Monday, November 28, 2011

You can’t go home again. But you can always feel like an awkward, moody teenager.

High school wasn’t bad for me.  It wasn’t great, either.  I had my share of unreasonable teenage angst and questionable fashion decisions.   

I went to a large high school.  While I wasn’t one of the cool kids, it never bothered me because I had friends who were just as uncool as I was.  I was an odd combination of nerd and wannabe arty rebel—think National Honors Society, editor of the literary magazine, a bit of backstage theater work, ska-and-punk music lover, and a horse wrangler for a Girl Scout camp on occasional weekends.  Plus, I was weird and awkward.  I once wore a pair of pants with battery powered Christmas lights decorating the outside seams, and I tended to read novels behind my text books. 

I keep in touch with a couple people from my high school, as we went to college together and remained friends.   When I got the invitation to my ten year high school reunion, I had two simultaneous thoughts. 

1) Ten years?  That can’t be right. I’m fairly certain I’m still like 26.  I know I’ve been 26 for a few years now, but it’s a good age. 

2) Sparkles and I can go together, and we can get drunk and make snarky comments.  And that is what reunions are truly about.

After I bought the ticket to the reunion, I found out that the ever illustrious Sparkles had to work—and she has the type of job that you can never, ever, call in sick unless you are already dead from the plague.  My other friend lives across the country and wasn’t about to spend $500 on a plane ticket just for a reunion.  So I was stuck flying solo. I considered bringing my husband but tickets were $60.  And while I thought that I may be able to have $60 worth of fun, it was unlikely that my introvert husband would have an additional $60 worth of fun with people he had never met.
I was strangely nervous about the whole thing.  Batman pointed out that it was highly unlikely I would be made fun of, as we were all adults now.  I reminded him that with copious amounts of alcohol, anything was possible.  

Low points of the evening:  Two people called me by the wrong name.  Including our guidance counselor.

High points of the evening:  It was actually cool to see everyone all grown up.  Most people seemed about the same (which is a scary thought in itself) except, you know, older.  There was no snobbery going on, and while everyone kind of gravitated towards people they knew, I spoke to almost everyone there.  There was a constant litany of the same three questions:  What do you do?  Where do you live/have you ever left the city?  Do you have a family?

I'm glad I went.  When I got home, Batman asked me how it went.  I told him it was fun--and assured him that none of my high school crushes were remotely attractive anymore. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One down, a hundred and twenty seven crafts to go.

You know how I had a million and one crafts I wanted to make?

I finished one!  That's a start at least.

This is my fishing game, inspired from this blog I found through Pinterest.  I used a thin rope rather than twine or leather for the fishing line, but other than that I followed those instructions pretty closely.

Mo-mo the toddler approves.  Fat Mar-mar the cat approves. (See the paw?)

After watching Mar-mar eat the fish, Mo-mo wondered how they tasted.  She was disappointed that they didn't taste like Goldfish crackers.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cheese, Gromit.

I love Barbara Kingsolver's novels.  I really enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer.  I picked up her memoir about eating local, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, expecting to love it.  Instead I learned that while Ms. Kingsolver can write beautiful and lyrical descriptions of her garden, she's a bit of a sanctimonious prig when it comes to food.  Who knew?

The one upside of this book is that it got me interested in making my own cheese from scratch.  I love cheese.  I also love making things from scratch.  Seems like a perfect fit!  Ms. Kingsolver claimed that cheese-making was easy, the directions online I found claimed that it was easy--but when I sat down to try and figure out how to actually do it, I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

Never one to give up, I found that there is someone local who teaches classes on how to make cheese.  I somehow conned my father, Evil Dr. Porkchop, into taking it the class with me.  Lo and behold, we learned to make cheese.  It simply requires a) milk   b) some random stuff like bacteria cultures and rennet c) time.  While not exactly rocket science, I don't think I would classify it as easy.

During the four hour class we learned how to make chevre, ricotta, feta, yogurt and a basic hard cheese.  More importantly, we got to eat cheese.  We were also given a nice booklet with instructions.  As soon as I can get my hands on some raw goat or cow's milk, I'm ready to make the easier cheeses--feta and chevre.  Fancy! 

I didn't take any photos of the process because I was too busy paying attention and the booklet had great pictures.  However, here are some photos of the goats.  Do you think Batman would be mad if I adopted a couple?  They could keep the lawn in the backyard trimmed and our dogs could herd them. 

Fresh cheese or not, I don't think Batman would be okay with that plan.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Parental Misunderstandings.

My friend Shortstuff recently confessed to me that way back when Mo-mo was first born, she misunderstood something that I said.  And she was way too polite and grossed out to ask me to clarify.

We were talking on the phone, and Batman called to me from the other room.  Hold on, I said, Batman is calling me.  I listened to what he had to say.  I have to go, I told her. Batman needs my help.  There's a poop emergency.  

Being that Mo-mo was fairly small, what I thought I conveyed was that Mo-mo had managed (as young babies do) to poop through the side of her diaper and Batman needed a hand getting her gross onesie off and giving her a quick bath. 

What Shortstuff thought I meant was that Batman was having a poop emergency.  And she was rather alarmed and confused, having no idea 1) how a grown man could have a poop emergency and 2) what sort of help I could lend my husband during said poop emergency. 

I am actually impressed that she was able to look him in the eye after that.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I'm fairly crafty.  I made my daughter's awesome Halloween costume.

A lot of people told me how cute he looked.  I decided that it wasn't the right time to lecture about gender stereotypes.  Also, she did look adorable.

I've made numerous taggie toys, home decorations, and I rock at cross-stitching.  But for every project I complete, there is at least three that I get very excited about, buy the materials, then don't finish.

I thought this blog entry would serve as a combination of confession/reminder/guilting myself into completing these.  Here are my list of the crafts waiting for me to get off my butt and make.

1)  Fishing set. 

my materials

I got the idea from this blog, found on Pinterest.  (Can we pause for a moment and talk about how awesome Pinterest is?  Yes, it is amazing.  I'm in love.)
Time I have been meaning to make this:  about a week.

2) Apron from a scarf.

Pretty scarf, no?  I found it at the thrift store.  I've been wanting to make an apron (I make a huge mess when when I bake) and I thought it would be fun to use it for that.
Time I have been meaning to make this:  about three months

3) Felt Food.

As you can see, I made one little piece of felt food.  It turned out adorable--but I'm very slow at hand sewing.  I bought enough felt to make at least 15 more pieces of food for Mo-mo's play kitchen.
Time I have been meaning to make this:  about four months

4) A baby quilt.

This is one of those crafts that I started with the best of intentions.  My aunt makes beautiful quilts and often donates them to the hospital for babies in the ICU.  I thought it would be a wonderful project...and I only did about 1/2 of it.  Again, the hand sewing thing slowed me down.
Time I have been meaning to make this:  about a year

5) The Lorax Toybox.

It needs hinges.  And paint.  And more paint.  And even more paint.  I started this without realizing that I would have to prime it, paint the background several times, paint the trim several times (it's going to be bright purple), paint the scenes, paint the black lines in the little scenes, then polyurethane it.  I got about halfway done with painting it outside before it started raining, and I just never returned to it. I am embarrassed to admit that I use it to keep unfinished craft projects in. 
Time I have been meaning to make this:  about a year and a half

6) A knitted...something.

This is a....scarf, potholder, square.  Take your pick.  I learned how to knit then never actually made anything.  I'm kind of scared to finish it because I don't know how to cast off.  Or on again, if I want to make something else.
Time I have been meaning to make this:  about a year and a half

7) Purse made from a book.

Inspiration from this blog

 my materials

I have the materials.  I even gutted out a poor book specifically bought for that purpose (The Last Days of Pompeii).  (oh, and I saved the pages--I figure there has to be something I can do with them.  I have major guilt about ripping up a book.)  I just haven't made the darn thing yet. 
Time I have been meaning to make this:  about two years

8) Hair ribbons for Mo-mo.

When Mo-mo was about six months old, I bought some adorable ribbon with the intention of making cutesy bows for her.  I quickly realized that she would only keep barrettes in her hair for about 30 seconds. 
Time I have been meaning to make this:  over two years
8) The perfect Easter basket.

Apparently, finding an Easter basket for Mo-mo that I like (for a reasonable price) was too difficult.  So I bought one that I kind of like and was going to paint it and re-line it with new fabric.
Time I have been meaning to make this:  over two years 

9) Portraits of my animals.


I made the one of Odin and it hangs in our kitchen.  Still need to paint Athena and Fat Mar-mar.
Time I have been meaning to make this:  over two years

10) A corset.  Crap, this is embarassing.

 Pleather?  What was I thinking?

I cannot tell you for the life of me why I wanted to sew a corset.  I know it was for a costume of some kind--pirate wench, maybe?.  I've never sewn anything from a pattern before--and a corset with eyelets and boning and everything is tricky.  Plus I bought a ton of ridiculous faux leather and brocade, neither of which are particularly easy to work with.  I'm going to chalk this one up to being young and dumb and find something else to do with the material.
Time I have been meaning to make this:  over four years.  Well, I probably actually wanted to make it for a week.  Then I realized how difficult it was.