Casa Rosa (permanence)

I bought a house, a place to live and die in. First, I tore up all the carpet and spent weeks dissolving and scraping black mastic (a gum adhesive) from the cement, which I then hand-buffed with a random orbital sander up to a 120 finish. Second, I put furniture in it such that I might sleep and work.

This is my home. Now that the stucco work is finished, it is all pink.



A drive to Belén (70 miles round)

The blue Toyota that brought me here is lost, rollover and junked hitting steel guardrails five blocks from my home at the time, on Richmond. I survived with only bruising, and bought a little Jeep for $10,000 in cash from a man I met in the Sprouts parking lot. That was four months ago.

Here, I took a spontaneous trip on I-25 South to Belén, NM, 35 miles outside of Albuquerque. I live elsewhere now, my own home, near Juan Tabo and the East-West highway. If you take I-40 west for a while, you join up with I-25, and you can either go up or down.

I only took the main road through town, detoured down a paved road that dead-ended at a cattle ranch. Mesa Rd.?

Just a road, but my favorite kind of sky. I drove home as the sun was setting. The main town thoroughfare curved so deeply the sun was on all sides of me. Take I-25 north for a time, then head east towards home.

Far West Texas, 2013

In preparation for my trip down to NC in a couple weeks, I thought I'd share some photographs from the second-to-last big trip I took (the most recent being my relocation from TX to NY with just me, a cat, a bag of Barnana, and all my belongings in the car).

In July 2013, my good friend B and I headed out in the FJ with some good desert outfits, a pair or two of crazy tall heels (just in case), and loads of chia seeds, fiber crackers and bananas.

Our goal was to hit Marfa and surrounding areas, pass through some border towns, see a star show, see Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation, check out the Prada Marfa store, exist in the desert, and leave time to explore/look at rocks.

 A Texas town we stopped in early on

A Texas town we stopped in early on

 Explorer B

Explorer B

Our first night, we slept in an average old motel with two beds. We were near a large town.

 My travel belongings laid out on my side of the room

My travel belongings laid out on my side of the room

We moved westward....

 Somewhere in the mountains...

Somewhere in the mountains...

We spent a night at a "tourist's/motorist's camp," whose rooms were basically open-air stalls crammed with two twin beds. It was cheap, and breezy, and clean. The town, whose name escapes me, was quite strange.

 They had a wonderful little pool with fountains

They had a wonderful little pool with fountains

 More legs; spent a lot of time lying down, recouping energy

More legs; spent a lot of time lying down, recouping energy

We headed up an unpaved mountain path to get to the Chinati hot springs just out of Marfa proper. Below is the spring-fed cold pool where I learned to swim for the first time.

 The first place I swam without fear; the first place I showed my breasts to the moon

The first place I swam without fear; the first place I showed my breasts to the moon

Having failed to obtain fresh groceries before setting up the mountain, we improvised with some dry goods and spices we found in the communal kitchen, plus a questionable beverage made from Crystal Lite concentrate + Bragg's apple cider vinegar in water.

 Dinner for two

Dinner for two

We had a little cabin a few feet from the hot spring. It was filled with carved wooden trinkets and tiny furniture.

Heading down the next day, we passed through a ghost town called Ruidosa. We stopped a while; ruins filled with tires and HOT sun.

 Ex-church, we thought.

Ex-church, we thought.

 My good girl in blue.

My good girl in blue.

On one lovely night, B coordinated for us to visit a star party at the McDonald Observatory, which boasts the highest-elevation public-access road in the country. When night fell, we were allowed to look through various telescopes at planets and star clusters.

 Observatory in the distance

Observatory in the distance

We spent a night in Marfa at the El Cosmico "tent hotel" (they have trailers, too!). It had gotten unbearably hot for me. When it cooled down at night, I bundled up in woollen blankets and laid in a hammock under the stars.

 B luxuriating in our fancy-deluxe tent

B luxuriating in our fancy-deluxe tent

We ate a taco that, for some reason, contained grits.

We drove down a broad, empty highway to visit the Prada Marfa installation. We took our clothes off because nobody except distant truckers could see. The sun felt good.

We passed an air base fencing in a massive, unidentifiable floating white object. Even though no one was about, we didn't dare step through the gate.

Finally, the death toll on my FJ's bullguard, including one pretty (dead) ladybug.

Haystack Session 5: Glass with James Mongrain

I received exciting news from Haystack Mountain School of Crafts this morning––my acceptance letter into Session 5's goblet-making class with James Mongrain. I feel infinitely grateful that I will be able to learn from a dude who makes incredible things like this:

 Venetian-style blown glass by James Mongrain

Venetian-style blown glass by James Mongrain

I've always been interested in goblet-making and it was one of my most favorite things to do in the hotshop, back when I was blowing/assisting 40+ hours a week. I find it to be such a conceptually rich kind of object that can be looked at and played with a thousand ways––but I never had as much technical prowess in that regard as I wanted. I'm glad for the chance to learn a little more while enjoying the phosphorescent waters of Deer Isle, Maine. And eating Tom's delicious Haystack food! And chasing the cats! And meeting new people!

Update: and I am thrilled to note that my old friend and very talented glass artist Keunae Song will be at Haystack at the same time!