Tooth Letter

January 21, 2010

In cleaning out the filing cabinet a couple days ago, I came upon this letter I had been saving in order to photograph and post online. My friend, Jasmin, mailed it to me while camping in the middle of nowhere, and, well, the post office had a field day with it… This is what I received:

Funny how what's left is tooth shaped

Sorry that it’s blurry, but in case you couldn’t tell, she enclosed a couple real teeth, probably dog teeth and the post office confiscated them! And apparently they couldn’t confiscate them by just opening the envelope and taking them out, they had to rip the corner off containing the teeth and then deliver the letter to me as shown… really!? Come on post office, this is how you treat peoples’ mail!?

Lesson learned from this:  if you want to send me some teeth in the mail, put them in a padded envelope or box…

Purging

January 18, 2010

It is an odd sensation to be actively purging your life of as much, well, crap as possible. I have never been good at getting rid of unnecessary sentimental items, so even though I did this when I moved across the city into The Distillery, I still carried far more with me than any individual uses or needs. Even the worst pack rat artist. Round 2 in 6 months of paring down has resulted in a fairly large pile of clothing to be donated, a decent stack of books, and an enormous pile of paperwork. Unfortunately, I still haven’t touched the sentimental stuff… I am apparently saving the worst for last. Even without having touched any of that yet, I am already struck with nostalgia. Going through the filing cabinet meant tossing every bit of paperwork related to Exhibitgroup/Giltspur. Except the 401K. A year ago I was commuting 45 minutes one-way to Avon, MA everyday in my beautiful new Prius, named Baby Prius because all my co-workers were having babies that year and instead, I had a car. I had just graduated from the make-shift, old exhibit parts corner to a freshly constructed cubicle with a real desk, window and everything—I was so excited about my new space! Once settled in and caught up on emails, the next 12 hours would be spent in meetings battling ignorant clients, push-over account executives, nay-saying project managers, and the technical demands of building, rendering and animating in 3D Studio Max.  For hours… I worked my ass off and would like to think I was pretty good at designing some killer exhibits, working with all the various personalities, etc. I worked with a great crew, adored my creative director, learned an unbelievable amount, got to travel on occasion, made great money straight out of school, had the 401K, the insurance, the vacation days and all that other great stuff you are supposed to want. But for whatever reason it wasn’t enough. Or it wasn’t right. It’s crazy to think that I went through a giant purging of life things just under a year ago in the name of pursuing art. I ditched the job and everything that came with it; the travel, the benefits, the money, the car, the commute, the long hours, etc. The loss of income also meant ditching every even vaguely comfortable or luxury thing I could think of; every group I had joined, every account I had opened, weening myself of retail therapy and anything consumer based. It meant getting a job at an amazing bakery, asking for more hours at the Harvard Ceramics program and living off the support of my wonderful partner until I could get my act together. It meant insane financial instability, which I found out I don’t do well with, crazy work schedules that changed week to week, new experiences with public transportation, erratic mood swings and so much more! Then in July, even though we had already signed a lease in our current apartment, we broke it in order to move into The Distillery and see what that was all about. So we purged, packed and moved across the city to our new location with a totally new setup and began figuring out how life in the new space might work. 2009 saw drastic changes, spread over the course of a year that meant a complete change of lifestyle from one of comfort to one of chosen struggle. Now I am going through all of the same changes (new job, new apartment, new lifestyle) in the course of a month! It is wildly unexpected, but if it wasn’t for having gone through all of it during the last year, it wouldn’t be possible for me to do it now. I quit my comfy, climb-the-ladder, office job exactly so something like this could happen, but never expecting it! With less than 2 weeks to go before I move to Vermont, the reality of the latest lifestyle change is barely sinking in… Nervous and excited, I can’t wait to see what this new chapter holds but am also sad to leave everything we had just started behind. If life is this unpredictable, who knows what will happen next…

Just for fun… You remember that My Little Pony made out of candy? Well, 2 months after casting it, it looks a little different…

Before

After

Wow 2010

January 10, 2010

2010 has gotten off to quite the start. As the reality of my decision finally has some time to sink in, I find myself… well… depressed… Returning from Vermont was a whirlwind of goodbyes and sudden hellos to everything in Boston I had left behind for the month. Then the holidays were a great distraction—lounging at home with family and old friends—then it was New Years, which I was utterly unprepared for, but still a nice distraction. Before I knew it, I was back in Vermont for some training at the studio center. I moved tools and supplies into what will be my studio for the next year, cleaned out and set up my desk in the office, met my future roommate, checked out the giant apartment that we will share, and even spent the night in my soon-to-be bed. Being back so soon was surreal… the place was unchanged; same buildings, studios, food, but all the people were different. I showed new residents into rooms and studios that some of my best friends had transformed just weeks earlier and all the associations of those spaces with those people were instantly overrun by new residents moving in and taking over. As I rounded the bend approaching the center, the sight of the first studio building, Barbara White, made my heart leap out of my chest, and leaving from that building (where my studio will be located) the next day was an equally odd sensation, but for different reasons. Now I am back in Boston for three weeks; back in the old pre-Vermont routine and, well, it is strange. The day to day motions are the same, but it all feels quite different. This weekend was the first time life calmed down enough for all of this to really sink in—free of distractions—and I find I don’t know what to make of it! I am thrilled to be going to Vermont and certainly don’t regret that decision, but am also completely overwhelmed. Every aspect of my life is about to change. The only constant will be me, my work, and my cat, and even those are likely to shift in unforeseen ways. Relationships, apartment, friends, city, mobility, job, income, even silly things like diet, internet access, mail and laundry are all going to change pretty drastically. Obviously I am over thinking everything, but I think that is just par for the course. Hopefully this weekend will be the last of the depressed, over thinking, sorrowful crap and I can get on track with getting all the things done that need to happen before I leave. Somehow it just feels like a lot of the things that seemed so important in 2009 have flown out the window and what is left for 2010 is anyone’s guess…

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