Sunday, January 30, 2011

On Saturday, I had my first experience with Bikram Yoga. This style of yoga takes you through a series of 26 poses that are performed in a heated room (95-100 degrees) over 90-minutes. 
It was amazing.  
And then I had ice cream, which was pretty great too. 

The weekend also brought me 2 visits from my friend Sean:

he showed up with surprises, including a stool!
 (1 chair + 1 stool = 2 seats in the attic)
plans change. sweets. 11:00 pm 

Both Sean and his boyfriend Loring Taoka are gearing up for their MFA thesis exhibitions this spring. Go fellas!! Almost there..

And finally, our friend Ying Zhu has been busy working on her future studio in Benson. Almost a year ago she and her husband purchased an old building to renovate and last night Sean and I got a tour.

This is going to be a fantastic space! She and her husband have replaced the entire glass storefront, stripped the walls down to the brick, pulled up layers and layers of plastic, wood, and tile, picked hundreds of staples from the floor, and uncovered the original hardwood flooring. This is such an ambitious project, and there's still so much work to be done, but they're pressing forward and doing a great job! 

Make it all count. Have a good Sunday.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

do tell

I had been considering a move back to Nebraska for some time. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and I had exhausted the opportunities in my small hometown.

I wasn't sure what I would do when I got here. I had some possibilities and was in the middle of applying for a number of positions, but with no response. I just knew that it was time to go, and a very smart lady told me once that sometimes you just have to make a blind jump. So I did.

I haven't second guessed my move since I've been back. Everyone, all my friends and even complete strangers have been so helpful and so kind to me, offering me places to stay, giving me names and references, directing me here and there. Despite this positive encouragement, there's been a voice in the back of my head:

"What will you do, Maranda?"
"What if everything falls through, Maranda?"
"How can you make this work, Maranda?"

Today at 10:57 am I received some good news. I was offered a position as Youth and Family Programs Coordinator at the Joslyn Art Museum here in Omaha! I am so excited about this opportunity, and thankful.

SO. I went to the car wash.
it was intense
and then it was over
And so it goes. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Last night, braving the snow, I went out to see some things.
I was unaccompanied.
This was okay.

When I reached my destination I found a seat and settled in
      and then......

Stranger: "Hey, want a drink?"
Me: "No thanks."

Stranger: "Having fun?"
Me: "Yeah."

Stranger: "So, where's your boyfriend?"
Me: "Just me."

Stranger: "He left you here?!?"
Me: "No. I'm here by myself. I came alone."

Now, this next part is what I really want to share. 
The greatest part of this very, very short dialogue:

Stranger: "What? Seriously?"
Then the stranger gives me a SAD FACE and mouths to me, 'I'm sorry.'

I think to myself, 'I'm so sorry you're talking to me.'       (I know, how mean of me)
I gathered my things, bid a quick farewell, and changed seats.

Being humored by his comment, I couldn't help but share.
I mean, who says that to someone?
Sorry? For what? Did I miss something?

So this is for all of you out there who have ever been told by a complete stranger, "I'm sorry you're out in public alone." I am in your circle.

Here's to a good laugh and the closing of a delightful Sunday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Surprise mail.. 
Dear Michelle, thank you.
everyone should love letters

A fantastic, snowy, late night Wednesday walk.
snowy night walks

Dear Curiosity,
Sometimes I wish you'd leave me alone.
I like to think that this house has an amazing library and consumes lots of hot chocolate

This morning at 4:28 (because I checked the time), I woke up from the strangest dream.
I was in a Cypress swamp and it was mid summer:
sort of like this.
In this Cypress swamp I was lying on a blow up mattress, that was floating on the water, next to a dock.

National Geographic had just highlighted three new fish species in their "Weird from 2010" and it just so happened that all of them lived in this swamp where I was floating. So, as I was lying there, surrounded by algae and cypress knees, someone standing on the dock (who I never saw) kept chucking fish (yes, the new, famous three) onto my "float". 

I didn't seem to mind, as I remember laughing as each fish, one at a time, flew over the edge of the dock and landed next to me. It felt like a game.
So I'd pick each fish up, look at its face, then toss it into the water.

And now I'm annoyed because when I checked the clock at 4:28 and retold the story to myself, I had the clearest image of one of these fish. It was emerald green, slimy (of course), had a fat belly, and its face was long and thin, and it just stared at me with the most void, blank expression. 
Anyway, I was going to get up and draw it, because it was so vivid in my mind, but I didn't, promising myself that I'd remember...  

I think there's a lesson there.
I think I need to get out of my attic.
I think today is not another all day book making day..

Monday, January 17, 2011

No, Yes, Meet My Friend Middle Ground.

I had two important errands to run today.
I woke up bright and early, got dressed, perched on the edge of my kitchen sink and gave myself a pep talk over yogurt and hot lemon water.

When packing my car for Omaha, I included a cardboard "special' box that held my professional attire. Just in case. So this morning, I ripped the duct tape off that cardboard box and ironed out the wrinkles in my skirt. I dressed and was nicely prepared for a close encounter with a job I want.

I am a triple x's 10 checker. So, naturally, I double checked all of my materials before I left the house, fussed over watermarks and cotton/linen blends, then drove to my destination.

Which was closed.
Because, of course, it just happened to slip my mind that today is Monday and the building is CLOSED on Mondays.
Of course it is. I always miss something. Brilliant, Maranda.

I can blame it on Monday, right? Monday kicked dirt on my campfire.

So I drove to the post office. Important errand #2.
Determined to keep the day bright, I bounded out of my car, smiling, all the way to the locked door.
Of course, Maranda. Closed. Remember today?

So I threw an invisible-inside-my-head-tantrum on the grey, snowy, sludge-covered sidewalk, came home, locked myself in my apartment, and spent the rest of the day breaking my sewing machine needles and winding bobbins.

singer machine, you will not defeat me

Being back in a town of more than 15,000 has been so great, but it has made me think about the way I interact/communicate with people. It something that I've been thinking about too, in light of keeping a blog. Which is another conversation altogether...

So communicating. Writing vs. Talking. What's the big deal?
Two things:
1. Conversations. Have I forgotten how to communicate face-to-face?
At times, I think I forget how to talk, and my words always fall short.
Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, sometimes I don't care.

2. I'm reading a book called, How Proust Can Change Your Life, by Alain de Botton.
I don't remember the last time I read a book that made me laugh out loud, but this one does. It's absurd and chock-full of callous truths. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, tonight I walked to a pizza place up the road and had dinner with my book. As I was reading, I ran across a couple of passages that addressed my aforementioned concern and I wanted to share:

"... because the rhythm of a conversation makes no allowance for dead periods, because the presence of others calls for continuous responses, we are left to regret the inanity of what we have said, and the missed opportunity of what we have not."  

"...conversation allows us little room to revise our original utterances, which ill suits our tendency not to know what we are trying to say until we have had at least one go at saying it, whereas writing accommodates and is largely made up of rewriting, during which original thoughts -bare, inarticulate strands- are enriched and nuanced over time..."

So, during supper, a very friendly girl came in, sat down next to me, and placed a to go order. While she waited for her food we had the most lovely chat, dead periods and all.

Dear Christie, 
Thank you for an unexpected conversation.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

12:38 am

What is this? One week = Cupcake Round Two

midnight sugar madness

It's been a bookmaking extravaganza in the teensy, tiny attic apartment.
I'm preparing for a sale in Des Moines, Iowa on February 12/13. 

paper and boards in progress
ready for cover stitching

And it's been a lovely weekend all around...

I found this old polaroid tonight as I was fussing around my apartment. 
It always makes me smile.

        a long time ago.

If you could keep just one picture, out of all your pictures, which one would it be?
Welcome to Monday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


For those of you I haven't spoken with in days, months, years, or for those of you I've never even met, I recently moved from Murray, Kentucky to Omaha, Nebraska. 

return day

Maybe it was the day I chose to leave (January 6).
Maybe I have the greatest friends.
Maybe I like seeing how far life and I can push one another before one of us gives.

Or maybe a Maranda-Good-Move has just been a long time coming.

Either way, it's coming together and I'm catching up with computer things that have been put on hold for some time now, getting studio set up, starting on books again, and realizing what I should have packed with me but didn't... my skillet, a chair.

A tenant before me left this secret on a windowpane in sharpie marker. 
It's kind of perfect.

dirty smile

I haven't found a job-job, but I found these:

throw marbles

And shouldn't the kitchen always be the first order of business?
Because cupcakes make a new place better...

the space and i called a truce