They grow culture in a petri dish.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Mad Interpersonal Skillz, Yo?

So, I should probably relate some highlights from my Summer '07 social calendar. Because, you know, I have some mad skillz when it comes to relating to others. If I were a superhero, I'd be "Polar Girl"—one who has the power to elicit responses from others that are completely opposite from those responses that one desires. Cases in point:

1) I attempt to make a Borders barista adopt me as his fake sister.
Apparently, walking up to some stranger and telling him that he looks just like your brother does not ensure that he'll be willing to act like said brother. Even though you miss said brother, who has moved to New York (love you, Jake!). Admittedly, the adoption of fake family members works much better with fake moms, perhaps because a woman invests years of her life in trying to nurture a fulfilling mother/daugher relationship, and it doesn't always work out biologically. I've had at least two "fake" moms.

2) I scare a toddler to language.
So, lack of experience in the "child" department does not make me entirely useless when it comes to hanging out with them. At a party at Jan's, I met someone's cutie-pie toddler, Silas. We were getting along pretty well, playing a game involving knocking one's head on the floor and hiding behind a blanket (go figure). At one point, I got bored and saw one of those rainstick things. Thinking that young Silas had never seen one, I turned it over. His first response was "guarded curiosity" which bloomed into "full terror" on a second rainstick turn. As crying proved insufficient, he reached out to his mother and uttered a definitive "MAAAAAA!" Fortunately, his mother was so happy with this statement that she overlooked the fact that I'd inadvertently traumatized her child.

3) I try to make a bum go away.
I was on my way to get some pizza at Leo's the other day, and I wanted to get an Alligator, too. There was a bum at the bus stop in front of the newspaper dispenser, and, for once, I thought "what the hell—go ahead and get a paper." When I approached the dispenser, he gives me the "Can I ask you a question?" to which I cut to the chase "Do you need some money? I can give you a dollar." He gets up and starts following me during which time he hugs me for the money. That's right: I got hugged by a hobo. It's cool, I know hobos need love, too. I'm just not sure that I want to be the one to dole it out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I was tooling around eBay the other day in my endless hunt for the Holy Grail of handmade purses, and I came across this curious offering. Admittedly, it's not my type, but I like it marginally better than any of the cloying Vera Bradley offerings. What is truly alarming about this purse, though, is the way the maker is attempting to market it. S/he has it listed as (and I quote) "RETRO, PUNK, EMO FLOWER POWER PRINT FABRIC PURSE, BAG." Wh-HA? While I'm no music scholar, I'm pretty sure that "punk" and "emo" have their own distinct sounds and, I am guessing, styles. And, to the best of my knowledge, neither of them involves "flower power." Moreover, I feel confident in observing that "retro" is a gesture to an earlier style of either fashion or music, but, again, I'm not sure that this crafter was going for either "retro" punk or "retro" emo (whatever that would be at this point). I have...a headache.

With appologies to MC Lars, perhaps it would behoove us to have some official benchmarks for fashion associated with music. Here are my ideas for fabric (and flowers!) that can help us distinguish between musical styles:

Punk: Tartan plaid (100% cotton); black bog rush
Reggae: Unbleached muslin; marajuana leaf
Ska: Gaberdine; pink carnation
Hair band: Black or silver pleather; rose (w/thorn)
Metal: Acid-wash cotton (for jeans/jackets); flower? What flower?
Old School Rap: Kelly green satin (quilted); dandelion
Boy Band: Rayon (a la New Kids); pansy
Grunge: Flannel; piper's harebell
Gangsta Rap: Jersey cotton; an jewelry-type flower made entirely of "bling"
Emo: too-tight cotton-poly (brightly colored); daisies
Whatever Tool is: hell if I know

Monday, June 25, 2007

For the Love of all that is Holy!

I'm not sure what's happening here, but I'm thinking it rhymes with "mermoids". Wh...wh...just why!?! Ok—given—"lanky" Carrot Top was a little offputting. But "bulked-up" Carrot Top isn't doing it for me, either. He looks like he's all oiled up in addition of having busted out of his picnic-tablecloth v-neck—not good. I can't honestly think of an event where this might be appropriate. Well, maybe a WWF tournament but not at any event related to an academy.

On a related note, I have the dirt on why the young gent is no longer allowed into see movies at the Enzian...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

All Crafting, All the Time

Hello again! For those of ya'll none-too-enamored of DIY and personal crafting communities, you'll have to tune me out for a few entries. Since I haven't had much to write about lately, I've decided to discuss some of my recent handiwork. Today's entry: Reupolstery! Huzzah!

Last summer, I was on a "family calendar" kick (12 months of wicked-bad photo collage), but, this summer, it's been reupholstery. Though I did a slap-dash covering on a couch I owned three or so years ago, my most recent project has been my grandma's old boudoir chair. Unfortunately, I didn't take "before" pictures. If you'll picture it in threadbare gold brocade with a 4 inch skirt around the bottom and a five-sectioned back, that will give you a rough estimate of what it used to look like. This is the finished product after covering. (And, yes, Lady Rips-a-Lot loves this chair.) I covered it in rose colored crushed velvet—mmm! Also, I managed to do the whole job with no sewing whatsoever. Thank God for the staple gun.

After this project, I worked on a couch and chair for the graduate bullpen office (I'll include those pictures in a later posting). More recently, though, Jolanda left us to move back with her folks, prepare her dissertation for publication, and ready herself for a fall graduation. With tears in our hearts, we bid her a fond adieu. And took her castoff furniture. I was lucky enough to get a well-made Ikea couch with a removable grey cover. One bottom cushion was ripped, and I judged the back pillows as too-wonky for salvage. One large foam back piece and nine yards of funky square-blob fabric later, and I have one busy-assed couch. Since the couch fabric I picked is so strong, I figured I'd use the same pillows that I'd used to grace my futon-couch—gold and fake-furry white. Here are some before and after pics.

At any rate, I think I've officially moved from this crafting phase to a packing-for-moving phase. Come late July, I'll be moving in with Reginald Witherspoon and Velda. And, yes, I'm taking as many volunteers to help me as I can get.