As we prepare to say goodbye to Alix, Director of HUB-BUB’s Artist-in-Residence Program since 2007, we asked current and former AiRs to share their favorite Alix memory. Turns out, everyone loves Alix, and everyone has an Alix story. Here are a few:
My favorite Alix moment has to be when I met her after I moved here back in June of 2010. It was hot…real hot and Alix, Andrew, and Ron were graciously helping me unload my truck which was loaded in a couple of hours a few days before. Invited to the program at the last minute and while on vacation, I threw everything that my truck would hold into the back of the bed and hit the road. The unload was embarrassing to say the least, total strangers handling trash bags of clothes and art supplies looking like those that a deranged, homeless, schizophrenic would drag around. The moment that relieved my discomfort was when Alix spilled about a thousand q-tips from a broken and taped plastic tray absurdly placed teetering atop a bag of tools. As the contents spilled out she yelled “Oh no!” and I thought, “how embarrassing…a whole truck of crap and now they’ve seen all my q-tips.” What happened immediately after this was probably the best thing for the situation. We all started laughing…the best ice breaker. It must have taken her a good five minutes to get to the blog later that day and tell all of Spartanburg about my q-tips.
When you’re really good at something you don’t have to brag about it. I realize this now.
But when we began the dance competition I misinterpreted Alix’s stoic attitude as reluctance. It never occurred to me that she was muffling her bravado as cooly as I was. Ive heard Alix brag before. She laughs when she does it and says things like “You’re going down.” The absence of boasting lead me to believe I’d claim an easy win.
It was Carnival and the prize was a 10 dollar gift card to Starbucks. It’s confusing looking back on it but I really wanted that gift card.
I set out with a quiet confidence. Years of MTV had prepared me for this moment. I had recently added belly dancing and samba to my catalog of moves yanked from commercial hip hop videos. I had an innate sense of rhythm that could guide me through songs I had never heard before. I could shake my ass really really fast and I was wearing a top made entirely out of sequins. Maybe I was cocky.
When she opened with the running man I laughed it off. I was a fool. Whatever I could bring to the floor in terms of sensuousness was worn down by her seemingly infinite vocabulary of sixties dance moves. I swear to god she did the Watusi. There were other dances, thought lost to the passage of time that were re birthed in that moment, fresher than ever. I struggled to update a repeated hip shake only to be met by wave upon wave. It wasnt until the middle of teh dance that I saw her true form but by then it was too late.
When she pantomimed an imaginary fishing reel and cast a pretend lure in my direction I recognized the gesture for what it was, an olive branch. I could dance against her and lose or I could let her reel me in with that imaginary pole. I took the bait.
Graciously the competition finished in a tie and we shared the starbucks gift card. My two doppio con panna’s tasted burnt in my mouth.
One of my favorite Alix moments was discovering several months back that she hated Swedish Fish. The little red chewy candy. I didn’t quite know why? But it was revealed by Alix, that when she was in high school a friend of her’s bet her to eat an entire box of Swedish fish. Alix took this challenge and then to this day, was repulsed by the idea of the little red fish candy. Or so we thought. I of course a week later brought in a bunch of Swedish fish candy to the staff meeting. Alix was still opposed. But by our last group lunch with Alix as Hub-Bub staff, part of the lunch was Swedish Fish and she actually ate some! Alix was cured! Good times were had by all.
So the picture refers to one story though I’m going to recount two. It was about a week and a half before Halloween and Alix and I were discussing costumes. She said that she had an idea for her costume and that it was top secret. I said that I had the same thing too. She said it had to do with Lady Gaga. Two weeks before Kerry had suggested that I go as Lady Gaga in a veggie dress since I’m a vegetarian and I was into it but didn’t know how to pull it off. As soon as Alix mentioned Lady Gaga I had a feeling we had the same costume planned. It took some coaxing but I got her to reveal the veggie dress idea early and it was a good thing– if we had both shown up in a veggie gown I would have been trumped big time.One of my favorite days was going over to Alix’s house to try to can Okra. Something went wrong (not enough broth mixture somehow) and we were afraid to eat them afterwards. But the whole afternoon felt very veggie filled and magical. I also learned how to cut avocado into perfect slices. Alix is a master sandwich maker.