Monday, December 18, 2006

Snowmen and Cookies

If anyone has recently been walking down Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, he or she may have noticed that a number of walls containing graffiti also have snowmen spray painted on them. A simple snowman, and nothing more. No words or symbols besides his stick hands and top hat (the picture is not of the snowman on Mass Ave., but it looks similar). What's more is that the snowmen started popping up on building walls in August. It made me wonder why someone went through all of the trouble to spray paint a snowman. Was it a gang called the Snowmenz/Frosteez/Izemen/etc. that was simply marking their territory with something other than the bubble letters normally sported by gangs in the area? If so, their territory is contained in a five-block radius. Is it someone who is desperately wishing for snow and hoping to coax frozen water from the sky by invoking a symbol composed entirely of snow? Perhaps a crazy ski bum who is dying to hit the slopes early? If so, it is definitely not working since we have not a speck of snow to be seen. Is it some right-handed person who recently lost their right hand, is learning to use only their left hand, and drawing snowmen is all they can draw at present so this is them shouting their accomplishment to the world? If so, rock on, buddy, rock on. Let me know if you have any ideas, because I have not a clue.

Okay, now for cookies. This past weekend I went to a cookie exchange where everyone had to bring one type of cookie to exchange for a bunch of others. There was prizes for best tasting and best looking. Now, I am not much of a baker, a home chef on the rise perhaps but not a baker. I got a fabulous recipe from my friend MJ for peppermint tea cakes. After some minor setbacks in the beginning (I tried to get fancy and shape them into candy canes, but they just fell apart), I was able to bake 86 cookies all by myself. Not only that, but I got a prize for best tasting cookie! It just goes to show you can always surprise yourself even with a little help from your friends!

Friday, December 01, 2006


I know a lot of awesome women, and the one thing I've noticed about them is they are proficient at some sort of art or craft. Some of them paint/draw, play an instrument, sew, knit, scrapbook, crochet, etc., and most of them have mastered more than one of these. I am always in awe of these women. Some of them are so good they can make contemporary art from old cans, lamp shades from old rags, and just about everything else as long as they have a glue gun. They are like a feminine McGyver (who, by the way, plugged a sulfuric acid leak with chocolate because it has lactose and sucrose, and when you mix acid with sugars it forms elemental carbon and a thick gummy substance). For many years now, I have been working on trying to find my craft. Now, I realize that some things require a certain amount of talent, but I figured I should be able to find my niche somewhere. I do not have a musical bone in my body as my friend MJ can attest to (I subjected her to an awful day of bad caroling while helping to hang up Christmas lights--side note: I did somehow get a lead role in a middle school musical, probably because my music teacher couldn't completely hear me over the piano during auditions, and it was so bad people said I sounded "interesting") so playing an instrument is probably not right for me. I tried painting, first something abstract which came out as a big blob of maroon streaks, and then I had my talented sis (see my previous post) sketch a picture for me which I then proceded to fill in like a coloring book. I think a five-year-old could have done better. I've tried crocheting, but I get bored too quickly to ever finish anything, so knitting would probably not work for me either. My family use to do themed stocking stuffers for Christmas, and one year we had to make something homemade. You know what I made? Bookmarks, and they weren't even pretty. Maybe I should have Beadazzled more when I was younger.

Anyway, that brings me to my most current attempt at finding a craft. I have tried to take up sewing. My older sister has kindly let me inherit her old sewing machine. Sewing has been an attractive hobby to me ever since I started watching Project Runway, a reality TV show about fashion designers. They design and make their own clothes, which I would love to be able to do. Obviously, that requires much more skill than I currently have, so I am trying to take baby steps. My first project was to sew curtains for our apartment, which has a big windows in the dining room and living room, and all our neighbors can see right into our apartment. Since my fabulous husband is not afraid to walk around in his boxers for all the world to see, I figured I take it upon myself to give us a little more privacy. I got all of my supplies, and I even managed to set up the machine by myself. Things took a turn for the worst, however, when I broke two sewing needles before I had even finished one edge of the curtain. Then my foot would not stop spasming (is that a word?), so now my seams are straight with intermittent areas of spastic zigs and zags. My curtains were also going to have some fringe along one edge of the right curtain and the edge of the left curtain, but then I put the fringe of the right curtain on the wrong side. When I asked my oh-so-sensitive husband what he thought of them, he just started laughing. Hmm, not exactly the reaction I'm looking for but better than crying I guess. Oh well, hopefully practice will make perfect or in my case at least presentable.