Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Profit vs. Dream

The Starbucks Barista mugs--of which the Skyline is one series--hold an entire Starbucks grande coffee: 16 oz. of caffeine-laced black gold. Today it is the New York mug which holds the coffee and it does, indeed, hold real Starbucks coffee. While I was in Chicago at the beginning of December for the One of a Kind Show and Sale I bought the Skyline Chicago mug. When I got back to Atlanta I decided to get one for another friend from Chicago who also happens to live here as a Christmas gift. Lo and behold, you can't buy them online! In fact, for the series I like--the Skyline series--you almost can't buy them at all anymore! This series ran from 2002-2003 and the mugs were only sold in their own cities. Of course there is a technological solution to my acquisitional dilemma: eBay. I have avoided eBay just about as well as I have avoided blogging... until now. I am obsessed with the Starbucks mugs--but I digress. Again.

About this morning. After finding out that the mugs were only available in their particular cities, I called around to all the Atlanta Starbucks locations in search of an Atlanta Skyline mug. One of the people I talked to was Bill at the Starbucks across from Emory University. He said he was looking for a Chicago mug and he had a Barcelona mug he would trade for it. Well I couldn't pass that opportunity up! So I called around to all the Starbucks close to my in-laws in Aurora, IL and found one. Then I called the in-laws and begged them to pick it up and mail it to me. They did one better: they went to another Starbucks and found me THREE mugs! So this morning I met Bill at the Starbucks across from Emory and we swapped mugs. So the obvious question here is "Why am I not drinking out of the brand spanking new Barcelona mug this morning?" and the answer is because it is for my sweetie in rememberance of our trip to Barcelona four and a half years ago.

The next big question is "Why am I drinking coffee and writing about Starbucks?". Isn't this blog supposed to be about glass and writing a book? Glass today, sadly, is another day from hell pouring over the tiny scraps of paper and entering them all into the computer to come up with the answer to the question "Was I profitable last year?". I am pessimistic about the answer--and thus in no hurry to arrive at it--as being a glass artisan (artist, artiste, craftsperson, WHATEVER) is not about profit. Starving for one's art is not a figure of speech and I am damn lucky to be married to a software genius who keeps the mortgage paid and the Sprout (Jessie) fed and clothed. So I close today with the final question, "Why do we do what we do?" Is it for money, out of habit, because we love it, not so easy to say, for responsibility or out of a sense of obligation, or for something else entirely or a combination of all of the above (and how much of each)? What would we be willing to "give up" to "follow our dream"? (Quotes because those are the standard phrases which stand for a much more complex life choice).

3 comments:

Bill Paley said...

I see a collection building in your future...

My sister is a "starving artist" who also has a blog on this particular system. She does a variety of works, though primarily she works with oils, or in photography. However, to make any significant moneys, she has to teach at several local junior colleges. It's a pretty tough life.

annie Stunden said...

correction to my blog address.

cio.wisc.edu said...

I thought I had entered a posting telling my friend Brenda congratulations - and wishing her well on this book publishing adventure - an adventure with a really fixed deadline (yuk!). I probably did not push the "publish" button. brenda - love it that you have really gone for the glass. i have gone for the quilts. Remeber our fabric purchasing trips when we lived in Chicago. Great fun. I retire in about 170 days and have to look at how I am proceeding with this quilting stuff. I make too many to keep, and I'm not sure I can continue to give them away. Besides, a long-arm quilting machine seems to be part of my retirement universe. Once I retire, I can stop blogging about newtworks and systems and blog about quilting and sushi. Don't have time for both, and my communications guy is reluctant to let me pick the best sushi restaurants on my cio blog.