Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cakes, Underwriters and Chandeliers Make Such a Good Day

Monday seemed a charmed day. It's now almost 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning and I have no business being awake, but here I am with my lap top ready to recount just how good a day Monday was.
Headed out of the house at 10:00 a.m. to pick up a bag of 1/2 pint Oak Farm Dairy milk cartons for a chandelier. I very recently learned from Gordon Harris that their East End plant over on Leeland supplies all the milk for both the Houston Independent School District and Cy-Fair School District. HISD, being the largest district in the State of Texas, must use millions of 1/2 pint cartons of milk. Who knew that the East End is a school milk supplier? I've seen the plant for years and talked to Gordon Harris for years, but have so recently learned exactly what they do. That's the beauty of working on Second Seating - it's art and it's also a kind of narrative about this industrial community of ours.

From Oak Farms, I drove on over to Houston Community College Southeast to drop off envelopes for some of June Woest's students who filigreed a dozen more Clorox bottles so I'd have enough to assemble the chandelier. There are some wonderful patterns on this final batch. Carmella Rojas made four of the dozen and they are beautiful.

From HCCS, I decided to get breakfast at La Victoria Bakery and while the migas a la Mexicana were cooking, I went back to the office to talk to Sandra and Marcella. For months, I intended to ask if they'd create a multi-tiered fantasy cake for the Second Seating banquet table. Rosi creates beautiful, baroque and bizarre cakes and one of her cakes should tower over the banquet table. They loved the idea and see July as the 'slow' month when they can construct this cake built of Styrofoam layers encrusted with whatever Rosie and Sandra dream up.

Then I mentioned the intricate beaded flowers that their mother Maria makes. I've pictured those beaded flowers on a Second Seating chandelier for a long time. 'Why couldn't be encrust a chandelier with your mother's beaded flowers?' I asked. That idea was well received too. So someday soon, they'll go through all the flowers and bouquets Maria's assembled and we'll see what sort of chandelier we can dream up. And yes, while we talked, I ate my plate of migas with refried beans and corn tortillas with half cup of coffee.

Home to check emails and found one from a Chronicle writer who'll do a story for the ALF dinner honorees. I am so happy. One of my extracurricular responsibilities is at last falling into place. It's that extra layer of work that often tips me over the edge so I am more than pleased that we'll have something in the neighborhood papers.

I headed back over to HCCS for a 2:30 appointment with their president, Irene Porcarella, which turned into a wonderful hour of free flowing ideas about how HCCS can integrate Second Seating into their 'green initiative.' I now have another underwriter for the installation and Irene and I will work on a series of activities that will both help Second Seating and involve the college. I am thrilled to have HCCS on board. More to talk about here as our ideas take form. What a good meeting. I've known Irene for years as she's held one job after another in the HCCS system. Good for her that she's now president of this HCCS campus with 10,000 students. It's grown so from the early days in the mid-1990s when the campus was new. There were 3000 students and the Felix Morales Building stood alone. What a difference a decade makes.

Dashed home again to check emails and make phone calls (OK, I know that when I have an iPhone I won't have to dash home, ever. I'll be picking up messages and sending messages from the front seat of my car or in the hallway of the place where I've just had a meeting.).
Made an appointment to meet with Jesse Sifunetes on Tuesday at 1:00. So need to catch up with him so we can talk through the final design of the coffee table with its mosaic of mugs. And his plans for firing dinner plates with East End motifs - magnolias, trains, fountains, ships, coffee cups. Lots to talk about, plans to make.
At 4:00 p.m., I drove cross town to the chandelier shop to see Tony Meija and two fine chandeliers finished and ready to be encrusted with 'stuff.' The Clorox chandelier with the mirrored ball looks great and on Thursday, I'll hang the Clorox bottles rolled on white tablecloths and we'll see it all for the first time. He's also completed the 3-hoop chandelier structure. Looks so good I hate to cover it with all the paraphernalia I'd planned. We loaded it in the back seat of my car and I know that I'll have a really fun project in my studio loading it with bias strips of fabric, crystals and random objects that could include tea cups, flowers, feathered birds, paper mache cupcakes, heaven knows what.

Next, we played with the design of the Dynamo soccer ball chandelier, using a cardboard box as its center, positioning the metal spokes that will hold the balls in the sides of the box. The thing is going to work. Wish I'd had my camera to take one of those 'process' pictures, so we'll remember how this thing came together. Tony Meija can visualize and his ideas are good. Each of these chandeliers has really been very carefully thought out. Can hardly wait to see them finished and in Irma's space.

My car is now totally engulfed with Second Seating stuff. The new 3-hoop chandelier fills the entire back seat and in the very back there is a lot more. I have two bags of metal shavings and curlicues from the dumpster at French's Grinding Service over on Polk St. Those curlicues will transform themselves into a 'bewitched birds nest' chandelier once I find the right base. Also in the back are two bags of fishing nets that Trudy found for me in Rockport for the 'Bayou, Bay...' table. I really do need to stop at Jim Goode's Seafood and ask for bags of oyster shells so I can set them out in my back garden for the bugs to pick clean. Get them ready to use with the nets as a table base.
From the chandelier shop, I went to Whole Foods to stock my pantry and refrigerator and then still felt so good about the day that I called my brother and said I'd bring some things over for supper at his house.Well, we sat at the table with smoke trout and crackers, sweet pickled peppers and chicken salad and suddenly, my eyes were very heavy lidded. Couldn't hold them open, left the table and was sound asleep on their living room couch in seconds. Must have slept an hour before I roused myself.
I suppose I could have slept there the better part of the night, but I rallied and drove home to a darkened house. Read a little of the Sunday NYT and fell into bed. And now awake again so soon - with another busy day ahead. Not the best.
You just never know about illusive sleep or just when you'll have an absolutely great day like Monday.


Sharon said...

Whew! Sounds like a week in a day:)

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