Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This Is Absolutely NOT a Pinterest Tutorial

Years from now, I'd like to be able to look back at this post and think, "I may get lost on my way to the bathroom, but at least I don't spend my time making pumpkin sculptures and stringing donuts." Oh dear, have I lost you already? You might remember that the Baby's school held a fall festival over the weekend for which I had two responsibilities: manning the donut bobbing race (because I love me a good hunk o' fried sugar-dough) and making an auction-worthy project out of pumpkins and recycled material.

I know that you've spent your weekend wondering how all of this turned out: Was the paper maché pumpkin a success? Will you be posting a tutorial of your work on Pinterest? Were there protesters at the donut bobbing race? I mean, who wasn't thinking about these pressing, vital matters this weekend??At the risk of being labeled, "too negative," I have to answer "no" to all three questions.

First, let's talk about the paper maché, AKA the paper trashé. The other room mom was in charge of having the kids help out with this project. We found a picture on Pinterest and checked out the tutorial. The finished product was supposed to look like this:

I now present our version:

Whomp, whomp. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Six Public School Policies that Have Changed for the Better

I try to avoid posting anything provocative on Facebook. I have friends from across the political spectrum and I want to keep liking them, so I really prefer not to know how they feel about global warming and American immigration policy. Sometimes, though, I unwittingly post something that I think is just silly and innocuous but that takes on a life of its own. Here's what I mean:

The back story is that the Baby's school has a fall fundraiser and each class is assigned a different activity station. Our class was assigned to the obstacle course, until the class assigned to the donut bobbing race requested to be switched because some parent or parents didn't like the idea of feeding kids fried, processed food at a carnival. Now, my issue with this is the inconsistency. If you're going to take a hard line stand against donuts, go all the way. If donuts are so bad, then why not try to get the game changed to apple bobbing or tofu bobbing or kale bobbing? Just refusing to be the one feeding the children unhealthy foods, but being perfectly okay with someone else feeding the kids unhealthy foods just makes me think that you're sitting around clicking your tongue and feeling superior as I peddle trans fats to preschoolers. Although I don't know for a fact, I assume that the objector is one parent who has unusually strong convictions about diet and food. I think the position is a little extreme, but keep in mind that this is coming from someone who very briefly toyed with being a vegetarian, but then decided that it might inconvenience potential dinner party hosts. That is to say, I have no convictions.

My post received about 30 comments, many from people citing their own examples of how (as one friend put it) we're all losing our collective minds. Schools are banning balls on the playground to prevent injuries, all junk food is being removed from school vending machines, and school are suspending kids for making a gun gesture. So, have these regulations gone too far? That's a matter of opinion. I like to think that some school policies and traditions have changed for the better in my lifetime. I've been pondering (seriously) all the ways in which I think school policies are better now than they were when I was a kid.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Craft Crap

Hey, remember last year when I started this blog and I attempted some craft projects? Mostly they turned out badly and I hope that made everyone feel better about themselves. In the last year, I've realized that my talents do not lie in the world of crafting. I'm not sure where my talents do lie, but at least I've eliminated one possibility. Thanks to Pinterest, I am completely convinced that I am in the bottom 10% of the populace in my crafting ability. One of the worst things about the Internet is how it lays bare our inadequacies in a very efficient manner. If I lived in 1913, I'd know that Mary (they were all named Mary) on the next farm churned butter better than I did or was a better seamstress, but I would have no idea about Mary in Minnesota or Mary in Texas or Marie in Paris. But we now have Pinterest to humble us. My lack of crafting skills has been reenforced recently as I try to help the Baby's class with a project to be auctioned at her school's fall festival. The class project must involve a pumpkin and recycled materials. Guys! What? This reminds me of like, Project Runway, where Heidi Klum or Tim Gunn (voice of Baileywick on Sofia the First) tells the designers that they have to construct a couture gown out of disposable diapers. And, somehow, they do it!

We don't need to get into what we decided to do for our recycled pumpkin craft because: 1. It will probably not work, and 2. If it's as bad as I think, I'll share pictures next week and we'll all get a good chuckle. Getting back to my main point (yes, I have one), the shear volume of stuff that people have figured out you can use to make other stuff is literally staggering. Yes, for all you people who hate when people use "literally" when they really mean "figuratively," I totally stumbled away from my laptop and fell on the floor when I saw this:

Pumpkin made of a dryer vent.
Now, I just have one question: Why? Look, dryer venting costs $9.99 at Home Depot, Krylon orange glitter spray paint is $9.61 on Amazon, a bottle of cinnamon sticks (the stem) is $5.48 at Walmart, and I'll just spot you the rustic moss stuff. So, you're spending over $25 on materials to make these guys, while you can buy three pumpkins (real, live pumpkins) for $12 at Whole Paycheck. Plus, you'll save yourself a bunch of time and you're not causing a run on dryer vents so that the people who actually need dryer venting for, oh say, their dryers will be able to buy them when they need them!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Who's Your Daddy?

In the October issue of Vanity Fair, Maureen Orth talks to actress Mia Farrow about her humanitarian work, her family, her former lovers, and the scandalous end to her relationship with former partner, Woody Allen. Orth asks Farrow point-blank, about a long-circulating rumor about the paternity of her son, Ronan Farrow, who was always identified as the only biological child of Farrow and Allen: Could Ronan be Frank Sinatra's biological son? "Possibly," responded Farrow.

Ronan Farrow responded to the hubbub over his paternity on Twitter:

No, no, no! With all due respect to Ronan Farrow, a former child prodigy who began college at 11, graduated from Yale Law School, attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and has served in the Obama administration, we are all not *possibly* Frank Sinatra's son. That's not to say that some family relationships aren't in question. For instance, Nick Jonas is *possibly* the second cousin once removed of President Franklin Pierce (aka friendly Frank Pierce, alcoholic from New Hampshire):

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dog People

"Dogs don't shit where they sleep." The first time I heard this was my first year in law school, and a 3L said it to us as a warning to not date other students in our section. (Which advice I ignored, of course. And, of course, not only did I have to see the guy every day for the entire year, we now live in the same town and I periodically have to studiously ignore him when I see him shopping at Publix.) Up until two weeks ago, I thought that this saying was figurative, but now that we are dog owners, I have learned that dogs really don't shit where they sleep. Thank goodness, because they are happy to shit anywhere else.

We picked up our little puppy in Virginia, very early on the last day of our whirlwind D.C. "vacation." Sister was nice enough to drive the K and the Girl to the breeder in Clarke County, which is about 65 miles from Washington. This meant that they left the hotel at o'dark thirty in the morning so that we could all still make our flight home. Sister sent this picture of the Girl and her new friend:

I know. Very cute.

She was still cute when we met her in person at the combination dog walk and smoking area at Reagan-National Airport:

The cute thing only lasts for so long. Now that I know this puppy a little better, I can't tell you how surprised I am that she is not lurching at the leash to eat those cigarette butts.

Just between you, me and the Internet (I guess that would be among us), I don't really like dogs. They're just like these furry jumping, licking, pooping, humping, butt-smelling creatures. I recently read that a "major" University of Texas study showed that dog people are "more extroverted, more agreeable, and more conscientious" than cat people. Cat lovers were found to be "less traditional, more creative, and more neurotic." A few questions: (1) what is going on at UT that they're doing studies on cat people and dog people? 2) Do you know a Texan with a cat? There is no way that this study wasn't inherently biased. (3) Who funded this study, the dog lobby? I smell a Rat. Terrier. Based on this (likely to be flawed) survey, I meet 2/3 of the cat person criteria. Since I'm a SAHM who never met an oxford cloth button down shirt that I didn't like and I don't have a single tattoo, I can't really claim to be "less traditional." But, I suppose I could be described as creative-ish and I'm definitely neurotic. The question is, am I dog-person enough to adjust to life with Dog?