I’ve got a pretty funny story to tell about Em’s most recent birthday party but I’m going to wait until Tuesday because it includes a certain feline. In the meantime, some work in progress.
Remember this guy? Remember this series? I wanna bring it back. He’s my snugglemuffin.
I made a Yo Gabba Gabba cake for little girl’s 3rd birthday. The family was really happy with the outcome. I had an absolute blast making it, although it was stressful at times. And there was one unfortunate incident involving Brobee (the green one). So below you’re seeing Brobee 2.0. But overall, it went really well. I was in my happy place the whole time. I’d love to do this for a living. And I think I might actually try.
I used to save ticket stubs. I started back in the early 1990s. I kept them in a ziplock baggie. I did this for over 15 years.
I’m not sure why I stopped, but I did. Maybe it was when I started having kids and didn’t make it out as much. Either way, the ticket stubs stopped making their way into the baggie and then I lost the baggie. This was an awful realization because these stubs are much bigger than tiny pieces of paper. They’re scraps of memory; tangible strips of emotion.
Sally Mann recently said, “Using photographs as an instrument of memory is probably a mistake because I think that photographs actually sort of impoverish your memory in certain ways.” And I have to agree with her. I started saving these ticket stubs long before we carried cellphones everywhere. You weren’t allowed to take a camera into a show. This was a huge no-no. When you attended to a live show, you simply watched the show. You didn’t snap pictures from your iPhone and then upload it to Instagram proving to a group of people (who ultimately don’t give a shit) that you were there. Back then, you simply watched the damn show. And you listened to the show. And your memories of that show became richer. (At least for me.)
I know. I’m coming off as some crotchety old fart with this crap. And that is a shame. Because I’m also so totally guilty of this. Just last month I found myself snapping pictures while at the Mountain Goats show. Why did I feel compelled to do this? It was an awful shot. And yet I found myself, much later, on a train home, uploading it to Instagram. Why? The answer to that question isn’t, “Because my picture is journalistic!” The answer to that question isn’t, “Because people want to see my shitty picture of John Darnielle.”
The answer is more along the lines of, “Because I want to show people that I was at the Mountain Goats show.”
To which I would ask, “Why do you care?”
I understand why we upload the hell out of our memories. But I also get to question it. I question my motives for doing so. And maybe if I leave the phone at home, I’ll come away with richer memories.
But I digress.
I lost the baggie. Or so I thought. On Sunday, after my latest NYRR race in Central Park, I got home and decided to gather up all my recent bibs. (I save them as well.) I went to add them to an old filing cabinet I used to use for graphic design projects, recipes, and the like. That’s when I saw it, peaking out at me. The pink ziplock baggie!
I dove right in.
You know how when you receive too much stimulation all at once it can be too much and it leaves you feeling vulnerable? That happened to me as I sifted through all my old ticket stubs. I became overwhelmed with emotion. It was too much. So I put them away.
So I’m going to go through it weekly and upload them here. I’ll tell whatever story I can tell about each show (there are movies in there as well); who I went with; what was happening at the time; where I was living; and anything interesting that took place. I’m going to do this every Thursday.
So, without further ado, I give you my first post: Fugazi.
I attended with Missy and my brother Rob. We all lived in D.C. at the time. I walked there from my apartment on 16th Street. It was a chilly December evening.
Hello, guys! It’s been a while. And I’m not sure anyone even visits here anymore. ::crickets:: But I made a promise to the only brand I’ll shill for, and so here goes.
We are huge fans of Honest Kids Juices. So much so, we made them permanently available to our kids on our breakfast bar. They sit to the left of the tea and coffee fixins; they’re directly above the wine and liquor; they’re caddy corner to the seltzers and soda. Yes, we currently have our breakfast bar set up like we manage a bed and breakfast. I guess that’s kind of weird. But I set it up like that for Elliot’s birthday party and both Toby and I thought, “Huh. Why not leave it like this for a while? It’s rather useable this way.” So it’s been that way ever since.
But I digress. Anyway, Honest Fizz!
So, the folks over at Honest Tea sent me some free samples of their new, sugar free soda. And they want to give away two cases. Now, I’ll be frank with you because I always said that I would be: I don’t like fake sugar. I’ll take the real stuff any day, all day. I am a baker, after all. And I make and sell lollipops. I have TWO very large glass jugs of sugar permanently on my kitchen counter. (True story!) What I’m trying to say is: I use A CRAP TON of sugar. I buy it in bulk.
But some folks don’t like sugar for a plethora of reasons and cut back on their sugar intake. I get it! And I admire it. So, that’s where this soda comes in. Honest Fizz is made using organic stevia and organic erythritol. They offer 12 different flavors all with zero calories. And I want to give you a case! Free stuff, man!
So, if diet soda is your thing then I would love to offer you a case. My husband drinks it and particularly enjoyed the Honest Fizz Root Beer. All you have to do is tell me in the comments what you’d like to see on our breakfast bar when you stay with and we pamper you.
You have until Sunday evening at 6 PM to play. I will pick two people at random at that time.
IMPORTANT! Don’t forget to leave me a valid email address!
So, here’s my question to you: what’s your poison?
This morning I called into The Brian Lehrer Show to discuss my Etsy shop. The segment was called Checking In On the Maker Economy. Etsy was brought up and how they’re going public. So I figured what the hell? I make things and sell them on Etsy. I have a unique product. I am a “Maker”. Let’s do this!
So I called. The line was busy for a while, but I kept trying. After several attempts, a woman answered. She asked me my name, where I was calling from. She asked me what it is I make. I answered. She put me on hold.
Today is another snow day. Which means all three kids are home with me and they are all also completely insane. They are always completely insane, but throw in some cabin fever, the excitement of being home instead of at school, and Walter’s recent round of vaccinations, and we’ve reached asylum levels of insanity. Come to think of it, there are moments where I feel like I live in an actual asylum. It’s perfect madness. I live in a house surrounded by perfect madness, the madness of children.
As I sat on hold I began looking around the room, taking it all in. Walter was crying and drooling from underneath my desk. The other two were riding wheeled office chairs around the living room, dueling like they were on horseback. What had I been thinking? Calling into a radio station to talk about “making stuff”. What had I been thinking? I can’t have a conversation about my business right now, not one with any order or decency. How was I going to hold an adult conversation with another adult while on the radio as countless others listened in?
What the hell is wrong with you, Michele?
And then it happened. Brian Lehrer introduced “Michele from _______” and BAM! I was on the air.
I swooped down, picked up Walter and made a mad dash to the other side of the house, in search of the most quiet corner I could find. And I think I began to talk. I can’t remember what happened actually because I live in an asylum. But I think I mentioned that I make lollipops. That they are unique—blah blah blah. There is one called “The First Trimester” made from lemon and fresh ginger—blah blah blah. I think I mentioned “Rise ‘n Shine” and maybe a wine or two. I can’t remember what I said, really, because I live in an asylum.
What had I been thinking?
I think I kept talking and so did Walter, fussing in the background, endlessly whining from my right hip, directly into the telephone.
What had I been thinking?
And then without missing a beat (which is incidentally why I listen to him every day) Brian Lehrer quips, “Sounds to me like you’re in the fifth or sixth trimester right now!”
I think I laughed, but I’m not sure. But that doesn’t matter because the best part about this? The part that surprised me the most? I GOT IT. I got his joke, like, immediately. I didn’t have one of those parent moments where you’re like, “Uuuuhhhhh duhhhhhh, whaaaaaa?” No. I GOT IT. There wasn’t a brain delay at all.
I got it.
And then it was over. Just like that. Probably because he didn’t want to hear Walter fuss into the phone, or listen to my other two children beat the shit out of one another while riding around on office chairs. And I can’t say I blame him; that doesn’t make for very good radio. But it does make for a good asylum.
After I hung up, and then after some time went by (because of course it did), it occurred to me that I completely failed to mention the name of my shop. Because…