Monday, August 29, 2011

Something different

At church yesterday six people asked what I had done differently to my hair.  The answer is nothing.  I did the same thing to my hair that I do every Sunday which is blow it dry, flat iron a few strands of tumbelweediness and beat my cowlicks into submission.  I asked Katie if my hair looked any different and she said no so my only guess is that 1.) I plucked my eyebrows after a tragically long time and it must have radically changed my face and people just assumed it was my hair that was different, or 2.)  The rather thick new gray hair sprouting out of the top of my head. Both seem very plausible.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Because the World's Largest Felt Collection is about to eat my apartment.

It's 100 degrees outside and what am I thinking of?  Christmas.  Why?  Because I miss eggnog.  And also because Camille recently reminded me of how harried I was last December, up to my eyeballs in felt, and felt, and more felt.  Oh, the felt.  And she suggested that I send out the word now that if you're interested in a Custom Made Felt Thingy I'm taking orders. 

In the past I've done laptop covers:

stockings (Note, I also do regular old stockings with Christmas trees and carolers, if that's what you're looking for.)

pillow cases

book marks

and dinosaur cake toppers, which, I suppose could be used as stuffed animals for small children if you don't have a cake to put them on

Basically, just let me know what you want (rachelknecht at gmail dot com) and I'll get back to you on the details and prices and then dive into the World's Largest Felt Collection and make it happen. Because I love you and want you to be happy.  And because I don't want to be stitching felt until my fingers bleed on Christmas Eve.

Ho ho ho!

Monday, August 22, 2011

"She delivered a fatal karate chop..."

Best line from the Best Obituary Ever:

As her involvement in the war deepened, Ms. Wake was trained by the British to kill with her bare hands (she delivered a fatal karate chop to a sentry at an arms factory), parachute into enemy-held territory and work a machine gun.

A fatal karate chop?!  I didn't know those existed outside of Star Trek!  Also - I did not know that was a skill I could learn.  Do you think I could pop in at the dojo and ask my sensei if he teaches that in his Karate for Everyone class?  Because even though I would never use it, I would love to be able to say, "Yeah, my karate chop is pretty lethal," and mean it. 

And for another thing, what do you think she was wearing when she killed that sentry?  I'm thinking a leather trench.  With her collar popped.  And cherry red lipstick.  And a beret.  And a silk scarf she was given by a duke who was madly in love with her.  She sounds like the type of gal who would not overlook these details.


In other news - did you see the cute sidebar title thingies?  Angela strikes again.  Much like the lady spy, I like to imagine her also wearing a leather trench, beret, scarf and red lippy while issuing a fatal karate chop of style and glam to this blog.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hold On for One More Day

Were you afraid that I didn't get a Slurpee on my birthday?  Rest assured, I did.

Hawaiian Punch and Pina Colada.  Delish. 

All day long friends were letting me know via text or Facebook that they got one.  Stephanie even wrote about it on her blog.  And way down in New Zealand Angela made the most of her winter surroundings and put red food coloring (or should I say colouring) on some snow and played along. I kept thinking of you all happily slurping away and it ended up being the best present.  So thanks.  I hope it made you as happy as it made me.

And now on to some other news, like how I met Michelle Phillips from the Mamas and the Papas.

The back story:  Years ago, well, maybe 7 or 8, a group of us used to throw hootenannies.  Not with guitars and folk tunes, but with the piano and show tunes and classics from the early 90s.  We'd all pull out some song books and gather round the piano for hours of belting.  Our favorites were Wilson Phillips songs*.  We would get the thumb mics out and do the harmonies and cheer for ourselves when we finished - usually with jazz hands.  So naturally when we heard that Wilson Phillips was coming to town we had to get tickets.  Not that I'm particularly a fan, I don't think I owned any of their albums, but I have such great associations with those songs because of our hoots that I knew it would be a blast.

And it was.  I couldn't stop giggling the entire first half.  It helped that it felt like they were throwing their own hootenanny.  They were flubbing the set list and roaming all over the stage and telling stories about growing up with rock legend parents.  And then Carnie Wilson listed off all the over the counter drugs she had on her music stand - specifically Gas X because she gets a little bloated when she sings.  The whole thing felt like it should have been at the fair grounds or San Manuel Indian Casino.  But they still sounded pretty decent after all these years.

At the opening of the second set they did a whole section of The Mamas and the Papas and Beach Boy covers and they brought up Michelle Phillips, who was in the audience.  Which is how I recognized her in the lobby as we were leaving.  And I said out loud, "I should get a picture with her.  But no..."  Because it is my rule to not disturb celebrities.  I've lived here my whole life so I've accumulated my fair share of celebrity sightings (just last week Stacy and I were 96% sure we saw Jay Mohr jogging at the Santa Monica beach).  And I've never once approached one for an autograph or picture.  Because I feel sheepish.  And weird.  And socially awkward.  But Camille heard me saying it and then she said, "You have to," and I said, "No, I'm fine."  And then she said, "Think about the blog," and that sold me. Plus, you know my love for old musicians (ie, Wayne Newton) So I asked and she was gracious and blew me a kiss as I was walking away.  I refrained from singing California Dreamin' to her with the choreography I had to do when we sang it in my junior high choir.  That's a victory for Team Not Looking Like a Doofus.

*We were also really great at Martika's Toy Soldiers and Madonna's This Used to Be My Playground

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Get Yourself a Slurpee Day

Guess what.  It's my birthday on Wednesday.  You all know how much I love my birthday.  Because cake and presents and friends are usually involved - three things I love dearly.

So, as a birthday present to myself - because I love giving things away - I decided to choose not one but THREE winners from last weeks giveaway.  Three of you get bookmarks!!!  This is so thrilling.

The following names were pulled out of the sombrero (which I got from Chevy's on a birthday many moons ago.  And now I want chips and salsa.  Any takers for chips and salsa on my birthday?  And tacos? Because if you're going to have chips and salsa you may as well follow it up with tacos.)  Right.  Names:  Erin, Liz Loyle, and Heidi.  You win, you win, you win!

Fun facts about the winners:  There are no 7-Elevens in Erin's neck of the woods.  Which is un-American if you ask me.  Loyle wears a Mickey Mouse watch, and Heidi puked up cherry Slurpee all over the hospital floor whilst in labor. 

So, Lucky Winners, email me what you would like on your bookmark at  I'm game for anything. 

Now, onto a really important observation about your answers.  All of you were pretty consistent.  Most of you don't wear watches, you all have nicknames, you stay clear of flying/slithering/creeping things, and you think my mom is adorable.  But you were also consistent with a variation on this answer:  "It's been ages since I've had a Slurpee but..." 

I find this to be unacceptable.  Some of you, like Erin, who live in some alternate and tragic universe without 7-Elevens, have a valid excuse. But nearly all of you live in the Promised Land of Conveniently Located and Cheap Slushy Beverages.  I don't get it.  Do you not like Slurpees?  Do you also not like unicorns and puppies?

So, I'm going to make a Royal Decree here (because my other nickname is Queen o' the Universe) and say that August 17th, my birthday, will hereby be known as Get Yourself a Slurpee Day.  And if you'd like to give me a present, get a Slurpee (or some other slushy beverage if you don't have a Sev nearby) and take a picture with it and send that picture to me.

Go on and treat yourself.  You deserve it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Because I'm curious and have spare time

Announcement, I'm back to making funny things out of felt and to jump start it I'm having a give away.  If you answer any of the following questions you will be entered into a drawing to receive an original felt bookmark of your choice.  You want want Yoda?  You can have Yoda.  Mr. T?  Sure. Wayne Newton?  Elvis?  The cast of Three's Company?  It's entirely up to you.  

On to the questions:

1.)  Did you get your free Slurpee on 7/11?  Because I did.  Look how happy we are together.  MFEO.  Also, what is going on with my bangs?  Particularly that wonky part on the left. Dumb cowlick.

Question:  What is your favorite Slurpee flavor?

2.)  I'm back to the ring watch.  Why did I ever leave?  Seeing my fingernails that long is giving me anxiety.  

Question:  Do you wear a watch?

3.)  Katie came home from shopping and presented me with this lemonade.  This will mean nothing to you unless you know that my dad's nickname for me is Hubert.  It is a mystery how he came to call me that - even to him - but I've been Hubert my whole life.  It makes no sense.  But the lemonade was tasty.

Questions:  What is your nickname?

4.)  Hey, what's that black thing on the wall of my parking garage?   

Oh, just a moth the size of a postcard.  And not one of those cheapo 5 for a dollar postcards but a fancy large glossy one that you can find at the gift shop in the Museum of Things that Scare the Holy Cats Out of Rachel

When I got close enough to take a picture it struck me that at any moment that moth could fly at my face, pick me up by my wonky bangs and carry me across the street to WalMart, you know, to complete my personal nightmare.  I felt incredibly brave.

Questions:  What flying and/or creeping thing would you not get close to even to take a picture for your blog?

5.)  I took this of me and my mom in Union Station while waiting to board the train to Chicago

Question:  Isn't my mom the cutest?  (Hint, there is only one answer to this.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Anne of Green Gables my eye!

Folks, something very bad has happened - someone has created another Anne of Green Gables movie and it is an atrocity, a sham, an affront to all Anne Loving People everywhere.  I came across it this afternoon and only watched 15 minutes of it before throwing down the remote control and harrumphing about my living room, ranting about how it is an atrocity, a sham, etc.  Here's what I gathered from those 15 minutes:

1.)  Anne is middle aged and WWII is going on (when everyone knows that it's WWI that is happening when Anne is middle aged.)

2.)  Anne is searching for her father (Who, you may recall from the books, is actually dead.)

3.)  And surprise! she has a half brother whom she is also searching for.

4.)  She has a son named Dominic.  What?!  What about Jem, or Shirley, or (Sweet Land of Liberty, I'm going to start weeping) Walter?

5.)  She is living at Green Gables again.

And, this is the most egregious so hold on to your hats...

6.)  Gilbert is dead and Anne is dating some other guy.  AS IF!  And also, NO!  And for another thing, HOGWASH!  I started watching during a scene where Anne comes home and takes the arm of this guy and I thought, "Gee, they could have cast a more handsome Gil." And then she called him Gene.  She's dating a guy named Gene!?  Is this some kind of joke?  Do they really believe that the people will stand for a.) Gilbert being killed off and b.) Anne walking arm in arm with a guy who isn't Gilbert?  Unacceptable.

Okay, so I'm a little passionate about Anne of Green Gables.  That series of books (and really, all of LM Montgomery's books) were a huge part of my formative years.  And the stories that she wrote of Anne were great.  Mostly because Gilbert doesn't die!  They grow old together and have kids (none of them named Dominic) and they live happily ever after, just as we all knew they would.  Killing him off and giving Anne a long lost father and brother and made up son is just preposterous.

I object! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Life of Elegant Leisure - Hobo Edition

Here is the joy of beach camping, besides smores:  you can look and act like a hobo without any major repercussions, namely, people thinking you look like a hobo and calling the police on you for loitering.  In fact, if you don't look like a hobo you're commitment to the endeavour is instantly questioned.  What is she trying to prove, putting on mascara?  Camile and I went camping up at Carpinteria for a few days and we would putter around the camp grounds in our pajamas, squinty eye and hair akimbo, until the morning clouds went away and then we'd head out to the beach for a few hours of sitting and reading gossip mags.  Then we'd stroll into town for lunch, covered in sun screen and hair still a mess in sandy flip flops and cover-ups, stop in at Vons for some ice and then back to the beach for more sitting. Which is basically how vagrants spend their days.  Looking and acting like that at any other time or place would surely get you a couple of tragic looks, and possibly a couple of hand outs.  But everyone around you is beach camping, and everyone around you looks exactly as you do.  Everyone smells like sun screen and camp fire and dirt.  No one has done their hair in days.  Everyone slept in tents and spent their days being buried in the sand.  We all look like hobos!  And we all look pretty happy about it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A metal coil thingy

Conversation I had with a Target employee:

Me:  Could you please tell me where I can find a Slinky.

Target Employee:  A what?

Me:  A Slinky

TE:  What is that?

Me:  ??

TE:  ??

Me:  It's a metal coil thingy that you play with.  (Then I proceed to do the hand motions you make whilst playing with a Slinky.  You know what I'm talking about.)  You can throw it down stairs!  It slinks!

TE:  I still don't know what you're talking about.  You'll have to ask someone else.