about it, we were is the channel, and still, there they were, all up in our way, getting stuck in our propeller. Watches became lobster pot spotting teams and it was an exercise in communication to get the word from the bow of a 118' boat to the captain in the wheel house at the stern, especially at night!After about 52 hours we arrived in Camden, Maine and I got to learn what a celebrity the Unicorn is, as well as her female crew. The world of tall ships is a small one and people seem to know each other or of each other and the boats they run. Regular people too seem to flock to her, she is just such a stunning ship and plus she looks all cool and piratey. We ended up staying in Maine longer than expected because foul weather was forecast. But, having never been to Maine, I was glad for the opportunity. Myself and some of the girls hiked to the top of Mt. Battie. I spent a lot of time in coffee shops and the library writing haikus. I was anxious about setting out to sea again so I pretty much asked everybody what medicine worked. Bonine, and it did!We had about 28 hours or so to Boston and I felt like a new woman with my bonine working its magic in my belly. The first 10 hours were lobster pot land-mind hell all over again, and the waves, were huge... or at least they seemed so, but maybe it was just the direction we were headed into them. This time people at the bow were getting sprayed, she was rocking and bouncing so much the waves were coming up over the bow, over the port side... all over! (This is not a big fish story I promise.) Yeah, so on top of that all the hollerin' "green lobster pot, starboard side 1 boat length" and so on. I was trying to sleep in the fo'c'sle. It seems the only thing to do when the boat is moving like that and you are not on watch, you better sleep! Anyway, later that night it had calmed down some, and I had my turn on the bow. I was laughing cause I felt a little like you know THAT scene in titanic, minus the cute boy. But, it wasn't too funny, cause, well, I didn't want to fall.... or neglect my duties as lobster pot caller-outer.Well, we made it to Boston, and onto Bridgeport. AND, yes, after about 2 weeks aboard, I am still a complete beginner. I did, however make some really great new friends, sprout a budding relationship with sailing, and write a sea shanty to celebrate. Thanks, girls, for all you taught me! And thanks, Hannah for the vegan eats!oh, and ps, in Bridgeport we went to this awesome vegetarian restaurant/ feminist book store called Bloodroot. You should go! They have homemade non-dairy ice cream....

Monday, September 6, 2010

BIKE TOUR n'stuff ! ! ! 460 something miles from Portland to the Redwoods!

Seems like a lot has happened since my last post, but I have been feeling kinda lazy about blogging. Hmmm, lets see.... I was in Georgia for almost a month this time, which I think is the longest yet, but hopefully my brother isn't sick of me, as he has been traveling too. We were both around long enough to have our cousins, the Nixs, over for a boating, lake, BBQ weekend. That was fun, they spent hours on the tube, and I tried wake boarding, yet again falling and scaring the beeeegeezus out of myself and having to cry a little bit about it. I sure do cry easy, bag gum, I hate that about myself. Anyway, we lounged around in the lake for hours, the three of them showing off their expert diving and me trying to just remember how to do it. Then we went out for crappy Mexican food. It was good times. I also finally got the cactus made for David, and started my own art projects while listening to "Born To Run" I would stop working just long enough to run back and forth in the basement 8 or 20 times. It was good to be back making stuff and good to be inspired by an excellent book.I came out here to Portland with enough time to hang in the city for a few days with old friends and try to get to know the place a little. I do finally feel that way now, after visiting 3 or 4 times, getting around town on my bike has at long last edumacated me. I love the vegan joint, Chaos. I also had a yummy vegan sandwich at Dick's kitchen. Tomorrow, the plan is to go to some food cart (everyone is crazy about food carts here) to have some Canadian french fry concoction. I will let you know how it is. Poutine, I think they call it.The Saturday after I got here, me, Christy and Fred, met up super early to start our bike tour! Yay! Step one: get to the coast by Sunday afternoon to meet up with Dan and the kids! The ride was so so beautiful. We took the city metro to the last stop and just headed west. We rode for several hours over rolling hills, farm land, and thru small quaint towns. The afternoon had us going over the Coastal Mountains and that turned out to be the most difficult climb of the trip. It was about 2,000 feet over four miles, which doesn't sound like much, but that took a long time and around 4pm I was tired and the tears started!! I had been so nervous the night before, I barely slept and at like mile 58, I was just ready to get there. We did 60 miles that day, and well, even though it was hard. It was still so worth it. I got some inspiration from a deer that decided to leap and bound across the road just a few feet in front of us!! The top too was so beautiful, and just like hiking, it is so nice to see the plants and trees change with the elevation. We got to our chosen camp ground to find it totally maxed out. I wandered into the woods across the street and found an ok spot for us. I was asleep before the sun was even down.The next day was great, we were headed down hill now, and we passed some lovely farms, and hit hwy 101 in no time. It was about 20 more miles or so till we met up with Dan and that was a good thing that we did. 'cause my new bike needed a little tlc and he is the man!! We took some pics of all of us by the sea, and Christy had a sweet reunion with the kids. Fred and I rode off south while they made plans for a day at the beach.After 53 miles that day, Fred and I landed in Lincoln City. The campground is right there in the city so we walked to a yummy thai restaurant. I ate and ate and after we walked down to the shore just in time for low tide. It was awesome! We saw so much cool stuff in the tide pools and I loved it. We saw anemones and crabs and all kinds of clams and seaweed! The sun was setting as we walked back and I felt good.Over the next week, we rode an average of 50 miles a day, sometimes 65 sometimes 40. We stayed on 101 most of the time, but the Oregon coast bike map would lead us to either more scenic routes, less traffic, or shallower hills. We stopped to see the seals, the whales, and to do little hikes. OH! Also everyday we had blackberry breaks. Yes! blackberries everywhere! It was awesome! We were on a bit of a slower pace than some of the other riders we met, but I am happy we got to be more tourists than the last time I was on a bike trip. We did see quite a few folks cycling and met a couple people we liked. We went swimming at William M. Tugman state park (it was f-in' cold) and nice retired folks gave us some tips on where to stop for scenic views.
Everyone we met was exceptionally nice, and helpful. All of it was fun, even deciding what to get at the grocery store. The slower pace allowed us to eat good! We made lots of yummy stuff and I am glad we made time for it. The state parks (mostly where we camped) were excellent as well. Three times, we had an event to go to after we arrived and got settled. We saw a movie on whales, and went to two informative lectures! We sat for an hour and watched a whale surface and disappear and surface again! That was a first for me! The weather was mostly great, kinda sporadic, but I guess typical for the Northwest. It would be cold and foggy in the morning but get crazy hot and sunny by the afternoon. I only had to curse and spit a couple times to get myself up some steep climbs, but I managed and ended up feeling pretty good about it.One afternoon, we passes a u-pick blueberry farm, and I couldn't resist. We picked enough to have blueberries for several days in our oatmeal!! The coast was so amazing, especially on the climbs as there were lots of overlooks and places to marvel at the rock out crops, arch rock was a favorite!The following Saturday, we finally crossed the border into California and made it to the first Redwood state park of the 3 that we were going to. Del Norte. This was supposed to be an excellent triumphant of a day, but we spent too much time in Crescent City (aka Crescent Shitty, if you ask me) trying to finalize our transportation back to Portland, we did finally sort it all out, but by this time it was late and we still had a monster of a mountain to climb to get to our campground and it was against the wind, ugh!! It was still cool to see the trees get bigger and bigger, but I was in the ZONE...up, up, up, Corrie, get up this fucking hill!! AHHH! Luckily that night we had an excellent ranger give us the low-down on the canopy of the redwoods. I learned a lot, and she was so funny. She had the humor of a 60 year old man, but she was like 25.The next day we rode just 30 miles or so to the Prairie Creek Redwoods. We stopped to squash a penny at the Trees of Mystery and got there early enough to join a guided hike to the "big tree", and it was, BIG!! 28 feet across and 60 around, or some such madness, almost 300 tall. It was nuts!Oh my gosh, but do I love the redwoods, the trees, the frogs (red ones), the slugs (bananas) and the rain forest. I am so, so glad we went. It was magical. The next day we had off! It was such a treat, and I felt so lucky and like I had worked for THIS. We hiked 7 or so miles, hitch hiking back with a sweet old couple from SF. Our destination was the fern canyon and I loved it!! You have to go! It is like something out of a fairy tale. A small canyon with walls at 30 or 40 feet, but completely covered with several varieties of vibrant lush ferns and a rushing spring at the base. You can drive down a crazy dirt road to get there, but I am glad we hiked. We saw so much cool stuff. All the things we had learned in our various lectures and ranger encounters: cathedral trees, buttress branches, fern mats, burls, and ancient ancient redwoods!The next day, we were off, back North. Our ride totally forgot us (note to travelers in the redwoods: the RCT totally sucks, and you have to call them 100 times if you actually want them to remember to pick you up). Ok, moving on, we recovered from being forgotten and rode the 40 miles back over the monster mountain to Crescent Shitty to pick up our truck. That part was pretty easy and we found a camp ground near Jedediah Smith State Park, where we planned to do a short hike on our last day, our day back to Portland. We did and it was great, another cool ranger was there waiting for us, and I loved him. He liked to pontificate on the meaning of humans communing with nature, but he just kinda seemed like a bus driver. We made it back in tact and with only one flat tire between us. Thank you to the 3000 or so drivers who passed us each day without hitting us!!Oh, ps, the next day, we set off in search of the blackberry mother-load. We did pick quite a bit, enough to make 7 jars of jam! Yay for food growing wild on the side of the road!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

if only we could just collaborate

Here are some of my favorites from my trip.

The wish tree at the Peggy Guggenheim collection in Venice. Love this one: "I wish I will be a super hero".Juliet's house in Verona. Thousands of love letters.The Pont des Arts in Paris. Throw over the key!

lavender, lavendine, and God save the um, bulls. A week in Southern France.

After Paris, I met up with my dear friend Marlo in Marseilles. She and I spend a couple days there, walking a lot, checking out a few restaurants, cathedrals, the beach scene, and a few beautiful islands!We took a ferry to the isle d'If. The castle there was built in the 1500's and famous for Dumas' the "Count of Monte Cristo" being imprisoned there. It is a museum now, and a funny one: more than the history of the castle it was about the book and consequently the movies. They featured "the count" from all over the world and in many languages.From there, we went to another of the 4 islands in the Frioul archipelago. We found a beautiful small beach to spend a few hours. The vegetation was so beautiful: sages and cactus. I loved the colors. The Mediterranean too was especially stunning.After Marsilles, we went to Arles. Marlo had some art work in the Les Rencontres d'Arles, an international photography exhibit which is over 40 years old. People flock to this small town and book up all the hotel rooms for the week or 2 surrounding the festival. We had a few days there, mostly so she could be around for some of the exhibit's functions. But, we found a bunch of other interesting things to do. One day, we wandered to the Roman Arena and kinda spontaneously agreed to see the bull run. It wasn't what I thought it would be: neither a bull fight nor the thing where the bull runs in the street. It was basically a bull in the ring with like 10 or 12 young guys running all over the place taunting him and jumping over the fence to avoid the viscous beast. Yeah, right, poor thing just wants to eat grass and span some time with a heifer. We left before it was even over. But, no regrets.Another day, it was such a treat to walk the length of the farmer's market! We walked forever and didn't even see everything! Omg, I loved the sight of all the breads, olives, tomatoes, fruits, more tomatoes. I wish I had a kitchen so I could buy a ton-o-stuff. We did get a few things we could eat right away, and they were delicious.
That afternoon, we walked to the exhibition space and saw as much as we could. Marlo's work looked really great and I liked a few of the other artists as well. In another building, we saw the show: I'm a cliche. Artworks and photographs celebrating the punk aesthetic. My friend Meredyth Sparks was in the show, and I loved her work too. We saw works by Dan Grahm and Mapplethorpe and a bunch of others. That night, there was an awards ceremony in the Roman amphitheater and that was neat... well the ceremony was kinda boring, but being in this ancient structure under the moon and star light... that was nice.The next morning we woke up super early (after a fire alarm in the middle of the night) to catch a train to Avingnon where we would meet up with our tour guide for the day. Holy moly, it was Provence at warp speed. I am so glad we did it, we saw and did so many amazing things, but it was jammed packed and I think I got whiplash.
We started the day at L'Isle sur la Sorgue, which is a small island village famous for its antique shops and farmers market. We saw lots of good stuff and I sprung for some cherries and croissants. Also, a lovely band was playing out front of the church. The place is an island, really just because it is surrounded by a moat. Some towns like Avingnon, still have their city walls, while others ditched the wall and kept the moat. Ha. get it. ditch. Well, at any rate, it was a beautiful spot.From there we went to the lavender museum and we learned that lavender in Provence is a myth. Really. It usually grows in the mountains. But, because of tourists the locals have started growing lavendine which can handle the soil contents down in Provence. The museum was really neat, and I learned about all the ways lavender and lavendine has been harvested and processed over the years. We also stopped by a beautiful field of lavendine for a photo opp.
After, we went to the beautiful villages of Gordes and Rousillion. In Gordes we had lunch at my favorite place the whole (south of France) trip. It was a quaint little place owned by two elderly dutch men and I had a super yummy garlic salad with fresh tomatoes. On the way there, we drove past the scenic abbaye de Senanque.Next, we drove on to St Remy De Provence. This is where Van Gogh made his famous "starry night" painting. Also here we saw more Roman monuments and the most preserved mausoleum in the area. The road we were driving on is older than the Roman civilization there! I was also falling in love with the cicadas. Everywhere, we could hear their songs and here in St. Remy I saw some up close. All through Provence people are crazy about the cicadas. You can see their image on pillows, and magnets, and in every tourist shop.From there we drove on to Les Baux De Provence. A beautiful medieval village nestled on a Alpilles mountain top. We had a few minutes to wander around the castle there, such gorgeous sweeping views... Marlo made a joke about how it was like the castle grayskull and even though there were other Americans with us, I was the only one who laughed. What? The village was lovely too, winding narrow cobble stone streets with things to see around every corner.
Finally we drove on to Pont Du Gard. It was stunning. A roman aqueduct from the 1st century. If we had had our suits, it would have been the grand finale of a marathon of a day. But, we made do with just getting our feet wet. We made our way back to Arles and crashed!The next day, our last, was nice and chill, wandering around Arles, a stop in the Van Gogh museum and a lovely spot for dinner with live music. I totally had too much rose, but it was worth it. Thanks Marlo for bringing me along. I loved it!