Creature Comforts Day 2

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So, don’t bother looking for a Day 1 entry. Here it is in a nutshell. I left camp, went to the air port, met my dad, he picked up my car, I flew to Milwaukee, I took a shuttle to Sheboygan, met my host, Yvonne, here at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, picked up my rental car with her, went to my guest house, bought groceries, did laundry, watched some TV, tried to eat junk food (but couldn’t stand it), and went to bed.

Today I woke up and discovered my month old Palm Pre was effed up. I can’t hear any phone conversations, music or video, nor can anyone on the phone hear me. The alert sounds work just fine. When I visited a Verizon store here in Sheboygan, the clerk beeped and booped around with my phone long enough to confirm that it was effed. Other things started going wrong with it. The touch screen feature became slow and unresponsive. The screen zoomed randomly and refused to scroll. When I backswiped in the music application, the phone started dialing my dad. It was ridiculous.

Long story short, I went to a corporate Verizon office and they are sending me a new phone. Trouble is, they are unable to dump the contacts from my current phone to the new one. I think that’s a tad ridiculous, personally . I might have to wait till I’m done with this residency to do that. I’ll go back to the store where the phone was purchased and get it taken care of.

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So I’m in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a town I like a whole lot. The weather is much cooler here than in NC, and I’m excited to experience it. I visited with Yvonne, the coordinator of my residency here at the arts center, and I’m working on quite a few things right now. Here’s what we’re doing: We’re creating a sock monster kit to sell, and we’re teaching classes both here and around town on making sock monsters. We’re using one specific pattern, intending for the participants to donate the creatures they make as holiday gifts for sick and needy people. I think a photographer will document the whole thing. Not sure but I think that’s what I’ve heard. Wigwam socks has donated a thousand of its factory reject socks, so the art center’s marketing department will have to work in connections to the Stupid Creatures, Wigwam and the center itself.

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Right now I’m in the empty, closed café at the center where I have an internet signal and relatively few disturbances. Someone will have to tell the security guy who keeps passing me that I’m here for work, not the free internet. Yvonne is upstairs with the center’s director working out my contract and putting finishing touches on my itinerary for this week and next.

I miss my camp kids and have already bought two postcards for them apiece. It’s expensive to stay in touch, but I want them to be sure I’m thinking about them while I’m away. Each one of my campers is incredible and I’m really lucky to be working with them, no matter how unruly or rude they become. When you love kids you just love ‘em. It’s sickening, but sometimes those kids need to be adored no matter how horrid they get. I got a huge group hug from ‘em one day. It was cool. I’d been pulled by our MC to cover another group while their chief was in meetings (my co-chief was also on, so I could be spared). When I returned like 4 hours later, each of my 9 guys ran at me and piled on top of me shouting CHIEF JOHN! It really, really hurt, now that I think back. I was kind of bruised up (like half a ton of teenager?). But it was awesome. Things like that make me want to work at camp forever. I really am lucky to have such a great group of guys. But now that I’m on vacation, I will try not to feel too guilty, I mean, I’m here to work after all.

Truly, I do enjoy sleeping indoors and relaxing for a bit. In fact, in many ways I feel downright indulgent (I tried to eat some potato chips. Tomato basil flavored. They nearly sickened me. Anybody want what’s left?). I’m thinking about my co-chief stuck in the woods by himself with my 9 guys. They’re an intense bunch. I will text my co-chief most days just to check in. I gave one of my guys the address of where I’m staying in case the campers wanted to write. Long shot, I know, but I wanted to be thorough. A departing parent would do no less whether it was for a business trip or out to dinner with Mom.

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I bought some sewing supplies since I’ll have down time to do a little art on my own. I’ve got some ideas for altering a few shirts and I look forward to tinkering with that. Mostly I look forward to catching up on some sleep. I don’t have to wake at every noise to make sure my kids aren’t sneaking around or running off. I’ll do my best to stay in bed and stay asleep while I’m here.

So tomorrow I meet with the center’s marketing group at 10 sharp, so I gotta run and finish the instructions for our kit. More soon as it develops!