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2008-05-23 - 10:20 a.m.

...patron of the arts...

Another week gone by. Susi's schedule is returning to normal (that is, no more waking up between 3 and 4 am) following her first teething incident, and once again she is waking up happy.

Also this week was K's birthday, and I had the wonderful pleasure of giving him something he really loves. (Hey Blighty! He LOVED IT!!!)

I don't often get a gift so right. In fact, usually I suck at it. But this winter when Blighty was visiting, we just happened to wander into T1ffany'5... where she happened over to the diamond and saffire earrings...and I happened back to the business card holders....

K is an interesting mix. He loves - and can talk endlessly about - electronic gadgets. It was a very exciting week when the first color-screen iPod came out. But it turns out that he loves them in a strange "I appreciate their coolness" kind of way, and he doesn't REALLY want to own them. I proudly took the hint and bought him one of those new flashy color screen iPods... and he turned around and sold it one month later on eBuy. hmph. He didn't really want to USE it. He just thought it was cool.

Turns out that the way to K's heart is through Antiquity. He carries a beloved pocket watch and fob with him everywhere, and recently invested in hand-engraved business cards. I used to print these things out on my computer, and now I don't carry them at all. K loves the feel of the linen paper, and the slightly uplifted letters printed in a font you cannot download.

So when I saw the silver business card holder, I was fairly sure that I had found something that he would love. More sure even than I had been when I saw that lovely red and black mobile at MoMA. He did love it. And he didn't expect it at all. I had it engraved with his initials (which coincidentally are also Susi' I've also managed to create a little family heirloom.) It's such a great feeling to get it right!

I've also become a patron of the arts. About a month and a half ago, my NYC buddy Katherine emailed me... to borrow a significant sum of money. She has been trying to finish her CD for years, and now she's soo close. And she's just come up against the last expenses - the ones she needs to finish up artwork and get the thing publicized.

This was kind of a serious thing for me. Loaning money to friends is kind of dangerous, no? I didn't reply for a long time. And then I didn't reply for even longer because of baby slowing down every single one of my social interactions. She was worried that she had damaged our friendship.. I was just trying to figure out what to do - because really, it's kind of a gamble.

In the past, although she is one of my dearest buddies, she has also been somewhat unreliable. So, what to do?? I talked with K about it a bit..and then a whole suite of new expenses came up - child care, taxes, and potential mortgages, for example. Katherine had made a rather sensible proposal to pay back the funds in regular installments, plus a huge amount of interest.

In the end, I decided that I didn't want to be a bank. But I did want to help my friend. The only way for me to view this situation was that I am giving her a gift. I've written off the money as gone - for my own sake - even though we have left it that she will be paying me back without interest. I haven't told her that I'm not expecting to ever see the money again, because I don't want her to view it as a lack of confidence in her abilities (I think her music is incredible.) But I DON'T have confidence in the current music industry, and so I know that the chance of her making a profit is a bit of a gamble.

Instead I said that she should just focus on getting the CD out there and publicized, without stressing over payments and interest. She can repay when and however she wants. I think that this is the only way to keep money from getting in the way. So.. in the end, I realize that giving someone money is actually someone egotistical. I feel really good about being able to help a friend - and I get my name listed in the credits of her CD - I'm a "patroness" in her words! (I wanted to be her "patroness bitch" - inside joke - but she was worried about the censors..)

SO if anyone wants to hear her CD - please let me know - she's sending me several copies and it is definitely in my best interest to get it as publicized as MUCH as POSSIBLE!

And now it's time to go - Susi just rolled over for the first time in front of us!!! (not sure - it might have been an accident, but she did it - entirely with out assistance).

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