Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm a walker, not a runner

I remember running around a lot when I was little. My brother and I would chase eachother all over the yard/fields/woods/house. This often led to injuries, most famous of which is the scar on my right arm. I had been antagonizing Daniel, and he started chasing me around the house.
As we circled my mother, hanging up clothes on the line, she yelled, "Knock it off before one of you ninnies gets hurt!"
Of course, we ignored her.
I ran into the house and slammed the door behind me. Daniel put out his hand to stop it, but instead, ran his hand through the glass. I shielded my face from the flying glass with my right arm, which is where the scar came from
My mother ran in, since it was obvious one of us "ninnies" had been seriously hurt.
"I told you this would happen!" She yanked the huge chunk of glass out of my arm and sent me to my room. I assume she did the same with Daniel.
Later, she brought up a glass of iced tea. I was sulking on my bed, reading Mary Poppins.
That, my friends, is when I started to hate running.

Monday, April 13, 1987
Dear Meredith,
We started track in gym today. YUCK! I turned around (when running) to wait for Lisa, and this large group of boys came and went around me all except for BC. He ran past and tickled me.

Tuesday, April 14, 1987
More track.
Nothin' new.
CT's mom is pregnant again

sh Wednesday, April 15, 1987
Dear Nina,
Hi! I'm not babysitting for Molly anymore because she's quitting school. Why, I don't know. No more $!!
Maybe I can sell something to someone.
Dad saved a little baby bunny from Calicoon. Those things squeak SO LOUD!!! It was cut badly so Dan and I put it back in a rabbit ( I think) hole.
BC always hits me (not hard) on the head with the notebooks when he passes them out in icky Graphics. He's always staring at me. He called me a dyke and I just looked at him like huh?
We had this thing about commercials in Health today, and one was a laxative called Bombs Away!

Again, the things that went on in school that would be illegal today.
And, again, my father's ephemeral kindness. I sometimes think he likes animals better than people. Actually, I'm pretty sure he does. I think I do, too.
Here's what might be my worst yearbook photo. Bryan yelled my name (and probably something about the size of my boobs) just before the photo was snapped. Lexi's hair is right below me.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Where I've Been

If I could find the digital camera, I'd post pics, a la Blogity, to show you what my sewing room looks like. Imagine if a bomb went off in Hancock Fabrics, but didn't kill/hurt anyone or ruin any of their great fabric.
Beqi gifted me with another bag of scraps to add to the BOX of scraps she gave me for my birthday, which was in January.
I have barely touched the boxes of fabric in the basement.
I've run out of denim.
I've stopped being neat and am throwing scraps on the floor. They'll get swept up later.
I panicked when I realized I only had 2 Asian-esque potholder sets. They usually are my biggest sellers.
Gypsy Caravan and Rock and Roll Craft Show are in a week. One week! AIE!

Is $8.00 too much or too little? I priced the potholder sets at $11.00 this time. Are more people left or right handed? Will I ever be able to straighten up my sewing room?!!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Free for all!

I think I fixed it so you can comment without having to join the blogger club. So, go nuts, everyone!

April 12, 1987

April 12, 1987

Dear Louanne,
Sorry about the past few days, but they were BORING.
C. slept over the 10th. We watched Grease. Saturday was hot and boring. I let these kids in who wanted to take a picture of themselves in a bathtub for a scavenger hunt. My parents had a weird fit. They didn't yell at me or anything.
Today I played my flute in church. I did okay.

Betsey told me Mike W. asked her out.

The moral here? Strangers who you let into your house will not always kill you and leave your body in a ditch.
Ah, Betsey....she was 2 grades above me and went to my church. She was like the older sister I didn't have. We bonded like white on rice. She was funny and sarcastic, I was funny and sarcastic. We liked U2. We thought one of the other girls in Youth Fellowship was a moron. We'd leave notes in eachother's lockers. Good times, that Betsey.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Close Encounter of the Third Kind

April 8, 1987

Dear Annie,
Today I talked to BC in health. he says I am sexy. HA!
But in comparison, he also calls L. a FOXY babe! And he pulls her hair and calls her "gorilla". But he is nice, sort of, and H. thinks that he is cute. But, she also says he humps dogs. Bye!

Holly always had the wittiest turns of phrase. She was probably the funniest person I knew at the time. I hadn't started talking to Chris Joy yet, but he was also one funny motherfucker, in a delightfully cynical way.

April 9th, 1987
Dear Myrtle,
I am obsessed with "With or Without You" by U2. I need that tape! Whenever I hear that song, I think of me and "Keith" dancing together. (Or someone else. BC)
One of my fantasies is that Keith will move into one of the houses across from us in the woods. Then he would be at my official bus stop. He and I would go to all the dances and my friends would actually envy me because he would slow dance w/me. And he would be cute, slim, funny and also a sports person. He wouldn't have eyes for any other girls in his grade, only for me. I guess it's really stupid of me to keep on loving him. Even now with BC. BC doesn't even take his place. (But of course Keith didn't try anything. He wouldn't have anyway.)
I think BC has feelings for me. At the next dance, if he is there, he better dance with me. Maybe even slow dance!

Jesus, the real Allison shows up! Keith was my neighbor from the time I was in kindergarten to about 4th grade. I have no idea why I mentioned him after 5 years. I may have seen him in a restaurant in my old town. When I first met him, he was a year older than me. I had a huge crush on him, and I think he was the first boy I kissed. I had a coloring book of Barbie Gets Married or something, and I turned to the "Kiss The Bride" page to get an idea of what we should be doing. Luckily, the coloring book did not have "Barbie drinks too much at her wedding and pukes all over her Vera Wang".
And of course Keith didn't try anything-he was 8 or 9!
It kills me that I said "my friends would actually envy me". You can see how far down the totem pole I was. Why I wanted a "sports person" is beyond me. I guess it was a criteria because everyone at my school was into one sport or another. There were only 300 of us from grades 7 to 12, so we each wore many hats. Our cheerleading team never had tryouts. If you wanted to join, you were in. I myself was on the hockey team for a few weeks. I also was in Ski Club, Yearbook and Band.
BC, if you somehow come across this.....I am not ashamed. I liked you, big deal. So I obsessed a teensy tiny little bit. Just don't bring it up if I ever see you again!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

100 Things I Like, No Order

One rainy summer night in Boston, Kate, Monty and I made a list of the Best Things In Life. And not all of them were free, mind you.

1. Rainy summer nights
2. Tea, hot or cold
3. Coffee, hot or iced
4. The smell of clean babies
5. The song of robins
6. My garden
7. My dog
8. Bubble gum
9. Peanut M&Ms
10. New York City
11. Chicago
12. Boston
13. Bratwurst and Bud at the ballpark
14. New Order
15. Mint chocolate chip ice cream
16. The smell of my parents' house
17. Spring peepers
18. Snow at night
19. a Korean dish called something like Bim Bap
20. Red wine
21. Beautiful sunsets
22. Seeing shooting stars
23. Findng a cool vintage sweater that fits perfectly and doesn't smell weird
24. Quilting
25. Fabric
26. My grandmother's house
27. Laying in the grass looking at the sky
28. Clean sheets (I've been on a Descendents kick)
29. Hearing a favorite song on the radio
30. Singing like a madwoman in traffic
31. Hot chocolate
32. Lemon bars
33. My parents' surviving cat, Clyde, who is very old
34. Volunteer tomato plants
35. Finding an active bird's nest
36. Irises
37. Creme brulee
38. Salmon (hmm...can I name 100 foods I like?)
39. Good hair days
40. Sleeping with the dog when M. is working overnight
41. Thunderstorms
42. My now old car
43. Finding vintage sewing books at thrift stores
44. Thrift stores
45. Cassette tapes
46. Indian food from Standard India on Belmont in Chicago
47. Cambridge, MA
48. Findng the first plant to come up in the spring
49. The smell of fall
50. Good dreams
51. Sterling silver
52. My hot glue gun scar
53. Hex sign tattoos
54. All things Amish
55. Music from Romania
56. Music from Brazil
57. Snickers bars
58. Nutty Buddies
59. Naps
60. When I used to ride my bike around Boston with Kate
61. Colored pencils
62. The Smiths
63. My wedding ring
64. Knitting in public
65. What Not To Wear
66. Walking the dog
67. When my betrothed tinkers with his scooter
68. Vintage jewelry
69. Seeing former students who are now tolerable individuals
70. Post Its
71. A warm breeze
72. Asian interior design
73. Art Nouveau
74. Swing music
75. The way the floor in Grandmom's quilting room slants
76. The church I used to attend
77. Cemetaries
78. Purple pens
79. A good Italian hoagie
80. The ice cream man
81. Van Halen
82. Mittens
83. Toads
84. Reading for hours in the summer
85. Summer vacation
86. Podunk towns in southern Missouri
87. The quilt museum in Paducah, Kentucky
88. Pulled pork sandwiches
89. Montana
90. My old house at Peter's Corner
91. Fresh cut grass
92. The smell of drying hay
93. Homegrown tomatoes
94. Zinnias
95. Moonflowers
96. My loyal orchids which bloom for 5 months
97. Being born in January
98. The idea of dowsing, which supposedly my grandfather could do
99. Watching my students get excited about reading
100. The shirt I'm wearing which Kate gave me (raglan sleeve grey and navy 3/4 sleeve)

The Potholder Racket, or, Eat My Shorts, Denyse Schmidt!

Some cities' organized crime families run things. The garbage, school milk, newspaper vending machines, etc.
I run the potholder racket in St. Louis. And, I've moved on to bigger and better things, namely MITTS!
The pictures you are about to see will thrill you. They may excite you. But I must warn you, these mitts are merely prototypes. Because I sometimes don't have a lot of common sense, I pieced a ton of mitt tops before testing to see how they would turn out. I had to have a stern talk with the free arm of my sewing machine to get the cuff bindng on. Apparently, the Singer wasn't listening. So, my mistake is your mitt. They will be on sale for $7.oo at Gypsy Caravan and The Rock and Roll Craft Show.
However, if you can give me a good reason why you need one and you'll promise to give me field test results, I'll mail it to you.

And you Saudis who keep looking for babes or hot blogger babes, you're in the wrong alley.
This is Squaresville territory.

For all you lefties out there:

And for the rest of you:

I was remiss in not giving a shout-out to Poppymom who alerted me to Denyse Schmidt's foray into housewares! Here is a link to the email that started it all.

And just as a disclaimer-I'd probably really like Denyse if we met. Her sense of color and shape is just the same as mine. The only difference is that I do all my quilting by my hand-I don't ship my quilts off to the Amish. *sniff*

Friday, May 05, 2006

Babes In the Woods

April 4, 1987,
Dear Corinne,
Hi. Today Steve and Sue got married. So, Mom and Dad were gone from 5 pm to after we were in bed. Dan and I went over into the woods and our sneakers were covered with mud. Icky poo! Nothing much happened Sunday.

Now, the odd thing about this, is that while visiting my parents at Christmas, I read the Christmas card Steve sent them. He felt the need to let them know, in a Christmas card, that Sue was not sure if she still wanted to be a wife and a mother to their 3 boys. Merry Christmas!
Steve was a childhood friend of my dad's. I guess he'd be in his fifties now.
When I was little, he'd come over every Sunday morning for coffee and to help renovate our house. He always had a knife in a sheath on his belt. I had a minor crush on him. He liked messing around with my brother and I-holding us upside down, tickling us, telling us crazy lies about monsters he'd seen in our house. We loved him.
He met a chiropractor named Sue, who we also loved the first time we met her. I remember she had dyed blonde big hair. She was a little New Age, but my dad liked her anyway, because she teased him.
Apparently, things change a lot when you're hitched and fertile. They always seemed like the perfect couple.

April 6, 1987
Dear Andrea,
Today we started a new marking period. I have Spanish, Graphics (ick) and typing instead of study hall! Waahhh!
But I love the typing room. It's half underground, so the bottom of the windows are at ground level. It's fun.
BC is in my Spanish and graphics class. Everytime I look at him, he's looking right back at me. Eeeuuuhhh! Probably thinking of how far he could go with me. How far? Not an inch!

In graphics class, we made several kinds of prints, such as etching glass and linoleum. We got to use pencils that were NOT No.2, which was a treat. It involved a lot of measuring and line drawing. Graphics class was the only class I got kicked out of. I was wearing a green calico prairie skirt with lace along the hem. As this was the new fashion, I was feeling cute. After being told to be silend, I whispered to L. "Did he say a half inch or 5/8ths?"
Mr. Pickett freaked out and told me to go the office. The class fell into shocked silence. Allison had never been sent to The Office.
"What?" I asked.
"Go to the office-I'm tired of telling you to stop talking."
I looked around the room, thinking this was a dream. Nobody breathed. I heard the clock tick. I picked up my notebooks and purse and walked through the silent hallways.
"What are you doing here?" Mr. Bright said.
"Mr. Pickett told me to come to the office," I whispered. Only the older kids ever got into trouble.
Mr. Bright gave me a speech about how we have 3 holes in our face, and one should be shut during class. That's the mouth, if you didn't know.
Graphics. It's a hoot!

Monday, May 01, 2006

I show algebra who's who

April 2, 1987
Dear Sybil,
Nothing interesting happened today, but, I got a 94% on my math test!! I love it! I love it! I love it!
I got my TV tonight!

April 3, 1987
Dear Eleanor,
Today, Buddy Rich died. Now Holly's father is out of a job.
Today the local pervert (BC) tried to feel for my bra strap. Goddamn sex pervert!
It's raining. Mom and Dad got new clothes for Steve's wedding. All today I kept thinking of Sue.
BCis an asshole.

Yet another example of shit that would not be tolerated in my school. Sure, kids get away with a LOT, but that's another post. However, I know I probably didn't need a bra, and was just wearing a training bra (what an odd idea...training....to wear a bra) so I wouldn't be half naked in the locker room.
Yes, it was that bad, ladies, and whatever gentlemen are reading this. Probably a lot, since I used the words "pervert" and "bra".
In 7th grade, I always wore a t-shirt underneath my top shirt/sweater so that when I changed in the locker room, I wouldn't have to display my flat chest. Keep in mind, I had friends who were born with big hooters. I was a sparrow among ostriches. I had all sorts of tricks-I'd go to the bathroom in the locker room and change there. I'd run to the locker room and change before everyone else arrived. Or, I'd dilly dally and take my time.
When I think about the stress and energy I wasted on worrying about my wee boobies, I could puke. I could have been developing a plan to feed starving kids. Or curing cancer. But, I was 13, and painfully obsessed with how tiny I was. I didn't even break 100 pounds until my family went to Montana when I was 16, and I was forced to eat 3 meals a day. My summer vacation diet of pbj and iced tea was ruined.
I wished and prayed for my hooters to grow. I did pushups. I wore layers to give the appearance of a larger chest. I chose the colors of my clothes carefully. I wore short skirts to draw attention to my stick legs. I carried notebooks close to my chest to hide what wasn't there.
If only someone had said to me what I say to my students who express this same worry to me: "There are tons of men out there who like women who are smaller up top. There are men who like a little more up there. There are men who like short women. Tall women. Plump women. Stick women. If you like a guy who doesn't like you because of your chest, forget him. Many people will find you attractive because of how you're shaped. Stop fucking worrying about it and do your homework!"
Well, I don't cuss, but the kids get the point. The other day, one asked me (in front of the whole damn class! Sheesh!) "Mrs. R? Has a boy ever not liked you because you weren't big enough?"
"Honey," I said, "the only thing about me that has ever been big is my mouth and my brain."

See, I'm not fooling! This very unflattering picture of my fishbelly white self is proof. Please be kind in your comments.