I helped my friend Shobha work at her jewelry booth at Artscape in Baltimore, and wish I could go back today. Duty calls, however. I hate when that happens.
She makes jewelry, and it's all very cool. She's been working hard to get this business off the ground for some time now, and I'm so excited that it's all coming together for her. Here's one of her very cool "flower cuffs" that she says she can't give away in Austin, but they caused quite a stir, here.
This is a terrible shot of it - I mean, "See my hand hail traffic or maybe do The Bird while wearing a gigantic flower!" is kind of what it says to me, but blame it on me taking the picture with my other hand, and know that they are sharp bracelets, I promise. As I kept saying, unnecessarily, "They look really good ON", when people would stop by and pick 'em up, going, "Hmmm, I'm not sure...a big flower?!? But it IS cool." Shobha pointed out that Rita Rudner does a riff where she says something to the effect of, "I hate when people say, 'It looks really good ON!" Like, on WHAT? On FIRE?" So, instead I just started telling women (and men who were either - we knew this - eyeing them for themselves, OR holding the wallet. Where are these men to be found? It turns out they exist! Very odd.) that they were very edgy and they'd be SURE to be the only person they knew with a handmade leather flower cuff. And do you know what? That's not only quite true, but they believed me! And we sold them ALL. This is what happens when you believe in your product, people! And when you want your friend to sell all of her cool stuff. I'll be doing her pr from now on...She also makes beautiful rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings completely by hand out of sterling silver. I am inspired by her talent - and know she'll take this all the way!
Artscape is a huge event in Baltimore - three days of music, food, crafts and community stuff. I'm always struck by how many different kinds of people are out at these things - and not just along the usual racial and cultural divides. It's a people-watching extravaganza, which means I spend my day trying not to trip over curbs and baby strollers because I'm gawking at this person's hair or that person throwing a fit over by the cotton candy stand, or what we determined was the hottest man any of us had seen in a very long time working at the italian sausage stand. Yeah. Can't make this stuff up. ; )
It was a great day until, walking back to my car later, some woman came careening around the corner, making a left turn against the light. Baltimore's traffic patterns and street directions are bizarre, to say the least. The last show had just let out, and the streets were a nightmare, although I made it out just fine, and did not get lost in one single scary neighborhood, which I consider a major accomplishment, and another reason to say "up yours" in the nicest way possible to this demon from hell who ruined my very chill festival mood. She screamed at me that I was "going to get my ass runned over" (nice...) and I, assuming incorrectly, as usual, that friendly logic would work, said, "the sign said 'walk'". "I don't give a FUCK what the sign say," she screamed. "You STILL gonna get yo ass RUNNED OVER," and, a split second after I thought she might jump from her car and pound me into the sidewalk, screeched away. The people beside me on the sidewalk started screaming back at her and giving her the finger. Keep in mind, I've never met them before, so even though it was nice to have some solidarity, I assume alcohol had everything to do with their involvement in the situation. I was just thinking to myself, "Oh please, oh please, do not circle this block and come back to runned me over. Or shoot me. Or whatever it is that STRAIGHT BITCHES LIKE YOU do to girls like me, with a supreme knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
I had also parked in a lot where you had to leave your keys IN THE CAR, because I was totally desperate to find a space. Yes, yes, I know. However. I did it, only because Baltimore parking is so incredibly difficult, and cars were so crammed in there, I don't know how anyone would have stolen one. And mine is quite conspicuous. All the same, I'll add that to the list of things I'll hopefully never do again. So, after the altercation, I was thinking, not only will the crazy lady come back around to find me, but my CAR will be gone. Turns out - all I saw as I arrived in the lot was the orange beacon of my little car, the same nice parking lot man, AND a big man taking a BIG whiz a few spaces over. Nice. I guess the crazy mean lady moved on to sprinkle her fairy dust elsewhere. But MAN it was upsetting. How is it that I am having to deal with so many people yelling and bitching lately? It had been so nice to have a great day with a wonderful old friend, and then that. Bleh. I was okay by the time I got on 95, although still shaking my head a little at the meanness that can exist. What is UP with that?
Shobha will be back with her jewelry at the Takoma Park Folk Festival on September 11, which should be lots of fun, and I get to work with her again. Cotton candy for everyone!