Friday, December 30, 2011

Mold-A-Rama—a plea for respect


We are misunderstood.

Wikipedia's entry on us is a measly 130 words. It begins like this:

"Mold-A-Rama is a brand name for a type of vending machine that makes blow-molded plastic figurines."

And the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) defines us this way:

Mold-A-Rama beings are created when colorful polyethylene pellets are heated to over 200 degrees and injected into a mold. Air is then blown in, which forces plastic into every crevice of the mold, as well as hollowing out the figure. A coolant hardens the individual and then it is released from the mold.

Hardened and released? Sounds like we're criminals!

Even the Urban League—the Urban League!—refers to us (in their 2010 report on underserved populations) as "plastic injected souvenirs".


We are a great nation, one of Buddhas and butterflies, bats and bears. We are light bulbs and fairy castles. We are Kennedy busts, large and small. We are lions in ten different colors for Gods' sakes! And all of us—from wombats to Weinermobiles—are deserving of respect. In fact, many believe we are the indigenous population of zoos, museums, and theme parks! And if that's true, it means that we are the real Native Americans!

Acceptance of this fact will take time. But consider this: we don't refer to ourselves as Mold-A-Rama figures. We call ourselves, "Those who are Forged by Heat." That tells you something, doesn't it?

We may look like simple Stegasauri and Space Robots but we are more, much more. So next time you're at some cultural institution, pass on the expensive souvenir shop schlock. Find the Mold-A-Rama. Stick a couple bucks in and watch a miracle (or at least some really cool hydraulics).

Then, as you pull out your new treasure (don't burn yourself!), think of a good name. That's all we ask for, a really good name. Well, that and that you pick the waste bumps off our bottoms. Undying love is good too. Or at least the sense (if you ever grow tired of us) to sell us on ebay. Thanks.

Pinky and friends
Pinky (and friends)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Convert a half apron to a full apron!

Pancakes fell on my head this morning.

A whole plate of them.

They were sitting on top of the toaster oven. And I was squatting down, trying to shove a pan in the cabinet below.

It kinda hurt. Not to mention the pancakes: beautiful buckwheat flaxseed blackberry pancakes. I would show you a picture of them but I had to eat them up quickly throw them away after they fell on the floor.

I suppose it's further evidence I have no business wearing a half apron. True, things usually hit me smack dab in the middle of my shirt, not my head. But still.

Half aprons are for hostesses, not people who embrace their time as enthusiastically in the kitchen as I do.

But what to do with this cute little holiday half apron?
Christmas Half Apron

I noticed some really cute aprons on the Anthropologie website. So I used this one as inspriation:
Cuisine Couture Apron from Anthropologie

Modifying mine wasn't too hard. I used the waistband for neck ties, which helped bring the two halves of the apron together visually. It also let me convert my apron's simple ruffles to knife pleats like in the Anthro apron.
Full Christmas Apron
Perhaps I made the top a bit too wide; it wouldn't lie flat. But I solved that by making the ties cross in the back and button, rather than tie at the neck.
So I'm quite pleased. Now my new apron will protect my clothes from all that Christmas cookie dough! (Even if it doesn't help with the raining pancakes!)

Wren in Christmas Apron

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gurley Santa Candles

The three Santatiers

Dirty, a little smelly, can't really stand up straight...yea, Kris and I are quite a sight. (That's him on the right; I'm in the back.) But Nick, oh excuse me, St. Nick (In the front, as usual!) is still lookin' great for his age. Hey, don't get me wrong. We're really good friends. It's just that Nick's spent a lot of years living a sheltered life, being all wrapped up and protected from everything. Meanwhile, Kris and I have gotten out and seen the world. Geez, Kris even spent some time on a kibbutz! (I think that's where he got lit though.)

OK, maybe you think you've seen a lot of guys like me: shaped by some corporation or other (in my case Gurley Novelty Company) and sent out into the world to make people's lives brighter, only to end up forgotten and discarded.

Well it's not like that. Maybe I'm not as rosy-cheeked as I once was but I'm still hanging out with my buddies and really enjoying life, especially the holidays.

And I wouldn't change anything. Maybe I'm not in mint condition but being old does give me value. And the grit in my beard is what makes me who I am.

So my wish for you this holiday season is that you live your life and you love yourself. As the artist Evelyn Dunbar said, "We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light."