Friday, October 28, 2005

It's Official

Three things have become crystal clear to me this week:

1. I love Paris. Not that it was ever in doubt, but I want to live in Paris and speak fluent French surrounded by the art and architecture that somehow sings to my heart. The crazy thing is, I really believe I will live in Paris one day. It may be far off, but it seems quite real to me.

The trip was amazing, as we knew it would be. We stayed at a very Parisian 2-star hotel and ate at the lovely little Bistro next door for dinner. We avoided all the dog shit in the streets this trip. We discovered the Pompidou Center and were treated to a tour in English there. We wandered into Saint Chapelle which cannot be described or even shown off to its full glory in photographs. We slurped mussels on the Champs Elysses, the street that means Paris for Richard. We followed a school tour through the Cluny where the Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries were every bit as lovely as promised. We also saw a Roman Bath there -- really, the one Emperor Justinian used. It was almost too old to comprehend. We stumbled upon the wine festival for the last remaining vineyard in Paris. We saw our old friend Notre Dame and I cried again upon seeing it. For me, this place is Paris. We mooned at each other and the lights and bridges of Paris from a glass covered boat while devouring a delicious 4 course dinner. We sat in silence in our taxi on the way to the airport, sad that we were leaving, but hopeful that it would not be too long before we were back in the city we love best in the world.

2. I am officially panic-stricken over the fact that I have committed to do a show in Chicago that is WAY out of my league. I have far too much to do and not enough time or money to get it all done. I have to purchase display materials, manufacture enough keepsake books to actually turn a profit, book a room for at least 4, maybe 5, nights in downtown Chicago. I have to order my packaging and business printing from the graphic artist before the end of the month. I have to get my paperwork turned in and most of it reads like it's written in another language. ( From what I gather, I will have to spend more money by the time this show is over and they won't be responsible for anything, at all.)

3. Halloween is only fun for kids. The whole dressing up and candy routine is heaven for the young and hell for the parents. Who can say what Hayes will decide to dress up as this year? He went the last two years as a baseball player (after we purchased the Peter Pan, John and Wendy costumes) and a "construction guy" (after we purchased the Goliath the Lion costume). I didn't buy a costume for him this year; I am not as dumb as it might first appear. He wanted to be a winner for his party at school this week. What does that look like, you ask? Apparently, a winner wears a Yankees jersey, a plastic medal around his neck and holds a trophy in his hand. Amazingly, his teacher said, "Look, Hayes is a baseball player who won the game!" I didn't know whether to be excited for him that she got it or to scream, "Don't encourage him!" And by the looks of Target, Halloween is only the warning bell that Christmas is right around the corner. Cheerful, no?

Saturday, October 22, 2005


So it's time to start the whole application process for Art Fairs in the area. I don't want to. I am avoiding it like the plague. I don't want to spend next summer holed up in my tent doing 25 art fairs. And really, I hate the rejections. I try to be brave, like when I was a little girl and my dad would buy me ice cream if I didn't cry at the doctor's office on immunization day; but it does really sting when I get a rejection letter. I hate that sinking feeling in the mysterious pit of my stomach. I got my first letter of the season today. I will not be at the Indiana State Museum show this year.

I think this is especially hurtful because I am going through a period in my artist life where I am sure this art I have been creating is not my own. I have simply been copying the style of some very talented artists this last year. I feel good about the art that I have created, but I don't really believe it is mine. I think the closest I have come to my own art is what I did in collage class to please my cranky teacher. And there you have it. My art is done in a way that I think will please others. I have to find my own voice.

I am making some progress in this area, by the way, but nothing I am yet willing to share. All I can say is that my sketch book is being filled slowly with awful and lovely pieces that are a complete (and I am saying utter here) departure from what I have been doing. But they make me smile. And this is really important to me.

So, the last thing that sounds engaging is to have my "imposter" art looked at and criticized by people who are trained in this area of visual art. I have to work through this before I am going to really be happy, and before I run screaming. I feel like the little girl at the slumber party who just wants to call her dad to come get her. Can I give up now? That would be easier than all this.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Never Say Never

So they say truth is stranger than fiction; I believe it more and more the older I get. I will update about Paris, but this was far to strange to leave off till later.

Upon arriving home, my mom met me with the news that my Grandmother's husband was leaving her and going back to Florida to "be with his family." Let me set this up for you: this is the side of my family that feeds on drama. Soap Operas are written about them, not for them. But this little bit of news was so far from anything I had expected it knocked me for a loop.

These two people are in their 80s. He is not altogether there -- not dementia really, more like stupid is as stupid does. They recently moved out of the house they were living in (with my aunt and her family--another long story) and into an assisted living facility. The best I can gather is that there was a fight about who should say thank you for what and the elder couple moved out 2 weeks later. This caused my aunt to have to file for bankruptcy. Now that the old coot has moved back to "his family" (as if he was never part of the family here?) my grandmother will be, you guessed it, moving back in with the same aunt she was living with a mere month ago.

I have to say that I feel very sorry for my Grandmother. She is obviously hurt and I don't wish that on her. But the ridiculous nature of this is beyond me. Who knew that 80-year-olds went through the effort of getting divorced?? Unreal.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Off to Paris

I am done with Heidelberg. I think I have walked the Hauptstraß at least half a dozen times. I am not saying that I wouldn't come back to Germany, but I am saying I have seen all there is to see in Heidelberg and I am anxious to move on to Paris. T minus 62 minutes and counting! We take the overnight train tonight. I am feeling glad to be going where I understand half of the language and can get by on my own. I felt like an idiot having to ask for English all the time here. Oh well. I hope to see the Unicorn Tapestries and do some shopping at the Galleries de Lafayette -- both of which we missed while there the last time. Maybe St. Chapelle too. We are booked for a river cruise on Saturday. That should be the icing on the cake!
Will check in when we get home.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I am typing this on a German keyboard and not all keys are where you might expect them to be. I have had a great day today sailing on the Neckar and visiting a small village called Neckarsheim. I visited the remains of an old decaying schloß (castle) and passed a gorgeous one still inhabited by the nobility. Sorry, no commoners allowed. I have been fending well for myself. Yesterday i hiked up to the Heidelberg schloß and the gardens -- which in October are not much to see. But the views have been marvelous and shopping has been so much fun. i am anxious to get the Paris where I can at least speak something of the language. I understand nothing here and trying to muddle through can be exhausting.

That's it for now, my time is running short. Love to those at home!