Archive for ‘Growing Down’

March 23, 2011

This Post Brought to You By Charlie Sheen. What?

You might be wondering why you have seen two projects (here and here) started but not finished. You see, I can explain. I started the desk and I started the puppy portrait, blogged about it and thought, “Wow! I am so awesome. I am so awesome at keeping up a blog and working on projects that I think I deserve a break.”

For lack of a more trendy explanation: Fail.

For some reason I am wired to think that functioning as a normal human being deserves a reward. Ate an apple? Now you can eat THREE Milky Ways! Took the dog on a walk? Now I can watch and entire season of Dexter in one sitting! …Because being active for twenty minutes obviously means you can lounge lethargically for eight to twelve hours the next day. Pardon the next trendy phrase that really sums this up: Winning. Duh! (Which clearly means losing.)

Self congratulations can really get you into trouble. Well, not BIG trouble. But enough trouble that I come up short on a lot of projects. My parents wised up to this eventually and quit funding projects until they were completed. They would reimburse me the entire amount of whatever sewing project I dreamed up or project I’d been puttering with. I can think of one time this actually happened.

Besides being over congratulatory, I have also been diagnosed with ADD. I was diagnosed at the ripe old age of 17 instead of having to get a Ritalin fix from the nurse in third grade like most kids.

I like shiny things.

Want another poster? I whipped up this one to keep myself on apples and not Milky Ways. Plus it is a little more work appropriate in case you feel like hanging it in your cubicle. When people ask where you got it just make sure to send them this way, but make sure they check out One Pretty Thing, too. She made this stuff popular. I just made it awesome.

Download the PDF here!

Apple A Day

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February 28, 2011

Playing School > Actual School

As the youngest of three girls, I often leached on to whatever my sisters were doing, saying or playing. I am sure this got annoying at times and despite their attempts to ostracize me (they coined themselves “The Bigs”… a nickname that clearly didn’t involve their baby sister), I managed to weasel myself into a few games where three participants were absolutely necessary. The most notable of these games was “School.”

Playing School was simple enough. One person was the teacher and the other two were the students. The teacher was always my oldest sister, Katie. Meghan and I were always her obedient pupils… a trend that carried over to all aspects of our lives as her minions. In order to play School, Katie would demand her privacy while setting up the schoolroom in the unfinished playroom area of our basement. Meghan and I would wait patiently in the living room as Katie toiled away with lesson plans and handwritten worksheets.  We would play with My Little Ponies, hop from pillow to pillow avoiding “Hot Lava” stretches of carpet, or just sit on the sectional and pick our noses until Katie opened the door.

Our schoolroom was a wonderful place. Thin black carpet covered the unfinished, cold, cement floor and the unpainted cement walls were covered in chalk drawings and schoolgirl declarations of love. (So-And-So hearts Whats-His-Face! Me + Boy-In-The-Other-Class = LOVE 4EVER!) There was a just-like-the-cartoons, green chalkboard and yellow chalk and a colorful, pull-down map that still featured Thailand as Siam. An old computer cabinet served as the teacher’s desk stuffed with old textbooks we scrounged up from garage sales and recycling day at our grade school. As perpetual students, Meg and I saddled up to real, laminated wood, hinged school desks that spilled everything on to the floor when you tried to access a pencil stored inside. It was perfect.

What made playing school so much better than actually GOING to school? It was just us three for the most part and Katie usually got sick of playing ten minutes after she allowed Meghan and me into the schoolroom. (But not after sending one of us to stand with our nose pressed up against a thick, chalk dot on the wall—a punishment dreamed up by kids who have never known a switch or a smack.) Do little boys play school, or is it just the girls that accidentally call their teacher “Mom” every once in a while?

When it came to painting the desk I picked up a few weeks ago, I originally planned to paint it something crisp and fresh or bold and dramatic, not whimsical and girlie. I walked into Home Depot determined to pick a color that fell into one of those categories, but walked out with a color called “Ballet Slipper”… a color reminiscent of the paint that was smeared across my bedroom walls during my years playing School.

Ballet Slipper

February 22, 2011

The Desk

This past weekend, the Boyfriend and I returned to Manhattan, KS for the first time as Kansas State Alums. The grueling two-hour trip that used to be filled with dread of upcoming tests, late projects and early (because 10:30 am used to be early) classes was now a bright and cheery portal for escaping the Real World.

How could I have ever dreaded going back there? Sure, people told me to enjoy college while I could. “These may be the best four years of your life,” they reminded me. My sisters warned me of the bleak reality that lurks past graduation, just waiting to chew you up Mondays at 8:00 am and spit you out Friday at 5. In college, you have 153 hours (9,180 precious minutes or 76.5 episodes of 30 Rock) of free time. Real World? You only get 80 and half of that is spent sleeping! Plus, weekends don’t really count because you are either busy running errands or dreading the Job Monster that is drooling all over your desk at work, just waiting for this weeks meal. Guess who is on the menu?

Needless to say, the weekend served as a well needed break from the already monotonous drone of an eight-to-fiver.  There is nothing like a college town to make you feel young again. (I know that is cliché, but there is a reason retirement communities are springing up in Universityvilles all over America.) On Friday, Boyfriend and I stayed at his house from last semester, practically revelling in the filth of no-responsibility. Staying up late! Drinking bottom shelf liquor! Hunan Express’ General Tsao Chicken at 3 am! We were practically drunk on the thrill of being students again… a feeling further fueled by actually being drunk.

Saturday afternoon, fueled now by Gatorade and Tylenol instead of Barton’s Flavored Vodka and Natural Light, we drug ourselves back to Aggieville–Manhattan’s main bar and shopping area. Soaking in what has changed around there (a lot in just the few months we have been gone) we habitually wandered into our favorite store, Acme Gift. I was immediately revived by what I found. No ibuprofen pill or sports drink could perk me up like a SALE! And not just any sale… Acme Gift was having a GARAGE SALE.

Sorting through stacks of clearance dashed prices and never-quite-right items was just what the doctor ordered for my hangover. Table after table, my hands were full of  just-perfect-for-so-and-so stuff. Then Boyfriend made a mistake in which I thought he knew better.

“Hey, look at this! It looks like it came straight out of my speech classroom!”

There it was. The perfect reminder of our days as undergrads and a shining metaphor for our future as alums.


The Desk

Sure. It was covered in a permanent marker note unlike the desks we knew  carved with Greek Letters and childish drawings of the male anatomy. But if you looked past that… It really was a desk straight out of Bluemont Hall. I walked around it. I ran my hand across the scratched desk. I took a seat.

The Desk

It creaked and moaned when I shifted my weight, but so will I eventually. Ingrained in its table were the faded remnants of math problems and chemistry solutions, slowly vanishing the way the same information is fading in my mind. It was stamped with KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY, not unlike I was as I turned my tassel in December. It was $5.00.

And now it is mine!

Update: The desk has been sanded and ready to prime. Stay tuned to see what happens!