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.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Prized Posessions (long and pic heavy)

I have a powerful pack-rat gene.  I have a lot of stuff.  I am emotionally attached to some of the oddest things you can imagine.  I have many many treasures.

In a fire, of course, I would worry most about these little fuzz heads.

These are my coworkers.  I'd stuff them in my pockets and run.
And, like anyone else, I'd save my laptop.  It's got all my pictures on it.


My parents got robbed recently.  They stole all of my mother's jewelry.  My mother was devastated.  The gold and turquoise bracelet from Korfu?  Gone.  The gold snowflake earrings from a trip to Breckenridge?  Gone.  Her grandmother's diamond ring?  Gone.  The diamond she was saving for me someday?  Gone.  Even if you ignore the monetary loss, the emotional loss was unbelievable.  These were memories in the form of metals and gemstones.  Family heirlooms.  I got her a pair of gold hoop earrings for her birthday and a pair of nice CZ studs for Giftmas, so at least her ears wouldn't be naked, but it's not the same.  At that moment, I made the executive decision not to be attached to things that other people might be prone to stealing.

I have physical memories, they just don't look valuable.

Here's the bulk of my physical memory objects.  The shelf itself is one, as my grandfather made it for me when I was about 10.  It was turquoise, white, red, and whitewashed at the time.  I had a whole Southwestern decorating thing going on.  What?  You don't like cactuses and coyotes?
I really need to get around to painting the wood door behind the "Beware of bats" thing.  And I should paint my walls.  The pink splotch was my first thought, but now I'm leaning towards the lavender on the paint chip in the light switch plate.

A shelf-by-shelf description of my treasures.
A Buddha beer bottle from a friend.  A plastic rat covered in little white hearts.  The corsage I wore to prom.  A small stuffed fuzzy thing from a friend.  A glittery bobble head gargoyle from my Grandmother.  A gargoyle puppet holding a smaller gargoyle.  A gargoyle wearing a pink sequin tiara from when I was little.  The thinking gargoyle.
A rude jester from when my brother went to Europe.  The volunteer gift from my first year of Pageant.  A rhino from college.  A white bobble head cat that looks like Miss Yvette (RIP).  Another fuzzy thing from a friend.  Another Buddha beer bottle.
A mug from Ren Faire.  Peacock feathers gathered as a child at a friend's house.  A blue jar full of important rocks  A brass dancer.  A jar full of patchouli.  A jar with a perfect dandelion head.  An iron frog full of tacks.  A small Japanese figure.  A jar with a bee in it.  A crochet bat from a friend.  A jar full of Herkimer diamonds.  Another Japanese figure.  Glass stones that say "I love you" from my mother.  A cigar box from a tobacco store in a town I used to visit as a kid.
A Balinese swan carving from a friend in college.  A terra-cotta warrior from the same friend.  A silver duck bank with a pink knit beanie from when I was a baby.  A crystal ball.  An antique egg cup from a trip to Quartzsite.  Gilded mistletoe.  A jar of coral from Hawaii.  A jar of dried ginger root.  A weird pink ceramic pig that my grandfather acquired once upon a time.  A jar full of seeds from a very impressively carved pumpkin.  A jar containing the leg of a very large grasshopper.  A rock that says "friends" from a friend.
Another jar of important rocks.  Another crochet bat from a friend.  A jar with a moth in it.  An old whiskey jug that was on a bureau in my childhood home.  A lei from my senior year in college.  A paper umbrella from my brother's wedding rehearsal dinner.  A fake owl.  A plastic witch who needs a paint job.  A silver candle cup from my sorority's 150th Anniversary Grand Convention (there are lion heads holding the handles).  An obsidian ball.
A wooden artist's hand my brother gave me for my birthday one year- it came out of the gift box flipping me off.  Sea urchin shells from a local beach.  Another jar of important rocks.  A jar full of small carnivore teeth and inner ear bones.  Rocks from Alaska.  A jar full of beach rocks from Israel.  My Steve Irwin bobble head (it says "CRIKEY").  A jar full of chicken feet from the chickens my cat killed and ate.  A jar full of black walnut shells.  A painted witch.  A bone box full of spare change.  A bullet casing from a camping trip in the desert.  A cigar box from the tobacconist.
A jar full of acorns.  A jar full of rabbit tails found one week at work.  Another small Japanese figure.  A crystal ball.  A jar filled with the remains of a relationship.  A bat canvas from my brother.  My beloved Teddy's urn and ashes.  A starfish from my brother's wife's brother's wedding reception.  A ceramic coin that says "Batty."  A small orange glass jar.  A Japanese vase.
A jar of seashells.  A jar of things found in owl pellets.  A pair of bird feet from a bird my cat killed and ate  A jar full of carpenter bee.  A jar full of objects found in the fire pit at a former place of employment.  A jar full of a sailor's beard, wrapped in silk.  Mistletoe from a hike in a canyon that had just had a rockslide.  A jar full of dill seeds.  A jar full of wishbones.  A jar full of darkling beetle.  A jar full of black sand and seashells from a Hawaiian beach that was covered by lava a few years later.  A mummified horned lizard.  A bobcat skull.  A jar full of cat whiskers.  Cigar boxes.
A Japanese Daruma figure my grandparents brought back after WW2.  A badger skull sitting on a small cauldron.  A vase of beaded flowers and feathers.  A small African figure from the friend who gave me the terra-cotta warrior.  A Hawaiian figure I found at a garage sale as a kid.  A geode from a camping trip.  An antique spice jar.  Another geode from another trip.  Two small Japanese vases.  A small brass Samurai helmet that is probably an ashtray.  A finch skull.  Some wishbones that need to go in the wishbone jar.
A ceramic skull tealight holder.  An empty Crystal Head vodka bottle from the friend who gave me the Buddha beers.  A real spiderweb.  A painted witch.  A small iron cauldron.  A tiny Japanese dish.  A rock that says "forever."  An abalone shell from a local beach (they're supposedly extinct this far south, but maybe a few are hanging on).

My pewter mug.  A purple glass ball.  Derp.  Afghani jewelry (probably fake, but it's pretty).  A picture of my mother.  A dog squeaker.  An important rock.  A tiny Spanish dictionary.  A replica vampire bat skull.  Wonder balsam for my new boots.

As I was skittering around my bedroom snapping pics of my treasures, I came across something that made me misty eyed..  My grandmother died in 2009.  I moved into her house in 2011.  As I was unpacking, I found an envelope with my name on it.  A birthday card, undated.  Tucked inside was $100.  I have no idea what birthday it was from, but I'm sure I opened it at the time and said thank you.  I used the money to buy a black wig, because surprise birthday money from a ghost should be spent on frivolous things.  It's the card that's the valuable part.
I am seriously considering having the "I love you" part tattooed on my body somewhere, just so I don't misplace it again.  Possibly followed by "I love yous" from all the important people in my life.

Someday, in the future, when some archaeologist runs across my stuff, I hope they're confused, and I hope they're amused, and I hope they don't think it's weird to have a jar full of bunny tails.

Friday, May 11, 2012


If I type it out, and post it online, it has to happen, right?

I get a 4 day weekend.  YEAH.  Granted, I have to finish a work project at home, and go in on Sunday for a bit to feed the rabbits, but otherwise?  I get four days at home.  HOME.  My dog will be delirious with joy.

Finish up this goddamned Photoshop project for work, flatten that shit out, and hit SEND.  Drink a beverage.  Watch something on Netflix.

Sleep until I'm done sleeping, or the dog wakes me up.  Do a lot of laundry.  Mop kitchen floor.  Vacuum living room.  Put away 900 pounds of craft supplies, and get Next Project on deck.  Grocery shop.  Get camping platform out of the car and get the seats back in.  Drink a beverage.

Drive to my parents' house at 7:30 to make the family breakfast for Mother's Day.  Peer at my new Nephew, who was born on Monday.  Watch the Dog and the Older Nephew (he's almost 2) enjoy each other's company.  Return home and gather things to get rid of.  Drink a beverage.

Monday:  Get rid of things at Mom's church rummage sale.  Revel in the empty storage spaces.  Attempt to kill the night-blooming jasmine on my porch, which I am allergic to.  Drink a beverage.

Tuesday:  Finish cleaning my garage, and research feasibility of glittering and sealing the garage floor.  Make whiny noises about having to go to work on Wednesday.  Secretly be glad because the Coworkers are entertaining people.  Drink a beverage.

Let's see how much of this actually happens.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Goblins, ahoy!

After some feverish sewing, and a long-ass week involving WAY too many children, I hustled back out to the Ren Faire in the rat version of my goblin costume.  I definitely felt more myself with rat bits than fox bits.

Alas, the wind kicked up and my allergies tried to rip my skull open.  My day got cut short.  I looked cool up until that point, though.
Only kinda drunk.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Unearthing old pictures

Part of my job has involved making giant collages of every article ever written about my place of employment.  The archives are a bit patchy for various eras, so I harangued my bosses into giving me access to their digital photo libraries.  I have spent the last several days scrolling through endless pics.

Found a few of moi.  Sweet, I'm taking those.  >pop out the flash drive<

So now you all get a gratuitous pic of me in 2008.  I think you'll agree that it's kind of cool.  Let's pretend that the photographer wasn't short and that Old Chin isn't visible, yes?

That's Isis.  She shuffled off this mortal coil about a year ago.  She was quite the saucy thing.

I miss the racing stripes in my bangs.  My hair is very monochromatic right now.  I'm a little concerned about rebleaching them, though, since my hair is much thinner than it used to be, and I'd hate to lose any more.

In more recent news, it's butterfly season at work.  I am the butterfly wrangler.  Most of our butterflies would be natural selection's rejects- I had to rescue this guy from a puddle AND from a spiderweb.  He was having a rough day.

Now I'm off to walk Her Dogness, so she'll stop pestering me long enough for me to sew new rat ears and tail for the Ren Faire on Sunday.  I have to work two more eight hour shifts between then and now... oy vey.  Spring is overly full.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kids these days

Old Laptop will not give up files to New Laptop.  Old Laptop thinks New Laptop is an uppity little whippersnapper.  New Laptop thinks Old Laptop is just a corrupt old bastard, and won't listen to a thing he says.

Old Laptop is also balking at interacting with Middleaged External Drive.  They used to hang out, but Middleaged External Drive doesn't call or write anymore, and so Old Laptop is being passive-aggressive.

So help me, if I have to manually jump all my shit out of Old Laptop on a flash drive..... I will just snap.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bats Day at Disneyland

Hi ho, bittens.  Anyone going to Bats Day at Disneyland this year?  I just got the email from my Disneyland-going friend that basically said "YOU IN?"  Hell, yes, I'm in.  It's a good time.  There is nothing quite like being in the shrinking room at the Haunted Mansion, surrounded by the entire Goffy spectrum (mostly shades of black, with some sepia thrown in because Steampunks don't skip a party), everyone chanting along with the Ghost Host.

A note to the Victorigoths- how, exactly, are you doing rides in a corset?  How are you keeping your tiny top hat affixed to your head?  QUESTIONS.

Last year (and I may have mentioned this before), one of the girls I was with overheard a smallish child ask her mother why everyone was dressed the way they were.  Mommy said something along the lines of "it's because they're evil, and their daddies didn't play with them when they were little like your daddy plays with you."


Are we still this dumb as a species?

Parents, let me make this clear to you:

EVIL DOES NOT HAVE A UNIFORM.  To paraphrase Wednesday Addams, homicidal maniacs look just like everyone else.  When you teach kids that the Spooky People are "evil," you're suggesting that evil is something you can see at first glance.  This suggests that "normal" people are then inherently good.  What a terribly dangerous notion.

Rapists and murderers and bullies and animal abusers and sociopaths don't look like monsters.  Every stripe of society has evil people in it.  Some of them wear suits.  Some wear khakis.  Some wear (yes) ripped fishnets and have liberty spikes.

Teaching your children to look for the evil uniform keeps them from learning to spot EVIL BEHAVIOR.

This year, I am going to wear a black shirt with big sparkly letters that say "I'M A TEACHER."  Granted, I am not the Goffiest of the bunch (I'm more Goff-adjacent, really- my hair is it's natural color and I have a farmer tan), but I think it might make a point.

I wish everyone going would wear a shirt emblazoned with their profession.  The Victorigoths can paint it on a parasol.

Yup, we're all normal people, we just like eyeliner a lot.