Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Teeny Beanies

In the late 90's i was swept up in the Beanie Baby craze - perhaps some of you remember that dark time in my life. I loved Beanies, i had to have Beanies. I was not as nuts as some people (being poor helped with that) and i set limits for myself, like i could only purchase marine animals for myself. But when McDonald's introduced Teeny Beanies as a Happy Meal toy i couldn't help myself - i had to have them all. The next summer they did another round and i had to have all of them, too. In the coming months you will be reading about my quest to purge a bunch of stuff from my house; i am taking pictures of a lot of my older collections to do scrapbook pages of them and then finding new homes for everything. The Teeny Beanies are the first to go. We need them at work for an experiment on gravity. All of the relatively flat ones (and why were so many of the first and second animals flat? lambs and bulls and dogs and cats and moose aren't flat) will be put into our show about Newtownian physics to test whether heavier objects fall faster then light ones. Which means that after taking these pictures i had to do the most horrifying thing any Beanie collector can imagine : Meanwhile the less aerodynamic ones will find a new home; a few are going into our dinosaur show, a few are going to various people and a few i am keeping for myself.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

treasures from trash

Perhaps you remember last summer when i was helping Douglas clean out his mother's house. I continue to find new and exciting (and occasionally terrifying) things in the final boxes, such as these handmade wooden letters. They were cool, but FILTHY. Now Niki, they don't look that dirty, you say. I think you might be exaggerating, you say. How filthy were they really? you say. The difference in the right side of the H and the top bar of the F is just from the first cleaning with water and elbow grease. What the heck is that black gunk on the left side of the H anyway? Check out the chamois i was using BLECH I now have the complete alphabet, except I (which you think would be really easy to make) and I have several numbers. I still want to clean them with wood cleaner and then... i don't know what i'm gonna do but i'm thinking it is going to involve decoupage.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ahoy, Mateys

We're driving down the road in Pennsylvania between shows when i hear myself say "Is that a boat on the side of the road?" Yes, yes it is. A lovely fully rigged boat in the yard in front of an outbuilding (barn? arcade? dry dock?) painted to look like a dock, complete with people come to see you off. We were next to the Susquehanna River so it wasn't completely out of place, but still you don't really expect an entire wharf scene next to a snowy hillside. Or a mermaid for that matter.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Double Dips

This is not exactly ice cream weather, but after yesterday's string of debacles (nothing like realizing you have the wrong piece of equipment during the show after introducing it) I felt like we deserved some. Plus who could resist a small town ice cream parlor called "Double Dips" that had plastic ice cream cones flanking the door? So the guy behind the counter was an awesome top-toothless character who just got married on Valentine's Day (to a woman named patricia saint who was born on St Patrick's day). We chatted away while team member AJ and i decided what we wanted. AJ went with a shake made from Peanut Butter Cup and i got a waffle cone cause they were home-made. I decided to get a double dip and after putting 4 dips of Roadrunner Raspberry into the waffle he asked "what do you want for your second dip?" Check this puppy out: The ice cream above the cone was as big as the cone. It took me 45 minutes to eat it. I have never seen such dairy majesty. I highly recommend Double Dips if you ever find yourself in Preston, MD (though i can't really imagine when most of you would find yourself in Preston) even though they had some alarming signs on the front door : that's an odd flavor for ice cream

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Glimpses into the Commonplace Book

I do loves me some words - love 'em. I have been a word collector and a quote collector most of my life in one way or another. Even as a child i learned the words of a song after only a few listens; words just stick in my brain. A few years ago i started gathering up all of the slips of paper and notes and scribbled napkins that had accumulated in my life in an attempt to capture all of the wonderful words i've found in one place. I enjoy reading weekly quotes on other people's blogs so i have added a new side bar that will have something plucked from my very pink commonplace book. Some quotes echo how i feel about a particular subject, some i find thought provoking even if i don't agree with them, some make me laugh and some i just enjoy their use of language. It is my intention to update it Wednesdayly; we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ingenious solution

You don't get a lot of home decorating tips here in the Nikiverse - it's just not my thing right now. If you have been to my apartment you know it is homey and kinda eclectic, but doesn't necessarily have a theme or direction (much like the rest of the Nikiverse). However, i was really taken with this idea i saw at my mom's house of how to store a bath scrubbee. You know the ones i mean : the meshy, swirly bath scrubbees. I totally prefer it to a washcloth, but how do you store the dang thing? It can't be put on the towel rack cause it drips all over the place and hanging on the faucet it always seems to be in the way. I have chosen to just turn a blind eye and not think about it - until now. In her guest bath mom has a bath scrubee hanging in the shower but the genius part is that she used an extra shower curtain hook so that it coordinates with all of the bathroom accessories. How stinking cute and easy is that? Honestly i just never would have thought of it, but it totally works. Now i just need to figure out where to get another matching shower curtain hook; mine look like the faucets in the tub and they match my bathroom, but that is only because my sister bought and sent them to me.

Monday, February 16, 2009


WOOHOOOOOOOO! As of today I have a fully staffed team. I am so excited to welcome back a former team member to round out the office. I am assuming that this means someone will give notice or be hit by a meteor, but for today I actually am NOT understaffed. I'm going home early to celebrate.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Update on disaster

We all survived. Team members are on antibiotics and resting comfortably. Felicia's mom finally woke up and they finished the hip replacement. We rescheduled one show. My show went well (despite the directions trying to send me to DE when the school was in PA) and training was fine last night (though i was kerfluffled by dinner arriving late and i forgot a whole section on evaluation). The most lasting effects of yesterday's doom bubble seem to be that i pulled my shoulder at the gym (ouch) and my mom's sewer line erupted (stinky). Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. Let's be safe out there.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

and all heck breaks loose...

I am having one of those days... - the phone rang at 4:25am with a team member in tears, she is so sick she has to go to Patient First and needs her shows covered - the only person who can cover her show is supposed to be with me; call her at 5am, she feels like crap (did i mention this is only her second week back from open-heart surgery?) but she will cover the shows and sleep in between - at 5:10 i call the next team member who is supposed to be in-house to get her to come with me - at work at 8:35 my logistics coordinator comes in long enough to say she is leaving for a doctor's appointment cause she has some sort of plague - at 9am the team member who is supposed to be filling in with me comes flying to my desk, pale and not in uniform : her mom is in a coma - I am NOT making this up - I get her set up to drive to Virginia and take the rest of the week off - 9:15am, call tomorrow's school to see if they can reschedule for Friday since we are triple booked tomorrow and i am down between 2 and 4 performers - 9:20am, call the last team member to tell her she is going to be on-stage with me and make sure she is in uniform (and to be sure she has all of her limbs and is not bleeding out off her eyes, etc) - 9:30am, wondering what the heck happened this morning, and looking to vent a bit. I still have to drive to PA do a show by myself with a partner that has never even seen it, drive back and immediately run a theater training session from 5:30-8:00pm. Pray for me, people.

Friday, February 6, 2009

One heck of a bulletin board

You know how much i love being in a different school all the time because you just see... things. It is also no secret that i love bulletin boards; there are only three things that would appeal to me about being a classroom teacher and bulletin boards is number one (followed by summers off and the salary). Big, small, ornate, plain and downright obsessive : you see some doozies. Recently at a small private school we were walking down the hall and saw this board that was decked out in bright orange with a nice border and stars and nothing on it, except one picture. Intrigued we went up the hallway to check it out. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I can't decide if she is saying "What happened to this sad, sad bulletin board?" or "What are you looking at - my bulletin board is great!" Either way i nearly disgraced my institution by falling down with laughter. Did you laugh till you snorted at your job today?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ready, Set, GO!

We all have slightly crazy secret desires like being able to crazy-chop vegetables like the chef in a Japanese steakhouse or having a 500 gallon saltwater tank in our bedroom. For a long time my crazy secret desire was to have a passport. I know that seems rather pedestrian for such a sparkle-pony person, but i REALLY wanted one; a passport opens the door to other continents and wondrous sights. But let's face it, my jam-packed non-profit life doesn't really lend itself to world travel. There was never a reason to get a passport so i never did, though i sorely desired one. Last year travel laws changed so that you need a passport to reenter the US and though i'm certainly not going to jump a jet to Jakarta, deciding to drive to Canada in the middle of the night is always a possibility in the Nikiverse. So last summer i decided that i was going to get a passport. I did the research, obtained the paperwork and started saving pennies to afford it, but decided to wait until autumn since there was a huge rush on getting passports. In the autumn i decided to wait until after the holiday travel season, but with the new year the time was right. Guess what arrived recently in the mail! I love my passport. I gaze at it with deep affection. I have been known to just carry it around in the apartment over the last few days. My only disappointment is that now the internal pages have pictures all over them instead of the plain grid i was expecting, but i'm pretty sure i can get over that. Sometimes I will just flip it open to remind myself that it is mine : yep, that's me: crappy picture and all. I figured my goal would be to get my passport this year and work to get a visa stamp in it next year - there is a surprising streak of practicality in the Nikiverse sometimes. But guess what? I will need it in 45 days! As alluded to earlier, i am going on a cruise. My friend Douglas asked me to go on a Disney cruise with him and though it goes against some of my basic life guidelines to accept such a HUGE present I said yes. I am paying for my airfare, but he is footing the rest of the bill - can you believe it? We leave on March 21st to do the seven-day Western Caribbean Cruise where i will possibly need my passport in Cancun and Grand Cayman. I realize both are still in North America, but i figure it is baby steps out of the country and then off of the continent; next thing you know i'm looking at pyramids, now that i have my trusty passport.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

love is fleeting

seen in a school last week
What about in '09?
and how about using the apostrophe correctly, kid?

Monday, February 2, 2009

animal avalanche

If you were to look at the following picture you might assume it was taken by the parent of a toddler. Nope. It was taken by me after a particularly hard turn in our van on the way to a show. What do Cirque du Soleil, Teeny Beanies, a snowman, playing cards, a lei, binder clips, beads and a wooden bird have in common? SCIENCE!