I opened my first online shop in 2003. When it came time to write my bio, I had no idea what I was doing and thought I was being cute when I just made a list of things about me. 28, to be exact. Every year I would update the list on my birthday, adding an item and editing any items that needed it. A follower on IG told me she used to love my bios and I thought it would be fun to revisit for my birthday. The only list I was able to find was from 2008, a lifetime ago. That was the year my grandma died and everything changed. I’ve left a few items exactly the same and made some notes. Some are entirely new, just using the old list as a guide. It was as fun as I remember. Here we go...
#1 - Nothing makes me cry like art. I recently visited the Seattle Art Museum with a friend I haven't known very long. Riding the escalator, I turned and said, "Just so you know, sometimes I ugly cry in museums. Its a thing. I'm fine. I just get overwhelmed." And I did. In front of a sampler stitched by ten year old freed slave, Charlotte Turner. The first time it happened was in front of the first Frida I’d ever seen in person. Another friend called me an art empath.
#2 - Art Museums are my favorite places. In high school I cut class and went to the Art Institute. In college, I went to the Art Institute sometimes multiple times a day on Tuesdays, Free Day, in between my classes at Columbia. For years after, I took my birthday off of work and spent the day at the Art Institute. I try to go to museums whenever I travel. Those museums, especially the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, are where I travel in my daydreams.
#3 - I've watched the documentary Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict five times this week. She was an amazing and inspirational woman with great clothes and serious art. Life goals.
#4 - In 2008, I talked a lot about precious supplies, supplies from the Paris Flea market, buttons belonging to my grandma, that I was saving. They'll all been used or gifted to friends. I mean, what was I saving them for? Every project is special.
#5 - Paint chips at the hardware store and the paint aisle at a craft store are both incredibly hopeful. So many possibilities.
#6 - Tell me a story and I'm yours.
#7 - Send me a letter. Same.
#8 - I am all about making better choices and feel good about most of the big ones I've made. But, I miss cheese. All the time. Brie and gruyere are out there, existing and delicious and terrible for me. Cheese ennui is definitely a thing.
#9 - No dairy means no ice cream too but its 2018 and legit vegan gelato exists. What a time to be alive.
#10 - I've also given up drinking. That's also great.
#11 - In my 2008 list, I named Anthony Bourdain as my celebrity crush. 2018. Same.
#12 - I still love Dorothy Parker. I honestly still love so many of the same things I did in so many of these lists but many of them have fallen out of favor mentally, been stamped "problematic fave." I've been thinking about this a lot. I've stopped making so many hoops because they fall into that category. It's not that the words are no longer meaningful to me but it does mean that I'm no longer going to amplify those words. There are too many amazing words to choose from, frankly. Dorothy's are still amongst them.
#13 - I still watch the Sound of Music once a year.
#14 - I still only dream in black and white.
#15 - I used to love horror movies and don't anymore? It's weird. I still occasionally watch them and enjoy the experience. I can excitedly discuss horror movies I've seen. But, I don't seek them out. Real life may be scary enough for me now.
#17 - I still believe I was a back up singer in a 60s girl group in a past life but also realize that I'm a metaphorical back up singer for a girl group every single day of my life.
#18 - I am a huge fan of my friends. Like, I am perpetually rooting for them, sharing what they do, talking them up. I live to see them shine. So much so I've started a zine about them.
#19 - In 2008, I said I liked my day job. I did NOT and it was terrible for me. But I stayed a couple more years because of some weird sense of loyalty and fear of living without that paycheck. That experience has informed many decisions I've made since, for the better. Capitalism will kill you if you're not careful.
#20 - People will disappoint you. You will disappoint people. We will all hopefully learn and do better. "We are all horrible and wonderful and figuring it out." - Harris Wittels - Remembering that makes everything a tiny bit easier.
#21 - Be a better friend whenever you can, for no other reason than you can.
#22 - Being wrong is amazing. You get to learn something new about yourself and the world.
#23 - I'm a much bigger hugger than previously. It's great. Making better choices all around.
#24 - Never underestimate the power of fresh air and exercise. (I did.) I tap dance now. (Again. After a 30 year break.) I also enjoy hiking and camping. Huh. And duh.
#25 - In 2008, I said I wished I could draw better. 2018 is here to report that I can draw better and I'm actively working on improving.
#26 - Learning is an uncomfortable and awful and wonderful process. As Jake the dog says, "Sucking at something is the first step to being kind of good at something." Everything takes practice. Everything.
#27 - I still love rain. That's really good news since I live in Portland now. I don't think I would've predicted that plot twist in 2008, back when I still thought I'd be moving to New Orleans.
#28 - Because I couldn't have predicted that twist, I took the summer nights in the Midwest for granted. I miss the noise of thunderstorms and cicadas. I miss fireflies. I don't miss the humidity.
#29 - Turns out I don't kill all plants. I don't kill plants when I have time to slow down, breathe and pay attention. I could not have grasped this one ten years ago.
#30 - Turns out I can also tend a giant garden and feed people with the food I've grown. Also kind of surprising.
#31 - "Party Clothes Every Day" was the advice Simon Doonan gave Peter Segal on Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me once upon a time. I heard it. It made perfect sense to me. I internalized it and started to live my life that way. I'm here to tell you its one of the best decisions I've ever made.
#32 - However, life is too short for my feet to hurt. Comfy shoes forever.
#33 - Give me pockets or give me death.
#34 - Yucking people's yum is unnecessary. I've kind of given up on expressing negative opinions in general about things that DO NOT MATTER. I'd rather talk about things I love.
#35 - Pickles are my favorite snack - is a thing I tell myself. Potato chips are actually my favorite snack crack but they're not great for me so I pretend.
#36 - Pickles really do have a special place in my heart (and diet) though. When I was a toddler, I used to go on walkabout during nap time to my grandmother's house at the bottom of the hill we lived on - to steal pickles. Earlier this year, I got a pickle tattoo.
#37 - In 2008, I had five tattoos. I now have 13.
#38 - I love cannabis and I will not shut up about the benefits of legal weed. I consider it part of my job as a weed loving white lady to not shut up about it - to normalize it. Because there are too many people who do not look like me in prison for it.
#39 - There's a lot I don't shut up about any more. James Baldwin said “The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.” I feel those words in my bones.
#40 - Coming to grips with whiteness sucks but I'm going to keep at it. I'm going to keep reading, keep listening, keep showing up and trying to use my powers for good.
#41 - My favorite book is impossible to choose now. I always used to say 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. While I was reading it, I'd have said the Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I might also say Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. But there was also Ruth Ozeki's Tale for the Time Being and The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai. See #6.
#42 - I have deep and meaningful relationships with all the dogs I meet. Just ask them.
#43 - Running my fingers over a piece of embroidery I've just finished is the best feeling in the world. I did that. I do this.