Life is filled with…
cavities, long lines at the post office, parking tickets, being put on hold for forty five minutes with a computer, taking out the trash, road rage, dents in your car from stupid instances of not paying attention, phone calls that end poorly with relatives, medical bills, electric bills, any kind of bills, period cramps, screaming alarm clocks, recipes ruined by a single false move, traffic, friends who never listen to your good advice, job losses, nights you can't sleep because you're too worried about nothing, all that work on your manuscript lost in a computer crash, creative blocks, airlines ripping you off with secret $100 fees for carry on luggage, that time you could have been a little nicer to your sister, brother, mother, cheating lovers, broken bones, failure, death, and war.
Life is also filled with…
your favorite sweater, sleeping in, sun on your skin, a good hair day, a new dress, maple and bacon donuts, first kisses, last kisses, good sushi, handwritten notes, inside jokes, the first time he said, "I love you", letters from your parents telling you, "You did good.", unexpected laughter, that time you finished what you started, that time you made something and it changed someone's life, music festivals in the summer, paychecks, pay raises, me putting my icy feet on you for warmth, hot cappuccinos, a genuine connection with another human being, sunsets so haunting they chill your bones, your dog's paw on your thigh, meals that taste too good, screen plays that make you cry, truth and authenticity, random acts of kindness from strangers, and a world too beautiful it hurts to live sometimes.
Which set of thoughts to you choose to focus on?
Before I get to the explanation for the title of this post, I'd like to share an email I received recently, asking me a question that I get a lot from creative types.
I love your jewelry and your music! You have been such a huge inspiration and part of the reason I wanted to start a blog of my own. Recently, I have become a little over-worked, and I keep feeling like I'm never getting anywhere. How do you stay motivated and inspired to achieve when you feel down?
Thanks for your amazing songs and inspiration over the years,
Quick disclaimer, I did not choose to showcase Robin's email because of the flattery, (although it certainly helped. I'm kidding!) I've touched on this topic a few times before, but I'd like to revisit it again. It seems like some folks would like a little nudge in the right direction. If I can help, great!
Nora Roberts, a famous romance novelist, said in one of her interviews in response to a reporter asking her if writing was easy for her, "No, of course not. It is very challenging. If it were easy everyone would be doing it." This woman has written over 209 romance novels! Talk about prolific.
I believe the challenge lies in changing your mindset from the "consumer" to the "producer". It is so easy to sit back and watch movies and t.v. shows that other people have labored over and created, books that other people have written, and eat delicious meals that other people have cooked. Instead of thinking, "Mmmm, this is delicious chicken pot pie" (Hmm, that's weird, why am I thinking about chicken pot pie right now. Thanksgiving! Sorry. Random tangent. Continuing on.) or thinking, "Wow, I cannot believe that Vince Gilligan ended 'Breaking Bad' that way" to "What am I good at?" "What can I offer/create/give to the world today or in the next year that will inspire others as much as that episode inspired me?"
The catch is, whatever you decide is your true calling is not going to be easy. (Unless you're a creative genius, in which case, good for you!) But, in most cases, it's going to be a struggle every time, every day. I certainly feel the struggle every day. Some days are better than others. Some days are just horrible. But things do get a little easier the more you try and the more you improve.
So, because I know how hard the journey can be, and I know that people like looking for tips, I'm going to give you three. These do not in any way, shape, or form let you off the hook from simply putting the petal to the metal and grinding out your creative work.
#1. Try a completely new activity that has absolutely nothing to do with what you are struggling with at the moment. Sometimes, I can't write a song for the love of everything holy. There is just nothing musical happening in my head. I've exhausted all the possibilities of chord progressions, changed tunings multiple times, and even tried artificially breaking my heart over not being able to eat chocolate for a week. (It's a poor substitute for a real heartbreak, but hey, you've gotta use what you've got.)
I was surprised to discover that anecdote to my songwriting blues: I started writing a fiction novel completely on a whim. I've never done anything even remotely close to writing a whole novel (aside from these blogposts, which are what… 1,000 words at most?) The novelty and the challenge of learning something knew and utilizing different parts of my brain and really opened up my creative gates. To learn about fiction writing, I read a novel, vamped off of that story, and walah! I had my new song topic as well as the first few chapters to my first novella. I cranked out three songs in a row after that.
So...Bass fishing or water polo? Anyone? Anyone?
#2. Do it anyway. Think of your creative activity like it is a job that you have to show up to and complete, regardless of how you are feeling that day. You don't wake up in the morning and say, "Hmm… I really don't feel like turning into work for my sales position today, so I'm not going to go." (Well, some of you might. Ha ha!) But most of you show up to that job, that class, whatever it is, anyway. So many of us use the "not feeling like it" excuse to let us off the hook from being creative and producing something.
This step is where my friends, Yoda and John Mayer come in. I know ya'll already know where I'm going with Yoda.
"There is no try, just do" -Yoda
So simple, yet SO hard sometimes. John Mayer, during an interview that I watched, replied to a student who asked him a very similar question to Robin's,
"And how many songs have you completed? Not how many songs did you start and then stop, begin and never finish. How many songs are FULLY written songs that you've completed form beginning to end?" And you know what that guy said?
So finish the things, do the deal. Get it done. Doesn't matter if you think it's good or bad, horrible or worthy of a nobel prize. With my novel that I'm working on, every single day I'm completely terrified to stare at a blinking cursor and a blank screen, but I get my butt in that chair, tell my inner critic to shut up, and just start pounding keys. Also, it really helps that I have a quote written just above my workspace that reads, "You are a stone-cold word killer!" (But that's a topic for a whole other blog post all together. Hehe. Chuckling in the written word is so strange, no?)
#3. My last tip kind of contradicts tip #2, but I've found it helpful on a few occasions. If you are REALLY truly feeling awful, uninspired, and like the creative side of your brain is braindead, don't do it. Fine. Spend a day marathoning through all the episodes of Friends or Frazier, binge on diet coke, and chocolate covered pretzels. Whatever. But the next day.
YOU BETTER GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR!
There, I've officially become your militant cheerleader. Thanks Robin! (Haha, no really. Thanks Robin, this post was a lot of fun to write:) So excuse me, while I get back to killing it. And I hope you do too. Really. Stop reading this. Go do it!
To order your Frank click HERE on October 2nd at midnight Eastern Time!
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
I keep tracking crunchy burnt orange and brown leaves into the house, but I'm completely o.k. with keeping a broom handy, because fall is my favorite time of year! (Well, aside from Spring and Summer…) With Halloween just around the corner, I'm already day dreaming about candy corn, carmel apples, and cuddling during those scary movies with a giant bowl of buttery popcorn. Woo hoo!
The colorful nuances of what would be an uncomfortable emotion any other time of year, fear, is found lurking within all of the fall festivities we enjoy. We dress up in ghoulish costumes trying to scare the pants off of each other and poor innocent children. We wait in line for hours outside the latest local Haunted House that is all the rage, paying top dollar to be frightened out of our wits.
Fear is an exhilarating feeling, and quite enjoyable (when circumstances are controlled.) "Ahem, Could you please keep that axed murderer a little further away from my two year old? Thank you." "Mooooom, I had it under contral. Next rollar coaster, come on!"
All this being said, I didn't make Frank to celebrate and indulge in fear for this month's Creature Collection. I wanted to focus my design efforts for this piece on the concept of being afraid…
but doing what you are afraid of anyway.
You know, just like you wobble around in those haunted houses, choking your friend from holding onto the neck of his shirt so tightly, shoving him in front of you to go first into those neon lit empty rooms in the maze where you just know someone or some THING is just about to pop out at you and chase you with a freakin' chain saw!
It's o.k. Push him out there. He's a dude. He can take it. But, just make sure you go yourself too! And Frank's here to remind us to write that song, finish that book, ask out the girl/guy, whatever it is. Do it!
I DARE you!
To order your Frank click HERE on October 2nd at midnight Eastern Time!
*Only 40 Franks will be available as part of this Special Limited Edition Item.
Each Frank has his own authentic number inscribed into his top right shoulder.
Frank is approximately 3" tall and includes an antique copper 29" chain.
Each Frank is handmade, so that means the watch cogs and parts I use on each piece may differ from photo.
Each order includes autographed postcard and gift wrap.
Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.
Occasionally I write posts about music, since I'm also a guitarist, so although this post is not about jewelry making per say, many of the subjects do apply... at least I think so:)
When practicing the guitar becomes difficult after I’ve reached another plateau, I find myself coming up with all sorts of excuses and complaints, constantly tempting me to stop trying, to just let it all go.
These thoughts, little devils preying on my tired shoulders, buzz into my ear: “Let your calluses turn back into soft, lady-like finger tips. Be free to do whatever you wish! The sun is shining outside. Go feel the warmth on your skin. Practicing is too difficult, boring wouldn’t you say? Why are you doing this anyway, playing these same, tedious scales and chord progressions over and over like a dutiful robot? You are basically repeatedly bashing metal strings attached to a piece of funny shaped wood for hours and hours and days and days. Do you even realize this?! What’s the point? Did you know that computers are replacing guitars anyway? You’ll spend decades becoming great, and then it won’t matter!”
Just let it go.
It’s times like these when I have to try very hard to remember why I started playing in the first place. My interest didn’t have anything to do with a strange desire to bash metal strings attached to a funny wooden shape for no reason. I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about this before, but the reason why I started playing was because of the people who I saw playing first.
No, in this girl’s story, the first musicians I saw wasn’t Prince or Tom Petty or even Jimmy Eat World.
They were a no-name garage band playing in their parents’ basement from our rival high school. I wanted to be like them, so full of life, energy, and reckless abandon. Their energy even scared me at times. I can’t remember all the details anymore, only the way it made me feel. Adults peering into the situation would have looked at that garage band as a horrid group of rebellious punk kids out to cause a ruckus. (And I’m not saying that they weren’t!) But, I saw them as young, fearless artists. The first of their kind I had ever seen. Just pure power and ecstasy spilling out of their guts. It was sexy, glamourous, and dangerous.
I was in love.
During high school, looking back, I would describe myself as pretty “square”. I received straight A’s. I even think I scored higher than a 4.0 two semesters in a row. (Don’t ask me how that works!) I stood among the other proud girls in royal blue and ivory cheering for our handsome football players year after year on the cheer squad. Diligent, hard-working, and brown-nosing, I completed all of the tasks to please my teachers without a single defiant statement, but after I saw those garage band kids, I immediately dropped half of my classes, didn’t try out for the cheerleading team the next year. ( I think I may have been kicked off actually… What a little rebel I became! *gasp*), and lost all interest in attending my high school graduation. (I went on a cruise instead and got piss-drunk for the first time in my life.)
My personality has always been introverted and quiet. Getting a guitar, and forming a band, was my chance to be somebody completely different, to be adventurous for once in my life!
I did it for love, not love for a person, but love for a feeling.
Now I understand the reason I dragged my dad to the music store and traded in a year of chores and good behavior for a shiny black Gibson Les Paul Standard. ( I sold this guitar on craigslist a few years ago. Biggest regret of my life! Sheesh. )
Somehow, that tiny seed of desire, cultivated with time and watered with devotion, turned into traveling all over the world in tour buses and vans, and recording records and EP’s in well-known studios all over the U.S. It translated into some of the best times in my life on stages in seedy bars and arenas.
Today, I’m back to my quiet, proper self. Following social rules and pleasing people. I still attend concerts every now and then. I watch polished indie-bands. I enjoy myself, sipping on a cold beer, listening to the nuances of their songwriting now that I know what to listen for after studying for years. I appreciate good skill, stage presence, and witty stage banter with the audience. I’ll have a good time, but it will never be like watching those kids in their parents’ basement. Never quite like that.
It’s interesting to think back about how it all started, so I can remember why I need to keep going. Hmmm.
I used to have a movie buff as a roommate who really let me have it when I'd accidentally spill a detail. So, I learned my lesson! Secondly, if you haven't seen "Jiro Dreams Of Sushi", you must stop what you are doing, and go watch it. I think I cried more watching that movie than I did in "Up". I cried in scenes with no dialogue even, just beautiful sushi on the screen with classical music playing in the background. Then POOF, out nowhere, tears streaming down my face. I know, I know. You're thinking what I'm thinking before I watched it, "It's just food!", but it's not I tell you!
Jiro is man who dedicates his life to his craft, not only dedicates, but gives his life to his craft. At one point during the movie I turned to Nick and said, "I don't know if I'm ecstatic for that man or really sad." He works every day and only takes off days when there is a funeral or a national Japanese holiday. He seemed so serious and stern. I wanted to give him a break and tell him, "Go take a hot bath and have a picnic in a park with your wife. Give yourself some "me" time for heaven's sake!" I'm sure he would hate that though.
I do have to say, for being such a serious man, there are a few moments in this movie when he smiles. I have never seen a smile so full of genuine happiness. That's when the premise of the movie clicked for me. "Oh! That's why he's working SO hard!"
Today (the morning after we watched the film), Nick and I both, without even mentioning our intentions to each other, woke up, silently ate breakfast, and immediately proceeded to spend an hour locked away in separate rooms practicing our instruments. That hasn't happened in months!
As I run my jewelry business and continue to play music, I often think about the importance of stopping to ask myself, "Is everything I'm doing right? Are there activities I'm pursuing that don't align with my values?"
This morning during my run, I usually listen to talk radio, but because I was feeling introspective and the morning felt so calm and collected, I decided to opt for the sounds of nature and passing cars to accompany my daily exercise routine. Tentatively, I let my thoughts and the "empty-forever-empty" take over (as Louis C.K. likes to say.)
During my run, I realized, "There are some activities I'm pursuing that don't align with my values as well as some activities I am not practicing which do align very much."
For instance, there is a craft show coming up in San Francisco that I will be exhibiting at. My plan was to spend a couple weeks making some new designs with a new aesthetic that I wanted to try out for the show.So, I spent all day yesterday experimenting in the studio. It took me the entirety of the day to realize that, this wasn't my style at all.
I love making quirky, weird creatures and bots. They are more emotional to me, more meaningful. The time I spent on the modern imitations took time away from my newest addition to the Creature Collection, Frank.
He sat tucked away on my desk, lonely as a dead man all afternoon. I want to create more of him, work on his subtle nuances and get to know him a little better before I release him to the public.
Sometimes, ya gotta let some things go to make space for the things that matter most, the things that bring you the most joy.
Also, my guitar has been gathering a fine layer of dust from lack of play lately. Where are my priorities? Poor Taylor and poor Frank. Time to snap out of it!
Do you ever get side tracked? How do you get back on track?
I'm in "show prep" mode, planning and scheming for the Re:Make craft show which will be held in San Francisco in only two weeks! I'm not a procrastinator, per say. I've been scheduling out my calendar weeks in advance in preparation for this show, but I have admit: I don't feel adequately prepared this time. Before every craft show or trade show I do, I feel the need to completely revamp my booth setup. It's always a good idea to improve where you can, but I've really got to stop these total-booth-makeovers before Nick decides to kill me. (I'm sure everyone already knows this, but just in case, Nick is my boyfriend, which also makes him my default electrical engineer and carpenter for all things craft fair. Sweet guy. He never complains, but let's be real, I'm sure he would rather be stealing cars via the new Grand Theft Auto video game instead of calculating out dimensions of jewelry display stands on his weekends.)
Nick has a mechanical mind. He grew up in a family-owned auto body shop, learning how the insides of engines and carburetors worked since he was old enough to lift a wrench. ( I myself don't even know enough to know if the word "carburetor" makes sense in that sentence!) He can roll down the window in a car while driving it, stick his head out a few inches to listen for god-knows-what, and instantly tell you every ailment the car might be experiencing in that moment and the step-by-step process needed to fix it. He's like this with computers and anything that has gadgets and gears.
I am the opposite. I'm a creative type who doesn't know how to actually implement any of my ideas, (unless it's a jewelry design, of course.) But I can come up with a million ideas. Sure, I experience the occasional writer's block, but for the most part, I can't stop ideas from crowding my brain, even when I'd like to stop and think about something else… like dessert. O.K. well, it's pretty easy to stop thinking about anything when red velvet cupcakes are dancing around in my head.
So, Nick tries to teach me here and there little things about how to understand cars and computers. He tried to explain brake pads to me the other day, and what brakes look like on the inside of a car. The truck ahead of us had an entire bed filled with, what appeared to be, giant, rusty old watch cogs. He explained to me that those were actually brakes. "Huh." Is my usual response to which Nick proceeds with the usual slow head shake back and forth. Then after this, I grab his hand over the middle console between us and try to look as adorable as possible to further my case of being worthy girlfriend material. It's worked so far…
I try to help him be creative. Keep in mind, sometimes just because you are good at doing a thing doesn't mean you are good at teaching it. Creativity is such an intangible subject. It's hard to help someone when all you feel like you can offer them is "It will just come to you!" My advice to him is copy other artists' creativity. Learn their songs note for note, examine them, play the chords, sing the melody. I think that's the best way, though I'm not quite sure.
I'm hoping to extend my jewelry line another 25 pieces for the show as well as design, and create #4 of my Creature Collection which is always released the first Thursday of each month. (I'm planning something spooky for creature #4. Beware!) Sounds like a big job, but I love having work like this in big red letters in my calendar. Making stuff is what I do, and I'm totally new to the San Francisco market, and honestly can't wait to see how this adventure turns out.
When I know that there is a big event coming up and I'm planning on creating a set number of designs (in this case 25 new pieces!) I dream of the designs in my sleep. Yep, I know this method is a bit strange-sounding and unconventional. Funny thing is, even when I used to churn out songs in my old band, the songs came to me that way. Some songs came to me, just before I fell asleep, in that extremely aggravating chunk of time when you're half awake and half asleep and you wish your body would just give in already! That's when the ideas come. That's when my muse starts handing over these gifts of melodies and chords. I take these gifts, store them away in my mind to be worked out in the morning and tell lady Muse, "Well, thank you very much for doing all the grunt work for me, but you don't suppose there might be a more opportune time for us to convene, perhaps in the DAY TIME?!"
Now, instead of songs there are images of geometric shapes of bright colors, braided and flattened copper joined together in odd, yet fluid ways. The images go by, one by one, like sushi platters at those Instant sushi bars where the raw fish travels around on those conveyor belts in front of diners. Then the technical parts map themselves out (as best they can in my non-technical brain.) "How would I make that?! I could hammer out the metal on one side. Hmmm… I could braid a 29 gauge copper wire with an 18 gauge, perhaps wire wrapping on certain segments between the clay pieces. Would I "antique" the copper before or after sculpting it? I need to focus more on sanding and polishing to really make those colors gleam. I really need to get some of those disposable gloves to protect my hands. They've seen better days… How about aqua against a burnt orange rectangle bead or a tarnished gold against a matte black! Yes, that's it!"
Funny thing is, I don't forget a detail when I wake up. With songwriting it was different. I'd wake up with fragments of ghost melodies, never really corresponding with one another, which eventually led me to going to sleep with a trusty notepad, pen, and recording device on my bed stand.
I have to admit at this point, I haven't begun creating anything yet for the day. Had to run to the mall to exchange Dia's birthday present for a different size. That girl is hard to shop for! She's always surprising me with her fashion sense. Then there was that potato casserole I needed to make, which called for a call to my mother and Dia for baking temperature tips and timelines. Sisters and mothers are awesome, aren't they?
And then, of course, I wanted to write this post, but now I'm off to see if real life can be better than dreams. Wish me luck!
As Nick and I pushed my heavy crate containing all of Chandler's display fixtures up 200 South, I couldn't help saying to him in between huffs and puffs and gritted teeth, "This feels a lot like pushing an amp to all those venues." There are so many similarities between playing shows and exhibiting at craft fairs. You would be surprised!
Actually, I'm happy to report, quite a few bashful Meg and Dia fans visited us at our booth. Connecting with strangers or online friends never met in person feels exciting and new, yet familiar at the same time, because even though we are meeting for the first time, we have a common bond, whether that is music from MAD or mine and Nick's current creations. Meeting everyone made me realize how much I value face-to-face interaction and being part of a creative community, musical or artisan. So thanks for stopping by!
Nick and I made friends with a sweet couple exhibiting next to us. Sara's husband, Tyson, reminded me a lot of Nick, hauling all of her wares about the city center, and helping her to display her jewelry with care. Seriously, our work would be so much harder without the behind-the-scenes help of our capable men. If you'd like to see Sara's work you can check it out here. (I was dying to do a trade with her but didn't have the balls to ask. Maybe next time...)
We tried kimchi fries from the Lewis Bros. food truck as well as bottled iced coffee from The Rose Establisment booth. (I was their very best customer, stocking up on their rose shortbread cookies complete with tiny edible rose petals with garnish on top.
Craft Lake did us a solid by letting us exhibit at a booth right in front of the main stage. Nick and I had the pleasure of listening to local musicians for most of the day and into the evening. (Oh, there were also skilled blonde belly dancers. They seemed to be the most popular act, even more so than all of the local bands and musicians. I'm not sure how I feel about that.... Ha ha.)
Near the end of the craft fair a new local band called Golden Sun headlined the main stage. Contrary to the small crowds the other bands and artists seemed to harbor, this band had quite a crowd huddled up next to the stage. Out of curiosity, I asked Nick to keep an eye on the booth so I could check out the band up close and personal. I haven't been to a show in months. (Dia and I keep meaning to go together, but we just haven't found the time lately.)
I had forgotten about the excitement that wells up inside of me when I'm standing in one of the first few rows, right next to the band playing. I could see the expressions on the band members' faces as they started up each song. I stood behind a group of girls that seemed to know them quite well since they kept screaming at the band members by name. They danced in their own private circle and the boys up on stage beamed from ear to ear when they noticed that their music caused the girls' bodies to get in the groove.
Aren't they cuties? Now, go buy there music or else! Kidding, kidding.
I just thought it was so adorable. Those young kids up there making music together, believing that what they were doing up there on that stage was the most important thing at that moment. More important then graduation, or the local housing market, or the love interest waiting for them after the show. And you know, dare I say, that at that moment it was.
Ah, I remember what that felt like.
I take a sip from my mug of coffee and a small bite of one of those frozen hash browns from Trader Joes that Nick and I have learned to burn to perfection. We sit at our kitchen table. He’s looking over the ketchup bottle at my face still creased with lines from my pillow. I’m looking off into the distance just over his left shoulder. In my peripheral vision, I notice him uneasily shifting to the left and then to the right in one of our white ikea chairs. “Is there something on my face or in my hair?" he asks me with concern. I can tell my staring off has unsettled him this morning. “No, I’m just looking at some memories," I reply in a slight daze. “Are your memories in my hair?" he blurts out. “Why yes, they are today."
Days are going by here in Los Angeles. Those are turning into weeks, and we have just completed our first month. Sometimes I wake up and it’s still strange for me to say to myself, “Good morning, you tired, lazy girl. You live in Los Angeles." To which I sleepily nod, turn over, and think to myself, “Yes, yes. I know. I’ll take that fact into account in a few hours after I’ve showered."
People say that Hollywood is filled to the brim with opportunity. They are right you know. I think, (though I can’t quite remember with absolute clarity), that Nick and I packed up our bags and headed for the Hollywood hills in order to bang on our instruments with like-minded, cooky musicians. We’ve done a bit of that, but I think that the real magic that has happened for me here has been in another field entirely. I haven’t quite figured out exactly what I’ve gotten myself into, but the following terms have been floating around in Nick’s hair lately: entrepreneurship, business, DIY, technology, 3D printing, art. This journey started with a craft fair that Nick and I decided to do with a friend who needed to split a booth fee with other crafty people. Somehow from that one “yes" there seems to be opportunity coming out of the wood work in this crazy city. Funny what a “yes" can do for you sometimes…
Nick found a job working at a coffee shop on the west side in the recently “gentrified" warehouse district. (I learned a new word:) He found some sweet friends among his co-workers. Of course, there’s a musician (a guitarist he met originally on Warped Tour years ago) and an aspiring actor. In the pursuit of following their dreams, they realized, with astonishment, that they have both become accidental experts at pouring pretty espresso shots with the flower on top foaming in perfect symmetry. After a month of working there, Nick comes home and says things like, “I thought that Andrew was going to take Jerry in the back and have some words with him”. He also twirls around his milk in our two dollar coffee mugs like a seasoned wine connoisseur at breakfast time. (I’m quite fond of that little quirk. It’s kind of cute.)
I’m a little jealous of the built in social life he has attained though. His co-workers recently invited him to join a bowling league (which isn’t just any bowling league mind you!) They compete on the middle floor of The Roosevelt on vintage bowling lanes that cost $100.00 a game! (Luckily he doesn’t have to pull out his wallet since he’s joining the league mid season.) But agh, just to walk into that place makes you feel like you have been transported back to the 1920s, and because you imagine yourself in a different time, all the grandeur and mystery of the unknown comes bubbling up in the IPA brew you ordered.
Yesterday, a small hispanic woman backed into my car in the post office parking lot. I honked for her entire journey from two car widths in front of me right into the front bumper of my car. “Why didn’t you back up?" Nick asked me immediately after I told him my frustrating story. “I couldn’t believe she would ACTUALLY hit me!" But she did, and of course she meanders out of her vehicle after the event and innocently asks me in the calmest voice ever I swear, “Oh, did I heet you?"
Yes, ma’am. Yes ya did.
Actually, I feel rather lucky to have only had one tiny bumper bang since we moved here, driving on these crazy freeways and all.
Let’s see what else…
I suddenly have developed this new affinity for small dogs that look like fake stuffed animals. I used to look at canines and think “poop and responsibility", now I look at a too-skinny woman holding one in her purse with two little paws tucked over the edge and I think, “adorable and MINE".
Friendly Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on our doors instead of friendly Mormon missionaries. (I’ll take either. They both make me smile.) But the Jehovah’s witnesses will only talk to us if we speak Spanish. “Come on", I yell to them as they hurry down our front porch steps after we answer the door in an English “hello", “but I have many questions to ask you!" I sputter in frustration, “Yo tengo muy questionos…Damn!"
But they don’t hear me.
Do you remember when...
you were little and the teacher asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? Remember how you told her you wanted to be an astronaut and fly to the moon and float around in outer space. You wanted to call back home to planet earth and say to your mother, "Hey, look ma! I did it!" Do you remember how you told your teacher you wanted to be a singer and wear crazy outfits on stage with sequins and tall shoes and crowd surf across thousands of screaming fans? Do you remember how your classmates didn't look at you and tell you that you were crazy? They said, "That sounds cool! I want to do that too!"
But, now you can't say that you want to sing or you want to fly or you want to make people laugh when you are sitting at the dinner table with your parents. You can't say those things to your roommate in the college dorms. It's not practical. It's not realistic. So you say the things you think you are supposed to, and you find yourself carried away by the current of safety and sameness.
Well, Snerdly doesn't follow that same line of thinking. Snerdly remembers what he dreamed about when he was just a wee creature in his wee creature classroom. He remembers because he lives his dream every day, his crazy, childlike, "un-realistic" dream. He doesn't care if society thinks his dreams are silly, and he's here to remind you that there isn't anything silly about your ideas at all, not in the slightest. If teachers, friends, classmates don't want to listen, he will. He supports it, because he's a crazy, loony fellow dreamer that never learned to stay in line and stick with the program. He may have had a few bumps and bruises along his journey, but he says that those are to be expected. That's why he wears a band aid. He says that it's best to simply patch up your ouchies along with your doubts and move on.
When he became a college student, his confidence began to wane a little with the new ideas that were floating around and the opinions of his teachers and his peers. He kept his childhood dreams close all throughout his life, but he could feel them slowly slipping away as he began to attend parties on campus and joined a group of friends who liked to wear pink bandannas around their creature feet and wore dozens of watch cogs along their creature ears and noses. He was beginning to change, and a fear crept up inside him. He became afraid of friends thinking less or differently of him, of teachers scoffing at his future plans.
So one night, after a particularly intense dorm meeting, (a couple creature gals were arguing over who was taking too long in the showers), Snerdly called his creature father. "Dad, I'm a little afraid that my heart is changing, and I'm afraid to lose myself here. There is so much to learn and take in and I'm not sure what to believe anymore." Snerdly could hear his mom clanking together dishes in the background. His creature dad simply told him, "Son, you've got to have more courage than that." And he hung up.
Snerdly is part of a limited edition collectors item. There will be five creatures in thisChandler The Robot series. Each one will be released the First Thursday of each month. Snerdly will be released on July 4th at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. There will only be 50 available. Each piece is handmade by myself, so please allow me 2-3 weeks to make them all and ship them out to you. Please remember, that these will only be available this one time, and after they are sold out that's that. So, set your alarms if you are a late sleeper like me!
- handmade from polymer clay, antique copper, and vintage watch cogs
- Snerdly is approximately 2" tall
- 27" antique copper chain
- Snerdly can also be made into a keychain (Simply choose that option when you check out.)
- He has a flat back which allows him to be lighter around your neck and also fit more snugly on your chest.
- $50.00 each plus $4.00 shipping
- International orders accepted
- Includes special gift wrap and autographed/numbered CTR postcard.