it’s the top ten books challenge!

As soon as the ALS ice bucket challenge seemed to die down a bit, it seems like the top ten books challenge popped up in its place. I have absolutely NO problem with this, as I’m always looking for new books to read…or recommendations of things that I should re-read.

The rules of this “challenge” …more like a request… is for the person that has been tagged to write down 10 books off the top of their head that have stuck with them in some way. Here’s mine:

Franny and Zooey – Salinger; Prayer for Owen Meany – Irving; Steal like an Artist – Austin Kleon; World According to Garp – Irving; Geek Love – Katherine Dunn; Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera; Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut; Fight Club – Chuck Paulanuck; Dry – Augsten Burroughs; A Feast of Snakes – Harry Crews

These are in no particular order…just reached back as far as my mind could go and rallied through to the present.

What are you reading??

 

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Happiness….happens?

happiness….happens? Do you wait for happiness to come to you…or are you one of those people that go out and search for it?

I’ve noticed lately that it’s little things that put a smile on my face – like letting someone into crazy shitballs traffic…or secretly listening to my kids conversations…or having a really really good oyster or a fantastic cup of coffee. (hell, even a crappy cup of coffee can make me smile with glee on certain days…I mean come on..it’s COFFEE)

I put myself out there on a daily basis with my art and prose. Because of this, as I’ve said often before, I think people relate passionately when something of mine strikes a cord within them. The most common emails and letters I get are from people jokingly saying ‘Get out of my head!!’. Due to the raw nature of things, I’m fairly confident that people feel a bond, a connection, and therefore, assume that they know me…at least just a little (if not a lot, like omg I think we’re sisters that were separated at birth and I’m coming to the town where you live and I’m going to stay on your couch…)

I have to say that I DO get some craziness…and my husband whom is also my office manager, tries to shelter me from many of the BAD ones. I’m happy to say that the good ones far outweigh the bad ones, and knowing that many of you take the time out of your insane busy daily schedules to write makes me INSANELY happy. To have a glimpse into your lives and know how I’ve contributed, even if just a little, is freakin awesome…and makes me happy…and all of the hard work and cursing that may go into a piece of art WORTH IT!

Sometimes…I get a letter that I’m not sure of…stops me in my tracks…and makes me reevaluate everything.

Dear Erin,                                                                                                                                                                  July 13, 2014                               I debated whether to write this. You probably don’t want to hear my story. Then I remembered that I probably won’t even know if you read it or not so here goes….five years and 5 months ago, my son killed himself. The worst part, well, not the worst part, was not realizing he was so unhappy. then I went into a very dark place I couldn’t find my way out of Until I came across you! Your little girl in the boots for kicking ass made me laugh out loud. I thought I had forgotten how. Then there was the “restraint” tote bag. I got the calendar and your book and I cannot stop wanting more. I realize your humor (and language) is not for everybody. But it was EXACTLY what I needed. I hope you put out a calendar every year for the rest of my life. I believe I owe my sanity to you. Bet you’ve never been told that before, huh?      A big fan forever, x

This letter stopped me cold…and made me realize that HEY…I AM HAPPY! This is huge because I am bipolar….I am not ashamed to say it or talk about it. I’m on medication that I have to take everyday (I could very well go off a rant here about how frustrating knowing this is…but hey, put on your big girl panties and deal with it) and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I use humor (and always have) on a daily basis to deal with the litany of things that life throws my way everyday…no matter how trivial or not. This is my coping mechanism and how I’m able to deal with my life….to try to reach that level that I would assume most people want…to be happy! To know that I’m able to spread that around a little bit is huge…and I hope that something, ANYTHING…today makes you happy. All my love, for realzies, E

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Chocolate Chip Day!

So, such a basic item so obviously underrated. I found this piece of info today from  Amelia Robinson …

“Happy Chocolate Chip Cookie Day…. an upstart is hoping to put a new spin on the chocolate chip.Saladshots, a Hollywood, Calif.-based company, is targeting millennials with its chocolate chip-flavored salad dressing.You read correctly: CHOCOLATE CHIP-FLAVORED SALAD DRESSING.The company launched the product yesterday and even has a $25,000 Kickstarter campaign seeking supporters. Donors get a variety of perks.

“Much in the same way Ben & Jerry’s rejuvenated ice cream by adding cookie dough as an ingredient and Chobani added ‘Greek’ to the yogurt category, Saladshots’ delicious premium on-the-go dressings are a refreshing, healthy, and functional alternative to current options on the market today,” Saladshots’ founder Adam Rubin said in a press release.”

sooooooo……what’s your take on this? Do you think a chocolate chip salad dressing is going to get people to eat salad on a more regular basis?

the whole concept makes me shudder. ugh. !!!

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From the hands of Babes (revisited)…

I don’t think my boys have ever actually ‘gotten’ me anything for Mother’s Day.  They’re still young, well, 10 and 12…so it’s not like they’re heading off to The Mall and buying some prebasketed gift crap.  They usually make some cards, some paper flowers…you know. Basically whatever their father can guilt them into taking 5 minutes out of their busy schedules to shlep together.  I am an artist and there are a lot of outdoor art festivals in my children’s pasts.  They don’t get dragged to as many as they used to, as they’re old enough to stay home by themselves for pretty long periods of time.  They tend to be very responsible, as in, their phones are always charged and turned on, and they’ll call me to ask if they can have a cookie or finish off the sesame sticks. Really. The last weekend in April every year is a huge art festival not far from my neighborhood here in Atlanta. Well, last weekend they hemmed and hawed when I made them hang out for about 7 hours while I was working the festival crowd.  Overall I’d say they did a pretty good job, and I trust them (and I guess 60,000 strangers enough) to let them roam around on their own for most of the day.  I gave them each $20 and when they’d occasionally stroll back, they’d have frozen lemonade or ice cream and then disappear again. I travel frequently as well, and I’m going to be out of town next weekend for Mother’s Day.  You cannot imagine my surprise yesterday as they presented me with a gift bag and announced an early MDay gift!  As I peeled back the layers of paper and packaging to reveal the wondrous gift inside I have to admit I was speechless.  They excitedly explained in detail how the artist they purchased it from at the festival told them they had made an excellent selection, as the frosted glass in this particular bottle really showed off the candle light.  They immediately wanted me to go outside and hang it on the deck with the other various candle sconces I’ve accumulated out there. They were so proud.

As a parent, this was a moment of choice.  Should I be alarmed by my children’s choice they thought was so perfect for me?…or am I reading too much into their spectacular purchase? They did this all by themselves. For me. For Mother’s Day. I smiled and hugged them and told them it couldn’t be any more, well….perfect.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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melty cheese. God is in the details.

national grilled cheese day. so many options….but I choose apples. Perhaps more fall than spring like, but I decided I didn’t give a damn. I didn’t give many damns…as I went ahead and did THREE different sandwiches. yum. I visited the farmers market this a.m. and had so many options. Here’s what won.

Ended up with royal gala, Pacific rose, green granny smith, and an Asian pear. other goodies I picked up along the way:

 French Brie with green granny smith on French Batard bread with caramel and sea salt. This is a sweet & savory sandwich, that while fabulous warm, would be freaking amazeballs served cold packed in a travel lunch or happy hour somewhere with some sparkling white wine. yes please.  I think i’ll pack this for future tailgating pre concert…I don’t know..sometime coming up that may or may not involve dave Matthews?!

This one I took advantage of the Pacific Rose apples and spread the bread with the spicy Chipolte mustard, the brie and did a little arugula salad on the side. Nice HOT bite to it! I think this would be perfect to make in small bite sized sammies for a brunch or as a heavy appetizer, served over the arugula. just sayin.

 The third and final was fantastical. I used the French brie and bread, spread both sides lightly with the Lemon Pear Marmalade, just a HINT of the Chipolte mustard, and used thin sliced Asian Apple Pear and the arugula.  I served a Tomato Basil soup on the side that was perfect for dipping.  I can’t wait until it rains to go back to this one!!!

Anyway…this was fun. I have grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone I know for the next week, but it was a brainstorm of goodness.  Hope you enjoyed…have a great weekend! xxoxo, e

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if you give a damn you’ll put a bird on it

ok. so I didn’t really DRAW a picture of a bird…but you know. all in the erin smith art way of things.

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time to grill!

walking the dog this morning I came upon my neighbor that lives 2 doors down. he stands in his driveway. for 17 years.

he’s says ‘HEY! haven’t seen you around…you enjoying this weather?’ Then said something about grilling…

I responded hell yeah, let’s grill! and he says, no…I got a new grill.

Happy spring people.

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birthday sale!!

20% off bday celebration at www. Erinsmithart.com  promo code birfday20    (Retail orders only)

have a great day!! I plan to  :) It’s my birthday…it’s my birthday! My girl Liz made me this beauteous Irish Car bomb birthday cake. It has chocolate stout, Jack Daniels, and BAILEYS. can I get a WOOT UP IN HERE?! she also gave me this gorgeous cake dome and perfectly green cake stand. I lOVE it!

off to enjoy the day. xxoxoxoxo, e

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ooops. i accidently bought a house.

yes. I did. people have said ‘what? how can you accidentially buy a house?’

well, if you’re not looking, and you happen to look, and the house is on short sale, and you don’t feel like you can’t NOT make an offer..and then said offer is acceptd in an hour and a half? well. you accidentally bought a house.

Go for it Girl day was back in October. I’ve never been one of those people that needs any extra encouragement on most things. I finally decide I have to have a new car? I have one in my driveway a couple hours later. I want to sell wholesale art? I book 7 shows and buy plane tickets and BAM. I tend to figure out the details later. I’ve never thought of money as an obstacle..if something is not supposed to work out then I feel it won’t. Things do usually work out for me I’ve found because I usually don’t put failure into part of the equation. I just do it.

The day I made the offer on the house and it was accepted, I realized that I was supposed to bloog that day…and it just happened to be ‘go for it girl’ day. I didn’t bloog. I figured that I had gone for it without any encouragement, and if I were to write about it before I had signed my life away I may jinx something….and I was going to get this house!

well. I did. my husband hadn’t seen it, we hadn’t discussed it…and yet, 30 days later BAM. house. With everything in it down to the beds and silverware and pictures on the walls, and everything around it including the rotted roof and bad drainage and poor exterior layout. BAM. house.

It’s on an island – not on the water, but I can see the ocean in one direction and the bay in the other. The location is great, it has a pool, it has great rental potential.

It looked like Jimmy Buffet’s head exploded inside. Orange walls and yellow walls and neon green walls and blue walls. Hula skirt valances and every wall covered with pictures of parrots and palms and every wooden sign pertaining to the beach known to man that you can buy at hobby lobby…bright red couches with palm frond print and bedspreads filled with a cacophony of colors and shells and fish. Bobble head flamingos and lighthouse collections and wooden fish and metal fish and trays with painted fish. And parrots. a four foot tall parrot, and several smaller parrots that were structures in and of themselves.

it was the least relaxing place on earth. I started having to write ‘breathe’ on my left forearm daily just so I wouldn’t hyperventilate in such an environment.

I stripped it. completely. every little tschotske gone. WHITE paint on ALL the walls. Covered existing tile, replaced neon light fixtures. Had a new deck stair installed so you didn’t have to trek around the house to get to the pool….built a fantastical outdoor shower. How could there not be an outdoor shower but they had a 4′ parrot???

Anyway. Go for it Girl Day? ha. I’m pretty sure that’s everyday…as far as i’m concerned. my poor husband. No. He’s really not speaking to me yet…. <sigh>

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you’re not the boss of me…

I understand that there are varying levels of wrong. Sometimes shit happens that is just so overwhelming you need to embrace it to really understand it. This means, to me, eyes wide open. Who is in control of you? of your happiness? of your grief? of your cleansing tears? of your anger and hate and rage? you are. This took me a really really really really really long time to acknowledge…that no one else is responsible for me.

Does small little shit upset us sometimes? yes. Should it? Probably not. When something devastating happens in your life you will recognize it. The level of devastation is up to you. Are you going to freak out because you spilled your coffee? Are you going to loose your shit because you’re running late? Are you in disbelief because you went away for the weekend and one of your friends drowned? These are all things that we have absolutely no control over – the coffee spilled, it’s done. You’re late, all the hurrying up in the world isn’t going to change it now. Drowned? What??  All those adages that people say, ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’ (thanks Nietzsche..gah). ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’…(it’s ALL small stuff…this part is bullshit…it’s all perspective!)

Where is this rambling going you may ask…well, ‘get over it’ is a part of our daily lives.

Some things I don’t want to get over. I want to put them in my pocket where I will always know where they are and keep them close.

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