Sunday, December 26, 2010


Of course I lost my mind this Christmas. I got a $76 parking ticket while running into "Lush" to get bath bombs for my kids. I bought paints and forgot yellow. I spent 5.5 hours putting together a play kitchen I'd bought for $25 from a woman in my Northern Liberties mommy group.

I didn't know the woman, but I'd remembered a post she'd made looking for a nanny. She had specified that she'd prefer a Jewish nanny. This was on my mind when I went to pick up the play kitchen. Also on my mind was the Ikea play kitchen I'd bought for $99 before I'd thought to see if anyone had an old one they didn't want anymore. The Ikea one was wood. I was buying a plastic one. The woman and her husband had bought it a year ago. Upon discovering that it had 227 plastic parts that had to be extricated from their webbing and joined to each other, they had wisely deposited the box in their basement. They don't have 5.5 hours to put a toy together because they actually play with their children rather than build toys that enable them to neglect their children. When I saw the box wide open, I exclaimed, "Oh, Thank God it's been off-gassing in YOUR house for the past year..." I then thought to myself, Liz, you just told an extremely Jewish person that you were glad THEY were being gassed...

Speaking of gassed. I went to a yoga class last week. It was a level II class. I'm more of a level I person because I'm not at all flexible. I am also in the early stages of pregnancy, so I don't want to over-do. My yoga teacher is aware of this and kept saying things like, "Liz, YOU don't do this; do this instead" There were only 3 of us in the class, so I felt a little outed and exposed. In every Iyengar class someone gets strapped up and hangs from the wall or the ceiling. I'd never tried it, but it's always looked relaxing. She suggested I try it. I got up, and she told me to open my knees and put my feet together. This created what I can only refer to as vaginal bellows. I quickly got down because it was not relaxing. I had to spend the rest of the class expelling the garbage bag full of air that had rushed into my womanly parts. So now I'm that pregnant new girl who can't do anything with the really bad gas. "Oh no, those aren't FARTS, they're VARTS!" Apparently QUEEF is a 'during sex' vart. If I were English, I could say "fanny fart" and feel sort of cute, but I'm not.

So I'm that person who does and says things regularly that make herself and others uncomfortable. Am I a married-with-children Bridgette Jones? I know I'm a terrible gossip. I was recently punished for gossiping. Heather and I were swimming laps at the YMCA. Both of us were doing side stroke, so we could talk about my brother-in-law's bachelor party. Her husband had punched out my other brother-in-law. We swam and talked for at least 20 minutes about the incident. I showered, got dressed and went to the store to find someone had relieved my wallet of all of its cash during my shameless gossip session.

I got a text this morning from a friend asking me if my silverware drawer is still a jumble. I responded with the above image. This friend was last in my home 4 years ago, so for him to ask me about it a week after I broke down and ordered 12 matching teaspoons and 12 matching forks is strange. I'm still waiting for the flatware. It's on back order. I was sick of hunting for the one teaspoon I had stolen from the Loew's hotel when we went to the AIA dinner. I ordered 12 of them. Maybe if I go back and return the spoon to the hotel, all will be right in the world, and I'll stop varting, getting parking tickets and saying stupid things. Then again, Loew's chose not to hire my friend as their senior catering manager after stringing her along for a month. Perhaps all will be right in the world when my silverware drawer is a little more organized.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cause of Death: head in volcano

It was late afternoon last week when I took the kids on an errand in the stroller. If you must know, we were going to the beer distributor. They look so great on the way home, each of them precariously perched on a case of beer. The moon was out early, so we were chanting that Mother Goose poem together, I see the moon and the moon sees me. God Bless the moon and God bless me! I said, "You guys, who is God?" Steel said, "I am."

I'm so glad to know that God wears stripey tights.

Steel said to our niece in the middle of a fairy tale, (Someone had died.)
"How did he die; did someone shoot him?"
Britt said, "No"
Steel said, "Oh, then someone must've put his head in a volcano...."

I think of Jack Peter as past the fabulous one-liner phase, but a few weeks ago, he was walking with me and he said,
"Mom, when you were a little girl, how old were you?"
"I was 4; just like you!" I replied.

Why bother ruining a nice walk trying to explain time to someone who repeatedly asks,
"Is it tomorrow yet?" It made me think fondly about my mom starting numerous stories with the line, "When I was a boy..."

That must be Virgo humor. My Virgo husband loves to get the kids all riled up by slipping in an untruth. I came home late one night to all of them howling in the living room.

Mama, you have to hear the Steely song!

Tim started strumming and singing in his most heartfelt voice,

I love my Steely
I love her big blue eyes
I love my Steely
even when she cries
I love my Steely
I love her boy-cut hair
I love my Steely
I love her skin so fair
but what I really love about Steely...




I actually can't call that an untruth. No matter how much horrible stuff comes out of them, we do love their butts.

hoagie smell

There are some fringe benefits to being a potter. I was wrangling the 3 kids from the childwatch at the YMCA, and Miss Kim, the afternoon baby sitter said, "Is that all from swimming once a week?" I looked at her strangely, and she said, "Your arms look like Michelle Obamas!" How great is it that when someone tells you your arms look like the first lady's, it's a compliment? Miss Kim nodded when I said, "I'm a potter," but I could see from her expression that my response wasn't sufficient. Telling people I'm a potter is like telling them I'm an hermaphrodite. People have heard of hermaphrodites, but they still aren't sure they actually exist.

My husband's office is in the same building as my clay studio. His office is a hive of activity. Bankers, architects, developers, realtors are always coming in for meetings. Tim and his brother, Johnny, love to parade the visitors through my studio. I'm usually there in my Proctor & Gamble coveralls looking dirty. The visitors look at me like a zoo animal and at Johnny or Tim with surprise that they've gone to such lengths to recreate and maintain my natural habitat.

At times, the Philadelphia Museum of Art craft show had a similar feel. I know it's common for high society people to have fundraisers at the zoo or the aquarium. They walk around in black tie, eating canapes paying $1500/ticket to do so in the presence of rhinos. Apparently Chicago calls their event "Zoodio 54" which is brilliant. So someone on the board of the PMA suggested to revolve a fundraising event around real, live craftspeople. The opening night of the show is a posh event. The ticket prices are tiered by the hour, so to get in and see fresh craftspeople at 4 pm you pay $1500, or you can see rumpled craftspeople at 7 for $400.

I was annoyed that I hadn't read my literature, so I didn't know there was going to be great food at the event. I made the mistake of having a late lunch hoagie with everything on it. By chance I smelled my hands on my way back to my 10'x10' booth and realized they were pungent enough to fill the entire space with old luncheon meat, onion, pickle, oregano smell. Maybe a stench would have added to my authenticity as an exhibit, but I opted to run through the perfume floor of Macy's and let a gleeful homosexual with a British accent and pointy cowboy boots douse me thoroughly in a Guess perfume, Seductive.

My booth wasn't particularly seductive that evening. My pots are all displayed on cardboard boxes mounted to the wall. On the front of each box is an image of the aerial view of the pot that is on the box. If you're on your 3rd martini and you've not yet indulged in the mash potato bar it might look a little precarious and/or confusing. People would wobble outside of the booth and stare. One woman ventured in and grabbed a cup. "I love this one," she said, "but I don't like this one at all!" pointing to a sweet little ice cream bowl. "What a coincidence!" I said cheerfully. "I love your shoes, but I really hate your dress!" In the end, the show went surprisingly well, and it reminded me that I prefer to have other people sell my pottery for me.