Saturday, January 31, 2009

the ALL hippo afternoon

(pots before and after by Gary Rith--YES, that hippo creamer pours through the mouth, although probably with a lot of drips)
I get a lot done on Saturday afternoons. I really look forward to it: WVBR has the Ultimate 80s show with Nicky Wood and Marty Mart, 2 silly English guys playing a LOT of The Smiths, for example, and Howard Jones is the special of the week (SEE BELOW!!!). Can you believe I plan my whole working week to be at the wheel fiddling with clay so I can listen to these 2 guys and Madonna and the Talking Heads and so on?
So like I said yesterday, hippos are in the air. Doing my best for hippo lovers the world over.

le family

(my great-great-grandfather and my WIFE!)

(my mom and the neighbor's cat, her grandfather, run over by a train)

(great grandmother and her father, my great-great grandfather--run over by a train)

(my grandfather and his mother-in-law, my great-grandmother)

(My mom in 1960)

A few odds and ends relatives and ancestors. Quite a few of my grandfathers on both sides were run over by trains.

Yankee go home

I dreamt that blog post title. I also dreamt I was the office boy of a brilliant genius who was inventing the CURE ALL drug to save humanity. Pop one of these pills, like an aspirin, for your cold. Or your cancer or heart attack. It was a brilliant plan, but my part was to carry out the recycling and make the coffee.

So, here I am dreaming blog post titles but WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Burn after reading

Did you know that George Clooney is, like me, a pig lover? He had a pet pig for quite awhile.
Saw Burn after reading last night, WOOHOO! What a hoot, what a funny movie, complete with an axe murder. I found out AFTER the movie that it was by the Fargo guys, ah HA! No wonder! Ten thoroughly big thumbs up out of ten, if you like dark humor, Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

wee little cups

(cups by Gary Rith)
Exploring the boundaries of cup, yes indeedy...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ben and Christi come over

(Ben glazing tiles, a project that he and I are working on together, and our pal Christi, who made little chickens and cats today)
My pals Ben and Christi came over this afternoon for glazing, clay, and tea and cookies. You can be jealous. Some people work in soulsucking cubicles. I hang out with my friends and make art and eat cookies.
Monday we are all getting together again because Ben has organized a show at the ABC Cafe and we hang it in the afternoon. Yeow!

hippo enthusiasts!

(hippo wall piece by Gary Rith)
You know how people are with their great obsessions, like me and piggies. WELL, I am not alone:
So this cute wall piece comes out of the kiln this am and then I get an email from somebody in Illinois telling me about the vast hippo conspiracy, I mean telling me about hippo collectors and how much they (might soon) love me. They have an international organization, and they have conferences. I am in the mood for hippo stuff, and shall make a number of this type of thing today.

you can kiss me if you wanna

(Gary Rith in 1984)

I forgot to mention it yesterday, but I dreamt that my pal Gord's son fell through the ice BUT he was OK. They live in the Great White North, and walking on ice is common in ultra-cold winter days, but I better warn Gord that his flaky friend had a dream....
but that's not my point. I do dream a lot, and usually they keep me entertained. No hamsters last night.
When the alarm went off, this is what I had been dreaming.
I was visiting college not long after graduating. I visited the architectural design studios where I had been a not very distinguished student (you had to study 2 things intensively, and for me it was architecture and ceramics, and we know where THAT got me). There were quite a few people there I knew, and I was sitting at a drafting table and Annie, who looked like and was Charlize Theron in my dream, although come to think of it, Annie could have been Charlize's twin, sat next to me. She tells me:
"you can kiss me if you wanna"
and I am like,
"no no, you are more beautiful than a statue, but I cannot" and I really didn't know why I could not, I mean I was a young unattached guy, but then she crawls onto my lap and is holding my head and purring in my ear and I tell her
"you know, I never failed any classes here and I graduated on time, so you know, I was pretty successful" and Charlize/Annie who is being awfully frisky on my lap in public tells me
"it took me over ten years to graduate"
and then my alarm went off AND I realized, oh of course I couldn't kiss Charlize/Annie, I am an old happily married guy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

my life as a kindergartner

(pots by Gary Rith)
I can't say it enough: I have so much fun working. Remember kindergarten, where you played with paint and play doh all day, had a snack, ran around outside for awhile, played with more paint and play doh? Gawd, that's my life and I love it.

SO, this cow jumping over the moon teapot will be dark blue with a yellow moon and spotted cow, and then you see a cat-dog mug. My pal Baseball Mom asked me for a certain type of baseball mug, and I made one with big feet here, and a baseball bank, which turned out esp. nice with that goofy face on there. ALL NEW ideas here, working out really well, and totally exciting.
Thank you for listening.

Horton hears a....

(sugar bowls by Gary Rith)
I was at the wife's office the other day and her paper clips are in one of these wee little elephant sugar bowls, which I gave her last year. Or two years ago. Something. SO, I was reminded how cute they are and made these two just now.
Working on some fun stuff here today, WAIT till you see the teapot I am finishing, (MOOOO!) pics later.

red at night, sailor's delight, red in the morning, sailor's take warning

I am shipping boxes today to Houston and California. You would think that I might use a BIG box and bubblewrap myself inside and go to a warmer place, along with my pots.
On the other hand, my friends in these warm places may not realize how pretty January can be in the north. I am glad the camera was in my pocket when Penny and I walked to the park this morning. Holy cats, can you believe this sunrise? If you can believe it, the sun was rising over Mt Pleasant. Yep, that's its name. The last pic shows my own back yard and the frozen river beyond filled with a thousand ducks and geese. I know, I couldn't see them in this pic either. There is only one little patch of open water left on the river, all the rest is frozen, so the ducks and geese are concentrated right behind my house.
There were also a lot of deer in our yard last night. We have two young and wonderful little apple trees. Each summer the deer eat all the apples, because the trees are still small. This winter the deer are pruning the BRANCHES of the trees. Which is actually, to my non-green thumb mind, possibly beneficial.


(plaques by Gary Rith)
Tis a bit of a shock. These heart things are flying off the shelves, I have never had a rush like this. I'll take it!
Ben, remember Ben?, comes over Friday to glaze stuff, and we have the green light to put up the group exhibit at the hippie cafe Monday afternoon. I will have several wall pieces like these guys. Ben has organized a group show of paintings and whatnot, tis pretty thrilling.

(Ben and some of his paintings)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm not sick, but I'm not well

By Lit. Impossible to find this rocking good tune or a video, thanks to the stinking record co. This enterprising youth put something together with Heath Ledger as the Joker, rock on baby \m/

for Valentine's Day

(pots by Gary Rith)
For sale now at my etsy gallery on the side or just click here!

3 years ago this week

3 years ago this week our house in New Hampshire got the offer and we finalized our move to Ithaca.
We had been in this cute little grey house for over ten years, but the property tax bill quadrupled to 8000 dollars a year, the missus lost her job and there was some kind of crazy drug dealer up the street. TIME TO GO. We listed just before Christmas 2005, had many customers, and got the offer January 31, 2006. Everything was FAST in the gogo days of the real estate boom in New England. The guy wanted to close in 4 weeks, February 28, and we did, and packed our uhaul and 3 dogs and 2 cats and drove off....I think the real estate boom ended the day after we sold that house. We still own all the woods across the street from our old house, and it is beautiful, and you can contact me if you wanna buy 3 beautiful wooded house lots in New Hampshire up the street from a pretty lake and a crazy drug dealer (you kinda figure that dude has finished the job of burning down his house--yes, they almost managed it once, maybe it is a meth lab--either that or he is dead or in jail----the most unlikeable person you have ever met which sounds very un-Christian of me, and Denis met him and will agree).
Then we came here. Our money went a lot further here, and we got a much bigger house for less money. We lived in my parents' barn from March 1-31 and have been here now nearly 3 years.
Dang, we are sooooo fortunate.

a day not fit for man or beast

(cups by Gary Rith)
The weather guy in the newspaper tells us that this is the first January since 2003 when we have had snow cover every day of the month. He also tells us that the average temps for January are 9 degrees lower than usual. Then the weather lady on the radio tells us something about ten inches of new snow. You just sort of expect the weather to be awful in January, plus also February. And March. Maybe a little better in April, hoping for nice weather in May. So, you know, its all routine.

This new blog spot of mine (my first blog ran out of memory after 3,333 posts and 2 years and one month) is rapidly filling. I have used over 26 percent of its memory in 4-5 months, with no signs of slowing. :) SO, here's a short story for you. I had a phone call from a stranger in Virginia the other day. He had gotten the card from somebody who got it from somebody else. My cards are these messy little things I print on the computer. Or did, the printer hasn't been working lately (it was free, and 6 years old....but still!). So I was thinking 'man, what if I had a really nice business card, for the first time in my life, and I really passed them around???? Something people would remember and pass around'. So I ordered 1000 little beauties with a nice teapot photo. And this blog address on there. I was THEN thinking about how this blog will be used up about a year from now, and I better pass out those 1000 cards in the next 12 months. :) Then order 1000+ more. Maybe a different teapot pic on there, likely a different blog adress too.

SO, speaking of beasts, Spike is kissing Emily very sweetly, and then Emily tries to bite Spike's back leg and she jumps on him--Spike is twice her size and a whole lot smarter, but anyway.......

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

le afternoon

(pottery by Gary Rith)
What a totally fun afternoon. I got the last state quarter I need for my book (HAWAII!) and was at the Cornell studio making doggy things and glazing and gossiping with my pals, then came home to THIS gorgeous sight: a perfect kilnload of heart mugs and such. More later....

Gwyneth and ME

I like Gwyneth's mom Blythe a great deal. She was in To Wong Foo with Love from Julie Neumar's, and also stars with Gwyneth in Sylvia, which we were gonna watch last night. Daniel Craig, more recently of Bond fame etc, plays the pathetic and rotten poet husband who causes her to stuff her head in the oven and turn on the gas.
ANYWAY, it is a long standing fact that I cannot bear Gwyneth. I try. But Shakespeare in Love???? Maybe the most pretentious movie ever. I wanted to enjoy Sylvia, I really did, because Sylvia Plath's story is fascinating. Daniel Craig may have had irritating hair, that's a minor thing that can be changed, but there is something about Gwyneth's voice and demeanor that is like fingernails on the chalk board. She just sounds so smug, so snooty, so beautiful-blonde-born-with-it-all.
So, I wandered off and left my wife to endure the rest of it.