Guest column! K10 learns things

K10 learns things so you can too!

Today’s subject: Baby Gates!

K10 says…

Did you know that at Fred Meyer baby gates are considered “Apparel” and that only stores that sell clothes have baby gates? We went looking for one today, because we wanted to have the front door open without worrying about kitties going in or out. But no! Apparel!

Prepare for a cheesy pageant production number

Not going to lie, I used to watch beauty pageants all the time. Grandma Sis would tape them for me, and I specifically remember watching the Miss Teen USA 1990 on her Beta VCR over and over again. Tonight, I had to watch the Miss USA pageant at work. The format hasn’t changed much since the 90s, but the hair is smaller. Also, they make a point to note several times that the crown is made from synthetic “conflict free” diamonds. Translation: really high quality rhinestones. The crown is kind of like fake fur: an old status symbol updated with contemporary collective morals.

Miss Arizona gave a really great answer about health care in which she did not say the word “health care.” Instead, she just talked about having integrity, no matter if you’re on the left or right. Excellent stock answer, Miss Arizona, but we still don’t know if you’re for or against universal health care in the United States. I may disagree with Miss California believing that marriage should only be for heterosexual couples, but at least she voiced her concrete opinion on the issue. Even though she completed contradicted herself saying that she thought it was great that people in America could chose between same sex marriage and opposite sex marriage, but then said “In my country, in my family, I believe marriage should between a man and a woman.” (Also, Perez Hilton didn’t ask what she thought, he asked if other states should follow Vermont with legalizing it. She could’ve just said, “It should be left up to each state.”)

And now, the video I will never get tired of watching, the greatest moment in all of pageant history…Miss South Carolina from Miss Teen USA 2007 answering the final, and most crucial, question of the night:

I’ve never gone through a blue period

After the nation had forgotten the cancer scares sparked by red dye number four and other colorings, red M&Ms returned to the pack of plain M&Ms. I remember thinking that it was the perfect new color; a bit brighter than the other colors without being obnoxious. Then in pre-internet days, the Mars company opened a phone hot line so people could vote for a new color to the pack in 1995. I was gunning for purple, but blue won. M&Ms were not Skittles; they did not need to be neon. To me, the new blue M&M stood out from the rest of the earth tones and fall colors to the point of clashing. Eventually, the tan M&M was eradicated from the regular pack, and I’m still a little sad about it.

It’s not that I actively dislike the color blue. I’ve always felt completely indifferent to the color, with one exception: my favorite Crayola crayon color has always Cerulean, a shade of blue that cars are painted on “The Price is Right.” I’ve recently learned that Crayola seems to have followed M&Ms’ lead; their 24 pack of crayons has four shades of blue and one brown. Sure, there are a lot of oranges, some decent purples, and reds and red violets, but none of them helped when I was coloring in a picture of Pioneer Square. My lack of brown options meant that I couldn’t duplicate the square’s redish-tan bricks. Normally, I’d have no problem coloring the bricks purple or something. But there was already a pink squid fighting a green Portlandia in the middle of the square, and I wanted a balance of absurdism with reality.

I bought the 24 pack on a whim a few months ago, and I’ve started coloring in books when I need to recenter and using crayons when I pretend like I can draw. I like the waxy feeling and look, and being able to control the intensity of the color. I bought a 64 pack, so I’d have a wider variety of earth tones. I recognized a few shades, like “Purple Mountain’s Majesty,” “Tickle Me Pink,” “Macaroni and Cheese,” and “Timberwolf” as winners of the naming contest Crayola had when I was in third grade. But then, the new shades only came in the Big Box of 96. But I was still more excited about the collection of tan, burnt sienna, raw sienna, etc. As I was working on a crudely drawn comic strip (that I may or may not post sometime), I found a color called “Cadet blue” that is the exact color of my eyes. I thought I was content with my crayon collection, until K10 got me a 150 pack that came in a plastic container and included glitter and metallic shades…I’m now officially slightly intimidated by my color options and may never have to use either of my built in sharpeners.

Judging people by their pets

Jesse and Josh were shooting safari animals, and I stood close by scanning the few people at the Levee on a Wednesday night. I accidentally made eye contact with a short guy with curly black hair, wearing an unbuttoned collared shirt over his T shirt. He smiled, shot me the “hey baby” eyes and walked up to me, and asked “Is one of these guys your husband?” I said no. “Is one of them your boyfriend?” I shook my head no. He asked, “Do you have a boyfriend?” I asked, “Is that really your best line?”

He told me that he liked to ask about boyfriends before talking to girls to avoid getting beaten up. Jesse and Josh were done playing Buck Hunter and Jesse agreed that starting with the boyfriend question was ok to do sometimes. I told them both that the best way to talk to girls was just starting a conversation, that opening with the boyfriend question makes girls feel gross. It’s not that I’m offended by being hit on; I just don’t like the feeling that any conversation attempt is made with the sole intent of trying to nail me.

Then our new friend said “I have a cobra,” and pulled up pictures of his pet cobra on his iphone, talking about how he used to have a mamba and fed his cobra fresh freeze dried mice. I said that was an oxymoron. He told us about his the special gloves he wore to play with his cobra, and how he punched a guy with brass knuckles who tried to break in and steal his cobra. I had no interest in the guy to start with. But if I’m gonna give a snake owner my number, I’d want a guy who is sensible enough to have a boa or something that kills with strangulation and not a snake equipped with venomous fangs. More importantly, I’m also only interested in guys who are smart enough to realize that saying “I have a cobra” is a far better way to start conversation than asking a girl about her dating status.

(Note: I’ve been searching through venomous snake discussion boards to try and see if cobras are legal to own as pets in New York City…research is so far inconclusive.)

Open source sewing!

Not to sound like a commercial, but this site is pretty awesome. One of my favorite skirt patterns ever was made by Burda, and they’ve officially kicked McCalls’ and Simplicity’s asses. Burda Style is a site with downloadable patterns (priced free to cheap), sewing tips, a blog, photos, etc. You can share your projects with someone besides the old ladies at the fabric store who question why you’d do something so crazy as buy remnants right before closing.