A Town Like Marfa

It was during our last visit to Texas that we got the news about everyone in our Brooklyn apartment moving out at the same time, so we didn’t get to explore very much. We saw a bit of El Paso, hung out in the tiny town of Junction, and had a great visit to Austin – but that was it. In a state the size of Texas, that isn’t much.

I decided we should go check out Marfa because it’s an arts hub and everyone always takes pictures of that fake Prada store, so as navigator I navigated us there. The interior of the Prada store was smaller than I anticipated and filthier than I imagined, but I also didn’t take into account that they didn’t hermetically seal the place before leaving it and there’s a lot of dust out there. In photos it always looks deserted but when we arrived there were a number of cars and people waiting to take pictures. A group of students were so involved with posing in front of the place that another guest finally had to shout at them to PLEASE MOVE FOR JUST ONE MINUTE so the rest of us cold take the iconic “Prada in the middle of nowhere” shot. Mine didn’t even work out properly because one of the girls wouldn’t walk far enough away. Ah well. It was still cool.


Our initial reaction to Marfa was that it’s Bushwick in 2010. There’s a store called The Get Go that’s literally just Brooklyn’s Natural. They have the same shelves, the same products, all that was missing was a sandwich counter and being open 24 hours a day. The coffee shop that’s also a laundromat reminded us so thoroughly of the Archive (a coffee shop that was also a video rental place) that it was disconcerting.

The two things friends who had been there before told us we had to do were have a drink at The Lost Horse Saloon and eat at Marfa Burrito. At The Lost Horse we grabbed some Lone Stars and sat outside where almost immediately we started hearing snatches of a conversation happening a few feet away. “…BLM land”, “Black tank…”, and “camper” were all overheard before we got up and introduced ourselves. We met Stephen who has been living on the road for almost a decade and in a van for the last six years, Stephen’s Dad who lives in a truck camper, and Rob and Chelsy (and their boxer Fay) who’d been on the road for just three weeks! After a few hours and Stephen’s father building us a fire in a bucket, a third couple joined us – they were also traveling in an RV. Somehow, in a town the size of Marfa, we magically ended up in a bar filled with other young RVers. After chatting for much longer than I think any of us expected, Kyle and I called it a night and headed back to Sandwich who was parked about a block away. In the morning we emerged and headed to Marfa Burrito for a massive egg, cheese and chorizo burrito for just five dollars. We ran into Stephen and were once again forcibly reminded of Bushwick in 2010 – the friends you made at the one bar around the night before are eating breakfast at the same place you are because it’s the only place to do it.


While the Marfa Mystery Lights have been mostly debunked – yes, they’re probably just headlights from highway 67 – that doesn’t stop them from being cool. On our second night in town we parked at a viewing area nine miles east of town and bundled up to watch the lights with Rob and Chelsy.


I am not exaggerating when I say bundled up, it was the coldest I think we’ve been since that mountaintop in Wyoming back before we entered Yellowstone. Our teeth were chattering but the lights were interesting – they moved in ways that didn’t make sense, they popped in and out of view, they certainly didn’t look like headlights. Also, if they’re headlights, why was there so much traffic at 9pm on a Tuesday? There’s a reason they’re still called the Mystery Lights.

The next morning we woke up early and headed to Alpine to go to another coffee shop slash laundromat, this time to actually do laundry. There was a fancy hotdog stand parked outside with outstanding reviews, so when our laundry was done and lunchtime rolled around we got some awesome food before continuing East towards San Antonio.


We stopped at a deserted rest stop listed on All Stays as “A depression era rest stop with no amenities.” We were the only vehicle there. There was a gazebo for some reason and an abandoned taxidermy deer head. It was one of the weirder places we’ve ever stayed which is saying a lot.



If you missed the announcement in our last blog: We’re moving to Beacon NY! Wooooo! Yaaaay!

There’s bunches of new stuff up on my Etsy! Check it out! Pick something up! Help us pay for gas!


Our Last Warm Winter

Our first winter in Sandwich was spent bouncing around Southern California and hanging out with Kyle’s immediate family. When all was said and done we were on the west coast for five months, completely skipping winter and loving every second of it. For our second winter we decided to explore The South, spending Christmas in New Orleans and exploring every inch of Florida. This winter it was back to SoCal from October until January. It’s been wonderful watching the weather plummet the East Coast from afar, but this is our last warm winter.

Next year will be different. We’ll be in the cold. We’ll be stationary. We’ll be in an apartment. That’s right – once we hit the three year mark in June this chapter of our adventure is coming to a close. After ages of deliberation we’ve finally decided to settle down in…

Beacon, New York!

If you look back on the early days of Dare to Pee you’ll find an entry all about how much we love Beacon. It’s close to the City without actually being there, the Hudson Valley is amazing, we have friends there! Clutter is there! Out of all the places that made the short list for settling down Beacon simply makes the most sense. It’s close to my mom, it’s good for Kyle’s career, we don’t have to start from scratch – we already have a bit of a community up there.

We’re currently in New Mexico making our way across the Southern states to wait out the last of the the freezing temps and snow storms in our little wheeled house made of plywood and hope. Sandwich is sturdy, but she still can’t withstand freezing temperatures without us putting in a lot of work we have absolutely no interest in doing. We’re going to explore Houston and Galveston, and check back in with our favorites New Orleans and Savannah. We’ll get a Publix sub and some of their outstanding chocolate cake before bidding the South adieu and entering The Northeast.

Kyle has a show at Clutter in May, followed almost immediately by the eighth annual Designer Toy Awards (nominations open now!) and the second annual Five Points Festival. After the excitement from those massive events has died down we’ll find an apartment and put dear Sandwich on Craigslist where we found her in June of 2015. Though if you’re looking to buy an RV in the Tri-State area send me a message so I can bypass the whole process!

There will be much more frequent entries now that we’re on the road again – it feels so bizarre after almost half a year of basically not moving. We spent October through January helping Kyle’s aunt and uncle sell their home in SoCal, then holed up in Lake Havasu for ages getting work done before finally, properly, beginning the journey home.

So here we go. The final leg of Dare to Pee. It’s been quite an adventure and I’m so thankful to those of you who have been following along. Stay tuned to see where this last venture takes us.

Missing in Action

Welp. I did the thing where we drop off the planet for a couple of months around the holidays….and well into February. Sorry about that. I kept meaning to update and then things kept happening and I kept putting it off. But we’re back! And alive! Here’s what happened  pretty much immediately after my last update back in December.

In mid December I headed to New York to do early Christmas with my mom. She flew to Chicago the day after Thanksgiving for a family party and had plans to head to Boston right after New Years, so the thought of traveling a third time over the holiday season seemed exhausting. The obvious and infinitely more affordable solution was to fly me out to her before the actual proper holiday.

I arrived on a Saturday with plans to leave the following Friday. At just under a week it was the perfect visit length to eat all the things I wanted and see as many people as I could. The Pine Box Holiday party coincided with my visit! If nothing else that would kill like twenty-five birds with one stone. When I got in my mom off-handedly mentioned that she thought my visit was nine days long.

“Nope! I’m leaving Friday. Six days.”

“Are you sure? I could have sworn it was nine days…”

The first few days were a whirlwind of excitement. My friend Blythe had her tree-trimming party, my friend Alain played a show with his band, I visited with an old friend’s mother for the first time in about a million years, we had delicious French food with our friend Caesar. I woke up on Tuesday morning after our delicious French meal with a slight tooth ache. Nothing crazy, just a little ache on a tooth that I had work done on in 1997. It leans towards the sensitive side, so I thought nothing of it, just popped a couple of extra strength Tylenol and moved on with my life. It was the day of the Pine Box holiday party and I was tasked with opening the bar. I may not live in Brooklyn anymore, but I do still work there sometimes. As my shift wore on my face started hurting pretty bad. I noticed a little bit of swelling. Other people noticed a little bit of swelling. I closed my shift out, said hi to a few people at the party and excused myself. The pain was getting unbearable.

I got back to my mother’s house on the Upper West Side, put on pajamas and climbed onto the air mattress she bought specifically for my visit at about 11pm. I woke up three hours decidedly more swollen.


The next morning it was off to the NYU Dental Clinic for an emergency visit. The women who work in the reception area looked at me with such pity. They couldn’t believe that there wasn’t gauze in my mouth. They said they’d see if they could get me seen sooner. I frightened the first student who saw me so much that he sent me upstairs to see the post graduate students. I was too much for the undergrads.

My diagnosis was an abscess on the tooth that had been worked on back in 1997. At the time they told me that I “would probably need a root canal at some point in the future.” Well. Apparently that time had come. I was prescribed antibiotics, told to ingest an absurd amount of ibuprofen for someone my size, and to keep an eye out for more swelling. Then it was back to the air mattress to wait for everything to start working.


Everything did not start working. I stayed in bed the entire next day diligently taking my meds every eight hours. The swelling kept getting worse. I texted my dentist and she suggested going to the emergency room. My mom offered to take me. I decided to wait it out, cancel my return flight to California and head back to NYU bright and early Friday morning.


The first dentist I saw that day suggested that I needed stronger antibiotics, intravenously and immediately. They were all ready to send me to get poked with needles before someone saw that I’d previously been seen by the upper-upper classmen upstairs and decided it was better to send me up there.

It was hours before anyone could see me, but during that time the antibiotics started working! The swelling started going down! They saw me anyway, fiddled with the tooth a bit, and sent me on my way free of charge and with a letter to the airline explaining why they shouldn’t charge me for changing my flight.

I left NYU feeling so much more human and incredibly hungry. Just…absolutely starving. I stopped at Grey’s Papaya on the way back to my mother’s and ate the most delicious hot dog I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. Once back at my mom’s I made myself some soup and then we ordered Chinese food. Eating again felt amazing. 


On my last day in town I left the house at 9am to see as many Christmas windows as I could. There is something incredibly magical about Manhattan at Christmas and I was so excited to not be confined to that air mattress anymore that I took it all in. After I’d been out for a few hours I met my mother at Rockefeller Center and we slowly made our way to the Plaza Food Court where we ate a lot of lobster like very fancy ladies.


I rescheduled my flight for the following Monday bringing my visit up to a total of nine days. So at the end of the day my mom was right, I was in New York for exactly as long as she said I would be.


Growing up, Thanksgiving was always sort of a big deal. My mother always invited over the holiday orphans, so a small dinner would consist of about ten people while our largest capped out at forty-five. It was the one time of year that we were guaranteed to have fresh veggies instead of frozen, real mashed potatoes instead of the type that start as flakes in a box. She made stuffing from scratch – one batch with sausage and oysters, and another with only oysters, “for the vegetarians!” my mother always said, though really it was for our friend Allayne who didn’t eat red meat.

My mother woke up at six in the morning every forth Thursday in November, and most other days as well, but she made a point to tell people about the Thanksgiving thing. That way she could slowly prepare things and take a break at nine to watch the Macy’s Day parade with me and my father. It was the only television we ever watched on Thanksgiving. After the parade wrapped up my she would go back to cooking and ordering me around the kitchen. I peeled potatoes, I topped and tailed green beans, I emptied her ash trays and made fresh iced tea. Sometimes, like the year we had forty-five guests, I ran out for last minute extra food. She always wanted to make sure there was more than enough food for everyone.

At six or so the guests would arrive with wine and beer and various side dishes. While my parents entertained I mashed potatoes with too much butter and cream then waited for dinner to start. When everything was set out my mother would stick a frozen pie or two in the oven and watch as people dug in. It was always buffet style with people squeezing in wherever they could and usually eating off their laps. My mother would sit at the head of the table smoking and chatting, but never eating. She was thrilled by watching people happily consume things she had prepared but was so sick of looking at the meal after twelve hours that she couldn’t stomach it. When the pie came out she would eat a slice of apple with cheddar cheese with everyone. Later on, when everyone had left, she would make a little plate for herself and eat it slowly, or wait until morning and prepare a leftover feast for one. When I was a teenager the day after Thanksgiving was also reserved for my mostly male friends to descend like locusts and clean out the fridge.

I was twenty years old the first time I spent Thanksgiving away from home. I was in Portland, Oregon visiting a friend and she took me to her friend’s parent’s house. Because the holiday had always been so important I remember feeling strange spending it with another family. I’d never had an afternoon Thanksgiving before. I’d never seen football on Thanksgiving before. I awkwardly insisted on making the mashed potatoes because I felt out of place not helping, then was confused and upset that they only had a potato ricer and not just a regular masher.

After getting over my initial weirdness, it ended up being an incredibly nice holiday. The food was delicious and we left full and happy in the early evening. My mother was fine back in New York. She still had her orphans and my friends still went over the next day to eat leftovers and hang out.

In the intervening years she sold her big house in the West Village, so the parties became smaller just because they had to. As my friends got older and started having Thanksgivings of their own they would invite my mother. This alleviated her from forty years of hosting duties and made it easier for me to be away again when the time came.

Our first Thanksgiving on the road was spent surrounded by absurd amounts of family. We spent Thanksgiving Day at Kyle’s Aunt’s house with cousins and friends and a ton of food. The following Saturday we were off to Kyle’s Mom’s with all his siblings, his father and his father’s new wife. It was there that I had deep fried turkey for the first time and honestly, why would you eat it any other way? Turkey is far and away the least desirable fowl, but it is downright scrumptious when fried.

Last year was a bit less traditional. We were rushing back to the East Coast to return a rental car after Designer Con and ended up eating at a Waffle House for the first time. It had a typed sign on the door explaining that smoking was now only allowed on weekends and hoping that it didn’t cause any inconveniences. There were a couple of truck drivers playing board games inside and, all things considered, it wasn’t a bad Thanksgiving.

After last year I realized that Thanksgiving isn’t about the turkey, it’s about who you’re with. So this year Kyle and I went to see Coco (pro-tip get there half an hour late because that Frozen short is absolute trash) and then headed to Dave and Busters. We had some cards from our last visit with a ton of tickets on them, so we traded the points in for some nachos and had a great night.

The point is, Thanksgiving is whatever you make it. Next year, when we’re not nomads anymore, I’m probably going to make a pork shoulder or a ham. As long as you’re spending time with people you like, isn’t that what’s important? Who knows? Maybe we’ll just spend it at Dave and Busters again.

Designer Con 2017

We woke up on Monday morning and bid a final farewell to our beloved Pasadena Convention Center. Not because we’re never going back to Designer Con, but because Designer Con is moving to Anaheim next year! This is great news for the convention itself, but bittersweet for us personally. The last three years we’ve been able to organize our thoughts and set up for the convention at Kyle’s Aunt and Uncle’s house only five miles from Anaheim, a house that is currently on the market. So we’re a little upset, but mostly incredibly excited for a bigger, better, THREE DAY convention next year.

Everyone we spoke to agreed that this was the busiest DCon has ever been – it was absolutely slammed. And while it was great for sales, it meant that neither Kyle nor I could get out of the booth for more than a few minutes at a time to actually see anything. We have friends who had booths who we never even saw because it was just that insane. We’re hoping that spreading it out over three days will alleviate some of the pressure, but also will not complain if the show is super busy again. Who’s going to complain about more people seeing their booth?


Designer Con was, as ever, amazing. It’s a truly magical thing to get so many like-minded people in the same space. People who love weird art and each other and beer. We feel so fortunate to have found this merry band of misfits who speak the same language as us and are passionate about the same niche interest. 


We’ve always been really lucky with convention booths – at our first New York Comic Con we had a massive storage area behind our booth, at Five Points our booth was our house, and at our first DCon there was an empty booth next to ours where we could leave things. This year was no different and our booth had massive windows and therefore massive window sills right behind it. It was a perfect storage solution and a nice place for a quick nap.


This also marked the firs time we displayed The Final Willo which will go up for pre-order in January. I’m continuously blown away by the work that Kyle does and I think this send off is such a testament to his talent. What you can’t see in this photo is that it is absolutely covered in tiny hand sculpted skulls, that tentacles form from eye sockets, and that those wings look real. I am going to marry a very gifted dude.


As with our last custom show, every piece that came back blew our minds just a little bit more. The Willo and Bloom figures are so close to our hearts that we’re always surprised by other people’s interpretations of them. We sold a bunch of pieces at the show, and the available remaining pieces are going up on Kyle’s Storenvy. If you want to pick one up – I’d recommend it. They’re all beautiful.


Night Crawler by Brent Nolasco


Jump by Riser


Cursed Corsair by JPK


Untitled by Infinite Rabbits



ARW Samurai by ITP Studios (Yes, that *is* paper)


Also, as a side note, I just need to shout out these amazing pre-teen humans who are so much cooler than I will ever be:


The holidays are coming! Why not take a gander at my ETSY and start your shopping early? Only 39 days till Christmas! AND TWENTY SEVEN UNTIL HANUKKAH – aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!