DIY OH WHY: HAT MATH

Dear kids,

I swear to you that as a basic, everyday, human being THIS is the only math you are ever going to use aside from the basics to pay your bills and shit, or maybe to figure out percentages to find out the sales price of leather boots and to figure out a decent tip so you’re not an asshole to the food service industry.

You will use geometry. The end. (Ok, maybe some algebra for some ratios or to solve for x when y is a box of wine but mostly geometry. )

Because someday you will want buy enough paint to cover your walls without making 5 trips to Lowe’s in one day. Or you will want new carpet, or to figure out just how big your yard is or how much paver patio you can afford because, no matter what, it costs 5 million dollars and barely fits two chairs.

Or you might want to sew something.

Like a hat.

A hat that is two basic geometric shapes: a circle and a rectangle. You are definitely going to need the circumference of that circle for this to work out.

Directions sort of: Two sizes are pictured below. I have a giant head (Gma said my mom had to sit in the bathtub a lot after I was born. Ick.) I use the 8 1/2″ circle diameter for myself. People with “normal” heads, whatever that means, seem happy with the 7 3/4″. The formula is the circumference of the circle which you need to know for your rectangular piece. For my size I cut a rectangle that is 27 (the circumference) x 18.” The 18″ gets folded and all seams are sewn to the circle. I like my circle to be a different fabric from, but complimentary to the fabric of the rectangle.hats1

Math, I’m pretty sure it’ll rot your teeth. That might be meth. Both are bad. Don’t do them.

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Sultry, serious hat model.

Math will only do things like reveal that your years have added up enough to have reached some irrational point of losing things.

Things I have lost recently:

  • Not weight-see cupcakes
  • Two cupcakes. I found them in the garage.
  • My mind.
  • A big wooden necklace.
  • Just about any tool/utensil/item that I was just using a second ago. I swear I haven’t even moved. How could this be lost?
  • My favorite hat.
  • At least one of the new hats I made to replace my favorite hat. New hat last seen on my head on January 4 after yoga.
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Hat last photographed January 4, 2018. Please come back, hat.

I started doing math because I lost my favorite winter hat. It was a burgundy fleece (last photographed hunting for sheds)that I bought on a road trip in New Hampshire. It coordinated with everything, didn’t mess my hair up…much, and could be easily shoved into pockets or purses as needed. It was pure class, at least when your standards of classiness are as low as mine.

One minute, I didn’t need a hat, the next we were having a real winter and my ears were cold. Out of necessity, I crafted.

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December 2016

The brown gecko hat gets me knowing nods and “What up’s” from old ladies. Like legit senior citizens. I don’t know what it means, but the hat makes them happy.

True to my project history, I accumulated a ton of supplies-fleece!- last winter and promptly got bored with the whole thing. However the hat crafting urge came back with a vengeance this winter. Everybody who was likely to wear one, got a hat sometimes two.

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You’re Gonna Freeze Your Balls Off…

It feels like it has been a while since we had to contend with negative wind chill temperatures and actual accumulations of snow. Olivia Wigglebothum brought the Polar Vortex in 2014 which was exciting. However last winter was so mild that my parsley overwintered. Fucking parsley.

This winter, I have to figure out how to dress like I’m harnessing my cat sled team for tundra travel, but spending the majority of my day inside at work looking “professional.” Mostly I want to go into hibernation mode. According to people who live in REALLY cold areas, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing” and Ohioans should figure out how to dress for the weather and get over it. I feel like these people don’t get punched in the crotch enough.

Because I seem to advocate for crotch punching and profanity, a friend shared this app with me: What The Forecast?!! I set it on “obscene” and proceeded to share my forecast and freezing giggles with everyone. It was free fun!img_3906

The same friend and I signed on for our metro parks‘ winter hikes series. We did it last year, but last year was parsley-growing mild! What seemed like a good idea a month or two ago now seemed like a bad dare when Saturday morning’s forecast looked like this:

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I sent her this forecast hoping she’d call my bluff and suggest that yes, we would be incredibly stupid to go for a hike in the woods. Even if there was soup at the end.

Unfortunately, we know that, unlike hibernating bears, we are not living off our body fat so much as adding to it during the winter. So we layered up like the little brother from A Christmas Story and chose the two mile option for the first hike of the season.

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It was so cold that my phone died.

Given, I did have Pokemon Go open (we were in a metro park there were balls to get!), was trying to take a photo, AND got a text message at that exact moment which was more than my phone could take. Solution: tuck it into my ample bosom to warm it up.

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Before my phone fainted from hypothermia.

It’s nice to be in the woods even if it is on a march with a hundred other people, and the sound of squeaking snow under boots is the equivalent of nails on chalkboard to me. Somehow I could still hear the birds, mostly blue jays, over the squeaking. Being among the trees is calming. It doesn’t take too much effort to find something beautiful in nature. Eventually, I got used to walking with my glasses frosted over.

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One of the perks of the winter hike series, besides getting some exercise, is the volunteers at the end. Each hike ends with volunteers serving hot cocoa, soup, and other treats. Last year, we practically had a full meal after one hike. This hike ended with veggie soup and a fire pit where it was comfortable enough to loosen up some of the layers. We learned last year that it is good etiquette make a small cash donation at the end of each hike, supporting the park programming. This time we signed on as “Friends of the Metro Parks.” Twelve more hikes to go!

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My “resting soup face.”

A new twist to this year’s hike series is donations to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. The parks are encouraging hikers to bring non-perishables and personal care items to each hike for the donation boxes. We’re all just a jar of peanut butter and tube of toothpaste away from helping out.

If you’re in the Central Ohio area freezing your balls or lady parts off, check out the hike series.

#ColdAF

Satan is Just Santa Spelled Wrong

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According to my cats, Satan is just Santa spelled wrong or vice versa. If it involves costumes, they certainly lean towards the Satanic interpretation. Costumes at this time of year means Christmas card photo shoot!

This year I was lucky enough to find a Santa beard. I looked last year, convinced that Maury desperately needed a white beard, but was only able to find him a moustache. Worth the $8 at Target.

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Who wore it best?

Acquiring the beard, was definitely the signal to drag out costumes. I rarely put up a Christmas tree (Someone has to put that shit away later!), but it’s nothing to drag out the costume bag.

There was the typical forest of trees wandering around the kitchen in festive capes.

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Sookie, as usual, declined to be involved and went into hiding. I basically dropped a costume on her then pulled it off before she panicked.

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Olivia Wigglebothum explored the beard situation. She already has the meowstache.

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Birdie was uncharacteristically annoyed by her costume options and I let her smack them around after pictures.

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Miles, ever patient and accepting, gave me the winning shot. Because of his facial expression though, I used lyrics from “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” as text on the card. The Grinch’s dog Max was always one of my favorites with his giant reindeer antler attire.

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You’re a rotter, Mr. Grinch!
You’re the king of sinful sots!

 

 

That 7 Day Thing on Facebook: A Retrospective of Fine Photography

Yes, Facebook is the Devil unless it involves cat pictures. That’s pretty much what I’m there for: pictures -sometimes of people -and local events. Now if I could just eliminate all the ads, the politics, and the friends who go on tagging, liking, random re-posting sprees that make me wonder if they are trapped somewhere.

Are you perpetually on a layover in a really bad airport? If yes, you’re killing your phone battery with this nonsense.

Banished would be things that say “copy and paste this then tag your best friend from high school.” We’ve created the digital equivalent of the chain letter. Worse yet are the passive aggressive posts that start off with something like: “I know that most of my real friends won’t re-post this (subtext being that we are horrible examples of humanity) but those of you that really care about -fill in the blank here with something dead or soon to die…”And so trend begets trend and so on down the wormhole.

However the latest trend of seven days of black and white photos has been tolerable. Photos the end. One of its layers of “rules” is no explanations. Perfect! No people, ok. No pets, seriously? And you’re supposed to nominate another person. Nope. Not dragging anybody under with me. Also you’re only supposed to choose one photo a day. Meh. Again, I’m a big kid and I do what I want! Part of the time at least. Most of the time I do what I’m supposed to unless it involves exercise or eating better. #Adulting

I currently have over 11,000 photos on my phone. Yes, 10,999 are of my cats; and I do realize that life still happens even if I don’t get a picture of it, but, man, I really like that picture. So a photo a day wasn’t as much of a challenge as editing it down to one.

Additionally, black and white can really be a silk purse out of a sow’s ear situation. It makes practically anything look cooler! I took a picture of peanut butter for pete’s sake! It had nice texture. A little silvertone or Holga-esque won’t hurt you.

I guess my end game is that if you do accept this challenge, you crazy trendsetters, then at least make it interesting; and for all you are worth, stick to NO EXPLANATIONS.

A Caturday Cattoo

In the name of my cats and their shelters, I’ve bought t-shirts, catnip pillows, spent ridiculous amounts on yearly calendars, dropped off donations ,and petted strange heads. All pretty mild mannered ways to support the kitties.

However last weekend I was offered a bolder option: cattoos!

I really like tattoos and I love cats so…yea…this sounded like the best combination fundraiser ever. (Based on the profit, I’d even propose it for my high school publication if my audience wasn’t 1500 under-aged students.)
Colony Cats & Dogs, former shelter to Sookie and Olivia Wigglebothum, and local tattoo shop Envy teamed up for an amazing fundraiser. All profits went to the shelter; the shop got tips and foot traffic, essentially donating materials and labor. The shop prepared nine flash options-small tattoos that can be applied quickly without variations-at $60 a pop. I was in the chair maybe 10 minutes and most of that time was the artist prepping his station. A couple of lines later and I was on my merry way.img_2948

Miles says it doesn’t look like him, “That cat could be ANYONE.” His classic cat disdain pretty much mirrors Bella’s impression of my back piece which was inspired by her and some artwork purchased on a 17 day road trip. If there aren’t treats, nobody cares.

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While the cats may not have been impressed, the shelter reported an impressive $2600 in the four hours that the fundraiser lasted. The artists cranked out 40 cattoos (there were also a few dog options), and the shelter set up a table in the lobby with pet related jewelry, magnets, stickers, and, of course, catnip pillows.

You know what I bought for the fur kids.

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Supervising and Stranger Things

My home life is a little like that scene from Office Space when Peter points out that he has eight bosses micro managing his existence.

Given, I only have four different bosses, but they are completely up my ass about every thing that I try to do. They question my competence at every turn. I can’t even carve pumpkins without major supervision.

First, there has to be an inspection of the pumpkins. Were these REALLY the best ones?

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Then my top supervisor, the Helper, has to be a part of the whole process. Step by step, he has to put in his squash related know-how. “Back when I was just a feral kitten, we only picked the biggest pumpkins…”

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It turns out that he was mostly concerned with watching the rest of Season 1 of Stranger Things even though he and the other bosses were very upset by the flashback where Eleven appears to be torturing a cat with her powers. They don’t like yowling cats unless they are the ones doing it.

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I think the giant knife really completes the photo.

My at-home bosses don’t realize that at my “real job,” I was told to either watch the series this weekend or be ostracized from lunch discussions. I can’t deal with being ignored at both of my “jobs.”

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Finally, all the bosses had to weigh in on my job performance. I don’t think that this was really my best work, other years have been better. However, none of them have fired me yet or pooped in my shoes.

Kitten Therapy 

The Kitten Room at the shelter is not much bigger than my bathroom; but like the Tardis, the Kitten Room’s power is way bigger on the inside.

In the Kitten Room I am a benevolent tree, an Ent if you will, being climbed by a horde of tiny, squirming creatures, all vying for cuddles. One rooted leg is assailed by a miniature black panther who gives up around my knee. The other leg supports a tiger who may have hit the weight limit for climbing jeans, as his needle-sharp claws dig deep into my hip. Meanwhile a tinier, wiggly tiger is running laps around my neck and periodically sticking his nose in my ear to demonstrate purr potential.

While the slightly larger tiger makes sleepy eyes at me from the crook of my arm, tinier tiger keeps zooming. He stops once in each lap to settle on the convenient shelf my chest makes and nose boop the calmer tiger. Then back to zooming.

Whenever I manage to sit down or bend over, a black and white, cow-spotted kitten gives me “soft pets,”patting at my face with insistent paws. This tears me up a bit as it immediately reminds me of Bella Luna’s possessive paw to my cheek when we first met at her shelter. Cow kitten then hangs out on the elevated foot of my crossed leg.

Forty-five minutes later, I’m covered in strange cat hair and strange smells. I will have to leave my shoes and clothes in the garage when I get home. Windowless, attached garages are essential for extended shelter cat petting. My cats will know I’ve been cheating on them with younger, more enthusiastic versions of themselves. 

Forgiven.

Since I didn’t fall madly in love and bring home a fifth,- this is the miracle of the day– they’ll forgive me.