Sunday, August 14, 2011

My chance encounter with a balloon art star from TLC's Unpoppables!

I recently went to a birthday party where I knew just one person: the birthday girl. I assumed my afternoon would be filled with awkward small talk with other guests while she flitted around greeting her many friends. I couldn't have been more wrong.

I met a balloon artist: Brian Asman who runs a business called Balloons Equal Fun. Now, I know you're probably thinking "Big deal Lori. A guy who makes animals out of balloons" - but this isn't your average balloon guy. Go, go, GO to his web site and click through the "folks, decor and twisted" photo galleries to the left of the main image. It's truly amazing. He even does personal caricatures and has worked corporate events for companies like Yelp and personal parties for stars like Robin Williams.

Brian makes INCREDIBLE Balloon art. He wasn't working at the party, but when he casually showed me a few of his photos on his phone, I immediately said "you could be the Duff or Cake Boss of the balloon world." Then he told me TLC had already taped 6 episodes of a show called "Unpoppables" profiling a team of "balloon artists" working together for events. You can see another clip here:

Personally I think the show would have been better with just Brian, but I'm probably biased given my chance to meet him and see him and see his work firsthand. It just goes to prove that you never know who you're going to meet and that there are fascinating stories to be heard in the least expected situations. Thanks Robin, for inviting me to meet your friends. As they said in Avenue Q, "There is life outside your apartment."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A golden retriever's kryptonite

Holly has loved the water as long as I've owned her. Even though her voice recall off leash has improved over time, she just can't resist the call of the water.

When Brett and I got married, we took her with us to Rochester. While packing up the car for the drive back we realized she was gone. We called for her and she was nowhere to be found. Starting to panic I yelled out one more "HOLLY!" and we saw a head pop up in the pond behind my parents' house. We smelled wet dog for the entire trip back to DC.

When we lived in Amsterdam our teenage dog walker asked if he could take her off leash at the park to throw a tennis ball for her. We told him he could, but that he had to keep her on leash on the way to the park, and whenever water was in sight. He proudly told us that he had already tried her off leash and "she listens." We shrugged and said ok and then laughed when he brought her back dripping in mud an hour later. "She doesn't listen when she sees water" he said. We didn't have to say "I told you so."

Yesterday I was cleaning the house and heard splashing out back. I saw a golden retriever playing in the marsh and realized it was Holly. She was having such a blast that I decided to let her play - but I've learned my lesson to keep the deck door shut.