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FU Rex Ray

My sexxy Rexxy passed away this afternoon. I call him mine because he was the sweetest, most welcoming man. He became my friend on BowieNet. He sent me small pieces of his art. I love him.

I'm so conflicted. In pure, indomitableRex Ray style, his Facebook simply announced, "I've left the building."

But I don't feel like he is gone. I feel like he is everywhere. He is stardust. FU, Rexy.



I went into my son's room Monday night to tuck him in... But felt suddenly, and oddly, dizzy. barely made it to my bed down the hall before the world fractured.  tested my mom: vertigo. then it hit.


take your worst fever dream, a half hour on the Gravitation, a quart of guzzled sour mash, all the light and noise sensitivity of a migraine and the DT shakes and you might just have a vague idea of the ton of metaphorical bricks that came down on me all at once. I called weakly for my husband, downstairs playing sudoku. My hands gripped the bed in a desperate attempt to keep it from skidding out from under me. and oh, gods, the thing my eyes do... like the cartoon cat reeling from a slap whose eyes roll around in his head on an invisible hula hoop. husband came to see what was up. water... I needed water. dehydration triggers my vertigo. he brought me cool water in a tall, glass glass. I was terrified to drink from it. My perceptions had fled. sight was iffy at best, my eyes tracking rapidly back and forth in my head, the pressing weight of sickness, the loudness of the light, the brilliance of sound... I was more likely to shatter the glass against my teeth than drink from it. 
he left again, and I began to feel terribly lonely and scared. no idea how bad this would be, how long it would last. I called the one friend I could ask to simply stay on the phone and talk to me, keep me from slipping away down this nightmare vortex hovering on the egress of my self control... no answer. called my mom. she asked me how the vertigo was faring, why it happened... was I under stress? had something happened? and I tried to tell her about the boy that died, the huge blowout my family had had the night before... the insane hours at work, the miserable commute... the husband came up to find me crying on the phone, unable to talk. tell her about the child, I whispered, and then he was gone, back downstairs, my only lifeline to the world outside the hell of my own body, gone.


he went back downstairs and then the real fun started. hot and cold flashes. whirling dervishes. excruciating nausea. balance shot. sanity shredded. I started to weep. and oozed onto the floor. and crawled on my hands and knees towards the bathroom. there was a wad of toilet paper in the bowl and well, I'd rather hang my fave over a fresh pot of toilet water, thank you very much, so I flushed.


the water in the bowl started to rise and showed no sign of stopping until it hung, threatening, just below the rim. queue weeping. and crawling to the linen closet for the plunger. and weeping. and dragging my body one perilous, shaky stretch of arm or knee forward at a time. praying that the vomit would wait till the plunging had worked. I took a pit stop at the entrance to the en suite, knocking the contents of a waste basket top the floor and hanging there, whipped, drooling, miserable, until the threat subsided. more crawling. more testing, until finally I could get the plunger into the toilet. trying to make  plunge it almost killed me, it seemed... But at last the toilet flushed. the nausea subsided till a raucous bubble under my breathing. I dragged myself to the head of the stairs and called down.


"what are you doing here?" he asked me. I just slumped against the wall. he tried till get me till my feet but I cried... no... too far from the ground, all this up on your feet business. I moved slowly towards the bedroom again, praying the kid wouldn't wake up, wouldn't see his mom like this. hands and knees, one limb at a time.


then the shakes started. hypothermia-level shakes. he gently maneuvered me to my feet and onto the bed.... But there is only one safe position for me when vertigo hits. on my knees, with pillows propped beneath me, holding my body at am incline and my head elevated.


But I could still stumble fast enough when the projectile vomiting started. made it to the toilet every time, tears and snot and vomit streaming out of my face.


hours? minutes? no, hours later it was done. I made my way back to bed, cold and hollow, eyes still spinning in my head, and propped myself up on the pillows. and passed out.
that, my friends, is vertigo.
You're welcome.


Etsy: I finally did it

My Etsy Shop. Let me show you it.

It has taken me two years to reach this point. The shop went live last night/early this morning, and by noon, I'd made my first sale. I am so very grateful to this customer, whoever she is (might be a connection from Facebook, might be a total stranger, I'm not sure). She gave me a huge boost in confidence, and I'm going to add a gift of a wood-fired pendant from my first wood fire.

If you have an Etsy shop, please let me know and I will follow you. If you shop on Etsy, please consider putting me in your favorites queue, and favoriting a piece or two, no purchase required. Put me in a collection. Post about a pot in your blogs. If you own a piece I have made, send me a picture of it being used, and I will include it on my website, christinazola.com

If someone you know is wondering where to buy cool Christmas presents this year, send them my way.



A conversation sparked here regarding my wanting to 'do pottery' for a living made something abundantly clear, in mulling it all over. See, it could all come across as a midlife crisis, I guess... and I've heard my share of "Taking care of your family is more important than running off and finding yourself" arguments. It hurt my feelings for a bit, as it plays into the voices in my head that tell me I'm not good enough, successful enough, smart enough, blah blah blah. It reinforces the iron-clad fact my parents pounded home in welded bands of unbreakable steel that the things at which I excelled, like art, music, writing, design, were secondary, tertiary even, to whatever I might actually "DO" when I grew up.

And this conversation ripped me to shreds again, brought up all the old voices of doubt and unworthy-ness. I threw myself back into finding a job that would, quite literally, drive me to insanity if I obtained it, and kept it, long enough. I would pound my proverbial head against a desk job, because that is What's Expected of Me. I'm not ALLOWED to do what I love. Right?

But then... This is what I am good at. Art. Ceramics, in particular. In the studio, I excel. I don't let anyone down. I don't fail. In fact, I succeed, and I make beautiful things. All my life I have been struggling to fit in, to do the desk job, to do 'the right thing', to my natural abilities because everyone has told me they aren't worth pursuing. No, I'm not going to send my kid to college on what I'm making right now. But this is what I am good at. If I am good at this, then I should find a way to turn it into a living. I will continue to look for desk work... but I will also continue to press the ceramics towards a viable living.

So if you can pass my shop on to someone who might like it, or know a food or home decor blogger who might feature the work in a post, or would favorite the shop, the ceramics, or in any way give me some Etsy link love, I would truly appreciate it, and you'd move me another step along the way towards making a living doing what I was meant to do.

The thing about love

4. Making eye contact is a key gateway for love.

Your body has the built-in ability to "catch" the emotions of those around you, making your prospects for love -- defined as micro-moments of positivity resonance -- nearly limitless. As hopeful as this sounds, I also learned that you can thwart this natural ability if you don't make eye contact with the other person. Meeting eyes is a key gatekeeper to neural synchrony.

From CNN


dreams? what dreams?

If I get/take the job, the art will have to go away. again.

good things

Delicious finally sat down and sorted out our two trips this summer.


End of May, we are going to Hilton Head again, and then for the weekend in Charleston. I hope we can get tickets for the music festival.


Beginning of July, we will go to Montreal and Nova Scotia for eight or nine days.


I need to find things to do. a carriage tour of Charleston is a must. And Hilton Head is all about the hotel beach. Maybe bikes in Nova Scotia.


Today, however, is clay. I will go to the community center and throw bowls. Perhaps teapot components..... pondering.


day 1 of spring break

last night, the KoE was up all hours raling about how he couldn't sleep. too hot. too itchy. too docking loud, if you ask me. I finally told him to go take a shower if he was that uncomfortable, but nooooooooo, he didn't want to take a shower. so I told him to stop asking me up.


he slept through the snow this morning, didn't even get up to go play in it when I told him his friends were out. I did finally get him into the shower, ad out the door for Pho in Herndon with a young man I used to work with at AAI. Charming man, and too many years have passed. I am grateful that he was so persistent in keeping up with me. he had mentioned he was looking for a whole-hand mug, and though I don't prefer to make those, I came up with a design that pleases me, and gave him that prototype. he ordered fur more.


after, the KoE and I went in search of the Indian market I'd found in the mall. Right next to pho, the Medina Market lured us in. I was stunned by the wash of homesickness I felt for Shark ah as we wandered the aisles. we bought a smattering of this and that, and confirmed that the meat is halal, then continued to wander the mall. Found a halal restaurant and halal bakery. finally found the Indo PAK store and picked up an iddli steamer. we'll make iddli this week.


when we got home, KoE worked on his Scouts requirements, and then we riddled out some info regarding the Science Olympiad he has chosen to participate in.


and then I gave him his Nintendo 3DS, for which he had saved up his birthday and babysitting (with my mom, her neighbor's kid) and I ordered it on Amazon. if my mother ever deigns to speak to me again, we will get around to seeing my dad, whose birthday it is today.


the KoE turns 10 on Thursday.


I ordered some info on meditation, in general, ad meditation on metta (lovingkindness), in particular. we will begin this work, along with yoga (DVD), swimming, and walking through nature. if it decides that it's had enough of knowing, finally, and gives spring back.


tomorrow morning, we are getting together with one of his Olympiad partners. I a wondering if there are any books on basic structures (bridge, cantilever, tower) go the boys to study. their topic is "enigma engineering"... they get a bag of materials and an assignment and have to build something.


my brain sploded. Too much clarity

What is this? You don't throw a temper tantrum and quit when things don't go your way. You try harder. You take stock of yourself and ask, what must I do to become a better person? You roll up your sleeves and pitch in, rather than whining and rolling around on the floor. Man up, America. Secession isn't an option. How many of you have read the Constitution? All of the Constitutional Amendments? Take a good look at your life, at the lives of the family who came before you, and ask if you would be here, now, if the country you claim to love had not proclaimed itself the protector of liberty, justice and equality for all. My blood is filled with the history of immigrants and the People who were here before them. Grow up. Grow within yourself. Why are you so angry? What are you afraid of? Our nation became great because the people chose lofty ideals, overthrew tyranny, and defended those who could not defend themselves. Your strangling yourselves in your hate for anything not just like you. And you make our country poorer because of it.
I can't help but wonder if we're seeing the final dregs of racism and bigotry being outed and exposed. A boil on the ass of America has finally ruptured, and we're seeing the ugly, but necessary outpouring of a poison held inside, hidden, and ignored for centuries. We're stuck in an ancient curse: may you live in interesting times. It's going to get uglier, because the one thing that I've learned in the last few years of sitting in a pew is that love is hard, hate is easy, and folks aren't willing to lay down their prejudices and abandon old, unhealthy ways of life just because it's the right, the good thing to do.

I'm running out of words

two teapots in progressI can't write, anymore.


This is all I want to do. My hands want to be in the clay. My mind is leaping forward to the glaze, to the final firing, to the product and how it will look. 

The one on the left was a violent creation, forcing the clay through the square mat immediately after I threw the cylinder. I didn't think the walls would survive it. And smashed. Smashed from round to ovoid, the very bottom of the pot collapsing onto itself under the strain. so much weight settling into its lowest folds. 

I smoothed a slab, suspended over the open top, to curve it, taking on the general shape of the pot, and then let everything dry to leather hard. Threw a series of spouts (there's a reject laying behind and between those two little creations) and began to contemplate handles.

I thought the square one was hideous when it got to the point where you see it, above. But wait til you see how the handle transforms the whole. I shaved the weight from the bottom, threw a simple lid, and now the form waits to be fired.

The smooth teapot to the right was a lovely surprise. There are subtle curves in the body that invite the back edge of  your hand to settle there. As soon as I held the tiniest spout up to the corner, I laughed out loud and fell in love. The handle is from a discarded spout, so it tapers and arcs and does not behave as a normal handle should. This little pot has a tiny little lid with a pebble-like knob. If I could put only one pot into the wood firing workshop, this would be the one.

Tomorrow, I will throw more blanks to begin the process again, more teapots to find and bring to life. I'm looking for the edge: one side, purely beauty, the other, purely function. 


He has to graph the results and needs fifty answers. Help a kid out? Thanks!

Poll #1809784 Game question for my son's homework

Which toy or game do you like most?

jump rope
ping pong
Hungry Hungry Hippos




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