Invitation to a chat with a designer

standard April 25, 2013 2 responses

One of Little L’s favorite questions to ask is “How do they make that?” She asks it all the time, about all sorts of things. She wants to know what’s in food, in toys, in cars. She’s constantly trying to figure out the “why” behind everything.

To be fair, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, with only one difference. Instead of needing to understand how things work, I long to understand the motivations behind brands and companies. I live to know their conception stories. Once I know how and why a company started I feel a sense of loyalty to them, I can’t help it, it’s like I know them.

A few weeks ago the CEO and founder of a new flash sale site contacted me to see if I could help promote some sales.

“Whatever, another flash sale site,” you’re thinking. But no! This one is different than the Groupons of the world. This website is offering shoppers the chance to chat with the designers and creators behind the items being sold.

Be still my heart. 

How could I say no?

I’m helping with a first event taking place tomorrow (today?) Thursday, April  25th at 11:30am PST, a chat with Priya Saraswati of Saffron Rare Threads, and I would love to have you join us. The clothing being sold is gorgeous and fashionable and offers “structured silhouettes with feminine lines and timeless appeal.”

If the conversation from the last sale is anything to go by tomorrow’s chat is going to be incredible. 

Join me? Come check out this brilliant new site? Maybe snag a couple gorgeous new items to round out your wardrobe? You know you want to!

RSVP for the Saffron Rare Threads event
Take a ChatBasket.com tour!

The Lion King: A first musical experience

standard November 8, 2012 3 responses

When I was 7, or maybe 8, my parents took me to see The King and I on Broadway. I was little, I had no clue what was happening on stage. Rumor has it I should be grateful that I got to see Yul Brynner live before he passed away, but all I remember is that we had tickets in the very last row and that my parents allowed me to sit on the backrest of the seat and to lean against the wall.

It was cool.

And the people on stage were very little. Like tiny ants dancing around. You know, since we were in the last row.

Fine, as memories of a first musical, it’s not much. And yet, that first visit fueled a love of musicals that has yet to die.

Lucky for me I married a man who also loves musicals. He’s the one who took me to see Miss Saigon in Boston and Wicked in San Francisco.

Last night we were beyond excited to finally get to take our kids to see their own first musical.   

I think it’s safe to say it won’t be the last.

First, lucky ducks that they are, they got to meet two of the cast members.

Grown-up “Nala” and “Simba.”
C, star-struck, Little L, wondering when she gets a piece of chocolate.

After a quick bite, we headed back into the theater to take our seats.

Out late on the town!

I wish they’d let me snap a few pictures of the girls in the theater. Their faces as they took in the set decor (“Mommy, I think I know why the tickets are expensive. It must cost a lot to paint a new curtain for every new show! I don’t think they can use this one for Mary Poppins!) and their wide eyes as the lights started to dim and the animals started to dance down the aisles.

Amazing.

The whole thing was amazing.

The costumes were glorious and, as C was quick to point out, were cool because you could see the people inside them. (She has issues with people with masks.) They’re kind of a hybrid between costumes and puppets. I love that you could both see the facial expressions and still get some of the whimsy and fantasy of the masks.


The girls were stoked to hear some of their favorite songs from the movie, though I was hoping more of the original soundtrack would be present in the musical. They sat, mesmerized, as the story unfolded with just enough familiarity to make it feel like something they knew, but with enough novelty to make it feel like a brand new experience.

Little L almost lost it when Mufasa, the father, is killed, but the joy of seeing Timon and Pumba brought to life quickly distracted her. C didn’t stop beaming from beginning to end.

We show ended long after the girls’ bedtime. It didn’t take long for Little L to pass out in the car. C, however, chattered all the way home, about costumes, favorite bits, things she’d noticed, and everything else that kept crossing her mind. As we got closer to home she got quiet, finally giving in to the exhaustion, but when we pulled in to the driveway she asked if we could go see Mary Poppins for her birthday.

I think she’s been bitten by the musical bug.

Even though she sat in the very last row.

(Please note, we’re very grateful to have been comped tickets to see this amazing musical. The Lion King is now playing in San Francisco and I encourage you to take your kids to go see it. You won’t regret it!)

Concerts are about more than just music

standard May 10, 2010 3 responses

Martin SextonThe girl stands behind me, singing the words loudly, on key, but with an emotional tremor in her voice. She probably doesn’t realize she is surrounded by people. She has no clue that she’s singing right into my ear. She has no idea that I want to ram my elbow into her throat just so she’ll stop shattering my eardrum with every high note she reaches. She only sees the star on the stage.

The guy stands in front of me, to the left, directly in my line of sight. He’s easily 6ft4 with footballer shoulders and I can see absolutely nothing around his massive blond head.

An overly amorous short guy stands to my left. He can’t keep his hands to himself, covering his girlfriend? his wife? in endless caresses that would make even a golden retriever overwhelmed with all the love. The girl however doesn’t push him away, doesn’t block his roaming hands. I really want to do it for her.

Two young guys lean up against the stage. Their canes line the edge, easily reachable should one of them decide to go get a beer. The crowd is instantly solicitous of these two boys, helping them reach the edge of the crowd so that they don’t have to make a big show of needing to feel their way there. Out of the corner of my eye I’m watching the number of beers that get brought back to this stage, keeping an eye on how much the canes flail as they come flying up to rest on the stage.

The music is awesome. The artist is on fire, interacting with the crowd like we’re feeding his soul. The more we sing and echo him the more he lights up. I’m tired, it’s been a very long day, but I’m really into it, even forgetting how much my feet hurt when I catch the opening bars to a song I love.

But I hear nothing more than the first few bars, the high pitched voice of a girl who has just pushed her way to the front drowns out the sound of the band. She’s not even talking about the music or the artists. She’s telling her friend about some guy she chatted up.

Maybe it’s my feet, maybe it’s all the passionate fans surrounding me, maybe it’s just that I’m blown away by her incredible obliviousness to the people around her, but I step out of character and turn to her to ask her to stop talking. And when she snaps back that no, no she won’t stop, I don’t back down, at least not at first. When it becomes obvious that she’s just out to pick a fight, I turn away and ignore her. But when a guy standing behind her takes up my cause, and then an older lady standing next to her echoes him, I can’t help but smile. And when she finally leaves in a huff the three of us share some gleeful, quiet, verbal high-fives before turning our attention back to the show.

Two or three songs later my attention is torn away from the stage again, this time by a loud exclamation from the more drunk of the two blind boys. His slurred “I’m going to fall!” sends ice through my veins. He probably weighs close to 300lbs. 300lbs of dense, drunk, man, standing right in front of me. And even as he says that he’s starting to fall. If this were a trust exercise I would fail miserably, because as much as I try to catch him, I have no hope of ever doing so. I could catch a falling tree with more ease.

We all jump aside and look around helplessly. The short amorous man shrugs and turns back to caressing his girl. Luckily the 6ft4 man redeems himself by carrying off the very drunk guy, and we can all go back to the concert. The annoying girl leans forward to make sure M and I are fine, in one sentence going from the girl I would have complained about all the way home to the girl we chat with at the end of the show. She’s not the only one we gush to before leaving the venue.

Martin Sexton is known for music that brings people together. People of all ages from all walks of life. I arrived in San Francisco tired and stressed. My mind wasn’t on the music. When the concert started I was ready to be annoyed by all the people around me, but by the end I felt connected to the people around me, carried by their love of this music, their passion for this performer. I never expected to find those connections at a concert venue. I’m glad I did.