Tonight. Atlanta. Kavarna. True Story. BOOM.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that the outside world and I don’t often get along, so I am not often out in it.  But tonight?  Tonight, outside world, it is ON.  I’ll be participating in Show and Tell, which was my favorite class in grammar school, and reading an essay about an awkward date and my feet at the True Story! Reading Series.  It’s at Kavarna Bar and Coffeeshop in Atlanta (well, the Decatur part of Atlanta), Georgia.  It starts at 8 and Charles McNair and Benjamin Carr are reading too, which is very exciting but also makes me feel the need to breathe into a brown paper sack.  But in, like, an awesome way.

The folks at True Story! posted an excerpt from one of my essays as an incentive.  I figured I’d double that incentive and post the next bit of the essay here.  This isn’t the essay I’m reading tonight, but it IS the story of the most traumatic moment of my grammar school life that didn’t involve gym class.  It also tells the story of why I didn’t get to go to the Young Author’s Conference in 1988, which was totally a big deal.  Also, I should let the Internet know that all of the people involved in this situation ended up totally okay.  No one’s brain actually fell out, and Christopher beat me in the egg race at Field Day every year after this.  Enjoy.

            In that second I imagined what would happen: he’d thud to the floor and look up, startled, and regret with the force of ten thousand Acts of Contrition the great and torturous pain he’d caused me for months.  I imagined that he’d look at me as if for the first time, admiring my bravery and also my ability to be bad, really bad, as bad as he and Edric and even Johnathan Damiani were at their very worst, and stand up and kiss me the way he and every other boy on the junior varsity pee-wee football team, according to rumor, kissed Jennifer Williams when no one was looking.

It started the way it was supposed to start: Christopher’s knees bent. Christopher fell.  His eyes rolled upwards and then, for a second, leftwards at me.  Then his body thudded to the floor.  And then there was another thud.  And then I realized: he had hit his head against the corner of the desk behind him.

There was motion. Miss Hanks blurred into a run from her desk to our desks, then picked up Christopher’s head.  Christopher’s eyes rolled around like he was dying.  Jennifer ran for paper towels.  Miss Hanks yelled “what the hell were you thinking” and the whole class gasped.  No one knew what was worse: Christopher dying or Miss Hanks saying hell and not meaning the place in which we could spend all of eternity suffering.  She pulled Christopher to stand and said that none of us, not a single one of us, were allowed to move or speak or anything while she was gone, and then there was the space on the floor where Miss Hanks and Christopher and his rolling eyes had been.  And then I saw it: blood.  Three small circles of blood, and inside of one of those circles, two small brown specks.  They were from his brain.  They had to be pieces of his brain.

Crafting for Spinsters (And Their Cats): The Tea Tin Cactus Planter

This is the second installment in a series I like to call Crafting for Spinsters (and Their Cats).  The first installment is here, if you’re interested.  As an addendum to that installment, may I mention that the combination of super glue and sealant hasn’t exploded.  Yet.  You’re welcome.

If you’re anything like me, you spend most of your time mocking Urban Outfitters for being the purveyors of ridiculously priced faux-artisanal goods for poseur way-too-into-mustaches-and-I-can’t-even-tell-if-it’s-ironic-anymore hipsters.  And, if you’re anything like me, you spend the rest of your time giving Urban Outfitters half of your paycheck.  This also means that you are constantly checking your e-mail for announcements about sales on ridiculously priced faux-artisanal goods, because, as the saying goes, it’s totally okay if it’s on sale.  I’m pretty sure Abraham Lincoln said that.  Anyway, if you are this kind of person, you have probably seen this:

Don't be fooled: this isn't a photograph of any of my dorm rooms from the 1990s.  You can tell by the absence of Tori Amos posters and multiple copies of Sylvia Plath's Ariel.

Don’t be fooled: this isn’t a photograph of any of my dorm rooms from the 1990s. You can tell by the absence of Tori Amos posters and multiple copies of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel.

That’s right, y’all: succulents are hot.  Also, fifty-dollar skull candles and Mason jar sippy-cups are apparently important parts of gardening with succulents.  Let’s just keep that as a note right now.

Pretty soon after I obsessively studied this important missive from Urban Outfitters and pretended to be totally annoyed by it, this pin showed up on Pinterest (which I also am obsessively devoted to because you never know when you’re going to need to make it look like a tiny, obnoxious elf destroyed your house):

Oh, that's right.  Links.  This is from this.

Oh, that’s right. Links. This is from this.

 

And I was like, Let’s do this.

Here are the supplies you will need for this craft project.  It is very important to wear knock-off Crocs because they imply that you are very, very serious about getting sh*t DONE, so serious that you are not planning to leave the house until said sh*t is DONE, thus the shoes you can’t leave your house in.  That way, if anyone comes by and is like, Hey, Emma, why haven’t you left the house in the past seven years or whatever?  Then you can be like, Hey, Judgey McJudgerson, I’ve been up in here getting sh*t DONE, and you know how you can tell? I’m wearing getting sh*t DONE shoes.  Peace.

Here are the supplies you will need for this craft project. It is very important to wear knock-off Crocs because they imply that you are very, very serious about getting sh*t DONE, so serious that you are not planning to leave the house until said sh*t is DONE, thus the shoes you can’t leave your house in. That way, if anyone comes by and is like, Hey, Emma, why haven’t you left the house in the past seven years or whatever? Then you can be like, Hey, Judgey McJudgerson, I’ve been up in here getting sh*t DONE, and you know how you can tell? I’m wearing getting sh*t DONE shoes. Peace.

First, take the Jasmine tea tin you luckily haven’t thrown out since your ex-boyfriend brought it over to your apartment years ago because he apparently thought you were that kind of people.  Which was really nice, you know, so you were like, Awww, thank you, even though secretly you were like, What the hell?  All I drink is Diet Coke, Folger’s Simply Smooth, and the occasional wine cooler.  IT’S AS IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME AT ALL.

First, take the Jasmine tea tin you luckily haven’t thrown out since your ex-boyfriend brought it over to your apartment years ago because he apparently thought you were that kind of people. Which was really nice, you know, so you were like, Awww, thank you, even though secretly you were like, What the hell? All I drink is Diet Coke, Folger’s Simply Smooth, and the occasional wine cooler. IT’S AS IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME AT ALL.

If you look at the bottom of the tea tin, you’ll see your distorted self staring hauntingly back at you as if it doesn’t know you at all, which is a really good metaphor for the end of a relationship, when you think about it.  So you should think about it.  But not too long, unless you have an occasional wine cooler on hand.

If you look at the bottom of the tea tin, you’ll see your distorted self staring hauntingly back at you as if it doesn’t know you at all, which is a really good metaphor for the end of a relationship, when you think about it. So you should think about it. But not too long, unless you have an occasional wine cooler on hand.

It’s important that your tea tin provide proper drainage for all of the times that you forget that you watered your cactus, like, two hours ago and water it again, so that your cactus doesn’t rot from the inside and then just sort of sadly collapse, like your dream of being a weather girl.  Take a rusty screw you have lying around and a hammer and use them to poke holes in the bottom of the tea tin.*  You can use the tea tin’s lid as a dish to catch any excess water, and you should feel extremely proud of this moment of efficiency. *Actually you probably shouldn’t do this at all, because this might actually be dangerous.  But, then again, if you’ve had a tetanus shot recently, you don’t want to waste it, right?

It’s important that your tea tin provide proper drainage for all of the times that you forget that you watered your cactus, like, two hours ago and water it again, so that your cactus doesn’t rot from the inside and then just sort of sadly collapse, like your dream of being a weather girl. Take a rusty screw you have lying around and a hammer and use them to poke holes in the bottom of the tea tin.* You can use the tea tin’s lid as a dish to catch any excess water, and you should feel extremely proud of this moment of efficiency.
*Actually you probably shouldn’t do this at all, because this might actually be dangerous. But, then again, if you’ve had a tetanus shot recently, you don’t want to waste it, right?

 

Look at this.  Isn’t it cute?  It’s a cactus with a brighter, trendier cactus grafted on the top (according to Urban Outfitters, neon is, like, so hot right now) (for lame hipsters).  And it turns out that now, cacti come in these little plastic pots with handles on them, like tiny and fashionable safety accessories.  You should probably try to figure that out before you gingerly pick it up from the bottom and everyone at Wal-Mart is like, What is wrong with you? (Not that you bought this cactus at Wal-Mart, because that would be lame.)

Look at this. Isn’t it cute? It’s a cactus with a brighter, trendier cactus grafted on the top (according to Urban Outfitters, neon is, like, so hot right now) (for lame hipsters). And it turns out that now, cacti come in these little plastic pots with handles on them, like tiny and fashionable safety accessories. You should probably try to figure that out before you gingerly pick it up from the bottom and everyone at Wal-Mart is like, What is wrong with you? (Not that you bought this cactus at Wal-Mart, because that would be lame.)

Now it’s time to panic a little that the cactus won’t actually fit inside of the tea tin.  After that, it’s time to think about how you really should have thought of that before.  Then, it’s time to decide that you are going to make the cactus fit into the tea tin, no matter what, which means it’s time to panic a little about how you are going to get the cactus inside of the tea tin without lacerating your hands so badly that you look like one of the illustrations of lepers that seemed to be on every page of your catechism book when you went to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School.  So you are going to need gloves, and those gloves need to be cute, which is the most important part of this step.   That may seem deceptively unimportant, but, I can assure you, that is pure deception.  You need to get some cute gardening gloves because there is nothing more important, in any situation, than accessories.  Coco Chanel once said that "It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure," but I like to think about accessories a little more concretely.  Accessories are absolutely necessary, because, if paired with a chunky bracelet and a fashionable belt, no one will be able to tell that you’re wearing your pajamas.  Coco Chanel said that, too.

Now it’s time to panic a little that the cactus won’t actually fit inside of the tea tin. After that, it’s time to think about how you really should have thought of that before. Then, it’s time to decide that you are going to make the cactus fit into the tea tin, no matter what, which means it’s time to panic a little about how you are going to get the cactus inside of the tea tin without lacerating your hands so badly that you look like one of the illustrations of lepers that seemed to be on every page of your catechism book when you went to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School. So you are going to need gloves, and those gloves need to be cute, which is the most important part of this step.
That may seem deceptively unimportant, but, I can assure you, that is pure deception. You need to get some cute gardening gloves because there is nothing more important, in any situation, than accessories. Coco Chanel once said that “It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure,” but I like to think about accessories a little more concretely. Accessories are absolutely necessary, because, if paired with a chunky bracelet and a fashionable belt, no one will be able to tell that you’re wearing your pajamas. Coco Chanel said that, too.

This last step may be the most important.  Remember, social media was invented so that you can show other people that you’re better than them, or at least that you’re stable enough to do crafts, even if you’ve worn your pajamas with a chunky bracelet and a fashionable belt for three months straight.  Therefore, it is essential to photograph your craft and show it to as many people on the Internet as possible.  Otherwise, what’s the point?  Oh, that’s right.  NONE.  There is NO POINT.  Find the one surface in your house that doesn’t look like it’s part of a still from Grey Gardens and set your craft up there.  You’ll need to arrange a little vignette by placing other objects near the craft.  Make sure that they’re kind of vintage-y and used in witty and unexpected ways, like this milk glass hand-me-down filled with colored pencils, or a Mason jar sippy-cup filled with wine coolers.

This last step may be the most important. Remember, social media was invented so that you can show other people that you’re better than them, or at least that you’re stable enough to do crafts, even if you’ve worn your pajamas with a chunky bracelet and a fashionable belt for three months straight. Therefore, it is essential to photograph your craft and show it to as many people on the Internet as possible. Otherwise, what’s the point? Oh, that’s right. NONE. There is NO POINT. Find the one surface in your house that doesn’t look like it’s part of a still from Grey Gardens and set your craft up there. You’ll need to arrange a little vignette by placing other objects near the craft. Make sure that they’re kind of vintage-y and used in witty and unexpected ways, like this milk glass hand-me-down filled with colored pencils, or a Mason jar sippy-cup filled with wine coolers. Add a moody Instagram filter and a caption that implies that everything is totally fine and organized inside of your house and your mind, hit post, and then refresh every five minutes while watching Bridezillas so you can judge people.