Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A hobby of mine, plus my 3 minutes of local news GLORY

So, I hate wrapping paper.  Seriously, it's lametastic.  It's the epitome of one-time-use, and it's expensive.  I get the allure of giving beautifully wrapped gifts, I just can't get behind wrapping paper.

Several years ago, I stumbled across furoshiki, which is an old Japanese method of wrapping anything you can imagine.  Started as a way to carry your stuff to the bath house, and evolved from there.  Pretty and reusable, I can get behind that.  So I taught myself how, using a book and some basic Girl Scout knot knowhow.

Seeing that it is easy, I started teaching it to my students in summer camp.  We'd tie-dye a bandana, and then I'd teach them how to use it to wrap things.  Worked out nicely.  Killed a few hours.  Kept the kids somewhat entertained (well, the ones who don't immediately give up when they CAN'T DOOOOO IIIIIIIIIIIIIT, but that's a rant for another time).

Decided that, since the holidays were approaching, I could probably teach a workshop at the nature center.  Ecofriendly wrapping, plus holidays, plus fun.  So I schedule one, and the BossLady does her usual marketing magic.  It fills up relatively quickly.  Fantastic.

The Bossman gets a call from a local news channel.  They have somehow run across the advertisement for my workshop, and want me to come do 3 minutes on the morning news.  Cool.  I'll even schedule another workshop, since the first one is full, just in case this drums up business.

All right, I'll drive up to LA on a Sunday morning to teach the anchors how to tie pretty packages.  Why not?  My only request?  Let's keep this on the ecological side, not the Japanese culture side.  I am not Japanese by any stretch of the imagination.  I am not an expert on Japanese culture.  I do not speak Japanese.  I have never been to Japan.  I'm probably butchering the pronunciation of "furoshiki."  Everything I have seen has suggested to me that it is pronounced "f-ROSH-kee."  I tell the producer guy this.  Cool.  Nobody ask me how to say it.  Let's just dance around the subject, yes?

So I put on a decent shirt, gather up all my wrapping cloths, and drive up to LA.  I hover around the edge of the set for about 45 minutes, watching what is going on.  The anchors are doing the usual morning-news act, with the loud jovial bickering and the forced laughing.  It's morning news.  That's what they DO.  As soon as they go to commercial, the anchors all drop the persona and start checking their email.  It's a weird transformation to watch.  Okay.  During a commercial, the producer guy hustles me over, sits me down, arranges my visual aids, and I get ready to rip.

Everyone has been warned not to ask me about pronunciation.

About 2 minutes before my spiel, one of the weekday anchors pokes her head around the corner of the set.  She has her 7-year-old daughter in tow.  The regular morning anchors get all excited and drag her over (with the kid!) and the Clever Morning Banter starts.  Male Anchor jokingly storms out in a huff, letting Weekday Anchor take his place (with the kid still right there at the desk).  Weekday Anchor has no idea what's going on, and starts reading the teleprompter.  And then my segment starts.  YouTube, take it from here!

I don't really sound like that.  That is Super Controlled Acting Voice.

The best part about this train wreck?

They spelled "environmental" wrong.

Later, when I figure out how to do it, I will make a bunch of instructional furoshiki videos so that everyone can share in the fun.  I won't try to pronounce it, though.

Ahh, good times.  Tip your waitress.


  1. Congrats on your 3 minutes of fame!

    I just joined the eco-friendly committee at work (figured it could help the managers see me as a well-rounded person and keep me after my contract ends), so I may steal that idea next Christmas.

    1. You don't even have to hem the fabric. Just measure a square, rip rip, and boom, you're ready to go. It's a great way to utilize the pretty cotton prints that are obnoxious and goofy and absolutely too ridiculous to use in garments, but you can't help but touch lovingly when you're in the fabric store. has a "how to" page. It's quite lovely.

  2. You did great! I would have frozen up on camera like that (no really; I had to do an on-camera interview once for my previous job. I never want to do that again! lol). Too bad those newscasters couldn't they just let you do your thing instead of interrupting...

    I'd love to see your version of instructional videos - I know they would be very pro!

    1. My brother and his wife watched it as it happened- my brother's exact words were "You looked great, but I hate you for making me watch that clusterfuck."

      I'm in front of too many people talking too frequently to freeze up on camera. Doesn't matter who's watching- I just go. A lot of years of teaching and a lot of years of theater. I can't make phone calls without at least a few hours of psyching myself up, though. Ahh, neuroses.

      I'm trying to get my nature center to do a whole YouTube channel. We're all extra cheesy, and could make some really entertaining educational videos. "Super Controlled Acting Voice" me is not nearly as amusing as "Hamming It Up For Children" me.

  3. You did great, sounded very at ease speaking even if it was 'acting voice' :)

    1. What's funny is that if you know me IRL, you can absolutely tell when I got REALLY frustrated with the anchors. It's something I'm doing with my face.

  4. This is great and a great thing to teach kids.
    GAH!!! I hate local newscasters. They're all the same.. BAH!
    You on the other hand are FABULOUS darling. <3

    1. The thing I can't figure out- who WATCHES this mess? I mean, on purpose, and not because they know someone doing a spot?

  5. You are fabulous in that! I'm going to buy all my wrapping paper at thrift stores and commit to learning furoshiki.

    Those anchors are kind of giddy, they seem full of nervous laughter energy. What a couple of goofballs!

    I love nature centers! I worked at the nature center in Yosemite one summer. One day when I'm in SoCal I'm going to pop in. Your hand painted panels are the total shit! (Which, of course, I mean in an exceedingly good way) I thought I'd want to be an environmental educator but was intimidated by large groups of children.

    1. The longer I do this job, the more baffled I become. If I had told 18-year-old-me that I would be working with kids EVERY DAMN DAY, I'd have laughed in my face.