Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I'm marking up the maps. Tomorrow Thrippie goes international. First stop: Paris.
My colleague Leonard has given me insider info like where the best ice cream place is (Berthillon's, and Lonely Planet agrees). The weather report looks good for three days of walking (with respites, of course, in churches, museums, and cafes).
I confess that I may have squealed when I got to the "Dress for Less" Paris guidebook page. My Francais lexicon is about the size of a petit-four, but I've committed to memory my new favorite word: depot-vente (second-hand). Note: the first "e" wears an ascending accent mark like a quail feather and the "o" a peaked hat. I can't wait to paw through Parisian ladies' castoff vintage wear. As a courtesy to my bro (whom I might start calling Sancho Panza, even though his build is more Don Quixotic), I'll keep an eye on the clock when we happen upon these houses of treasure.
I've been home in West Virginia for a few days, and to keep my thrifting skills sharp, my grandmother and I trolled through our nearby Goodwill last Saturday after we feasted at the Waffle House. I tried on a few light sweaters, but I didn't love anything enough to take it with me all the way to Europe in my pink turtle bag.
The night before our Goodwill outing, I picked Nana up from her dance at the Junior League building downtown. I arrived later than I'd promised (shock) but several dances before the music stopped. I couldn't help but feel self-conscious as I searched the room for my tiny grandmother on the dance floor, veering left at the potato chip table when I should have cut right. There's something about seeing half a dozen senior citizens tearing up the Cha Cha Slide that does a heart good.
As I wrote about in a post from last fall, the prescribed gender roles of dance can be a relief. Nana's friend Jack asked me to dance. He's really good, because even I looked good. I work through my nervousness by asking questions: how long have he and his wife been dancing? How long did it take until he didn't have to count steps in his head?
Jack said he dated a girl in high school, and they'd go out dancing all the time. He broke her sternum once while trying to flip her over his shoulder. Is that why you broke up? I asked. No, he said, I wanted to go to college. I glanced at Patty, his wife, with her blond curly hair and silver shoes, chatting with my grandma. I said it seems like things worked out OK.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yellowstone essay finds a home in Permanent Vacation anthology

Several summers ago, I cleaned hotel rooms at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Housekeeping was hard, unglamorous work, but I couldn't have asked for a more earthloving/evangelical/burnout/OCD/backcountry trail mix of coworkers who taught me much more than just how to make hospital corners.
I'm honored that an essay I wrote about that time appears in the new anthology, Permanent Vacation, from Bona Fide Books.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Serifs Gone Wild!

Woody Allen’s new film, Midnight in Paris, opened in Spokane last night, so the theme of crashing the party of a past epoch is, well, present in my mind. (The film’s past is a very good-looking past, I must add: Adrian Brody as Salvador Dali! for crying out loud.)
Wilkie knows her place!
The seasoned Thrippie reader will not be shocked that this yellow table tent’s jaunty font caught my eye. 
I’m especially charmed by the attempt to yellow out the official time of the Beer Garden. The little plastic teepee reflects an earlier era, which makes me curious about its past life. What kinds of revelry has this tent seen? Were the Beer Gardens in days of yore so wild that Spokanites were cut off promptly at 8 p.m. and sent home with ibuprofen?
This sign’s imperfection lets us have it both ways. We see the new intention, but we also get a look at its history.
In Part I of “The Interpretation of Dreams,” Freud claims, “Thoughts which are mutually contradictory make no attempt to do away with each other, but persist side by side. They often combine to form condensations, just as though there were no contradiction between them, or arrive at compromises such as our conscious thoughts would never tolerate, but such as are often admitted in our actions.” The stolen table tent is a kind of dream space, a tablet of the unconscious mind where possibilities are open. The Beer Garden is and is not from 5pm-8pm.
Yes, dear reader, I said stolen. It was not Thrippie's finest hour. I and my accomplice, to whom I might or might not be related, swiped it off the table when no one was looking. Maybe next summer I’ll sneak it back into the ArtFest booze corral and return it to its native habitat. 
But for now, ArtFest, I pledge to feed and care for this sign, to love it as though it were my own. It’s a much cooler centerpiece, I might add, than my usual bowl of questionable onions or a stack of papers.
(If anyone from Artfest happens upon this post, I beg of you: leniency! Always leniency). 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Something Old, Something Blue

Summer break has broken! I found these bright and heavy earrings (right photo) on a recent trip with friends to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Their turquoise delights me, as does their Art Deco spirit. They feel about as heavy as two quarters each (it’s been far too long since my last math field day to remember how heavy that might actually be in ounces or centigrams or something). Safe to say, they keep my feet on the ground. At the same thrift store on 4th Ave, I scored a pair of chunky red hoops and silver and green post earrings, too.
I caught these beauties in CDA.
Last weekend was a time for my feather earrings that a good friend bought for me from Wild Honey. I attended the Sasquatch music festival in George, Washington, with my brother and some friends. The younger set paraded around the venue in sun dresses, animal costumes, and gold pants. I was more of a jeans and t-shirt girl, with a hipster-ish hat and, of course, my ear plumage. (I'm no stranger to gold pants, but the Gorge gets cold once the sun goes down, and lame just doesn't insulate very well). 
It was a minor heartbreak when I lost an earring after a day of festing (probably when I was running from the Death Cab for Cutie show to the whomp tent? Oh, troubles!). So from that day forward I decided to take things in an Indigo Girls direction and wear the solo feather. No problem! The surviving earring will work nicely this summer in an asymmetrical pairing.
Faithful blog readers, your correspondent is experiencing some personal upheaval. Suffice it to say that summer plans have shifted from how I’d envisioned them in the winter darkness. All shall be well. But perhaps it’s telling that today I’ve been writing about ears. It’s a recurring theme for me that when someone starts telling me something I don’t want to hear, I just stop listening.