Fashionista Flashback: Rocking a Lot of Polka Dots Edition

We’ve been experiencing some fabulous weather here in Minnesota for a few weeks (changing our state motto from “How about this weather we’re having, then?” to “Dontcha just love this weather we’re having, then?”).  My neighborhood is covered with sidewalk chalk, and I love it.

I was an avid chalker back in the day.  My best friend and I once spent an afternoon covering each of the bricks of my front steps with different, unique bits of art (or solid blocks of color depending how bored we got with the process).

The artist and her work

Behold! Co-artist cropped out since not everyone likes their childhood business published on the internet, and I do have tens of blog followers.

A lot of my outfits in this era matched in the most literal way, and this was a favorite.  There are enough polka dots on that thing that it’s practically a magic eye illusion. I could probably induce seizures by doing a cartwheel.

The point is: my childhood was awesome.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

So I just got back from volunteering at a homeless shelter.  The main goal was to read to kids, but it turns out 8-year-old boys are really not impressed by my dramatic interpretation of Miss Rumphius.  They found coloring only slightly less boring, preferring to talk about the cartoons they wished they were watching.  “Like what?” I asked.

“Like Spongebob.”

So I flipped over my coloring page, and started to draw Spongebob.

“More spots! He has more spots!” Child one said.

“They aren’t spots, they’re holes, like this.”  Child two offered to help.

“Does he have arms?” I asked.

Duh. But they fall off because he’s a sponge.”  (Obviously, Rachel. Duh.)

“What color are his pants?  Does he smile a lot?  Where does he live?” I continued.


I drew; they both liked and made fun of my drawing of Spongbob (and later Phineas and Ferb, who I’m told are “tight”).  I’m not going to say I made any impact on these kids, but for one hour I did get some grudging respect from 8-year-old boys who would rather be watching television.

The power of the arts, my friends.

And this is not the first time I’ve used my drawing ability to win over children.  A few years ago, I went to visit a friend’s 6-year-old cousin who was obsessed with Star Wars.  He would not give me the time of day until I drew a picture of Darth Vader, and then I became an acceptable person (henceforth known as RachelD2).

This is probably not what my parents had in mind when they sent me to art lessons, but I’m pretty okay with it.  In fact, I’m wondering at what age this ability stops being impressive to others.  Or does it?

Next time I go to a bar and sit by a cute dude, I’m going to start drawing characters from Metalocalypse on napkins and  see what happens.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I went on a road trip last weekend to visit my favorite Iowa couple.  Also Angi and Ari.  No, I was on board to visit A&A before I knew about the “American Gothic and other things” exhibit in Des Moines (who knew Des Moines had an art museum?) or the “Ari’s family time with bonus person Rachel” at the home of my favorite-named fake southerner, because Angi and Ari are great without all the extra stuff.  But the extra stuff did increase my opinion of Iowa, as did wikipedia, which just informed me that “Des Moines” either means “of the monks” or “the excrement-faces.”  Iowa just got a little less boring.

The Oscars are coming, the Oscars are coming!  The one day a year when I’m upset at the lack of television in my life/home.  I don’t know what I’m doing yet, but no matter what it will be simpler than last year’s go-McGyver-on-the-cable-cord business.  Anyway, because you care, here are my predictions:
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire, and not just because it’s the only one of the nominees I’ve seen.  I don’t know if it’s deserving or not — I liked it, but didn’t flat-out love it (in the way that I liked but didn’t love Juno) — but it’s pretty much going to win.
Best Actor: I did see “The Wrestler,” and am pulling for Mickey, but Sean Penn is probably going to win.
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, because everyone thinks it’s her time to win.  I haven’t seen The Reader, but she’s good in Revolutionary Road (aka Titanic 2: Who Knew The One With The Big Ship Disaster Would Be The Happier Film) and everything else she’s in, and that’s pretty much how Oscars are won.
Best Supporting Actor: Do you even remember who else is nominated besides Heath?  They’re all just throwaways: Josh “remember that time I played George W. Bush even though I’m young and gorgeous? Too bad no one liked that movie, so this nomination is my consolation prize” Brolin (for Milk); Robert “No one wins Oscars for Ben Stiller movies” Downey Jr. (for Tropic Thunder); Michael “Kate was nominated for a different movie, and the Oscars aren’t a teenage girl in the late 90s so they don’t love Leo, so I’m taking the glory for a film I was in for like ten minutes” Shannon (for Revolutionary Road); and Philip Seymour “I didn’t play a Priest for my health, I played one for an Oscar” Hoffman (for Doubt).
Best Supporting Actress: As much as I would love it to be Amy “Go Muskies!” Adams, my fictional dollars are on Viola Adams being the night’s “surprise winner” over Penelope Cruz.
Best Director: Danny Boyle for “Slumdog Millionaire.”
Actually, it’s probably going to be pretty predictable and boring.  Also long, but what a stupid debate, how to make the Oscars shorter; if you have enough time to watch a 3 hour awards show, you probably will stick it out for hours 4 and 5, too, and you won’t mind all that much.  I sure won’t, provided I find a television.