Thursday, January 19, 2012


Steel refused to participate in the Dansko photoshoot. I'm taking this opportunity to post a movie of her hula-hooping. She's been hula-hooping since way before she turned 4. It's her now-not-so-hidden talent.

I wonder about the average time a Netflix envelope spends in the bottom of a bag. For me it's about 2 days, but I had one in my bag the entire time I was in New York City. If Tim had to put Netflix envelopes into the mail, and there was no such thing as streaming video, we might have gotten some sleep in the past few years because he'd NEVER remember.

I'm good at mailing things in Philly because I have my favorite mail boxes. Out in the real world I get lost. I tried to cross Central Park one night to meet a friend on the east side. I was in the park for about 1/2 hour. When I came out the other side, I asked a cop which way to get to 82nd and Lexington, north or south? He replied, "Ummm....lady, you'll have to cross the park." It would be so great to see an aerial view of my not traversing the park while walking for thirty minutes.

Sadly, Steel got my lack-of-orientation bug on top of my crafting bug. She was recently lost on the beach in Florida for 30 minutes. I'd walked her up to the edge of the beach and pointed to where Tim, Jack Peter, and Toby were sitting in the beach-side Marriott restaurant 20 feet away. In my mind she could see her dad and would be with him in a matter of 5 seconds, and he had seen us coming. I went back to hanging out with our friends.

Imagine my surprise when I saw her holding a lifeguard's hand a half hour later coming from a completely different direction. I have 2 things to be thankful for in that situation:
1. I'd finished the rum punch I was drinking at 1 in the afternoon and had put the glass down.
The life guard was pissed that I'd not gone looking for her in a half hour. Adding a rum punch to that picture might have landed me in jail.
2. I didn't know she was lost. If I'd noticed she wasn't with her dad after, say, 15 of the 30 minutes I might have killed myself.

In addition to leaving my 12 block comfort zone, every time I do a retail event it reminds me why I wholesale my work. Exposure to the general public has me sending out mental thank yous to the galleries who sell my work for me. These gallery owners allow me to be in my studio listening to Laxshmi Singh and the rest of the NPR crew all day. I make pottery; I ship it, and I make more. At night, I hang out with my kids and then cuddle with my husband on the couch watching Netflix. I'm happy.

One woman came into my booth and gushed about my work. I asked her what brought her to Chelsea Market. She said, "Every month I have a colonic around the corner; then I come here, to all of the amazing food and fill back up again!" I know I'm the queen of "too much information," but that was challenging at 10 am even for me. If I were any good I'd have sold her a set of dishes to make her "filling up" experiences better. There is an amazing shop called The Filling Station at Chelsea Market. It has nice oil, vinegar and beer. You bring your own bottles to fill up. If Tim follows his bliss and becomes a farmer, oil, vinegar and beer is all I'll need.

Another guy came in and commented on my new vase form. I chirped, "It's flower arranging for morons! You just cut them short and shove them in. The vase does the rest!" He responded with a completely straight face, "If I give one of them to my wife, am I telling her she's a moron?" Apparently my response, "No, you'd be telling her she's fabulous and that she deserves flowers all the time!" worked. He bought two, but it was not fun for me.

There was another problem with my being in New York. I look like a hag most of the time because I'm a potter working alone in an industrial building in a crack-filled neighborhood, and when I'm not doing that, a kid is dumping milk on me. The incentives to put myself together are few. Initially, I'm both cowed and impressed by the fashion and beauty in New York, but then it starts to upset me for 2 reasons:
1. It turns into a uniform, and I worry people aren't allowing themselves to be creative or expressive.
2. I worry about the waste that is inherent in the fashion industry. In 2009 I went to New York, and every woman I saw was wearing a pair of knee-high rubber Hunter boots. I saw none this December in late 2010. I keep picturing a massive landfill overflowing with different colored pairs of Hunter boots.

I discovered last Thursday that all of the Hunter boots are in the closets of fancy Philly moms anxiously awaiting a rainy, not-too-cold day. Thursday is Dance Academy day; Jack Peter takes theater dance. All of the ballet dancer moms were wearing Hunter boots; the black nannies and I were the only ones not wearing them. I was astonished.

We had our own footwear expedition over the weekend. The Dansko outlet was having a sale. I only wear Danskos. They are those ugly clogs that nurses and cooks wear. I have a studio pair, an everyday-not-covered-in-clay pair, and a fancy pair for going out. It was time for me to restock, so we all went out. The Stieler family came too. Jack Peter saw a bright red pair, put them on immediately, and the rest of the kids followed. 4 kids in bright red, patent leather Dansko's was just too cute. When I discovered that kids clogs weren't on sale, it was too late. It was money well spent for the girls. Jack Peter has vowed not to wear his EVER again as he got teased at school for them. Hmmm...he's tiny, way-too-smart, taking theater dance and wearing bright red patent leather clogs. I can't imagine anyone giving him a hard time. Strangely, he probably will wear them again. He talks about being teased with a somewhat-believable air of nonchalance.

We got back late from the Dansko outing. Jen's husband and Tim had taken Tim's new Mini Cooper home. Jen and I had the kids in the mom-mobile. I muttered on the way home to Jen, "Wouldn't it be funny if our husbands took the one remaining parking space behind the house and left us to find another spot with 4 tired kids and a bunch of crap in the car?" As we drove past the full parking spaces behind the house, Jack Peter whined, "AWWWW! When are we going to get our parking space back?!" Jen replied, "As soon as your fathers grow vaginas!"

nacho intifada

The 4th brother took one look at this image and asked what the hell he was doing with a dead greyhound...

The 3 Philly McDonald brothers and their significant others just treated their mom to a cooking event/dinner revolving around the previously unheralded goat. We ate goat ceviche, goat milk biscuits with goat butter, goat chops, goat curry, goat kielbasa, goat cheese and goat ice cream. While we ate 3 goats that had been killed the day before at a local farm, the head chef told us how to butcher a goat using the fourth of the unfortunate goat posse.

I couldn't help picturing the goats drawing straws:
Goat 1: No Brainer! I'll take ice cream, butter, and cheese!
Goat 2: Alright then, ceviche it is
Goat 3: I guess I'll take Kielbasa. At least I'll finally get with that hot Polish pig.
Goat 4: SHIT! I'm going to be the evisceration demo?????

There was something decadent about the whole night that made me feel slightly uneasy. Maybe it was the way the chef placed his cooked goat chops on top of the meat he had just sliced off of the 4th goat carcass. He was planning to eat the chops as soon as he finished the butchering demo.

None of this stopped me from drinking at least 2 glasses of incredible wine that was offered with each course. (of course) After the ceviche, biscuits, and soup, I asked for a to-go container and deftly deposited the remaining 3 goat courses into it. On Sunday I was glad I had. We had 3 sausage eaters: Steel, Toby, Willa. Jack Peter is not fond of sausage, so he triumphantly gnawed on the goat chops.

There are 5 people in our family, and we often have guests, so it doesn't surprise me that with every meal comes one grump. Tim doesn't like my willingness to make a separate meal for the dissatisfied customer, but Tim is gone for the next 10 days, so I'm going to do as I see fit. Tonight was a New England mom triumph. The end of the pot pie went to JP and Steel. I ate all the leftover beans and broccoli for lunch and finished the super-old red sauce and pasta for dinner. Toby had the leftover peas and an omelette. This all went down with some cukes and tomatoes and, more importantly, without drama. They had the rest of the ice cream for dessert with the rest of the stale marshmallows on top. OK, no one ate the marshmallows, but I put them in the microwave, and it was fun to watch them grow, so I still got rid of them.

I have a refrigeratorial clean slate. I am fantasizing that I will make EXACTLY the right amount of food for every meal, so that I will not have to deal with left overs for 10 days. My poor husband is in Ireland reading this and saying to himself/me, "Babe! I thought you loved leftovers! I always make extra because you're so good at taking what's in the fridge and making it into something AMAZING!" Yes, honey, I was particularly proud of my "nachos" this weekend that had shredded chicken parmesean on them as well as black beans and cheese. I was expecting a nacho intifada, but they were gobbled up without complaints. I know I'm amazing at leftovers, but I really do prefer fresh food. Just because an emergency medical technician is amazing at resuscitating heart attack victims doesn't mean he/she wants more people to have heart attacks.