Veni, Vidi, Da Vinci

For those of you a little bit lax on your Latin…that would be “I came, I saw, Da Vinci”. And as far as cheap cool things to do in Denver are concerned, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better way to get your brainmatter going and be entertained.

As we’ve mentioned before (and preached, and chanted off rooftops, and considered painting on the side of our showroom) great design comes in many forms, and merges seamlessly with other forms of great design no matter the topic or era. If great design had a Godfather, it would be Leonardo Da Vinci. A true unmatched genius of his time (and perhaps of all time), Da Vinci sought out the mysteries of design and function like no other. He lived, breathed, and produced design in every aspect of his life, and made it possible for the world to learn it and apply it through his innovations and drawings.
Many know of Da Vinci for his incredible art, and some may even have studied his contributions to machinery and application of physics principles, but few realize his great contribution to medicine and the study of the human body. Everyone knows the following image for Grey’s Anatomy, but you should know it as “Opus of the Godfather of Design”.

This is Design, not a TV Series

The Da Vinci Machines Exhibit runs through September of 2012 at the Pavilions off the 16th street mall, and costs $15 for adults, $9 for kids, or save a couple bucks and get the family pack (up to 5 people) for $40. This educational, interactive exhibit has something for everyone, and with many hands-on displays to illustrate the functionality of Da Vinci’s designs, it’s great for kids young and old. Double thanks to my buddy Adam for scoring us cheap tix through Living Social, and maiking sure I didn’t miss this awesome display.
Visit http://www.davinciexhibitdenver.com today to plan your visit, or stop by on the fly. You need to leave about two hours of time to truly take in the full exhibit, and make sure to watch the video on Da Vinci’s life playing at the back of the display. It is both entertaining and educational. We did not follow the tour guides, but catching a bit of their spiel you may want to take the tour!
Great design comes in many forms, and if you truly love design, Vado, Visum, Da Vinci! (Go, view, Da Vinci!)

PS. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a street performer who weasels his way out of straight jackets! Watch the slideshow for a glimpse of some silly street entertainment after the Da Vinci pics!
If you have really sharp eyes, see if you can spot the typo in one of the exhibit texts! It’s a doozy!

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Slow Death by Estate Sale

I was not given a blindfold or a cigarette. When you’re about to be executed, you should at least be given a blindfold and a cigarette. Or a last meal request. Instead I got 7 days notice. Oh, and I was informed there’d be some torturing leading up to it. Nice.

It all started back in November, just before we left for San Francisco. Randy’s extended family J&J decided retirement in a tropical setting sounded like a good plan, and had asked Randy to help them part with some of their treasures. As aging Rock Stars, and I MEAN ROCK STARS (as in, toured with the Doors, The Dead, Jimi Hendrix) they had a selection of goodies that any collector would sell their first born for. And some did, as SF is a great place to find collectors of Vintage. They hadn’t listed their house yet, but were considering their next option for decommissioning their collection.

Enter Vega, my 3 1/2 year old, 6 pound (on a good day) cat. Vega has always had a weird physiology, and underwent several procedures while very young. Vega REALLY wanted to go to SF. She heard about the seafood, and said she was in. Since work was involved, she finally agreed to stay home, but wasn’t happy about it. On the last day of our trip while traveling home, Vega came down quite ill, and I ended up going straight from the airport to the Emergency Vet. Follow that with her spending a week in emergency care, visits to a couple of specialists, and finally several trips to CSU and a specialized surgery, I was up to my eyeballs in vet bills. Vega has since made a near full recovery, though her condition caused her to lose part of her vision so she doesn’t jump up on things anymore.

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I’m ready to go! When do we leave?

Vega before surgery, not feeling so good.

Vega after surgery, sporting her sweater since she lost so much body fat

Vega these days, happy, healthy, and having a nice kitty nap!

While all this was going on, J&J decided to ask Randy to host their Estate Sale, as they could think of no one else they could trust with their goodies. Many of their art pieces were rare, a full pottery collection to rival some museums, and all in a beautifully designed house. The main problem was that Randy doesn’t have the staff to pull off a small estate sale, let alone one of the proportions of J&J’s with over 50 years of collecting involved. So being the problem solver that he is, Randy proposed to do the estate sale, but the proceeds would go to Vega’s vet bills, if I could get enough volunteers to pull it off. It’d be a win-wn for everyone, he helps friends, Vega gets out of debt (her allowance isn’t very big), and the stuff gets sold by knowledgeable friends with care and respect. Sounds like a winner!

Well, as we all know the economy is not “fine,” and therefore the hope of J&J’s house selling by March quickly vanished, as did the estate sale. April came, then May, and still no luck. After a trial run of their drive down to their new warmer climate at the end of May, it was time to get our game plan on for the sale. J&J were thinking something before the middle of July, since that was when their exit date was planned, so basically they gave use 6 weeks to figure it out. Not bad.

A few days after receiving this information, Randy & I were working out the shop to-do list, and the estate sale came up. The conversation went something like this:

Me: So J&J sent the dates for the estate sale. You want to do it before or after the 4th of July?

Randy: I’m doing the renovation. It’s next weekend.

Me: You mean the weekend of the 23rd? Yeah, that will be tight, but doable, I think.

Randy: No, next weekend.

Me: As in, 7 days from now?

Randy: Yup. That’s the only weekend it can happen.

Me: (Dumbfounded) Uh, there’s not enough time. I haven’t even seen the house, or the contents. And I don’t think I can get help that fast!

Randy: Well, that’s the plan. I’ll just make it happen.

What followed could be considered a spirited debate, fraught with expletives, amazement, and a complete failure on my part to convince Randy that this was NOT a good plan. I left the store that evening wondering if he had lost his mind or if I was overreacting. When J&J pretty much had the same reaction, I felt a little better, but the go date was still on. We had 7 days to pull off a month’s worth of prep and work, and make it count.

It’s not as bad as it looks, it’s worse.

Of course, I wasn’t able to get near the amount of friends to help as I would have with 3 or 4 weeks of notice. Nor was I able to do a full marketing campaign that would draw people from Ft. Collins to Castle Rock. But my close group of friends and family came through yet again, and put in many hours of time to make it happen. Randy was able to bribe several of his connections to come work, and also call in some favors from his inner circle. J&J were clearly freaked out at the first night of recon at the house, because there really was no plan other than “get it done.”

To be blunt, Randy’s strengths do not lie in manual labor. He’s easily distracted, constantly on the phone with clients, and can be overwhelmed if he has too many decisions or options presented to him. So having him help bag and tag the majority of the sale was out. However, his little black book of connections and his ability to show people the beauty in things was at a premium for this sale, since there was not much junk and a lot more “funk.” I had to remind myself of this fact multiple times during the process, as Randy was standing around wooing potential buyers, having a beer, lounging on the sofa, while myself and the crew slaved over pricing endless boxes of office supplies, literature, books, tools, knick knacks, and the like. Every night was dinner on a paper plate while tagging items, getting home around midnight, and then back at my “normal” job in the morning. Needless to say, we all lost track of what day it was, what time it was, and if we’d ever see the end of the bottomless pile of stuff.

The layout of the house is FANTASTIC, but not for an estate sale. A windy thin stairway to the bedrooms and office was begging for either wall damage or a lawsuit (or both), so everything had to come to the main floor. The good news was we had some big guys help who could carry the sofas and large plants. The bad news was they could only do it for one night. So It was a mad dash to get everything ready to move for our tiny time slot and find somewhere to put it. In addition, the books couldn’t be prepped in time for the big guys, so myself and Chris (who works in the store with Randy) ended up carrying the 10 boxes down. At least my missed workout was made up for that day.

Of course, while all the in-house prep is going on, there’s the additional prep of signage, web listings, photos for the listings, web pages to be built, email blasts to be sent, etc, and the daily store chores to be done as well. Luckily I had a bit of practice for this sort of thing before, which streamlined the process but didn’t take the time out of it that much. Considering I was shooting pictures on a Tuesday to post them on a Wednesday, things turned out ok.

Friday afternoon rolled around, and upon arrival at the house it sorta kinda looked like things were coming together. J&J spent the better part of the day pricing things they knew the history on, which sped up the process considerably. With the sale starting bright and early at the butt-crack of dawn, we could lay some things of less value out on the lawn and free up space in the garage to move. (This was a huge improvement over “take it out and put it back” the previous 4 nights). At 11:30pm, we finally buttoned it up, with all the chips on the table for our morning opening. If there was anything we missed, we’d find out by 9am when (hopefully) hoards of people would clamor to the sale. Just the though of having to be up again in a mere 6 hours made me tired, and knowing it would be back at the sale just put a few more nails in the coffin. If I did sleep, it was spent dreaming about tagging stuff for the sale.

Saturday morning came, and fortunately, so did the shoppers! The morning rush was exactly that, and we had a nice line of people willing to give money for J&J’s stuff. Most of the street leading to the house was filled with cars, and few of them our helper’s rides. Having J&J sign up for the Square app was a good call, as many folks were happy to shop more when they found out they could credit and forget it. Though the weather was sketchy, we were spared rain and only had to deal with some light winds. I think I spent the majority of the day in a coma, the simple math I normally do in my head was impossible to calculate and I was relying heavily on my best friend Adam to check my totals. Our customers were friendly and easy to work with, a treat we knew would not be the case on day 2 when the vultures would be looking for deals. Kevin (see the Palm Springs post) was amazing as a roaming sales guy, talking up different items, making deals on the fly, and getting the merchandise OUT THE DOOR. When the final bell came and we shut it down, all and all it was a very successful day.

Randy was feeling like celebrating, so we ended up at Pacific Highlands on the suggestion of Kevin. As you know from reading the SF blog postings, after eating at Swan’s I wasn’t sure if I could ever eat oysters in Colorado again and not be disappointed. I have to say, thought it wasn’t Swan’s, Pacific Highlands has a great seafood selection, and some really great oysters. And for the quality of the seafood, it is reasonably priced, too! We will definitely be back for their $1 oyster specials. As tired as I was and completely fried, I toyed with skipping dinner and going straight to bed. I can honestly say I was glad I chose to stay up and snarf shellfish.

Sunday came too soon, and TOO HOT! In hindsight, placing the checkout stand on the concrete by the street was a crappy plan for crazy summer heat. Those of us working the cash register easily drank 5 gallons of water a piece and were still parched. J&J kept the snacks and drinks coming, but there was not making up for the sun baking us to a crisp. “Clearly we are dead, and this is hell, because otherwise it wouldn’t be so hot.” I seriously think I could feel my sandals melt to the pavement. Surprisingly, we did have a good turnout despite record solar flares from the sun and it being Father’s Day. Also surprisingly, most folks were quite social and friendly, and not out for blood playing “let’s make a deal.” We had a few turkeys, but in the end it was a thanksgiving. More stuff left, J&J were thrilled, and we easily sold more than half the inventory. Randy successfully negotiated the exit of several collections as a whole, and got J&J fair market prices. Kevin stopped by with his family and ended up with a car-full of purchases. A few repeat shoppers came by and left with boxes of stuff. Overall, not bad.

I’d like to give you a play by play of what happened the two actual days of the sale, or even better descriptions of the prep time, but I honestly can’t recall due to the speed, duration and intensity of the setup and sale itself. It truly came down to friends and family to save the day, you know who you are, and we THANK YOU!!!

We’ll know in a few days how the numbers came out for Vega’s debt, right now it’s looking pretty good. J&J have much less to do to get ready for their Next Big Adventure, which is excellent news.

Of course, with these sort of debacles, there are always heated arguments, stress, confusion, miscommunication, more stress, broken items, and more, and we had our fair share. To say it was completely smooth sailing is like saying the Titanic had a minor incident. But the purpose of this blog is to make you laugh and show you cool stuff, so I’m just going to skip all that.

It must be mentioned, though, that there was one major downfall with performing this miracle for J&J. Before the sale, those of us who knew J&J, or knew of J&J, considered ourselves lucky to have met such cool people. After working so closely with them, under such a mountain of stress, we all got to know them a lot better.

I think I speak for all of us when I say our greatest feat performed in helping them with this sale for their next journey, will be saying goodbye.

Charles Parson: The Interview

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On June 8th, we have the honor of presenting Dichotomy: An Evening with Charles Parson. We will host Charles and get an inside take on his life and art, and maybe a few other things, too! In anticipation of this event, we interviewed the artist and asked him a few questions. This is the result. Click the  link below to listen to the interview.

 

 

 

http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F2009007&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true&color=ff1600

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YSL at DAM=G-R-E-A-T!!

Last week marked the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. I had heard about the exhibit coming to Denver, but didn’t realize what a big deal it was until I started researching the history. This event is ONLY being held at DAM, and for a very limited showing (March 25th-July 8th). Yes folks, that means that DAM is the only Museum in North America that got to host this retrospective. Pretty cool.

The curators of this show outdid themselves, each piece is presented in such a way to highlight the piece itself, but also to show how YSL’s fashion changed through the decades. When you go, be sure to stop and watch the many videos about him and his work throughout the exhibit, trust me, it’s very very educational and interesting. Also be sure to get the audio narrative box, which has some fascinating bits about YSL and the history behind his creations.

The most memorable quote of the audio was this:

“The most beautiful clothes that can dress a woman are the arms of the man she loves. But for those who haven’t had the fortune of finding this happiness, I am there.”
Yves Saint-Laurent
Pieces of note, that were quite stunning and had historical weight as well were:
1964 Cocktail Dress, as worm by Princess Grace of Monaco
1965 Mondrian Dress
The collection of long evening dresses in chiffon
1969 Evening Outfit worn by the Duchess of Windsor
Be sure to carry your visitor guide with you to check out what each piece is, the date, and a little history. We played “guess the decade” with some of the intermingled pieces, which is a fun game.
Finishing off the exhibit with the Wall of Tuxedos and the Grand Ball dresses was a really great way to highlight the impact of YSL on fashion. The pieces look effortless to wear, and could complement many various shapes and sizes.
Make an effort to get to the Denver Art Museum and see the YSL Retrospective. Even if you are a fashion novice like myself, you’ll find it fascinating!
We also stopped in and saw the small but nice Bayer show in the basement of DAM. It would have been nice to see a Colorado historic artist of his magnitude represented a little better than in the basement gallery, where no one really goes, but everyone’s a critic, right? Make sure you visit the “lower level” of the Museum after visiting YSL and check out some great pieces of Herbert Bayer on display.

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TAG, you’re IT!!!

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I admit it, I am a sucker for a good deal. I get notifications from Groupon, Living Social, Google, etc, and more often than not, I don’t snag the offers. Most of the coupons are for places way far away, for activities I am not interested in (please please PLEASE stop sending me yoga coupons!) or for items I don’t need. Since Rando is quite the cook, eating out isn’t high on my agenda either, though after reading the menu for TAG RAW BAR in Larimer Square, I broke down and got not just one Living Social coupon, but a second one as a birthday gift for a friend.

Due to timing, schedules, and the like, I just couldn’t get the schedule right for a few of us to meet up at TAG. Once we did all agree we could go, unfortunately, it was a Monday and TAG was closed, so we had to find another option (gee darn, we ended up at Sushi Den, the horror, the horror *Note: insert massive sarcasm here*). With only a few days left to use my coupon, I snagged my sister and we decided to go on a Saturday afternoon. But again, I blew the timing and they were closed. So we tried once more that Saturday night, but with nearly an hour wait for a table, that wasn’t going to work either.

This was now a serious game of TAG, and I was it, and getting nowhere.

Extremely frustrated at this point, but now determined to use my coupon and find out if this place is worth 4 attempts, my sis and I rescheduled and met up last night at TAG. Though it was much more subdued than our Saturday night visit, the place was still quite busy, and a good portion of the customers were regulars. We picked out a couple of stools at the bar, which is pretty much their full kitchen. If there was one word to describe their outfit, it would be EFFICIENT!! These guys have it DOWN. Everything is within reach, with a good amount of working space for such a small kitchen, and very neat and tidy. It was an extra treat to be able to watch them prepare the meals not just for us, but the other customers as well.

My sister developed an allergy to soy in the past few years, which has made it more difficult to go places and enjoy sushi, Asian, and the like. While perusing the menu, we were again having a hard time finding her something to enjoy that didn’t have soy in it. Shaun (one of the main chefs at TAG) overheard us discussing what to do, and immediately offered to substitute ingredients for the soy, or just leave the soy out so she could enjoy much of the menu. Being an oyster nut myself, I had to try a couple of their oysters on the half shell, which were delectable with a light islandy salsa as a garnish. Sis and I ended up splitting a SAKE 2ME roll and a CALFORNIA-CATION roll, both of which were refreshingly unique. The Cali roll was probably the best I have ever had, and that means it even trumped the amazing sushi Randy & I shared in SF. It wasn’t loaded down with tons of mayo, sauce, etc, the crab was über fresh, and the rice was perfect. There was a hint of some citrus and fruityness to the roll which made it seem more summery than heavy. The Sake roll was also full of flavor and surprises, layered with salmon over shiso, cucumber, and avocado. (They left out the miso so sis wouldn’t have an allergic reaction) As an appetizer, we were served thick pieces of seaweed, fried in a sesame oil with garnish until they were crispy like crackers, and a variation of caramelized popcorn…which wasn’t popcorn and only resembled carmel in color, for it had just a hint of sweet without being overpowering. I could have eaten that by the basket!

Gerard, their cocktail magician, was terribly disappointed that he couldn’t perform his libation magic show for us, because we both needed to drive home. But man o man, were the cocktails beautiful! An, I am sure, VERY VERY TASTY!! The Seasonal Mojito with lychee juice, pomegranate, lime and rhubarb dry soda was AMAZING to look at, and fun to watch him make!

During the course of our meal, the guys were a treat to interact with. You can tell they are serious about their food, but they were also very entertaining and full of wit and banter, making it difficult to choose between laughing and eating! We were so impressed with our selections, we also tried the cucumber salad, which again was so full of flavor for such a simple dish, I am not sure how they did it!

I didn’t get any pictures to show you, which was a travesty on my part, because the presentation of all the items was impressive as well. We felt as though we were being served edible art, it was almost a shame to eat it, but IT IS OH SO GOOD!!!!

So, if you are looking to get filled up without filling out, and you want to have a great meal without breaking the bank, TAG is the place! There are oodles of options in the 16th Street Mall and by Writer’s & Larimer Square, but this one will leave you smiling all around! Coupon or not, I’ll be back!

I almost forgot…they are expanding, so soon they’ll have 34 more seats to offer, too!

TAG RAW BAR

1423 Larimer Street | Suite 010 | 303.996.2685
Email: getraw@tagrawbar.com
Hours: CLOSED SUN & MON | TUES–THURS: 11:30AM–9PM
FRI: 11:30AM–10PM | SAT: 5PM–10PM | NO RESERVATIONS

Thrills and Spills in Palm Springs, Part 3

I had the epiphany on Monday morning that maybe I should pack my stuff as far as I could right then, because from now on things would be crazy and off schedule. This was one of my smarter moves, and I was definitely right on with my fortune telling skills for the remainder of the trip. The traffic at the show was quite light, and we didn’t move as much merchandise as we’d hoped, causing Randy to go into full panic mode about it fitting back in the truck, as he had purchased two items early on in the trip for himself. We had sold a few things, and I was confident that though we didn’t have Win-master packer there to assist, we could muddle through it without too much difficulty.
After being couped up in the show for three days, and knowing there was great weather outside that I was missing, I made a break for it about 1pm and went outside to see the vintage car show. It was a smaller event, much smaller than many of the shows we have here in Denver, but what it lacked in size it made up for in quality. Predominately American Steel from the 50s & 60s, this show highlighted “Big is Beautiful,” and there were huge fins, hoods, tails, and acres of interiors everywhere. Much like the gala night, everyone was smiling and laughing, having a great time and enjoying the lines of these fantastic autos. I come from the Tifosi end of the spectrum, mainly setting my sites on Italian Automotive design, but as a lover of all cars, some of the best and brightest of the USA were there to represent. In addition, the owners were very congenial and excited to have a paparazzi reception from the crowd. Great fun, and a big highlight for me from the trip!

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As the final bell sounded for the show, we raced into tear down mode, with Kevin and I in the booth deconstructing, and Randy back at the truck with an old friend Victor packing what we sent them via the porter. Within 2 1/2 hours we had the booth empty, and all the items back on the dock for assessment. Randy had the brilliant idea of dropping the truck off at the dock very early in the morning, so we had a great spot ready to go for load up, without the two hour wait like we did at set up. Just as Kevin and I were on the last sweep of ancillary items in the booth, Randy came out in a panic…”It’s not going to fit, I can see it already!” Kevin and I gave each other a long look, and headed back to the truck, and it wasn’t nearly as dire as Randy had gave the impression it might be. Another 2 1/2 hours of patience, understanding, and creative packing resulted in the truck not only being fully packed with all the items on it, but with room to spare for the suitcases and food cooler. All was not lost, actually occurred in a timely fashion, and we were home by 8:30 for supper, which we all were ready for. Victor came out the winner, with Randy sending him home with many leftovers and snacks that wouldn’t make the journey back in the truck. At midnight we all called it a day, and Randy went to bed technically on his birthday, with the next leg of his adventure ahead of him.

What goes up, must come down.

Tuesday started with a shot, and we were all up early for a day of travel. Randy had to finish some business with associates on the Palm Court strip, so that left me to pack everything up. Kevin was a great help and did dishes, organized, and got things to where it was easy to pack. Randy showed back up about 15 minutes before Kevin, Anna, and I were supposed to leave to catch our flight, and threw things in the truck. With everything packed and the cleaning lady doing her thing at the house, we said goodbye to Palm Springs and headed off for our flight, and Randy made his way to LA to drop some items at the spring LAMA auction.
We unfortunately guessed wrong about the amount of traffic at the airport. “Oh, it’s a small airport, it will only take you a few minutes to get ticketed and through security….” Yeah, right. Apparently, everyone who stayed for the Modernism show was leaving at the same time. On all airlines. And had to check bags. I didn’t need to check my bag, but stayed with Anna as Kevin dropped of the rental car, just in case I needed to check his bag as mine in the effort to save time. United wouldn’t let me use the iPad to check in as I had done on the was out to PS, so I had to deal with that at the counter anyway. After some confusion at the ticket counter, the gal found my ticket, and we were on our way to a completely screwed up security line. My sister likes to call it the “Disney Swap”…basically, it looks like the line is short, until you go through a door or round a corner (after already waiting in line) to find the rest of the line is ridiculously long. I really didn’t care if I got bumped or otherwise, as I could swing the time off, but Anna was kinda freaked about the possibility of missing our flight. After finally getting through the metal detector/sniffer, as I grabbed my things I could hear the intercom paging final boarding for our plane! I also heard them slaughter my name as they attempted to page me to the gate desk, but I decided I’d just ignore that and see if I could get on the flight. Sure enough, all three of us made it onto the tarmac with 3 minutes to spare before they closed the gate door. PHEW!!
Once on the plane, it was obvious everyone had the same idea to get home Tuesday, as there were NO open seats anywhere than our assigned spots. After settling into my seat, a nice lady asked if anyone was willing to swap with her, as she wanted to sit next to her daughter, who was sitting in 18A. This was interesting, because my seat was 18A. When I mentioned this, and we started comparing tickets, it turns out that United had printed out and given me the ticket for her daughter…my name wasn’t on the ticket at all! In the rush to get to the plane, I never looked at the ticket, other than to check the gate! I had made it through ticketing, 3 security checks with my license, and boarded the plane ALL WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S TICKET!!! Talk about a EPIC SECURITY FAIL!! At this point I thought for sure they’d throw me off the flight, but the stewardess did a quick count and determined they had exactly the right number of passengers for takeoff, so we were going. That was close!
The rest of the flight was uneventful, and it was good to get home. But the story doesn’t stop there….because Randy was still on the move in LA!
Randy’s adventures involved having a delectable Italian dinner for his Birthday with two friends…

…unloading and reloading his truck twice, once for the auctions items, a second time to make it road worthy…

It's just what I do, baby!

…then a nice supper of Sushi the following night, a visit to the museum the next day for the California Design show…

If I don't smile, you won't know I am having a good time.

and finally off on his drive back to Denver. But nothing can be easy, and in the first leg of his drive something went awry with the liftgate, resulting in the main electrical feed to the lift catching fire. Fortunately, 2 hours and $100 later, he was back on the road, but only made it to Barstow. The 2 day drive became 3, and the liftgate is still broken as its age has made finding a replacement motor difficult.
So, was Palm Springs everything I thought it was going to be? Well, I don’t really know. The show was amazing, there were some unbelievable things for sale, stuff you only see in museums. What I saw of Palm Springs when going here or there, the architecture was outstanding, and the winter climate was great. The amount of work was not unbearable, nor was it more than I had bargained for. Would I do it again?
HELL YEAH!

Thrills and Spills in Palm Springs, Part 2

Saturday looked promising after attendance at the gala, so we were ready for some action. We had brought along two Milo Baughmann club chairs that Randy had recovered in Jack Larsen fabric, and they were just stunning to look at, and amazing to sit in. So amazing, that I made an effort NOT to sit in them during the show because I didn’t want to get up once I sat down, and it’s hard to help customers when you are taking a nap in the merchandise. Watching the “oh YEAH!” look on customer’s faces as they sat in these chairs all weekend was a treat, as the chairs sold themselves.  Many of the other pieces we brought had admirers, but none so much as the perch chair and George Nelson floating rolltop desk, which were groped by customers the entire show.

One happy visitor enjoying the Baughmann barrel chairs!

Randy was stressed out most of the day, so he spent the better part of the show MIA. But all in all, we sold some goodies and were hopeful for the turnout on Sunday. All of us were daydreaming about the ribs, and due to the sheer quantity of food Randy asked several of his vendor friends to join us for dinner. We only had one taker, and that was Chris from Dallas. Great guy, super nice with a kiddo on the way.
  

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Now here’s a little reminder: the appliances were a bit spotty on performance. By the time we returned to the house to start the ribs it was pushing 7pm, and the ribs were easily going to take 3 hours to bake to perfection. Randy phoned a friend to get advice on advancing the cook time, and came up with a good solution that should have had decent results by using the grill. However, the grill had two modes: off and Hubs of Hell. Even on low, the grill blasted out temperatures approaching 600 degrees. Combine that with some scotch, Bass, and conversation, the resulting meal resembled an F1 car…heavy on the carbon fiber. Once you got past the aluminum bits that were stuck to the carboned edges, the meat in the middle was great! However, the presentation resulted in discussions involving the repercussions of consuming the aluminum bits, and it was decided that doing so might result in, uh, gastronomic distress resulting in sparks, so we avoided the aluminum bits of garnish. Randy also attempted to make his world-class garlic & goat cheese potatoes, but the stove wouldn’t cooperate either, so the potatoes were only half done by the time 10pm swung around. However, the ribs that stayed in the oven for the 3 hrs did come out perfect, and made for an epic lunch snack Sunday.
Apparently, we weren’t the only ones celebrating on Saturday night, and there were many a story of hangovers, rough edges, and the like Sunday morning. Kevin was REALLY not feeling well, and insinuated that Randy poisoned him with the carbonized ribs. However, as the day progressed it became quite apparent that he had caught a 24hr flu bug, which a few of the dealers had been talking about going around. Buyer traffic was considerably slower than Saturday, but did pick up after the church hours waned. After 3 solid days of standing and setup, I succumbed to the Baughmann club chairs, and spent a good portion of the show demonstrating how comfy they were by placing my posterior there for an extended amount of time. Add a Bass, and I was content just to sit and watch the world go by.

I fought the club chair, the club chair won.

That evening was the Dealer Party, held at a nice hotel on the main strip. The weather was perfect, just a slight breeze, warm but not hot, stars, palm trees, great. The soireé was held in the pool courtyard area, complete with large fire pit and snacks. Randy & I brought our own alcohol, as the stuff supplied at these events inevitably is overpriced and watered down. Five minutes into the introductions to other dealers, Randy disappeared. Gone. But I had a huge scotch and a fire, so I was perfectly content to just sit and enjoy the breeze. While zoning out, not looking at anything in particular, this group of 3 younger guys look in my general direction.
“You winked at me!” the jock in the group says.
“Uh, no.”
“Yes, you did!” he leans into his best “I’m sexy and I know it” pose.
“Uh, no I didn’t dude. Must have been a twitch or something.”
“Yeah, too much Red Bull! Ha!” he answers.
At this point, I deem it necessary to turn the other direction, so I can enjoy the rest of my solitude and scotch in peace. More scotch and time pass, which allows Mr. Loser to get up enough stones to take another run at it.
“Hey, are you here with someone?” he says.
“Dude, look at me. Do you think I am here by myself?” Wow, listen to that scotch talk. I kind of surprised myself with that one.
Annoyed, he says “Well, he must be an asshole to leave you there by yourself. I wouldn’t do that.”
This jock has now scored seriously negative points with me, and with as much scotch as I had consumed, the little filter between my brain and my mouth was on hiatus. However, there was enough sense left in me to take into consideration I was at a “work function,” so a clean five across the eyes was not going to play out as much as I wanted it to. Therefore, a nice pointy response was in order.
“See, the dude knows when I need time to myself, unlike losers like you.”
I admit, not the best comeback, bur sufficient. His buddies laughed, they got it. Apparently I wasn’t very clear.
“Was that supposed to be a slam?” he feigned being insulted.
“So, you’re deaf AND dumb? Yes?” My disbelief in the arrogance of this guy was really coming through at this point. Luckily, his buddies convinced him they needed to go hit the bar inside the hotel, and shortly thereafter Rando appeared just as I finished my scotch. Passing the bar, it was fun to see the look of disbelief on the jock’s face as Randy escorted me back to the house. Priceless!
Dinner proved to be magnificent, as we reheated the ribs, grilled (carefully, this time!) steaks, finished the preparation of the goat cheese potatoes, and had some other tasty items from the fridge that needed to be consumed. As we were coming into the last few days of our stay, it became readily apparent that Randy not only brought too much food, but cooked too much food! A quick tally proved that some of the meat needed to go back into the freezer to be suitable for the trip home, and that we had to consider not cooking anything else before leaving, therefore only consuming leftovers. Even with that plan, we still ended up sending care packages home with a friend or two, and gifting the nice cleaning lady some eggs. Chris came back over for a refresher that Randy really CAN cook an excellent meal, and Randy redeemed himself in spades. All of us admitted to being super tired from the show, and we still had another day plus load-out ahead of us. It was going to be ugly.

Coming up next…how will our heroes fare on the last day of the show? Will they sell enough stuff, or will it be a disaster? Will there be enough Bass to finish the tale? Stay tuned and find out!