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Okay, I know I said I was done with ANTM– and I still reserve the right to bail mid-season!–but curiosity got the best of me. I watched it on Youtube. A few comments–

–Did you notice on the Great Wall of Wisdom featuring quotes from previous winners (god help us), the Season 1 rep was Robin? Seems silly. Seems like Adrienne probably offers at least one inspirational quote a week on “I Married a Brady.” Or they could have gone with the one about how Black History Month is racist. that’s a gem for sure.

–Marvita is still ugly. But otherwise this is a more attractive pool of too-old, too-short, too-crazy girls.

–I’d read the Television Without Pity recap, so I knew that Kim was going to bail. That made it that much more fun to watch them edit in every time she yawned or looked annoyed.

–Will the fact that Fatima looks just like Iman work for her or against her?

–How does a “no-smoking” sign on the door mean you shouldn’t have “the nerve!” to go outside and have a smoke?

–“You’re going to be posing with homeless people. But YOU’RE going to be in street clothing, and THEY will be in high fashion!” Oh, seriously? How does Tyra sleep? (I know, “on a bed of money those homeless gals ain’t getting!”)

–the gasping and clutching of pearls when Kimberly announced that she just doesn’t find fashion interesting? Priceless.

–“Kimberly’s torn shot is giving me wind!” Quote of the night, I think. Maybe it should go up on the wall. Esp. since at first I thought she said “Kimberly’s porn shot.”

–and speaking of porn–one giant bed? Are you kidding me?

Okay, I’ll make it to the makeover show, okay? so get off my back.


I know that so many look to me for pop culture insight. Andi was looking for my snark on the current ANTM cycle. I’m afraid I was serious back at the end of the last cycle, which was what? 2 weeks ago? Project Runway started during Top Model and it’s just now finishing up. I fear that Tyra is headed toward a Tyra Channel. SkankTV. But she’ll do it without me b/c I just can’t watch it any more. I know, it was never Masterpiece Theater (which was, of course, what made it awesome), but it wasn’t even fun anymore. I’d hoped that Make Me a Supermodel would fill the void, being on Bravo and all, but no. It, too, is pretty lame. I feel that I am being deprived of good trash TV. Recommendations are welcome.

I am, of course, watching Runway. I think Jillian will take it. I’m not crazy about her Ziegfield Girl personal style, but she seems to have the chops to be a designer. Not that it matters–the winners on this show have about the same success rate as the ANTM winners. If you’re a fan, check out the Sew Not Over competition if you haven’t already.

Watching Lost, going to bed confused every Thursday night. Well, more confused than on the other nights of the week, anyway. So far it’s a fairly happy confusion, I’m still enjoying the clues and twists, but they better pony up some answers soon. And it had better not be Bob.

Steve and I are finally watching The Office. Everyone told us to watch it and we kind of blew them off. Steve loved the British version and didn’t think this one would measure up. I found the British version to cringe-y and couldn’t watch it and feared the same for the American version. We both had seen part of an episode and weren’t grabbed. But oh, oh so funny. And Jim! And Pam! And dear, dear Dwight.

Catching up on Big Love. Great show, highly recommended. Well written, well acted, exciting and funny and generally great. We watched when it first came on, but since we cancelled HBO, we have to watch on DVD now.
Need to get Weeds and catch up on that.

Just finished reading The Body of Jonah Boyd and enjoyed it. It was a fast, engrossing book. Currently reading Water for Elephants, which I’m enjoying.

I’m not funny because I’m trying to follow the Eat for Life 6 week plan. I need to get some weight off so that my hips hurt less. And so that my pants fit. But I’m close to deciding to buy bigger pants and pop vicodin. It might make watching House even better.

fizzy pop

Well hey there, Fizzy Pop! I’m glad to see you, I’m hungry. What’s for lunch?

full of lunchiness

Mmmm…what’s all this?

oilcloth baggies

Why, I think these are lovely vinyl bags and wrappers!

lunch time!

Yummers! Let’s eat! And then reuse our bags! Thanks, Fizzy Pop!

Now go read Nell’s blog and see how sad this wee lunch is. Sigh.

I’ve been trying to gather up old sewing machines at good prices so that I can keep them at the school for our 4-H meetings, rather than having the kids (and me) schlepp their machines in every time. Creating sort of a home ec room that I can store in a closet. I’ve avoided the ones in cabinets, even though they come out, b/c I dont want to deal with the furniture, but on Craigslist, I came across one with a really CUTE desk and the machine looked like my old school machines from the late 60s (I did NOT go to school in the late 60s, thank you very much, but I’m pretty sure that’s when the machines showed up) and I recall them as good and solid. So, I made the contact, made arrangements to pick it up (which the weather stymied twice), and got Mapquest directions.

I’m happily listening to Ricky Gervais podcasts , laughing my head off, and tooling out into the wilds of West Virginia. I start making lots of little turns, it gets very dark as I leave the land of buisnesses and highway lights. The road becomes much less paved. The homes become much more mobile. I arrive at my destination (after passing roads named “Riproarin ave” and “Slanty Ln”) and park. The trailer has a little enclosed porch thing that I knock at. The seller comes to the door, wearing bright printed scrubs and looking pretty normal and in her 30s. Not at all the 300 lb shambling mess I was beginning to expect. In an email, she’d asked if I was “handy with carpentry” b/c the sewing machine was hiding a hole in the wall she was going to have to fix before moving. I’d gotten kind of a needy vibe and pretended I didn’t know a Dewalt from a Dewers.

She lets me in and leads me into the kitchen where I am faced with about 20 snakes, stacked in plastic storage bins. Like pasta, or out of season clothing. I make nice with the snakes, chit chat about a reptile show I’d gone to and marvel at the colors boas come in. And think, “So, this is where it ends. In a smelly trailer full of snakes in West Virginia.” She shows me the machine, cute as pictured, and the hole in the drywall, about which I can do nothing. “I can’t help you much,” she tells me, “because I have a heart condition and bad knees.” I joke that I guess I can’t plead “arthritic hip” and ask her to do the hauling. The blasted thing is heavy, but even worse, has no easy way to carry it. The back is perfectly flat, so I kind of “walk” it out, wiggling it side to side. When it comes time to wrestle it out to the van, though, she picks up the end and helps me get it in. We go back in to get the bench. She’s been chattering the whole time, and has kind of a reedy voice. But now it is flat-out wheezy. And her lips are BLUE. Dude, you have congestive heart failure! What in the HELL are you doing?!? Oy. I start chattering so she’ll shut the hell up long enough to breathe. The color returns to her lips. phew. So. out.of.there. I get out, while everyone is still alive. And you know what? I think I have enough machines now. Thanks.

I was lying in bed with Lily the other night, as is part of our bedtime ritual. She said, “Hey mom, hear that?” “What?” “Hear that? It’s Fredo. He’s mad we let him get in the road and get hit and now he’s back. He’s out there going ‘waroooo. waroooo.”

can't sleep clowns will eat me

We were at the Philadelphia Art Museum yesterday. Lily wanted to see some real Mondrian, Ben wanted to see the armor, and we all could use an excursion. Lily was satisfied by a cursory glance at the Mondrians (“Yep, there they are!”) and we moved on to the armor. I’d seen it years ago and didn’t expect to care to see it again (given that I no longer have need to determine which style my D&D character would most likely sport), but it really was pretty cool. It’s one of those “Holy cow, this is OLD. And this detail was added by the hand of an actual person” moments. Somehow the handiwork of regular men and women (armor, tapestry) is more awe-inspiring than the work of an artist to me…but anyway. On to the funny.

We were standing in front of a case in which there were these wee metal domes. They looked like helmets for cats. Ben asked what they were and I read the little sign that identified them as codpieces. “What’s a codpiece?”

“Well, see how the armor leaves this area totally open? That’s where his penis and scrotum would be and he really, really doesn’t want to get hit there.”

Steve cuts in, “It’s a cup.”

Ben: “I do NOT want to drink out of that cup! I mean, WHO would drink out of a cup like that?!”

Son, that is what the internet is FOR.

Had a lesson in “Why I am not a Kindergarten teacher” today. I was back for my monthly art lesson with Lily’s class. Today, we talked about the art of Piet Mondrian (specifically his works that look like the side of the Partridge Family’s bus ) and learned about parallel and perpendicular. I open my little lessons by reading Bob Raczka’s No One Saw. The text of the book runs along the lines of “No one saw flowers like Georgia O’Keefe” and then there’s a picture of an O’Keefe flower. Today after every line, they’re hitting me with “I do.”

“No one saw mothers like Mary Cassatt”

“I do.”

“No one saw Sundays like George Seurat.”

“I do.”

“No one saw trains like Rene Magritte.”

“I do.”

“Really Quinn? Have you seen a train coming out of a fire place? Really? Because I think you lie. Liar liar pants on fire!” Ahem.

But I get through it. I keep it light. I keep my humor appropriate to small children. I give each of them a 12×12 square of paper with 1 inch grid drawn on. They sit quietly and await instruction. No, no they don’t. They wave the papers in the air and put them on their heads and generally behave like the toilet-trained chimps they are. I do that teacher thing of standing still and silent. They quiet down. (I think this may be some prey-animal instinct. The predator has crouched and is still. We’d better stop flitting about before she pounces on us. ) I pass out red, yellow, and blue squares and rectangles. Before I hand out the glue sticks (because once they have a material in their hands, they begin to use it. Stupid Montessori), I tell them that they will be putting the shapes within the lines of the grid. I demonstrate at each table. Give them the Goofus and Gallant versions. Then I get the glue sticks. Of course, they start slapping them on any old way, but I’m cheery and light, “Okay guys, I know that usually I let you go your own way on these, but this lesson is about parallel and perpendicular. Remember? Keep it in the lines.” And I go table to table. They’re putting one shape on top of another, they’re trying to just hoarde the shapes, they’re gluing both front and back. One of the girls at Lily’s table has folded rectangles like cards and is giving them to her tablemates. Much little girl squeeing. Then she has to take one she’d given to Lily. The tears. Lily, do you SEE the other little rectangles in a pile in front of you? And where did the paper come from in the first place? Your house. That’s right. oy.

Then it was time for the black strips of paper. I had cut them all 1/2 inch by 12 inches. I gave 5 to each kid and then told them that they could cut them to make them shorter if they needed to. I was not specific enough. Lily’s table was cutting confetti. Another boy cut his, jaggedly, up the middle, leading to his gluing down stringy triangles. I’m feeling that old feeling of the first time your first kid is using watercolors and won’t rinse the brush and all the colors turn grey. Of the first playdough that all turns grey. I’ve made all the other projects Super Mellow. I just. wanted. some. damned. lines. When I gave them a pencil with which to write their names on one of the white spots of their pictures, I was specific–“Write JUST your name. Don’t decorate any more of the picture. JUST your name.” One kid wrote hers alllll the way across the page. Another wrote hers 4 times… So it seems that control freaks shouldn’t teach art to children. Next lesson, I’m going to let them draw to music. Totally free. all their own. Lets see how they are able to defy me THERE. HAH!

Anyway, here’s the bulletin board:

Kindergarten Mondrian

Apparently, it is Shrove Tuesday in some parts of the world. But in Frederick, Maryland, it’s Kinkling Day! The first February we lived here, we were very confused by the banners on the Donut Shoppe that said “We have Kinklings!” Was it something that a shot of penicillin could clear up? Were the banners mandated by the health dept? The Shoppes (god rest their souls) were too small for a band, even a band of children that does Kinks covers (I KNOW!). So, as the kids say, WTF? Turns out, Kinklings are called Fastnachts in Germany and Pennsylvania. I vaaaaugely remembered Fastnachts. But since fabulous pastry is a year round thing in Germany, I paid them little mind. They are, really, donuts. ’round these parts, they’re square or triangular, no hole, no filling. Some are glazed, some are covered in granulated sugar. I hear tell that some have raisins, but I prefer to think well of mankind. If you decide that fresh donuts are a good enough reason to pretend to be Catholic or to dredge up your childhood training, You can find a link here. There is surprisingly little out there in the interworld about Kinklings. It’s up to us to change that. Make some kinklings! They don’t call it Fat Tuesday for nothing, people.

I last tried doll-making back during the Cabbage Patch era. I made a Michael Jackson Cabbage Patch-style doll for my MJ-crazed cousin. Because I was full of disdain even then (so young and tender for such bitterness), I gave him a bald patch on the back of his curly head to commemorate the recent head-fire that the real MJ had while shooting a Pepsi ad (yes, children, Michael Jackson was once sought after for endorsement deals!). I made him one sparkley silver glove. I thought I was hilarious. But that was the end of doll-making for me, except for when I made giant soft sculpture puppets for a college presentation of The Visit. Which was freakin’ weird.

Stacey called and asked if I would make a Ms. Frizzle doll for Annika, who is way into The Magic Schoolbus. Never one to shirk a challenge (oh we know THAT’s not true), I said yes. In truth, I do love a puzzle. I just wanted to see if I COULD. So. Here’s Ms. Frizzle:

Ms. Frizzle

And here’s the doll, in her planet dress:

ms. Frizzle doll

From the back:

ms. Frizzle's back

Here’s her Plant Dress…I made it first and found the styling kind of Little House on the Prairie, so I made the planet dress with a circle skirt w/o gathers:

flower dress

I took a few photos while I was making her, thinking I might set up a sewing blog. But lord I can barely keep this one up-to-date, so if you don’t care about sewing, just plow past those posts. But your loss. So, here’s The Friz after the chemo:

chemo frizz

It’s really no surprise she got cancer, what with all the shrinking and growing and transforming…that HAS to wreak havoc with your cells. I really worry about the kids, who are getting all that at such a young age.

And, for all you pervs out there, Ms. Frizzle nekkid, with her hair down:

Ms.Frizzle naked

I hope that Magic School Bus porn is a very esoteric interest…

So she’s done, I like her, and I have no intention of making any more. That makes her art. Enjoy!

Day before Ben’s birthday party and we have nothin’. It’s his birthday today (he’s 8! yikes.) and he managed to control the weather enough to get a day off from school. He’s spent the morning lying on the couch, eating chips, watching Star Wars and playing Lego Star Wars on the DS. And best of all, both girls have gone to friends’ houses. Right now, he’s out to lunch with Steve. So that seems pretty perfect for him. Which is good, b/c as I mentioned we have little in the way of a party planned. Every flippinyear. What the hell is wrong with me? I have this inability to actually think of a month until I’m in it. So things that happen in the first week just catch me by surprise. His damned fault for not coming at the end of January like he was supposed to. THEN he would have had a lovely, well-planned party.

He’s no help, really. It finally occured to me this year that if he can’t be bothered, why should I? He can just barely come up with names to invite. And, since we don’t actually invite anyone until 4 or 5 days before the party, all but two are unable to come. So Steve will just take the three boys to Adventure Park USA (known as Hell or Xtreme Chuck E Cheese) to play laser tag. Then they’ll come back for pizza and ice cream cake. Which I’d better go order… He actually requested that, so if I don’t get the order in, I’ll be smooshing ice cream into a cake pan. Which, really, I ought to just do. I’ve never NOT made a birthday cake before. Hm. Screw it. First time for everything. This will be the party I buy my way out of! I wont even have to clean! yay me!

Oh, and sorry about that stupid quiz in the last post. It took me to the dating site when I took one Andi posted a while ago. Seems that a dating service shouldn’t advocate that sort of teasing and bait-and-switch, eh?


February 2008
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