Give Em the Old Razzle Dazzle: Turning Pumpkin Pie into Pumpkin Why….Didn’t We Do This Sooner?*

*It’s a Tuesday, guys. Not all titles can be gems.

The holidays are coming, guys! I mean, I think they’re coming. They’re supposed to be coming. They’re not coming fast enough. Not nearly fast enough. But really though, are calendars broken? How am I not already eating turkey? That seems impossible. Anyway…

The holidays! They’re coming!

And I know what you are probably trying to figure out: what is the most effective way to impress your family while also confusing them? Adding some flare to the table, while also making it a little harder to carry on a conversation? Giving ’em the old razzle dazzle while also giving them reason to wonder if you’re ok?

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

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The Desk Job

I don’t know what I pictured 29 looking like when I was younger, but I didn’t picture desk job.

I studied clothing design as an undergrad, so my workspaces typically involved sewing machines, a dress form named Bessie Lou, giant mounds of thread that terrified me when a draft caught them as I was convinced they were psychedelic mice when they entered my periphery, and loudly singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls” with the other students stuck in the sewing lab at 4:00 in the morning. Attending a school whose general education program is best described as ‘aggressive,’ when I had to do homework in the traditional sense, I did have a desk where I could sit, but my finest papers were composed sitting on the floor by my closet. Preferably eating Cooler Ranch Doritos and drinking a diet Dr. Pepper.

When I made the switch to grad school, I had to get creative mostly because my apartment’s “desk” was a small laptop table from Ikea. I drank up library time, but much like undergrad, my best work happened when I was sitting on the floor, surrounded by highlighted articles with titles that included words like “epistemological” and “commodification,” The Office reruns playing on my TV while I look up words like “epistemological” and “commodification.”

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You Made it Weird: History’s Halloweens II

As it turns out, there’s enough weird in history for a second look at History’s Halloween. Missed the first? Check it out here.

When people ask about my Friday night plans…


Image: Sandra Dee, ca. 1960. Getty Images

Making a Pumpkin-House a Pumpkin-Home

Image: Myrna Dell, ca. 1940. Public domain.

“You know, I feel like you just reach a point in your life where you have to buy investment pieces when you’re furnishing your pumpkin.”

My Five Year Plan

Photo: June Marlowe, ca. 1930. Public Domain

Next step: Figure out why my car is making that one noise, then take over the world.
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The World According to Sound

Lately I’ve been trying to have a life outside of work, my apartment, and the occasional meal with friends where we talk about work and our apartments. I’ve been taking classes, scoping out speakers. I went to a scary story slam, and I was on a trivia team that came all the way in third. Basically I’m a very exciting person. I’ve studied history, and I’m 80 percent sure this is what a renaissance is.

And sometimes when you’re renaissance-ing, you take the wins where you can get them. Not wearing pajamas by 6:00 because you’re doing a free thing that isn’t perusing promotional potato chip flavors at the grocery store counts as a victory.

That was the thought behind last night. That was the thought that took me to a music studio at a local college to sit blindfolded for an hour and a half while two perfectly coiffed gentlemen make noises at me.

What did you guys do last night?

It was a live version of the podcast “The World According to Sound.” Each 90 second episode features a sound. Perfectly articulated, haunting, funny, surprising, sounds. And that was basically how the live show was advertised. “Come listen to sounds! Also, you’ll be blindfolded and the lights will be turned off!”

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Practically Perfect: Mary Poppins Millinery

For a blog whose name is rooted in her accessory collection, we don’t talk about Mary Poppins very often. Or at all? Yeah, I don’t think she’s come up. Which is weird because she’s my favorite. She’s the best.

I don’t remember why I fell in love with Mary Poppins, in the same way, none of us remember why we thought tapered stirrup pants were a good idea in the 90s. But there was a moment where we found ourselves wearing stirrup pants, and there was a moment when I was head over heels for Mary.

I loved her songs, her clothes. Her carousel horse was easily the best one. She could fly. She could danceShe could jump into sidewalks! She had tea parties on the ceiling! That’s the best place for tea!

There were scenes I didn’t understand till I was older, but I don’t think you were meant to understand everything about Mary Poppins. She danced and sang with toys, animals, cartoons, and chimney sweeps. I loved her so much that I would prance around and talk in a “British accent,” that was mainly just me jumping octaves as I spoke, toting a pink vinyl Minnie Mouse umbrella imagining there was a parrot at the end giving me sass.

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Spooky Sunday: It’s not weird!

Skinless Frankfurters or Wieners ad, ca. 1960s.

We’re half way through October, so it might be the point in the month where you start making your Halloween plans. Have you considered a Weeny Witch party? Don’t you love “barrels of fun”? It’s my favorite unit of fun!

And ok, my ideal party is just me dancing around, scream-singing the soundtrack to Newsies in my pajamas, eating shrimp tacos, so maybe my idea of a barrel of fun doesn’t include anthropomorphized wieners. But look at their faces! They seem into it!

Your friends won’t think it’s weird. They might say, “this is weird,” but they’re not thinking it.

Of Storytelling and Whimsical Canvas Tote Bags: Taking Classes is Fun, Guys!

I had a pretty long laundry list of resolutions this year. Have better posture. Exercise more. Drink more water. They, like most New Year’s resolutions, have fallen by the wayside. Who likes to be properly hydrated, am I right? But two resolutions have proven to have legs.

Let’s start with the most important. I have not had a Flaming Hot Cheeto in 2017. That didn’t stop my very kind friend from buying me a bag when she saw they had a promotional flavor, Flaming Hot Cheeto …Limone. I had to make my friend hide them in her office because I’ve made it to October! I can’t eat them when I’m this close to 2018. I also can’t have them in my office because I will eat them if left unattended. It was a proud and cool conversation for everyone involved.

I also resolved to take a class in 2018. I miss being a student! And it’s important to keep growing! I vowed to take a class, and as of last Friday, I did just that.

I took a storytelling class. That was not the intention. I, along with most of the class, originally thought the class was about writing life experiences, but this class was strictly oral storytelling.

Once I realized what class I was in, and important part of taking classes, I thought this could be fun. I like telling stories.

My Go-To Storytelling techniques

  • Have a solid intro. Candidates include “Ohmygosh guess what,” “Ugh, I need to tell you what happened,” or I just sigh repeatedly until you ask me what happened.

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