Monday, June 29, 2009

this post doesn't have a title because I just killed 10,000 brain cells and I can't think of one

I just returned from 4 days in the blasting heat and sun of Palm Springs. No sane person visits Palm Spring in June unless there is a very good reason to. My husband was raised in Palm Springs-- yes, people are raised in Palm Springs-- as were both of his parents, hence: family visits in June. The heat there is completely inhumane, the coolest day was 107° F while we were there. The locals love to ask, "Hot enough for ya?" They can take one look at my flushed cheeks, sunburned shoulders, and the tiny pieces of clothing covering the most minimal parts of my body, and immediately discern that I am not a local. Locals take great delight in wearing long pants in 107° and standing in the direct sunlight while informing you that these are the best days of summer, the worst is yet to come in late July and August. By the way, even though my husband left Palm Springs about 17 years ago, he still acts like a local. Which means I have to listen to him scoff at me every time I leave a weather-proof room and enter fresh air, a moment I find to be extremely painful, and I am sure immediately kills off about 5o brain cells. Look, my people are from Washington State. I'm not made for this kind of heat.

You may ask how I could possibly take 4 days off when my biggest retail show of the year is a mere two weeks away. You may not know that my biggest retail show of the year is two weeks away, but it is. It's the Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival, not only my biggest show, but my most favorite show. I have hardcore fans there, and I sell the same amount of work in a weekend that I would normally sell in about 6-8 weeks in my normal day-to-day business. So it's a really important show to me, and people expect me to bring the latest and greatest work from my studio, so I'm usually working my ass off right about now.

This is the first time in probably 10 years I've taken any time off within a month before Palo Alto. I think I'm just tired of working myself down to a little nub, especially before big shows. I'm sick of the constant pressure and the merry-go-round of elation and disappointment as work comes out or... doesn't come out. By the way, I had this realization that I am plagued with customers who love to say to me, "Oh, just make it whenever you have time, I'm not in a rush. But here's my money. Please take it." So it's not pressure from customers, it's my own personal brand of pressure. And let me tell you, the packaging sucks, and it stinks too.

I do have some pretty fabulous work that is brand-new awesome, hasn't even been photographed yet or um, glazed yet, and some other pretty pieces stockpiled, so I'm kinda like... hey, I need a freakin' break! Especially after having my books balanced for the first time ever!

This is the best reason for having your books balanced, aside from knowing how much money you actually have: The profit and loss statement. My mom generated one of these useful little doo-dads for me and I felt not only deeply informed about my business, but also kind of... studly. Yeah, studly, because my income is pretty dang good! I know it's taboo to discuss the specifics of personal income in this culture so I'm not going there, but I'm doing a bit better than okay. I've always had a suspicion around how much I thought I made, but now I really know. So if I miss out on a few bucks at Palo Alto because I didn't make a couple of pieces I should have made, and instead was working on frying my brain next to the pool in Palm Springs in 112° weather and getting some skin cancer to boot, well then yay for me!


  1. If only customer's were stashing money in my hand saying... "When you get time". Oh, I dream of the day :) Great Blog!

  2. WHAT is that finger photo of (i'm afraid to know) ? i grew up in fresno where summer days were 115 degrees (in the shade). your body acclimates. the farmers wear long sleeved shirts and pants and don't even break a sweat.

    good to hear your books are in order. when is mama smith coming back for ME?!

    our neighborhood at palo alto is going to be FUN.

  3. I'm taking it as a sign that I too must delve into that word of book keeping. Your mum sounds like a special and talented women by the way.

  4. Anonymous7:43 AM

    although the heat in KY isn't quite that bad, i'm from central ny and i feel your pain. i dread summer here... usually high 90's with 100% humidity, i go days in complete discomfort and dodging the sun. beautiful cups and saucers.

  5. Ugh, I did Coachella in '04. Pixies Amazing, Radiohead, wonderful. Palm Springs, No thanks you.
    I'm from Maine. People weren't meant to live like that, 'Nough said.

  6. rae, the finger photo is a very tint little floret for a lily-of-the-valley design.

    Matthew, I could not agree more. My sister and I speculated on why you would ever build a house out there in the first place, back when there was NO air-conditioning at all! I will say though, that I LOVE Palm Springs in the winter and early spring, so much so that that is where I married my husband!

  7. Anonymous7:09 PM

    LOL being from Tucson those temperatures are very normal. I remember one year it even hit 117. great blog btw.

  8. I stopped going to Palm Springs years ago. Insanity. The whole region is nuts for living there. There's something to be said for hosting you in laws in *your* nice cool city! ;-) have a great show!

  9. Good for you for taking time off and have a great show. I'm killing a lot of brain cells living where I do, ugh.