This song has been stuck in my head for days and I don’t mind.
I really regret not seeing a Lord T & Eloise show before leaving Memphis.
An occasional installment in an ongoing series. To be read in a wistful voice.
• Your Memphis Grizzlies, taking names and kicking ass. Although I will say I have been pleasantly surprised by seeing the Grizz on public TVs here in Nashville.
• Being able to drive to LensRentals.com and pick up a lens.
• Black Lodge
• A marked lack of traffic
• SpillIt, which I don’t technically miss because I wasn’t there when it started, but it sounds super cool.
• My pediatrician, my dentist, my eye doctor, and Ike’s.
• You and you and you and you.
• The Cove.
Sunday is the third-annual East Buntyn ArtWalk. I will be there with a tent and some tables and a baby and some family members (the specific composition of family yet to be determined) and lots of photos and artwork and crafty stuff for sale. Come say hello, come buy stuff, come make my baby laugh, come drink the free wine that will be available at some of the booths.
Here’s a listing of some of the things I will have available at the booth. I’ve been working for more than a month and a half now getting stuff together. It has been intense, working full time, taking care of the baby, and doing this on top of all that. But it’s been fun, too.
Hope to see you there!
Check out East Buntyn ArtWalk on Facebook.
Edited to add: Um, derp. I could tell you where I’ll be, couldn’t I? I will be stationed near the southeast corner of Reese and Midland, just a couple of houses down from Midland. Event organizers encourage everyone to start their walk at the St. James Church at 461 South Prescott, where there will be a silent auction as well as a map of the festivities and printed ads (like the one above) so you’ll know what goods are available where. So do stop by there. But then come visit me! I’m super close to the church. Follow me on Twitter for updates!
I took a little solo walk today in Chickasaw Gardens near the little park and lake, where I go to entertain my greenest fantasies — the ones where I imagine what life would be like were I to be the kind of person who drove a Lexus into a two-car garage bordered by meticulously landscaped greenery tended by hired help.
They’re silly fantasies, little one, because we all know that even if I could afford a Lexus and a two-car garage, I would still drive a dented Nissan and park in the driveway because the garage would be full of crafting supplies and boxes of jeans I am delusional enough to believe I will be able to wear again someday.
I’m getting off topic here. The point is, the trees were showing out something big. And I figure you’ll miss the bulk of the pretty colors this year, but I want you to know that I am out here drinking them in for you, and looking forward to the days in a few years when you will jump into and completely destroy the pile of leaves I’ve worked so hard to rake up. Because you are going to be SO GROUNDED.
After I left a note complaining about the barking, I got a voicemail from my neighbor. She apologized profusely for the barking and said she was just horrified to know they’d been keeping us up. She said that she’d had some painters in the house while she was out of town and they’d apparently left the dogs outside or something. She said please don’t hesitate to let her know if they were bothering us, and left two phone numbers to use.
Super awesome. I really wasn’t expecting her to be so cool about it; I always assume people will be the biggest jerks possible when confronted. I tried calling her back but it just rang and rang. So today I dropped off a thank-you card telling her how much we appreciated her understanding, and that we’d be happy to check in on the dogs if she ever needed us to while she was away.
Happy ending, yay!
I hate to break down and have a “back in my day” rant over something so trivial, but I am pissed.
Adults are ruining Halloween. Don’t even get me started on the idiotic “sexy X” costumes that have pretty much taken over the pre-fab options for women. Of course, I’m annoyed that every costume is pre-fab anyway. What ever happened to making your own damn costume? Or doing something you can’t just buy in a bag? Grumble.
No, I will not get started on that.
What I WILL get started on is this apparently new idea (it happened last year at my house too) that you can be a grown-ass person and just traipse around a neighborhood in your regular clothes and shove a Walgreens sack in people’s doorways and they will give you candy. Old-ass adults do it. Closer-to-20-than-13 teenagers do it. Some adults at least have the decency to drag their kids around and the kids ask for candy first and THEN the adults hold their bags out. Shit, I had a group of teenage girls just open their purses at me and chant, “See ya next year!” as they sauntered away. They didn’t even bother with the plastic bag. And one group of teen boys came up and before I could give them anything, shoved their giant boy hands into the bowl and started shoving fistful after fistful of candy into their plastic bags. I had to actually tell them to slow down and take it easy, that they were wiping me out. I closed the door and heard someone raising hell and moaning that he didn’t get anything. This kid had to be 15 or 16. He was mad. I opened the door back up and gave him some Smarties (not the Kit Kats) and he didn’t say thanks or fuck you or anything.
It sucks. You want some candy? Fucking go to Kroger and buy your own bag, just like I did. The people who come to my door to take candy from me are not dirt poor folks, hoping for a sugar fix just to survive. Many of them had children wearing sneakers worth more than my own shitty slip-ons. I kind of hesitate to even write about this because I know I am going to sound like an entitled prick for even bringing it up, but it bugs me. Like Ray told me, he grew up dirt poor but his mom knew that on Halloween, if you couldn’t afford anything else, you at least threw a ratty sheet over your head and called yourself a ghost. The point is the silly make-believe, not the fucking candy. I had wondered last year why hardly anyone else on my street turned on their porch lights on Halloween, and why I was the only one with a jack-o-lantern on the stoop. Now I know it’s because the hassle of dealing with grown-ass jerks far outweighs the half dozen or so actual costumed kids who are having fun being silly and going around the neighborhood in costume.
This is what they do at 6:30 or 7 a.m. every morning … for hours and hours:
And then again a few hours later. Or whenever they’re bored. Which is a lot since they are just hanging out in the courtyard, which is mere feet from our bedroom window, all day and night, seemingly every day and night for the past week or so.
The other night they were at it at midnight and then again at 2:30 or 3 in the morning. Then again at 7. I marched my sleepy-eyed preggo self over there and rang the doorbell twice, then walked around to the back to see if the neighbor’s car was there. It wasn’t. I haven’t seen it there for days. Is she out of town? Did she leave her dogs out in the yard while she’s out of town? Is something wrong? Lesley suggested she might be dead in there, which honestly never crossed my mind (and usually I love to imagine the gruesomest scenario) but could be true. We haven’t called the cops yet because I’m trying to be diplomatic and talk to her about this before trying to get others to intervene, but I can never catch her home. So what’s my recourse? A note on the door? Don’t worry, it won’t be anonymous. I just found her phone number online. Am I going to have to call her? God, I need a shot of whiskey first.
I work nights so 7 a.m. is like my 3 a.m. It’s an unreasonable time to fuck with me. But, you know, it would be an unreasonable time to fuck with someone with a day job too.
It’s already tough to sleep through the night but around 7 a.m. is when I am actually getting a couple or three hours of consecutive, pee-free sleep. Having bored dogs howling at rustling leaves and passing joggers jolts me out of the one REM cycle I get every night and makes it incredibly difficult to function for the rest of the day. I can deal with it occasionally — dogs are dogs and they bark, I get it — but it has been every day, all day, for many days and I am feeling myself start to crack from the exhaustion.
Okay, yes. I am going to have to call her. And I will make sure to scream at the top of my lungs outside her windows when I am giving birth.
Dear baby boy,
Today your dad and I woke up early and went Downtown to the Rock-n-Soul Museum, where we used a Smithsonian Museum Day coupon to get in for free. That’s a savings of $22, little man. We are so clever, aren’t we? You thumped around inside me while we watched the museum’s intro video, which pulsed the sounds of Carl Perkins and Elvis and Otis Redding into the air.
The museum attendant handed us our tour headphone sets and I placed the little speakers over my belly and turned up the volume so you could hear Robert Johnson crooning* and Otis Redding wailing and Sam and Dave defining Soul Men. You didn’t seem to have much of a reaction so I guess I caught you while you were sleeping, or maybe you were so impressed with what you heard that the sounds stopped you short and you just sat there, still, letting the music soak in. Your dad put his hand on my belly and thumped along to the rhythm. Did you hear?
We walked around Downtown trying to decide where to eat but my heart was set on the Majestic Grille, since it had been so long since I’d been there. Your dad was relieved that the hostess sat us near the bar so he could watch football while we ate our spinach dip and flatbreads. He had the duck and I had the chicken. Protein, little man. That’s where it’s at. Your dad took extra paper towels from the restroom because he thought they were so fancy. “They’re like napkins!”
It was a nice day. I wore a cardigan even though it was a probably a little too warm for it, just because it’s cute and lets my belly poke out. It’s fall now and it’s the little things that sustain me, see. We came home and I took a nap before work because I have learned that from here on out, I need to sleep whenever I can because this ol’ body of mine is working really hard to get you in good shape for your big debut.
I am ready for you to join us on our little adventures, kiddo.
* about beating his woman until he gets satisfied. Which, of course, you need to understand is very wrong and not at all a joking matter and … I will explain this to you when you get older.
My first mistake was assuming that I would make it to bed by midnight Friday.
Instead, I was up until 3, printing out last-minute signs and trying to make sure I had everything in order. My alarm coaxed me awake at 6 and I went about loading the car and putting some food and drinks in the cooler, only to realize that most of the ice trays were empty and therefore completely worthless to me. Bah. I filled a big travel mug with strong coffee and woke Ray up right before time to go, and we scooted over to Cooper-Young.
We found our stall and pulled the car into the nearest parking lot to unload as we waited for Shane — the bringer of the tables and chairs and the essential extra person to help successfully put up the tent. He ran into some traffic snags so we roped my pal Ed, who had just stopped by to chat, into helping us attempt to get the tent set up, since I was starting to panic a little about getting everything ready and the car moved before the streets were blocked off and Ray was effectively stuck there all day (he needed to be able to go home and sleep before his work shift that night) and the festival gates opened.
We got the tent mostly open and figured out, and then Shane arrived and applied his tent TLC to get it fully functional. We made pretty quick work of attaching the lattice and hanging the photos up on their janky little paperclips. I kept running into a brain block where I couldn’t quite figure out exactly how I wanted things to look, even though I had practiced the day before. Anyway, we were tidying up as the festival-goers started trickling in, but by and large, we got it done in time. I am so glad I have helpful friends, and that Shane has a good eye so that he could figure out the best place to put some things I was totally stymied by.
By 9:30 I was already sweaty and exhausted, but things were just getting started.
I made some sales early on, which was encouraging. I immediately met a sweet couple of ladies who really liked my Tennessee prints and were hoping to customize them as cards. The magnets of the same size were a big hit, too, and I sold out of one design and nearly out of the other. Another big seller was the Memphis letter collage print, which eventually sold out.
Several friends stopped by and chatted with me, which was a lovely cure for my hermit disease. Some friends even bought stuff, which was also awesome.
One of the coolest things that happened was getting to meet people who read the blog/follow the shop whom I’ve never met before. They were all so sweet and patient with me. Hi, everyone I met who might be reading this now!
Erica checked on me several times and, being a craft show veteran, even offered some suggestions about how to tweak the booth. I heeded her advice on moving the banner so that people could see in to the booth, but I didn’t have the energy to change the placement of the tables. Next time, maybe. Ray and Shane dropped back by to check on me, as did Amanda and Brandon, so I could walk around and take a pee break or two. I ate a giant burger from Celtic Crossing — that they delivered to my booth! — and swilled water to stave off dehydration.
It wasn’t so bad sitting there alone. I got to do some pretty fine people watching (some highlights: seeing a woman on a Rascal scooter accidentally careen into a neighboring booth and knock over a piece of art, and then later seeing a woman and a man have words — “ex-ca-uuuuuuse YOU!” when they both accidentally bumped into each other, and then even later watching some kid get caught trying to steal some dude’s sombrero) and it gave me a chance to sit back and tend to things in the booth that I might have ignored had I been otherwise distracted.
One of the bars across the front of the tent started to fall, and every third person who came inside hit his/her head on it on the way back out. I started warning everyone repeatedly to watch their heads, as many of them had had some beer and were not exactly observant. Ha. But I was scared that if I tried to push the bar back up, that my entire tent would collapse. So I left it.
It was really cool having people come by and have nice things to say about my art. I feel weird calling it that but that’s what it is. One man even told me I had the best collection out of all the photographers there. Sadly he didn’t buy anything but hey, a compliment is great too.
I can say I’d definitely do another craft fair, now that I sort of know how they work and what to expect, and the kinds of things craft show buyers seem to gravitate toward. It was an excellent marketing opportunity and I gave my cards out to everyone who would take one or two so they will hopefully check out my shop. Of course, this time next year I will have my hands full with a 10-month-old (!!!) but I would love to try my hand at it again. Maybe get a bigger tent and some sturdier structures from which to hang things. Maybe pare down my offerings a bit now that I know what didn’t garner much interest at all and what seemed to be popular. Definitely make extra copies of things that I can tell will be popular so that I don’t run out, although it’s really hard to predict what will take off and what won’t.
By the time we got home, I was completely exhausted and could hardly move. My hips and back were almost totally locked up and my head had started to hurt pretty bad. I was in bed by 10 p.m. and slept nearly 12 hours. I woke up sore and still tired. But it was a good tired. An accomplished tired. It was quite a leap to take to get my name out there and let people peruse through my artwork, opening myself up to judgment like that. I would so love it one day if this is how I could make a real living. Making and sharing and selling.