Saturday, March 31, 2012

unions and the cleanse

Why haven't I blogged? I did 2 more shows. One was a faboulous 3-day wholesale show. The other was a not-so-fabulous 9-day retail show. During all of this, Tim and I did a 21-day cleanse. Also, our kids are insane and exhausting, and we're addicted to The West Wing box set my brother and his wife lent us.
Why not blog during the cleanse? Instead of staying up to blog, we'd just go to sleep after putting the kids down. There was nothing to live for without alcohol and empty carbs. I'm also not very funny or interesting without alcohol, coffee, sugar, wheat, dairy, meat. We were "eating" things that looked like the above broccoli/beet/celery juice. Tim has actually kept off the 14 lb he lost during the cleanse. I, however, have been jamming empty carbs into my mouth since the day the cleanse ended. That "3" I saw in the middle of the 3 numbers of my weight is a distant memory. I've come up with a new drink, though. There's a line of alcohol products called Skinny Girl. The Skinny Girl Margarita is made with agave instead of sugar. My new drink is the "anorexic girl margarita." It's tequila, lime and soda water. I highly recommend it especially when you're going to accompany it with an entire bag of stale pretzels.

Jack Peter at school in his pajamas on Dr. Seuss' birthday. The fervor with which Ms. O'Brien celebrates Dr. Seuss is hilarious. She dresses as the cat in the hat for the entire day and makes them all fabricate and wear cat-in-the-hat hats.

The anxiety over educating our kids in the city has abated somewhat. We got him into a science-based charter school that is rumored to be great. It's going to be a bad commute, but worth it. I made the questionable decision to tell Jack Peter, and he crumpled into a pile of tears wailing that he never wants to leave Kearny. The only way I could justify the school change to him was to tell him that it's a fall-back option "in case you get the teacher you don't want" (One teacher at the school is rumored to be focussed exclusively upon breaking the little spirits of her first graders.) Jack Peter was quiet for a minute, and said, "Mom, I've seen that class, and there are only brown kids in it." So much for my color blind child. He felt better when he made a graph to tally up the opinions of everyone in his life. The majority voted for Green Woods Charter School, so it's all OK, now. Writing things down helps him cope. This was one of the 5 signs he made last night...
The above-mentioned not-so-great show was The Philadelphia International Flower Show at the Convention Center. Had my adorable friend, Stephen, not flown over from Northern Ireland and abused the American love of an Irish accent to foist pottery on unsuspecting matrons, the show would have been a complete disaster. The set up for the show involved 5 union goons surrounding us as we hastily used a drill and a ladder to put the booth together. Neither of those things is allowed. If you need to use a step ladder, then you need to pay a union carpenter to do the job. We knew this going in; Tim relishes confrontations with the unions. For him to stop drilling and laddering, the show organizer had to come and tell me she was going to kick me out and I'd be out my $4000. He finished up the booth install with a manual screw driver standing on wobbly boxes of pottery saying, "I hope I fall off these boxes, so I can sue them..."
The union guys were waiting for us when we came to take the booth down at 11:30 pm on the last day of the show. I told them I never plan to do the show again, so they couldn't tattle on me to the show organizer. Instead, they tried to box in our truck with 2 fork lifts. Our neighbors moved their truck, so getting out was easy, but I was flustered. I left the 2 boxes that had all of my large pieces in it. The union guys got the last laugh as they all have their wedding gift shopping sorted out for this summer.
Jack Peter is going to be a Broadway singer or a minister because Tim and I abhor religion and show tunes. Steel is going to be a union leader. I recently took the kids to the Please Touch Museum. Steel and Ciela, the daughter of another builder friend, took over the construction site. They were precisely stacking the foam bricks in the back of a pretend dump truck. Ciela was the mason, and Steel was standing over the pile of bricks preventing any non-union child from messing with the site.
On top of the 2 boxes of pottery I forgot to bring home, I had quite a bit of breakage. My neighbor, despite the note I'd left her to PLEASE be careful while she sets up, broke 7 pieces. Another woman stood up an bashed one of my shelves with her head. It caused an avalanche of pottery. Whenever I introduced myself to other vendors for the rest of the week, I would say, "My booth was the crash." They'd look at me with horror and pity. It's almost comforting when I lose a lot of pottery. It reminds me of how much I love to make it. If I could work out a cost-effective method for making pottery and giving it away or making it and smashing it, I'd be the happiest potter on earth.
In addition to singing great Irish songs to the kids at bedtime, (Dick Darby who drowns his humpy, lumpy wife being the favorite) Irish Stephen had a "wee holiday romance" with an adorable guy named (drumroll...) Tanner Kok. All of us fell in love with Tanner, and the Kok jokes were endless. If Steel marries him, she can be Steel Kok!! and so on. The girls are still talking about Tanner, "Where is the big boy?" Toby asks at breakfast or "When is the heart boy coming?" (She heard me say that he has a heart-shaped face.) It's nice to know I'm starting them early on the fag hag path that has served me so well.
I get to make pottery for the next 3 months for all of my wholesale accounts. I will then take the summer "off" and be a full-time mom. Tim is going to be slammed with work, so I'm hoping to spend the weeks away wherever people will have us-preferably in beachy or rural places. We'll come home for urban family weekends. I've never taken more than 8 days off in a row-even to have a baby, so this will be new for me. My daughters have been especially challenging these days, so I might lose my mind.