April 28, 2012
April 27, 2012
What a difference a day makes. This is what I told my Gramma last night on the phone. She called to see how I was “coming along”. We talk everyday now. It’s easy to make her laugh.
I said “much better! what a difference a day makes!” and she laughed and I explained the glorious slow pace of my day. I feel like I am parting curtains of warm, thick air and easing my way through them just to do it again with the next step. There is a bit of reality in this metaphor. Portland in the springtime is a dreamland. The weather confounds itself. Everything is in bloom except the sun. Blosooms form and fall from every height, coating the street with pin-pricks of color. And behind the blooms are thickets of green, layers of green, shades of green growing higher by the hour. But the rain persists. It feels it belongs in this season as well. And so the days are muggy and lush with dark light and warm rain. Unbelievable.
Today I head to Bellingham for two FOF events.
Tonight from 5-8pm at Annie’s (1601 E. Street)
Tomorrow from 12-3pm at Teresa’s shop Texture (1425 North State Street)
I will be in Bellingham until Monday morning so if you can’t make it to the scheduled events, come on by Annie’s Sunday evening for leftovers. Sometimes those taste the best.
April 26, 2012
Oh man. I am a danger to myself, and now to Sarah. It is a terrible feeling to not trust myself.
Lets sum it all up. I have been in a tailspin since last Tuesday when I was told the Spring 2012 line could not be sewn in the Bay Area. The two companies I work with had recently taken on large orders and I was out of luck. After calling a dozen back-up production houses and finding that everyone was booked, I made plans to leave immediately for Seattle. But the car was still in the shop and so I waited a couple more days… anxious, impatient, my mind already in the Northwest. And then the car died the night before my scheduled departure. The cartoon version would show a frazzled Cathy-like lady standing on five huge boxes, four black garbage bags, three bikes, a trailer, a fireplace screen, two boxes of dishes, a clothing rack, two paintings, three backpacks, and a delicate older dog with the line… “Can I get a lift?”
From the second I heard about the car dying until this morning, I have been completely out of touch with my good, smart, calm self. I spent multiple days hounding Craigslist like an obsessed stalker. I would have bought a car, blindly, wildly, if only there had been one to buy. I would have done anything to get back to Portland on Sunday. Sunday came and went, I had to cancel my appointment with the production house scheduled for Monday. I cried and felt more and more desperate.
I got a ride-share from a young Russian man. He drove a 1986 4Runner that he worked on himself. It was spray-painted black on the inside with metal floors and tattered bucket seats. It smelled of oil and was littered with evidence of a life lived on the road- empty cans, bowls crusted with the remains of a meal. A healthy meal, no doubt. He ate well. We drove with the windows down and the warm spring air whipping through the cab. We drove through the night and got stoned and listened to Jimi Hendrix. We drove and drove and landed in Portland where the grass had grown to be two feet tall in my front yard.
My new plan was for Sarah and I to jointly buy a truck and a car on the day I got back. I needed to drive to Seattle the following day and so the transaction would have to be swift and decisive, which are adjectives that find value only when attached to intelligent, measured, and sane.
My rideshare dropped me off at 2am. At noon the next day Sarah and I met Jessica in the parking lot of Target. With blurry, muddled thinking I found her and her black Subaru Forester perfectly charming. We drove around and chatted and everything seemed fine. Throwing caution to the wind, we bought the car. The car from hell. On the drive home it began to smell. Dimitri, my trusted mechanic, popped the hood and didn’t look happy. After lifting the car and taking a look around he was downright blow away. Never, in his life, had he seen anything so bad. It looked like it was a hundred years old- deep bubbly rust covered by black spraypaint, collapsed front end, damaged radiator with leak, brake rust so substantial it was preventing the car from stopping at all… the list went ON AND ON. And on. And on.
I could not bring the phone to my face fast enough. I left a blistering, shaky voiced message sending her to hell and was astounded when she called back. It seems she was just as innocent as we were and her husband was scamming us all. By the grace of god, and a delicate combo of begging and shaming, she agreed to give back the money! Unless her husband objected and he was due home any minute. … I drove like a drunk teenager to make it there before he did. No luck. He arrived and yelled at her and caused her to cry and feel scared and confused. Again, the soft voice, the rational laying out of information… why would I make this up, the car really isn’t in perfect shape like your husband still claims, no my mechanic is not lying, it is only right, only fair for you to return the money and take back the car, husband be dammed. And she did. She did the right thing. And I was returned the money and in the process, my sanity. Exhausted and drained, I no longer have the energy to be so dumb. And so I will rent a car and take it easy, I will drive slowly and carefully to Seattle and Bellingham tomorrow and I will not make any big decisions until I recognize myself once again.
April 25, 2012
April 24, 2012
April 24, 2012
Dude, I got a ride! This wonderful human being named Ilya is driving down from SF, picking me up… and ALL MY STUFF… and my dog… and my two bikes and bike trailer… and driving me to Portland.
God Is Great.
But the fun doesn’t stop there! On Wednesday, bright and early, I have to go and find a car to buy because I leave for Seattle Thursday morning at 9am.
Remember when I didn’t leave the studio for months? Whose life was that?
April 23, 2012
Hey Everyone! The sun is officially on duty in the Northwest. It’s time for a springtime FOF!
This Weekend Up North:
Friday, April 27th
1601 E. Street, Bellingham
Saturday, April 28th
1425 North State Street, Bellingham
Next Weekend In Portland
Sunday, May 6th
10am – 1pm
5335 NE Mallory Ave, Portland
I hope to see you all.
April 22, 2012
I am so stuck. In so many ways. Thursday afternoon I picked up my happy, healthy car from the mechanic. It was ready for the long drive north. After a teary goodbye to Josh, I loaded Bello, three bikes and a few odds and ends from Josh’s house and headed up the hill to my Dad’s to pack and get ready to leave early the next morning. My thoughts were on closure and transition and what lay ahead in Portland. These thoughts were rudely and aggressively interrupted when my car started bucking and stalling like it was having a seizure. I barely made it back to the mechanic where they told me what I already knew. The transmission was fried and my car was dead.
Friday and Saturday are like a dream where weeks are packed into a number of hours. I was a chicken with her head cut off. I ran in every direction searching for the answer. And every path led to a dead end. U-haul, rent-a-car, ride-share, buy-a-car, beg-a-friend, oh-my-God-I’m-stuck.
I’m stuck. I can’t move. I’m stuck.
My horoscope this week told me I have opened every door but one. The forbidden one. The last, dark, terrifying door. But that the old taboo about not tempting fate is passe and that I should just open the damn thing. The only thing I stand to lose is an attachment I fear to lose.
I say it now, I say it loud… I am ready to walk through that door… if only I can find it.
April 19, 2012
Tomorrow I leave for Portland. Suddenly. A shift of plans.
I don’t feel done with Santa Cruz (Ha! Will I ever?), but I am heading home… to my deco-colored house, my dear wife, my cucumber-hued yoga studio, my yard. While I was gone one of my chickens was killed by a raccoon. Big Peaches. She left behind a small brown feathered best friend named Cowboy. I want to cradle little Cowboy in my arms and erase the memories of that night. I want to dig the beds and sow the Zinnia and Cosmo seeds. It is time to put down Filly, for a bit, and pick up the house. Time for the Farmer’s Market and dinner parties on the back patio.
Goodbye Santa Cruz. Be good. I’ll see you in August.
April 16, 2012
Last night, after the last ladies of FOF went home, I rode Bello to the river. I meditated while sitting on a grimy cement street-water inflow structure. The Egrets and Coots made themselves busy, down there, ankle deep in the low tide. Gulls cried, matching the screams of the riders at the Boardwalk, situated between me and the ocean. This is Santa Cruz. Unparalleled beauty mixed with a narrow-sighted disregard for that same beauty. I see more wildlife here than in Portland but I also see more human shit and needles, I also have to put up a shell protecting me from unwanted solicitations, but then again I am unfazed by anything and owe that tolerance to this town. Mix it all up Santa Cruz.
And so mixed feelings should not come as a surprise. And yet they were, when they came, in a wash, while cross-legged with eyes closed.
Medium height, blond, directed like an arrow. But wobbly now. Stinging. Wounding. Without even realizing it.
April 14, 2012
April 12, 2012
Today I had to make an unplanned trip to Oakland to deliver a bolt of cream linen. It was hiding in the garage when it should have been at the grader’s being cut into dress parts. An unplanned trip to Oakland means looking at the clock and calculating my chances of getting there and back before TRAFFIC STARTS, borrowing the little white truck against my Dad’s wishes and driving, over the treacherous Hwy 17 pass and up the equally treacherous strip of 880 to the East Bay, as fast as I can. I have to work that vehicle, coaxing and whipping alternately, to match the speed of modern cars. It is loud inside and drowns out the radio. It also rattles a bit.
I got there, carried the sixty yard roll into the freight elevator on my shoulder, waited impatiently while the large doors closed and the metal box rose, and dumped it in the pile. After a few words with the grader I ran to the elevator, waited impatiently for the doors to close and the box to lower, ran to the truck and gunned it down the loading ramp and out onto 880. Rocketing just ahead of the building traffic, I managed to make it home with only minor delays. I was a small motor boat speeding just ahead of the tsunami. Or whatever.
Once I was home I asked myself if that just happened. It did. And was worth it. Small delays add up. And I don’t want that. Everything will be cut by the end of the day on Friday and ready to be sewn next week.
Now I sit on the couch wrapped in a blanket with the rain coming down outside. Bello snores to my right.
April 12, 2012
I am so tired. So tired that I have to say it out loud. Maybe to justify all the lying around and deep sighs but maybe also to describe and recognize the intensity of the feeling. I really am so fucking tired. I skip the morning hike with Dad and Bonnie. Unheard of. I move slowly through the day and don’t feel annoyed with Bello on our walk as he stops to pee and then stops to pee again. And then again and again. I drive without music or news and stay in the slow lane. I take a nap at 7, see above.
And its ok. I don’t totally understand it but its still ok.
April 9, 2012
The Spring 2012 catalog is up!
Shop.Filly will carry the styles within the week.
Tell me what you think…!
April 8, 2012
Last night I went to bed with death’s ghosts. In the book, on the dining room rug laid out flat, facing away. Today is Easter, the black dog’s last best chance. The worst thing about the dead is the inappropriateness of continuing to call their name at lunchtime. Soup!
Mallards are reckless.
Bello stands too close. He pins my pant leg to the deck with his paw. Now I worry as he makes his way to the unfinished edge, the last plank before the long drop.
Squirrels give me the heebie-jeebies since the last installment of the lemming dreams. Maybe my animal spirit is not Prairie dog.
I feel nervous that I won’t get this day right.
April 5, 2012
The first Santa Cruz Friends of Filly House Show was on Sunday. Beautiful, ageless, glowing women trying on my designs is my version of the perfect afternoon. I remember explaining- to a shopper as well as to myself- that the money I make will go directly into producing the next collection. So when you buy Filly you are investing in the future of Filly. You are the company. I am simply the middle man.
“The things I have done today in my new Filly tank top…………..felt good in it after teaching my Monday a.m. class, knitted at the coffee shop with Olive, used it as a sea glass collecting pouch at low tide with Olive and Honey Girl, harvested chard and broccoli from the garden to cook later for dinner, prepared a hot outside bath for Olive to warm her cold beach body and will throw my arms around my man when he walks in the door this evening….” Jessie Hess (seen above), FOF host. Click on the picture to be directed to her yoga studio in Santa Cruz! I am going today at 4pm.
April 4, 2012
Ooh, a night show. In the city.
My friend Kate is awesome. I met her in Spain during a semester abroad. I had a terrible haircut and looked like King Author stoned on hash. But she still liked me and we forged a friendship that persists despite the fact that she lives in San Francisco and I live in Portland. This is remarkable because I don’t use my phone for talking.
Anyway, I’m heading up there to see her and meet her sweetie and spend the night and have city coffee in the morning. Might as well bring the Filly backstock, right?!
San Francisco Friends of Filly
Tuesday, April 10th 6-9pm, 800 Duboce Avenue Apt. 301
Hope to see you city folk soon!
April 4, 2012
Memory. It’s so selective! Like a pinpoint of light seeing only that small portion of the picture.
Here I am wondering, out loud, to a woman who sits in a chair most of the day, what I will do with myself now that I don’t have to sew. As if sewing, working, hunching over a machine and cloistering myself in small room is all I want and need in life. Really Em. Get a grip.
Move! That’s what I do with myself when I have any choice at all. Movement is the reason it takes me so long to get in the studio in the first place. I would only have to read my own blog to know this about myself.
But I remember now. Hello body, it’s been a while since we last hung out.
April 3, 2012
I don’t know what to write. So let me state the facts. These are easy. I am still at my Gramma’s. The Spring 12 patterns were delivered to the grader/marker and are officially in production. I don’t have anything to do. Or so I believe.
Last night I went to bed before I was tired. I slept fitfully and dreamed a reaccuring dream about lemmings. They are everywhere and will run up your leg and bite you so you have to club them. I started pounding one that was at my breastbone only to realize it was an old cat. Maybe. It was hard to tell from the close range and odd angle. So I let it stay there but I was nervous.
This morning I told my Gramma about the dream and about my struggle with time and purpose now that the work was done. My hands are empty. What do I do with my hands? She said, Em, and lowered her chin to stare me in the face, you’ve got to recognize when it’s time to take a vacation.