Sunday, September 28, 2008

Strained Peas.

I (along with many? most? all? people in their late 20's) am in the middle of a wedding and baby boom. Currently I know 6 couples who are getting married in the next year and at least as many who have either recently welcomed or are about to welcome their first baby. This leads to many, many parties, deep introspective thoughts, and even a few moments of "Holy Sh*t! What am I doing with my life?". This week was a little of one of those weeks.

I've been in dress rehearsals for a show that deals with love and relationships as a glorified chess match, prepping to go see 2 dear friends in Connecticut make it official, and my favorite Chinese dumpling is about to turn 2.

I've always stated I never wanted to have kids, and generally have thought I wouldn't even want to get married, but simply co-habitate and I believe the phrase is 'live in sin'. In the past I have always viewed marriage and children as something women of a previous generation did to secure their lives. You did it because you were supposed to- no real choice involved. You finished your education, got married, changed your name and became someones wife. As I get older and see friends pair up like animals getting on the ark I have started to re-think my former opinions.

Today my roomie and I made a trip to a local indie craft market, Crafty Bastards (lame name, good show). I was thrilled to learn Mariam of The Hand Of Fatima was going to be there with her latest jewelry and her latest fancy craft to date- her 5 month old son. Her work is stunning, her children are beyond gorgeous and her husband is absolutely fantastic. Everything she makes has a great story- and her children are no exception. I met her while doing the Brooklyn Home Show, she was literally due to have her baby any day and working as hard as ever. She is my kinda lady. The kind who doesn't let a little something like birth at any moment slow her down.
As my roomie and I were walking away from the show I said something that I NEVER thought I would say before, and it was totally true:

"Mariam has everything I want in life".

That's not to say that her life isn't a challenge or that it is easy by any means, but she has it all. She is an independent artist, she makes her living with her craft. Her husband clearly is her greatest cheerleader- working the credit card machine, feeding squished peas to the baby, and helping her become a successful businesswoman, mother, and artist. I don't know what the intricacies of their relationship are, but from the outside looking in- it's pretty rad.

On our train ride home roomie and I were discussing life, and how funny it can be. Right out of college I made fun of people who got gooey over property ownership, couples who got married and popped out babies in quick succession. 4 years ago I was so worried about how I was going to pay for groceries I couldn't think past my next paycheck. Now I find myself using terms like 5-year-plan, and 403 (b). I'm looking to the future, sometimes that future is next week, and sometimes it is 10 years away, but either way it is a future involving more than next paycheck.

5 or 10 years ago I would have never thought the highlight of my weekend would be holding a curly haired baby at a craft market- but it was. I'm not saying I want children, but I do want a partner. A person who is my biggest cheerleader, someone who would run the credit card machine at my craft market, and who would let me run their credit card machine too. A few strained peas in my life might not kill me either.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Being a stereotype.

A couple of weeks ago I was riding the train with some work friends. We were talking with the 'new' girl, telling her about the different neighborhoods and each trying to convince her ours was the best. When I finished describing my little town just north of Washington DC she looked at me and said:

"Wow, you really are a liberal stereotype."

Now I don't necessarily consider that a bad thing, but it did sting a little to be labeled so easily (and she isn't wrong).

Fast Forward a couple of weeks:

This week I finally decided that it doesn't make sense for me to own a new car. I've had The Staxi for 4 years. I literally almost never drive it.. It is/was a constant source of worry- was I going to be able to afford to fix it if something went wrong? Where was I going to park in when it snows? What if someone hits it while it is parked on the street (the fate of my last car)? When am I going to get my next flat tire (3 in 2 years) Combine all this paranoia with high gas prices, a rising cost of living, and my desire to move to NYC and suddenly a car just sounds like a bad idea. So I sold it.
I've had a wee-bit-of sadness over selling my car. It was a quick and easy way to get around, it gave me a huge amount of freedom that non-car owners don't always have, and I could put lots of stuff in it. On the other side, I can rent a car when I need it, and not spend $450 a month on payments, insurance, and gas.

This morning I walked to the local farmer's market with my canvas bags. The market specializes in organic and locally grown produce. I was wearing a handmade headband and purse made from re-purposed plastic shopping bags with a sweatshop free tee-shirt. Suddenly I realized--sh*t, I really am a stereotype.

I considered the possibilities.

I could catch a taxi, eat McDonalds and buy some elastic waisted pants at Walmart or I could embrace the moment, buy good food, reduce my carbon footprint, and hope my lifestyle is one small part of a bigger movement.

I finished my marketing, came home and started marinating a locally produced eggplant while reading a feminist blog. Later, I sent off an email to the Obama Campaign to become a volunteer.

Because if you are going to be a stereotype, you might as well do it right.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Excitement all around.

Barack Obama sends me emails almost everyday. It's really nice of him to keep me in the loop and give me the chance to help him change the United States. One email he sent this week was especially important, as it provided a link to help people register to vote. Here is the email:

Katie --
You'd be surprised by how many people you know who aren't registered to vote.
Registration deadlines are coming up soon, and we need every single vote we can get to win this election.

Tell your friends, family, and neighbors to check out our new one-stop voter registration website. Instead of tracking down the right forms, all you need to do is answer a few basic questions and you'll be ready to vote.

You can also:
Confirm your existing registration

Apply to vote absentee
Find your polling place

If you don't know your own registration status or you'd like to learn more, take a minute to visit the site right now.

This race is too close and too important to stay home on Election Day.
If you take the time to register and vote -- and make sure everyone you know is registered as well -- we'll be able to turn the tide of the past eight years.
It's people just like you who will transform this nation.

If that isn't the nicest email I've ever gotten from a politician I don't know what is. I tell you, that Barack Obama is one nice guy. I'm happy he is going to be in DC. I needed some better neighbors.

This week I also sent out a whole smack of fused plastic pouches to The Green Show taking place in Connecticut hosted in part by The Space and The CT Etsy Team on September 20th at The Space. Sharon of Morganstreet Soaps is going to be selling my pieces for me. She has a line of handmade soaps, lip balms, and body butters that will make you swoon and cry. Her Lemon Ginger body butter is my favorite (she seems to be out of it right now!), but her lip balms are a close second. The show will also have an amazing selection of vintage clothes and accessories. Be sure to stop by and check it out.
The Space it is a great community venue owned and operated by a lovely couple and their adorable daughter (she runs the place). Go support small business owners, artists and crafters by starting your Christmas shopping early. You'll feel much better knowing your gifts were made by people who are making a living wage as well as helping boost your local economy!

On top of all that exciting news I got an email this week from a national fashion and accessory blog that they want to do a story about me and my work. So exciting, the only catch- they don't link off, so I will need to get a local boutique to carry my work. I'm planning to attack it full force in a couple of days and get someone here in the DC area to carry me. Wish me luck, and if you know (or maybe you are a small business owner) that I should contact please post a comment and give some leads.

Hope everyone has a great week, and while you are making plans- go see Romeo and Juliet and The Shakespeare Theatre Co. I have it on good authority that it's going to be a heartbreaker.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I love Samantha Bee

Kinda makes it all seem a little clearer....doesn't it?

Yeah, I thought so...

This one is pretty good too...

Did ya register to vote yet?

Personally I'm about ready to start stockpiling birth control...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Climbs upon soapbox....

Get ready because here it comes.

Anyone who is not responsible to make basic birth control methods available to their own daughter, and instead relies upon the unrealistic and ridiculous abstinence only sex education plan is not responsible enough to ever consider running for any political office. I feel sorry for the young woman. I do not feel sorry for her mother.

If you have no idea of what I am this, and this.

Climbing off soapbox...

If you haven't considered registering to vote, now would be the time and place to do so.