Sunday, December 30, 2007

We were visiting family in Virginia last week... its an incredible feeling to return to the city and realize we survived I 95, let alone New Jersey drivers and the women's restroom at the 'Chesapeake House'. Needless to say returning to Brooklyn is a joy, and I again have access to good cheese and Aaron's collection of LP's..

The holidays always come with a certain anxiety for me and honestly its great to have them over with. But the television! I get a fix of TV this time of year which provides me with a windfall of trivial knowledge (preparing rabbit 15 ways, Iron Chef) and mind-numbing entertainment (America's Next Top Model, Kung Fu Hustle). I often think TV may be the antidote to my recent tendency to spend too much time inside my head... I once worked with an artist who described her television watching as her evening cocktail; although I'd be better off with both. In the meantime I have Youtube, and the endless wealth of historic U2 videos it has to offer.

Eric and I have discovered the key to surviving the season is knowing how to buy gifts for yourself. I succeeded in this area especially well this year, resulting in (but not limited to) a vintage virgin wool poncho from this gem of a shop in our neighborhood called Go Fish and, from our ever-enticing neighbor Erie Basin, this agate ring AND snake stick pin which I've worn on a few occasions but will be gifted to my mother later today.

2007 was the year of the poached egg. If I had poached an egg before, I don't remember it, but have done so hundreds of times in the past 6 months thanks to Aaron and his tendency to poach for breakfast lunch and dinner. (For the record, the adding of the vinegar to the water and the creating of the spiral jetty and all of that does nothing for me. Boil water, crack, 4 min.) Yesterday we did it right with champagne tomato sauce, lox and creme fraiche.

SAIPUA's plans for 2008 include
1. a 70% olive oil soap
2. a new kelp votive candle for spring
3. a resolution to be more fastidious about charging sales tax
and 4. a possible move ?????

Much love to all my friends and family who have read this and supported me in the past year through many changes and rough spots. Now onward.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

UNDISPUTED (created 12/07)

The Messerchmitt Twins - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Soaps - Arab Strap
Love Like Music (I'll be your song) - Heart
Jigsaw Falling into Place - Radiohead
Little Lies - Fleetwood Mac
Love Theme (Blade Runner) - Vangelis
The Lake - Antony and the Johnsons
Song to Bobby - Cat Power
A Visit From Drum - Liars

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm 27 years old and still do my laundry at my parents house. Thats right, I said it! ...It actually makes sense when you consider the cost and general lack of ambiance of the Red Hook laundromat options and when you factor in the necessary transport of soap from there (the Hudson Valley) to here. It does, however, mean that I have been wearing stockings instead of socks all week; not a comfortable situation if your winter shoes are canvas converse sneakers and it's sleeting every other day.

Laden with soap and clean clothes I drove back to the city to deliver an order to Leontine - the sister shop of Albertine and Claudine. These stores are phenomenal, have you been? GO - and go first to Leontine, my favorite of the three, and spend sometime lallygagging in the seaport, which if you turn a blind eye to the Jcrew, Brookstones and other atrocities of consumer mediocrity - actually retains a wealth of old world charm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Aaron and I saw went to MOMA last night to see a screening of Barbara Caspar's new documentary Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker. I am sorry to say I was thoroughly disappointed.

Acker's writing heavily informed my postmodern feminist ponderings. Body politics and the reality of post-feminism became tangible issues I could start to digest rather than phrases I threw around aimlessly in my college papers. Acker gave voice to the gritty side of sexual repression (repression embedded so deep in our cultural psyches we learn and believe it doesn't exist).

At 90 minutes, the film accesses many people who worked with and knew Acker, plus includes several valuable clips of her readings and performances. Unfortunately with all it's potential it lacks cohesion and falls short of any sincerity. (I wanted to learn about Acker, not watch someone's creative rendering of her). Throughout the film we see short snippets of young women responding and reacting to Acker's books. It is never revealed who these women are (I assumed students). They have some interesting reactions, and they are all suspiciously attractive. Turns out they were all auditioning for the film's fictive role of "Janey" the (anti)heroine of Blood and Guts in High School. This attempt to create Janey in the documentary does a major disservice to the character; she comes across as sweet and confused ... and she wears a Kappa Delta t-shirt. Wow. Is this girl (who is half the time unfortunately animated) Janey or Acker or a girl who is 'coming into her own' [gag]? It is never clear, I eventually I didn't even want to know.

[To be fair, this was not the final edit - which will premiere at the Rotterdam Film Festival this spring.]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

These are pants for pots, hand crocheted potholders scouted by Sue. We have a slew of little dresses and pantaloons which are too damn cute.

I enjoyed In the Realms of the Unreal yesterday before bundling up to a birthday party where I enjoyed handfuls of potato chips as if I'd never had them before. Potato chips AND chocolate birthday cake in tandem; I've never had anything so delicious.

Well friends, its very cold in New York, the kind of cold where all I want to do is fall asleep in a hot bath. (Which would actually not be a good idea, because actually one would wake up in a cold bath, thus defeating the purpose.) Some of us at Saipua are soaking up the Tortola sun right now, but alas that would not be me. You know, I look better pale anyway.

We're about done with wholesale orders before Christmas, which is a relief - there was panic in the air on Friday before UPS arrived. One more to Clay and Cotton in Louisville, Kentucky on Monday, and then Tuesday we're taking off to finish up (well, start really) our own Christmas shopping. Every year I fantasize about getting everyone the same thing - a pair of good shears, or a mug rug.

Running on Ritters. and Toblerone actually.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

OK, so we did decide on a place to go to eat last night (thank god, because there is nothing worse than a cranky cook) -- Black Mountain, my new favorite neighborhood jam. (It's on the corner of Hoyt and Union.) The food there is simple, inexpensive and really really just perfect. Their chutney (served with a pressed sandwich of mortadella and polish bacon) is literally the best I've ever tasted. The cheeses are also quite nice, last night I tasted an excellent sheep cheese from Lyon - Brebirousse D’Argental.

Today I tramped around in the rain on Smith delivering flowers and trying to find something special for myself ... for Christmas, if you will. No luck.

Watched White Diamond last night - a sweet little documentary by Werner Herzog about Graham Dorrington an aviator who builds an airship to explore the Guyanese canopy. I fell asleep. OH, but a really excellent film we watched recently was Interiors (Woody Allen). I can't stop thinking about the characters in this film, many of them quite hopeless. The scene at the end where the mother appears in the sleeping house - you know it? So incredible. Altogether it is so very beautifully crafted -- the color palette is especially striking; you rarely see anything outside the realm of gray.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I thought it would never come - but the christmas craze has descended upon Saipua with abandon. We've been flowering and soaping for the past three days with little time for the leisurely walks and mid-day magazining that we're used too. Which is a good thing because kids like us count on this time of year to round out the lonelier months.

There is nothing more, no cooking, no movies, no reading...I'd like to go out to dinner tonight, but am too tired to decide where.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The scene at spades last night while things were still lighthearted - that is to say before the conversation shifted to the depletion of the earth's natural resources. Eli, I just noticed how great your nails look.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Our new sign - hand-painted by Eric himself. We found this old sign at a great auction in Meriden, CT.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Second Coming: Daffodil bulbs from last year.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Ran this arrangement up to Inwood this afternoon - took me three hours, but it was a nice chance to listen to radio and relax in the heat of the truck (our heat still is on the fritz). Relaxing, that is, until I heard coverage of Mitt Romney's speech from Dallas this morning. Did you know that "freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God"? How poetic! How philosophical! Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time the windows of my soul were open.

Enough sarcasm though, at the end of the day I'm in the clean business of soapmaking, not politiking. And speaking of soapmaking we're working on a new soap for release in January. Its a revamp of the old CASTILE; amped with 70% olive oil. It's going to be a 3" cube with text stamped directly onto the bar. I'm working on the packaging now and really excited. This will be a divergence from usual Saipua aesthetic, a welcome one for me - it's refreshing to try something totally new.

OK, we take off now for b-burg by b61 bus bon voyage.

PS: Susan this is for you:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I finally got the guts up to pull The Road back off the shelf and finish it. Once you get past a horrific scene involving cannibals and a padlocked basement - is actually quite hopeful. It complements my research for a show I'm working on that deals loosely with the apocalypse. More on that soon..

I noticed my kitchen table this morning littered with our junk had a nifty color scheme

Monday, December 3, 2007


A lethargic and strange day upstate "working" and eating bowls of chili every hour on the hour. Except when I took a break to run to Staples, and spent a good 3 or 4 min. distracted by playing with a "That Was Easy" button. I wonder what the carbon footprint is of a That-Was-Easy button. Jeeze. Ooh, I want to mention the notorious ginger cake I finally mother has been trying to get the perfect recipe by combining three. Its pretty damn good as is, but when all the tweaking is done I'm going to test it, and will share it with yall.

I spent some time online today blog-surfing I guess you'd call it, checking out all sorts of creative kids and their projects. How fascinating it is that you can connect dot-to-dot through blogs and artists websites while recognizing threads of influence.

One time I navigated to a woman's blog (I can't find it now) while in search of how to quick-soak dried beans. She was a young mother in Oregon, very religious and very health conscious. I read back through her blog for an hour, enthralled by her lifestyle and all the details of her family which she openly shared. I don't remember now if I ever made bean soup that night.

But anyway, let me ask you this: Do you like Stevie Nicks? How about red Lee Press-on Nails?
Watch this:

Now, having just convinced myself not to cut all my hair off, I am sitting listening to Tusk with Aaron, more specifically to 'Beautiful Child' on repeat. It drives me crazy, all husky and lovely and haunting..

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Was flipping through Martha S. today and was enthralled by the "living wreath" article on how to make a festive holiday wreath using succulents, various air plants, living moss and other junk. So inspired by this I dug around in the trash can for these dried peegee hydrangea Eric finally tossed out yesterday. After a quick shake to remove some coffee grounds, and a some gold spray paint they made a killer wreath along with some seeded eucalyptus and a grapevine base. I'll shoot it tomorrow when the light is better.

But more importantly, look how gorgeous my hand is..