Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Ahh, loading for the Pier Show. I remember it well but don't miss it in the least. Maybe this load is heading for the first Gordon Reid Brimfield flea market. Actually, historically, this photo (courtesy NYPL Digital Collection) is circa 1939 and the first Brimfield Flea Market was circa early 1950s. With this truck might take them a while to get there ... but not that long.
Ya, the meds are working for the Middletons. Group family self medicating. Doesn't get much better than that. C'mon, group hug here. The name Middletons is right out of the classic Lynd & Lynd sociological study of the average American's life in the fictitious small city of Middletown (actually Muncie, IN) of the 1930s. It preceded the Kinsey study of the average American's sexual mores. Gotta love history, really, no sarcasm here. History rocks solid.
Monday, March 9, 2009
It's Monday, evening. I thought I would have posted earlier, thought about it all day. Funny, what I may have written earlier somewhat has passed, such is the stream of consciousness, always flowing, never a drought. That the headwaters up stream may be polluted at times just not a concern. I'll deal. So, day one of daylight savings time. Have we really saved any daylight. Lose some in the morning, gain some at night. So damn relative. The day started dark, literally and figuratively. It's been two weeks to the day, almost to the hour, since the ex left amidst mixed blessings. I'm told it's for the best, I guess I agree but right moves don't inherently mean they are always pleasant. We'll see. She was promiscuous to a fault, or was it a fault. It came cloaked in a sexuality that was like a drug. Perhaps I'm just having withdrawals. I'm moving on but I still lapse in to missing her, is that weak or being sensitive. I think it's joined at the hip to how I'm feeling about my life at that moment of reflection. Is love an on/off switch? Another ex-girlfriend said I was a bad transition child. Perceptive if not prescient but then she was a bright girl. I guess it's a question of perspective. The relationship with the current ex was a dysfunctional one at it's best but it worked on some level; awash in a sea of alcohol as it was. Each of our expectations were minimalist, some could argue it was a true a modern romance. What do we want in a relationship, we may think we know but do we really. Okay, daylight savings time, right, started out dark. Had my habitual if not obligatory cigarette on the very short drive to the 7:00 a.m. 'eye opener', as it's aptly called, meeting. No smoking on the grounds of this former elementary school, it's still municipal property. Just knowing I won't be able to have one for an hour makes it sensible to have one before I get there. Ya, right. I never finish it, always field strip what's left and put it in my coat pocket. Just something inherently bad about tossing it on the pavement.. Sort of like biting the hand that feeds you. They provide a healthy, free service and you shit on them by littering their parking lot no matter how small the transgression. As a teenager, a very different individual then than now... or so I would like to think, I/we would always toss refuse out the car with the misguided, albeit humorous, logic that we were keeping the maintenance or sanitation department employed, our contribution to a civic duty. I can only chalk that up to youth. That was pre-military. The meeting, right. Typical meeting, it was good. They are all quite similar, fungible if you will, but good. Rife with tales of change, positive ones, but always preceded by the conditions that led to the change. Some days the stories cast a pall of depression over me, looking at the past, a past. Other days they are a foundation on which the positive aspects of the building blocks of change are built. Just so damn funny; no, read ironic, how perception changes. I'm a believer in the chemical imbalance theory, how else could the same stories produce different conclusions and evoke different emotions. Okay, the day, right. The one we're saving all that daylight in. It progressed to the next milestone of the day, my weekly therapist rendezvous. I came in glowing like a ten year old who just gotten a gold star on a penmanship paper. Couldn't wait to tell her I had started a blog. She's somewhat a neo-luddite, vaguely heard of what a blog was. I quickly explained, it is only an hour, and it goes quick; real quick. Then she reverted to her forte. Why did you do this? Good question, not altogether unexpected if I had thought about it, but maybe I was saving the thought process of the answer until I was in her presence; it would be fresh, unscripted. The unvarnished truth, honesty as the ultimate virtue. I want her to do her job, to do it well. Garbage in, garbage out. I want her to know who I am. And after intelligently fumbling for a moment, that was my answer to her pointed question. I want people to know who I am, me.
A new development in branding, the cunning slight of hand. Pilgrim Modern furniture from our forefathers of the Bay Colony? And exclusively. Mullioned door window and Georgian door handle. Come'on guys, you're engineers, where's that attention to detail? Maybe if they sold vintage Shaker furniture, which one could argue fits almost all of the tenets of modern, or, they dealt in Paul McCobb's 'Predictor' line of 1951 that was inspired by Shaker furniture, then, and maybe then, could I fathom Colony House. And the copyrighter the magazine assigned to write the text. I can just see him needing to stop " for one or two" on the way home, turning to a stranger at the bar, starting in with "How was your day, mine not so good. I'm a bull shit hack but it's a living. What ya drinking? Click on the image and read the caption below the exterior photo." It says, "... at right is new section...". Ya, the windowless stucco clad box grafted on to the clapboard main structure with angles that do not even mate. Nice! Then there is the caption below the interior shot. "Spacious modern display..." Gag. "... a mecca" Ya, right! "... for those who seek 'real' help..." Is there unreal help? The blind leading the blind? You may need real help AFTER leaving there. I can see them pitching what looks like a Saarinen 'Womb' chair as a 'birthing chair', adding as the final sales pitch that Knoll fabric is institutional grade and easily cleaned. But wait, there's more. Check out the caption of the engineer owners, sans pocket protectors. Mr. Rubin looks like William H. Macy as the car salesman in Fargo. Fitting! And the final quote, or is it the final farce, I get confused. "...decided to apply (read mechanically) their technical knowledge (the per square inch pressure exerted on a section of floor by a 365 pound man leaning back in an Eames DCW) of modern design to the selling of modern furniture". Huh? Technical knowledge? Does that mean chair A has 23% more fabric choices than chair B? What happened to aesthetics, the prospect of a new and improved future through modern living, the promise of a good life through modernity, or just plain "look at the integrity of this clean, unadulter'd beauty" Ya, one either gets it or they don't. I think I'll go find that writer and buy him a drink.
How NOT to move furniture, collective ignorance illustrated in one easy lesson. Did they think to take the mirror off first? Can't wait to see the train wreck photo after he takes that giant step off the back of the truck with furniture in hand, ouch and ouch. Do they tip the top back so the drawers don't slide out? Nope. And the ground guy, feet positioned correctly so he doesn't trip on the curb when he gets the weight? Nope. "Furniture for Less"? It would have to be, the company assumes it will damaged by the time it arrives.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Yesterday, Saturday, was nice but today is just fine. Real fine. Daughter's 27th birthday today, sent a card and a text. She actually acknowledged it with a text. The actually part refers to her somewhat reclusive nature. I remember her birth, brought me to tears on the miracle of birth. Also reinforced my sentiment I'm glad I'm male. Carrying a living thing within one's body, heady stuff. Can't wait till she reads this. My older brother's birthday is today too. He lives on the Cape, I'll call him. We get closer with age, funny about that. Went out to breakfast with friends, Kev and Jane, haven't seen them in almost two years. That was good, glad to get back together with them again. They were exuberant about a new purchase, a Baldwin Grand at an unbeatable price. A silver lining in an otherwise pocket of economic lint. We spoke about a summer tour of vintage modern houses within a modest drive of our area; Western Mass. The Johnson house and houses of the New Canaan(CT.) School are high on the list. There's lots, Wiiliamstown (MA) has some nice little enclaves tucked away too. Sadly, Northampton my town, is almost totally void of anything even resembling decent International style or MCM architecture. Expanded Capes with Danish modern furniture is about as modern as Hamp gets. Great little college town (30K pop.) though. Summer's looking good. Watch, some calamity will befall to derail that train of good thoughts. Disregard, just my Catholic upbringing. If things seem too good don't worry, they'll change. Looking forward to my Nine Ball pool league tonight, hope I do better than the last week. Got creamed by an other player with a lower skill rating than I (ouch). Lots of drama in my personal life that night, lucky the loss wasn't worse. Like the Sting song, tonight's a 'Brand New Day'.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
It's Friday morning and plotting out the day. Read the Times online, emails, some scanning to add to the database (that is what DESIGNbase® is all about after all), return some calls, initiate some others, muse about life or the lack there of. AA meeting was a good one this morning, Fridays always seem to be the best of the week. Perhaps it's the extra support to get through the weekend, that typical bastion of party mode.
Ill end up the day going to the local auction at 6:00, a general sale tonight, always the best. The 'Antique' sales are always a little boring, sanitized, having been vetted to cull out the junk and used furniture. That gives instant rise to the old saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". How true. Those of us that swim in the modern pool love that junk and used furniture, we'd drown without it. AmVets, Salvation Army, used furniture stores on the other side of the tracks; ya just gotta pull in. Stand alone Antique stores with the owner's shinny clean Land Rover parked prominently in front... well, maybe not so much. Fond memories picking back in the mid-seventies of seeing an occasional sign for 'Ye Ole Antique Shoppe'. Always elicited the smirking comment "floor it".
Thinking that the 'official' definition of antique, as set by U.S. Customs office, is 100 years, then where does that leave everything that is less than 100 years old? Hmmn, that means the late 1940s Carlo Mollino table that brought 3+ million at Christie's last year really is just used furniture. Chopped liver is not for me but some say it's pretty tasty.
Thinking about tonight, I wonder what will be at the sale tonight. A sleeper perhaps? If so will anyway else be there that recognizes it. I always feel that my odds are better than most to discover the sleeper, those pearls before swine. No sooner do I pen those comments that I am reminded of the meaning of hubris, remind myself smug is not a positive attribute, and realize there must be untold, countless items out of my area of specialty that I have walked by and dismissed as 'stuff' only to be watched by some other dealer or collector waiting to see if I would stop and examine it as a way of gauging the interest level in their 'sleeper'. The old 'watching and waiting' to see if it remains at sleep or awakens moments before the hammer falls. Antique dealers are an interesting lot, cunning at best, ethically challenged at times. Auctions still excite, one simply never knows what's gonna show. Like Forest Gump's box of chocolates.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Read this the other day, it fits at times for one who 'corrects' design misattributions and comes from a history background. "... history is, of course, my academic discipline. Criticism is what I do for money". Peter Reyner Banham, spoken off the cuff at a 1964 conference address.
Weather was cold, warming trend coming fast, alleged to be in the 60s Saturday. We'll see.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Number One, indeed a lonely number. I sense this initial post will be something akin to shouting out an open cabin window at 3:42 a.m. deep in the Green Mountains of Vermont. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is present to hear it does it still make a sound?