Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blast from the past

Me and my cousins:
Little R., C., C., me, Jason, who's no longer with us, and S. in front.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ikea Hack

You know those gigantaloid bags you buy at Ikea for $.50? Quite a while ago, K told me about her friend, a fellow crafter over Knit or Get Off the Pot, who pointed out how easy it is to make two bags from one. I love what she did with the otherwise not-very-useful bags. Just made these myself:
Ah, but what is that button and hook for? you ask. Why, I'll show you.
Ta Da! Handy ICOE bagwithinabag!

Anjelina Jolie Pregnant with Twins?!?!

I don't think I'll be able to handle it if Angelina Jolie is pregnant with twins. Excuse me, pregnant with Brad Pitt's twins, which is how everyone seems to be wording it. I'll never understand the obsession with celebrity baby stories - but it sure sells the rags, doesn't it? Nothing ruins standing in line at the grocery quite like the dimple-cheeked offspring of the starved. I like looking at pics of my nephews like nothing else, but, as everyone knows, there's nothing more dull than looking at pics of kids you don't know. I'm telling you, seriously, mark my words, in 13 years or so, we're going to see some major recriminations from today's wee little ones, when they start demanding residuals.

I found this lame-ass article by this woman who writes, "...I can’t deny the appeal that a celebrity’s status as a mother has on my interest in them. Maybe other people aren’t as simple-minded as I am, but what do I know? I’m just a mom." Seriously? I'm pretty sick of this I'm-busy-raising-my-kids-so-I-don't-have-time-to-use-my-brain-excuse that people like to trot out. What do we care what the children of the Cruises, the Britneys, the scary Nicole Richies and the Robertses look like? I mean, it's simple: if the kids are really lucky, they won't end up cracked out of their minds or under the parental care of Kevin Federline. But, more likely, they're going to end up pretty effed up, just like the rest of us, because not only do they live in a celebrity-obsessed culture, but they're the object of obsession.

Or maybe Jolie is selflessly, single-handedly trying to revive our dying economy (ie. baby "bump" rumors spur on sales of magazines, more women get pregnant to follow "trend" of making babies, buy whatever stroller the Jolie-Pitts are pushing their twins around in. Oh, excuse me, his twins).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

In the News

The Onion has some awesome articles out right now, including Bill Clinton: Screw it, I'm Running for President. You KNOW that's what he's thinking... Area Eccentric Reads Entire Book is hilarious, but even more so when I noticed that the location is Greenwood, Indiana. One of their writers has got to be from IN; it seems to be a frequent locale in the stories. Happened to notice this old article from 2001, Garage Band Actually Believes There Is A 'Terre Haute Sound', which'll be sure to amuse anyone that's ever been a member or observer of the Indiana music scene.

In REAL news, my friend A. is featured in an article in the WaPo: A Colorful Haven for Artists and Activists. Check it out!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Do It!

(first pet & current car)

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: Chocolate Sugar
(fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: K Ro
(first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)

(favorite color, favorite animal)

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: Jean Bloomington
(middle name, city where you were born)

(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: The Black Cosmopolitan (Oooh - I like that!)
(”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)

8. NASCAR NAME: Corky Eugene
(the first names of your grandfathers)

9. STRIPPER NAME: Amarige Truffle (ooh!)
( the name of your favorite scent/perfume/cologne, favorite candy)

(mother’s & father’s middle names )

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: uhhh... mom, do you know?
(Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: Autumn Narcissus (ooh, that's good!)
(your favorite season/holiday, flower)

13. CARTOON NAME: Strawberry Pantsies
(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)

14. HIPPY NAME: Coffee Maple
(What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: The Sewing Hailing Tour
(”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)

Watcha watchin?

God help me if I'm not spending the morning watching reality tv (free the writers!) I've got a few questions:
1. Are we supposed to believe that that dude's wife had a baby, and then he AND the wife dragged their one day old baby to an American Idol audition?

2. What heads of states do the contestants of Crowned: The Mother of All Pagents think they are going to dine with after winning the dubious prize of a reality tv show about bitchy mothers and daughters lacking even the integrity of say, Miss Teen USA (Poor Carson! How did he end up in the middle of that hot mess?)

3. Why was that mom "humiliated and embarrassed" for kissing her husband and taking her shoes off?

In other weak entertainment news, M and I attempted to watch Cloverfield, which I mistakenly thought was a Godzilla movie, and which I mistakenly called a King Kong movie. It turns out it is neither Godzilla nor King Kong. It is, however, quite similar to The Blair Witch Project, which caused me to throw up all night after I watched it. Part way through the completely handheld Cloverfield I started getting that old feeling again. Lo, did we stumble out of the theatre, moaning and clutching at the wall. Even though the movie was really boring and lame, I still wonder what predictable ending they went with - did they all get dashed to death at the last minute? or did they ride off in a helicopter into an uncertain future? Anybody know?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog for Choice 2008

Today's the 35 Anniversary of Roe v. Wade. While our rights are slipping through our fingers these days, it's important to remember the women who fought and are fighting for women's rights. Please remember, one third of American women have had an abortion by the time they're 45, so whether or not she's trusted you enough to tell you, chances are you know quite a few women who've had an abortion. Practice respect and sensitivity for a difficult and honorable choice.

Monday, January 21, 2008


An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

DVR Breakdown

Something got cocked up in our DVR so The Guy came this morning, and besides regaling me with tales of how much better he plays Guitar Hero when he's drunk, he gave me the bad news that we needed to replace the machine and all our recordings would be lost. Wah, all those 30 Rocks I'd saved! A Friday Night Lights only half-watched! And last night's American Idol, for which I had to suffer a certain husband making fun. I watched the Philadelphia one the night before. I don't know why that Simon guy gets such a bad rap. If you ask me, he's the most professional one of them all - Crazy and that other dude sit there snickering and poking each other in the ribs, but at least Simon has some decorum. You know what's interesting? The show was two hours long but I watched it in about 40 minutes, fast forwarding through commercials, anything with that Seacrest person, and any shots of the miserable hovels and tiny babies these desperate wannabes are anxious to escape.

In other news, there's a wet snow coming down outside, but K is warm and toasty inside, hiding from the world and all the nasty people out there who might take her DVR and tell her a singing career is simply not in her future.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Self-Serving Blog Shout Out

Yo, if you're not reading (and commenting) on Top Five, you're missing a good time! (This week: People You'd Invite to Dinner)

I wrote about this new batch of "bad girl" books (Gossip Girl and so on) on my book blog. Isn't it crazy what the kids are up to these days?

This I only WISH I'd written. (Thanks for the tip, C&D!)

PS - do y'all like my new foto over there, or does it make me look too chubby?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Right Wing Media Turns Me Into Clinton Supporter

The recent brouhaha over Hillary Clinton's "tears" after her touchingly (and ever so slightly) emotional response to a question ("How do you do it?") has got me rethinking about who I support for president...

I think she sounds sincere and honest, and that little speech, which has caused an commotion in the press (I think the Daily Show covered it well) has even
Feminists poking fingers at each other
. Maureen Dowd's bizarre-o op-ed about Clinton's "crying" reeks with the discomfort of someone who can't stomach a powerful woman (odd, coming from a pretty powerful woman herself) with *gasp* feelings. It seems obvious to me, but people seem to forget that most people, even this guy, are at times "emotional". I just happened to catch a rerun of Sex and The City yesterday where Charlotte complains that one time she cried on the job and no one ever let her forget it. After being insulted, Samantha makes a bee-line for privacy before allowing herself to shed a tear. When men cry, Jesus Christ, isn't it touching? but when women cry, watch out! she's an unstable woman, likely to bleed all over the Oval Office.

The whole thing makes me nuts, particularly how she's referred to over and over again as "Hillary". God help me if I don't do it myself sometimes, it's so ingrained in our mentality. Does the media ever mention Barack and John? No, it's Obama, Edwards, and "Hillary" - it's a classic method of marginalizing women, and it's not acceptable. And, yes, yes, I know that even her campaign refers to "Hillary for President" but does that give the media free reign to refer to her by her first name while everyone is given the courtesy of their last name?

Gloria Steinem's NYT article was a tough pill to swallow, but mostly because what she wrote rings pretty true, whether we want to believe it or not. Steinem writes:
Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy.
I hate to say I've (until recently) been one of those women Steinem's worried about, who "hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system" because I've so far been throwing my (considerable - ha!) influence and support to Obama. Like many others, I thought that Clinton's ok, but not exactly the person I want as president. Why? I thought, maybe she's too shrewd or political, plays the game too much. But which man in the running isn't doing that right now? (Well, ok, Kusinich...)

Feministing has been making frequent posts all day in a "24 Hour Hillary Sexism Watch" that really make you wonder what century we're living in. Amidst all these ridiculous reactions to Clinton, from what she's wearing to getting a little misty-eyed when talking about how invested she is in changing this country for the better made me think, to quote an early feminist, Ain't I a woman?

Funny that the right wing media turns me into a Clinton supporter, but that's exactly what's happened. That's my SISTER they're talking about, and each jab that has to do with her gender makes me feel like myself and women everywhere don't stand a chance until we confront the caste system, like Steinem says, and support Clinton not just because she's a great candidate but also because she's a woman. I may not share every single one of her political decisions, but I want to see a woman president. And instead of waiting around for the perfect woman, why shouldn't I stand behind this one, who's brilliant, a Democrat, a Feminist, has a ridiculous amount of experience and is just maybe the perfect person to be our first female president?

Monday, January 07, 2008


I wasn't the only one who was crafting away at Christmas time! Wanted to share with you these super-cool soy candles made by my friend G. She's a thrift-store shopper extraordinaire and found some really fabulous containers for the candles. I also got some mixed cds from friends C&D - have been incessantly listening to Ingrid Michaelson, Girls and Boys.Now, here's a blast from the past... saw some awesome jewelry made with Shrinky-Dinks on Etsy, and had to run out and buy my own. Here are some of the things I've made so far. Think will turn them into key chains or necklaces. Fun, huh? Hope my da' doesn't mind if I share this poem I wrote for him for Christmas:
You built a house in the tree
with wood from my Grandpa.
It was red, and peeling, and wonderful,
there was a ladder, and a trap door, and a pail
that we used to raise and lower things.
It was everything a tree house should be.

In the summer
we slept in the tree house
with neighborhood kids.
Well, we started the night in the tree,
looking at stars
listening to the silence of a sleeping street.
In the middle of the night,
or maybe nine-thirty in the evening,
we climbed down and went to our beds,

Not along ago,
you and I tried to draw the tree house
The challenge of perspective,
of point-of-view,
was too much.
How did we forget to take a picture
of your creation?

My grandma can barely watch old videos of her family
playing in the lake, tan and beautiful.
She avoids the screen.
“It doesn't capture,” she says, “How wonderful it was.”

Photographs don't tell the whole story.
We had dogs and days with no pictures
but I remember them well.
We never could have captured
how fun it was.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Monkeying Around

Here are some monkeys I made for a couple of young friends. I was quite pleased with how they came out and enjoyed making them. These are made from the classic "Red Heel Sock", locally made in Rockford, IL. I felt like something of a Native American because to make a sock monkey, you use all of the sock. These were the best instructions I could find online - you can make them with any kind of sock, if you wish.
I think he liked it!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

We can be heroes

Happened upon this Hero-generator. My heroine, Wonder K, stays Warm with the help of her Trusty Companion, The Sympathetic Squirrel, and Smashes Patriarchy with her Feminist Hammer! (BTW, did anyone else watch Wife Swap tonight? God help me if I did.)
Make your a hero in your image here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year, New Baby

Shortly after midnight last night my dad called with the good news that my sister-in-law had (finally, poor thing) given birth to a baby boy. His name is Nathan James and looks cute as a button. Look at that face! They were on the news this morning because he was one of the first babies of the new year (in Indiana). Everyone's doing very well. Think my sister-in-law is a little viking.In my midnight state (post-champagne but pre-flaming shots) I was confused about the date of the birth because I forgot to factor the time change. Had long chat over brunch whether Jan. 1 was a good birthday or not (you know, people with birthdays close to Christmas always complain that no one gives their birthday any special notice). Well, I promise to be a good Auntie and provide both Xmas and birthday presents.

Here's his cover story and some in-depth journalistic coverage about his urine.