Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Adios Bean, Farewell

Sadly, we bid farewell to the lovely Allison Bean from our Wholesale Department this week. Now many of you think that in the massive organization that MUD has become, that it's not possible for me to know details about the wonderful people who spend their days working for us. Not true I say. I've come to know and love Allison over the past six years that she's worked for us as, um, you know, the thingy she does. With like, the files, and the phones and stuff. And I've had the pleasure of meeting her handsome husband Bryon and her dog, Mr. Chow. So you see, having her co-workers contribute to this send off? Totally unecessary. Nevertheless, some did have some parting words for the girl behind the purple desk.

Chris Jump-in-the-Phone-Boothe wrote: "Allison, by far, had one of the most daunting jobs at ONIM-that of keeping, on record; all orders, credits, cancellations, and correspondancies between the ONIM staff and customers. Allison maintained the back up. Pretty stressful-but Allison always met whatever demands were put on her with a smile and a laugh. The ONIM offices will seem a little bit quieter without her texas twang and here's hoping she visits often." What Chris meant to write: "You've been like Starsky to my Hutch. That thing that happenned at the Xmas party 2003? Never told a soul, honest."

Jill Call-me-Boterus wrote: "I will simply say that Allsion has been delightful. A breezy, smiley, I'll do it, kind of girl. I am sorry to see her go." What Jill meant to write: " I will simply say Allison has been DELIGHTFUL!!!!!!!!!!! BREEZY!!!!!!!!!! SMILEY!!!!!!!!!!! I'm SORRY to see her go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Natasha Reilly-o-Really, who is paid to write, made a whole 50 cents off of this missive: " I'm really going to miss Allison- the moment you step off the elevator she greets you with a warm smile. Whenever we'd email about catalog orders or press break stuff, she'd always share some cool random story. Yeh, I'm going to miss her smile and her random stories." What Natasha meant to write: " The one time she told me the story about how she got the wooden leg, it made me throw up in my mouth a little. I was more comfortable discussing Greys, or Desperate Housewives, or even Sopranos, but no. Always something a little off color from this chick's motor mouth."

From the desk of Alyssa Staltworth, " I honestly don't know how you managed not to hate the AR department, in those months we had over 1000 statements to mail out. Folding, stuffing, sealing, metering, lugging and papercuts. You should really hate me. You and tequila have my respects. I am a tequila girl. You know tequila. That makes you good people." What Alyssa meant to write: "Holy crap what a boring sounding job. If I had to do that every day, I'd drink tequila too and a lot of it."

John Zazulu wrote: "You are a sweet texas treat that can't be beat" making us ALL throw up in our mouths a little.

Yolanda Brite wrote "Allison, you will be missed very much. We had a great time crossing the bridge and having yummy Junior's cheesecake woohoo!' Then Uma Sank added "I can't believe that you are leaving us already! I drink a toast to the best gambling/drinking/overall wonderful buddy ever!!!" Then TOGETHER they wrote "We are very excited to visit you in Texas; we are planning our road trip as we speak!" What they meant to write: "thank God we still have each other. We are incapable of going to the Ladies Room by ourselves."

Maya Applepiya wrote: "Though I've only had so little time to get to know Allsion, I think she should represent her State Flower. She has touched me with her open heart, abundant kindness, and that unique accent. Wherever life will take you after Mud, may that road always be MUDDY (a.k.a. exciting and colorful). Maya gets points for sucking up to us with her tribute to Allison, BTW.

Carolyn Youphraseyeeow put away the compact and wrote " If Allison were a song she would be a Shimmerplanet hit!! We can do a cowgirl song for our lovely Texan! She will be missed but she will be back!!!" Carolyn then went on to include these song lyrics:
"Oooooooowoooooooooo Allison,
I know this job is killing you, oh oh Allison,
our aim is true.........."

Bexter Dingleberry phoned in this toast: "It's been great having Allison around, even when she randomly starts speaking Spanish or when waiters love her the most. I wish she wasn't leaving (who else will want to buy cookies from the dollar store?) But I'm also excited to visit her in Texas and listen to Dolly Parton." What the Bexter meant to say: "We'll pour us some tequila, put on the soundtrack to 9-5, or maybe just play "Here you Come Again" and "Islands in the Stream" over and over again. Then let's rent Rhinestone and it'll be just perfect-clap clap jump jump kelly clark impression clap"

Other office mates missed this blog's deadline but wanted Allison to know that they would treasure the xerox of her nether regions forever. (Xmas 2002)

Oh-and then there is Candace All-the-way who wrotein response to these suggested questions: "On average, how many bad hair days does this girl have?" She has pretty good hair…long nice…can be curly or straight. She went through a phase of putting baby powder instead of washing it…bad idea. She needed some bumble and bumble product if she was going to go down that route.

"How could she have come from the same state that gave us W?" When people ask…you’re from Texas, you didn’t vote for Bush did you? She responds…I’m a social worker! Of course not! Ally Cat is a Texan through and through. She loves the great state but loves to venture out too (thank goodness, if not we wouldn’t gotten her for 10 months).

"If Allison were a song would she be best performed by Shimmerplanet or Bully?" Which ever one would play the country music…oh all the country music. Smiley face icon.

Allison was the “scan-derella” of ONIM but didn’t complain about the monotony of the job. She can drink tequila with the best of them and make friends with everyone at the bar…as we found out from XMAS PARTY ’05. I am glad that the temporary job developed into a semi full time gig.

Beaner is one of my bestest friends in the entire world. I have known her FOREVER and she is still the same sweet southern girl that would help anyone that needed it. But I have to say, she has developed a bit of a “NYC edge” (well…as much as she could). She frequently asks if she still has her accent or if it has gotten less distinct…I have to tell the truth about that one and say…it has changed a little. Yet another smiiley face icon. She is a country music loving…wide open spaces needing…horse owning traveler…who no one in our itty bitty hometown of Sherman Texas would have bet on actually moving to and staying as long as she did in NYC. I am super proud of her. I am just glad she didn’t fall and break something while she was here…she has done crutches before while she visited…NO FUN. Should have been a frowny face icon, but wasn't. I think she has had a good time but the Lone Star State is calling her back. I am going to miss her terribly and my Libby Ann is going to miss her Aunt Allison just as much. I am just glad I got to live with my best friend and be a part of her experience." What Candace also meant to write" We loooooooove yooooooooooose, yer my bestestttttt friendddddddd, pass the tequila and get me a waiterrrrrrrrrrr"

Friday, May 19, 2006


Not many know that we began as a garage band, back when most garages held volkswagons. It was all good at first: the liquor flowed, the groupies groped, jam sessions were wild and friendly. Then bassist John got addicted to hair gel. Kip and Lorrie hooked up secretly. Jill wanted to explore solo projects. Before we knew it, record sales plummetted and we had to figure some other way to make a living.


Forgive me for not posting a picture. Stumbled into bed at 1:18 A.M. this morning, and Annie was up at 5 A.M. Asking for orange juice. Demanding an audience with Dora the Explorer. Wrapping herself around my knees as I dragged my tired butt into the kitchen and started the day. It's a multiple cup of tea kind of day. Onto the reviews:

My Gawd; have I really been wasting my time watching American Idol when I could have gone to see this goddess chanteuse perform? Carolyn Eufrasio has the most gorgeous, soulful, throaty, amazing voice--the kind that gives you goose bumps. She has true star quality, and I would recommend that anyone reading this download Shimmerplanet: A Better Place. Now. Get thee to itunes.

The film by J. King screened at the Tribeca Grand Hotel last night. My best work was left on the cutting room floor (Dan's too), but it was still a great film. John Farley does a great job in it-old Mudders will remember that at one time he and Dan ran an ONIM store by themselves, and while they may have come close-didn't actually burn it down in the end. Anyway, J.King is an amazingly talented writer, director and actor, and I predict he will be incredibly successful once more people become aware of his quirky and brilliant film work. You can sign up to be informed of future screenings by emailing jkingpop9@nyc.rr.com The film was scored by BULLY-check out Bully.com for more info

Celebrated at the bar in the Tribeca Grand Hotel was great fun. I am always impressed at the talented and interesting people we are lucky enough to have work with us. It's officially pajama Friday next week.

Successfully fed, bathed and put the chilluns to bed all by his lonesome. Spoke to me briefly at 1:18 and did not give me grief. At 6 took Annie off my hands so i could return to bed. Wiped up the jelly I had tracked through the kitchen at 1:20 a.m. after making a sloppy peanut butter and jelly sandwhich to absorb the pinot grigio. Gave me small amount of grief about the jelly.

I am a lucky, lucky, lucky gal.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Dan and I will make our debut film appearance in the film WELL RECEIVED, a film by J.King. You may join us for the screening tonight, Thursday May 18, 8 pm, at the Tribeca Grand Hotel Screening Room- 2 Avenue of the Americas. Or you can wait for the DVD. See you on the red carpet!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Download Shimmerplanet

Our very own bird in a muddy cage-Carolyn-releases her band's latest CD on itunes tomorrow:


Also, please join us as we support the launch:


For those of you who will be in New York on Thursday, May 18, we're

putting on our biggest concert yet. We like to surprise you with our

choices of non-traditional venues (our last concert was in a public

library)! This time around, Shimmerplanet takes you to church with a

nod to a New Orleans' style funeral. Be there! Amen.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

7:15 p.m.

The Metropolitan Community Church of New York

446 West 36th (9th/10th)

New York, NY

Incredible Live Performance!

Shimmerplanet Gift Bags!

Wine and Hors d'Oeuvres!

Art Exhibition from "For The One's" Artists and Photographer!

Cost: FREE



Friday, May 12, 2006

My Nonnee

Nonnee is my MIL, and raised Kip to be a fine husband and father.

No one is more generous of heart and spirit. She is of the belief that you can't love your children too much, anymore than you could extinguish the sun by pouring gasoline on it.

She'll work tirelessly to cook the family one of her famous breakfasts, and if the pancake batter runs out, promptly declare she didn't particularly care for pancakes that morning anyway.

Nonnee has taught me so many things since I joined her family ten years ago. Among them:

1. You won't break a baby if you actually wash its face.

2. A good haircut is worth the money. Who cares if you saved a few bucks if your highlights turn green the day after.

3. Elbows off the table. Really. Not negotiable.

4. Start each day with a piece of bacon, end each day with a cosmo. Cocktail hour is a way of life. Embrace it.

5. True ladies who might be required to snort OJ through their nose don't complain about it.

6. Forget red hats and purple dresses; wear aqua and you'll look fabulous. All good jewelry must jingle. If you've spent most of your life laughing, your wrinkles will be beautiful.

7. When you had a good role model, being the matriarch is easy. Or at least you can make it look that way. If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your mother told you to.

8. Civility makes the world a nicer place. Practice simple kindness.

9. Love your children, and they will come back home often. Of course, it doesn't hurt to build that home by a beach.

10. Tell your grandchildren you are magic and they will believe it: their parents have always known it to be true.

Words never come easily when I try to write something for Nonnee--I choke each time there is an opportunity to talk about her goodness. She has raised me up in ways she'll never know, and I am proud to be her DIL. I love you Nonnee. Happy Mother's Day to one of the all time best in the biz!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Wicked Stepmother

When I say "wicked" I mean it in the Bostonian vernacular way-which means awesome!

There is a song that used to be on one of the records my parents had. I used to listen to it all the time, and the lyrics go like this:

yesterday my life was filled with rain.
You smiled at me and you relieved the pain.
Now the dark days are gone and the bright days are here,
my Sunny one shines so sincere,
Sunny one so true,
I love you.

My father could have written that song himself. He met Sunny when he moved back to Kalamazoo Michigan (where he had grown up), shortly after my mother died. She was walking a small dog.

I first became aware of the fact that my father was smitten when he came to visit us that first Christmas. I caught him staring at a photograph he had with him. It was of Sunny at her daughter's wedding. From the picture you could see that she was full of energy and life, and you could tell she liked to laugh. He was like a highschool girl sitting by the phone that Christmas morning waiting for her to call.

My father and Sunny had a whirlwind romance and were married that Summer. Initially, some in the family had difficulty with the swiftness of their union. I did not. I knew that my mother's passing had taught my father to grab joy when he could, and to live each day fully. Life is sweet, but life is short, and life is made even sweeter, and the days even longer, when you are able to spend them with someone you love.

Sunny has wrought amazing changes in my father. The man who used to tinker in solitude in the basement is now on committees, attends the theatre, hosts parties. The only travel I could have associated with my father in the past is the commute from Stamford to NYC; now together they have gone bike riding in Paris and Hawaii. He has seen the Grand Canyon. The man who lived the majority of his life with a series of cats, now owns a small dog that he treats like a child.

I am thankful that my father found Sunny to love and be loved by. I celebrate her this Mother's Day with the fullest of hearts, knowing how much she cares for my Dad. She injects his days with joy and energy and an appetite for life (although he now always splits his soup and sandwich combos.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Mom

My mother died five years ago around this time of year, when Jesse was just about a month old. That is when I feel I fully became a mother, an adult, and a woman. Parents work their whole lives to teach their children; and their final gift (though painful) is always a profound lesson. Her passing left me with a legacy of strength and perspective that I did not possess before: ironically, nothing teaches you more about life than death. Mostly, you discover that you can survive and persevere-and that surprises you. You connect with an inner core of strength that you may not have been aware of-and you hold onto the knowledge that those "spiritual abs of steel" will hold you in good stead for the challenges that we all face as that damn circle of life keeps on going round.

I come from a long line of women who create. I grew up playing with dolls that had been handmade by both my Grandmothers, in houses filled with creativity and expression. We always had a Sewing Room; a magical cave of fabric bolts and glass jars of buttons, shelves of gold trim, plastic fruit, and my mother's noisy sewing machine. She would make clothing, tablecloths, curtains, wreaths, and miniature Christmas Trees decorated with various themes. In the last place we lived, it was a small room with dark paneling and massive shelving that held a huge collection of plastic boxes all holding crafter treasures. The hallway off of this room held her doll house,always a work in progress, and next to that, the living room, with paintings she and my father had made. My favorite was a large red sun coming up over the horizon.

In the basement there was an orchid greenhouse, and my Father's workshop where he made weathervanes and clocks and wooden whirleygigs. And of course, there was the ceramics studio.

One of my first memories that I can recall fully with all five senses, is making a pot on my mother's rickety green wooden kickwheel. I am three, and the sun streams at a sharp angle through the basement window and it creates a spotlight in which the dust dances like a smokey apparition. The smell is sharp--clay smells like earth and mold and metal mixed together. And I perch on her lap, my legs not long enough to reach the base, her hands on top of mine, feeling the sandy clay spin beneath my hands, feeling her leg kick the metal wheel, the excitement of making the clay rise and form and become. My mother made me a creation junkie right then and there, just as she had hooked my father earlier, and would go on to hook the entire family.

My mother had a smile that would light up the whole room. This is what they said about her at her funeral: how very much that smile would be missed. And I remember seeing it, as we all gathered as children around the coffee table when she opened a box of crayons.

People have asked me what my mother would have thought about the success I went on to enjoy as a potter. I tell them that when I opened my first store in 1995, I saved for months to be able to send a limo to pick her up with my father, and drive her into the city for the opening. My mother, meanwhile, had been saving paper grocery bags for months--and at the opening she presented them to me: a pile of used grocery bags, carefully smoothed. "For the store, for when a customer buys something." she said. I never told her we had preprinted glossy bags hanging behind the counter. I have always loved that my mother arrived in a limo carrying paper bags for me to reuse.

I did not really come to know and understand my mother until I had my own children. Then her love for me, which before had been hidden in various pockets and casings of the baggage of my childhood, became crystal clear and tangible. In the voracious love I feel for my own children, I feel the certainty of my own mother's love. This knowledge becomes a looking glass through which allows me to review the past and see it anew--accepting the fact that I had failings as a daughter, and understanding now some of the more perplexing things my mother did. I am like her at her worst sometimes: when I express anger through a cold, stoney silence, or I am quick to criticize, or walk into a public place and complain about how loud the music is. I see me at my worst: My mother was very hard of hearing and before she got better hearing aids, I would stand behind her as a teenager, cursing her to her back. I allowed her to lose me as I got older by not letting her see often enough who I was growing up to become, then I blamed her for the distance. We never spoke about her impending death, and when I visited, I used to draw analogies to some of my pregnancy symptoms to the reactions she was having to chemo: as if cancer and giving birth could be the same sides of a coin flipped by God into the air.

Ah, but she loved me so. I am sure now that she crept into my room when I was small to check my breathing. Certain that she shared the pain of every scrape, every bruise, every insult and setback. Positive that her greatest hope for me was simple happiness.

And each day I celebrate her. As Jesse and I lay on the rug shoulder to shoulder with a new pack of markers. As Annie and I make a tent out of sheets and the cushions of the couch. As each day I am lucky enough to make my livelihood in a way that is creative and fulfilling. I am not motherless, because in the end, I am mother-full; overflowing with it all. And like her, doing the best that I can.

So stop smoking if you smoke so that you can be with the people you love and who love you as long as you can, and call your mother and tell her that you love her.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Quick Annie story

Annie and Jesse went to a street fair yesterday. Jesse won a stuffed Winnie the Pooh bear dressed in safari garb.

All evening long, he referred to this bear as his "puppy." It was "My puppy this..." and "My puppy that..." Finally, as bedtime drew near, 2 yo Annie, hands on hips, told him in a voice full of authority; "It's a BEAR. Not a puppy."

Well of course Jesse threw a fit and flung himself dramatically across the bed, sulking and carrying on. A tantrum ensued. At last, Annie came into the room and with a voice barely concealing her disdain said: "It's a puppy, alright? Now go to bed."

Ah, I look forward to the day my Banana becomes the wife and mother she is so destined to be.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Heading Home

With sun kissed skin and several extra pounds, we return to our usual lives today. A vacation blesses you with the ability to see your everyday surroundings with new eyes; to appreciate the familiarity of your own bed, the comfort of your routine, and the pleasure in the company of the usual suspects. We will see you tomorrow with a pocket full of seashells.

Monday, May 01, 2006

lessons from the beach

1. Children don't care what temperature it is--they just jump in. Grab joy when you can, but get out when your lips turn blue.

2. Never throw sand, because it makes the ones you love tear up.

3. Wear protection. This obviously applies at all stages of life.

4. There is high tide, and there is low tide. You can find many hidden treasures if you look during low tide, and high tide is a great time for sailing.

5. You are small. The ocean is big.

6. When you dip your hand into the water and pull it out, the water lets go. Traces of it remain, but it lets go. We should learn to be more like the water.

7. Castles are made to be built and then jumped upon and thoroughly destroyed, with the full knowledge that tomorrow's castle will be even better.

8.Pick up any shell you'd like, but if it has something slimy in it, don't expect Mommy to carry it.

9. Wash your feet off before you enter the house. Wash your mind off before going to the next thing--because sand in your thinking can be so annoying.

10. Sometimes it is nice to just walk beside eachother, your tiny hand in mine. And when you get tired, I will carry you.