Friday, June 13, 2008

What kinds of things embarrass you? I was amused recently to have someone I know describe Japanese seasoned fried bean curd pockets called "Inarizushi-no-moto" as a rather embarrassing/inappropriate body part. While not the most polite way to refer to this delectable treat, anyone who's eaten this dish can attest to the aptness of the description... the anatomy analogy makes it obvious to what food is being referred! Crass, yes, but helpful in getting the point across-- especially since the name is rather long and foreign to non-Japanese speakers! I told the story to others afterwards... and was surprised to have the individual request that I not tell anyone of the opposite sex what was said because it would be too embarrassing. So, herein lies the question of "what is embarrassing?"... it wasn't the story itself, the crassness of the title, the bluntness of the creator, the potentially offended Japanese associates, or even the thoughts of the anatomy involved that chagrined the describer. It was only the idea that someone of the opposite sex was going to hear this story that embarrassed the individual!

Are you more easily embarrassed by things in the presence of the opposite sex? Certain family members? Certain co-workers or peers? What situations are least embarrassing to you, regardless of embarrassing content in discussion or actions? Stories, please, because I'm looking forward to hearing what you all think!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Quilts and Gardens: Aren't We Domestic?!?!

The last time I completed a sewing project of any kind was in Junior High when I made two of those felt sewing kits: a red race car for my brother and a computer with keyboard and mouse for my dad. And I think I even sewed a bunch of mini red stockings for some Christmas project at church. As an artist, I am attracted to fabrics... and I'll admit that I have a stockpile of some beautiful material with which I haven't done a thing except run my hands over it every once and a while! When I was in High school I was inspired by my best friend Jennie's t-shirt quilt and I cut up a bunch of raggy old shirts of mine for use in a similar project... those cut pieces are still in a nice neat bag in my craft closet. Somehow I forgot about the part that I didn't know how to sew when I began going at it with the scissors. In college I got excited about making a cute green quilted purse for my lil sister's birthday. You guessed it, I still have all the pieces, buttons, thread, and even lime green zipper... but no purse. I wanted to make a paint brush holder that rolls up and protects your brushes. I got everything cut and laid out... and broke 2 sewing machine needles in the space of 1 hour. My brush holding project rests next to all the other incomplete projects and failed attempts at being "domestic-seamstress-Elisa" in the craft closet. Hmmm.... Something had to be done about this!

So, I joined the quilting and sewing Enrichment group in our ward. Not because I'm really skilled in this area (as detailed above), but precisely the opposite! I borrowed a sewing machine and was flustered that I couldn't get it to work... and then embarassed and chagrined when I realized that the bobbin had no thread on it. Go figure. Well, I think that my ineptitude prevented me from completing the red, white, and blue rail fence project in a timely fashion, but it didn't keep the completed blocks from looking pretty darn good for a first try at quilting! I was admittedly proud that the center lined up on my second block. Now to do it again with a cute pink and green pinwheel pattern... and maybe I'll be brave enough to add my name to the drawing to take all the completed blocks and actually make a quilt with them!

Eric's man-version of domestic bliss this week has been his successful installment of a lovely 7x7 garden plot! He spent 8 hours digging up a previously weed-ridden portion of our backyard (after securing permission from management, of course) and trying to eliminate the plentiful rocks claiming that spot of soil as home. After removing 3 5-gallon buckets worth of rocks from such a small area, he has been hypothesizing that perhaps previous residents had a Zen rock garden there! In case you're wondering why I'm only taking pictures rather than helping to dig a lil, let's just say we have stray cats around here who are most likely carrying Toxoplasmosis.

Well, since we (when I say 'we', I really me 'I') successfully slaughtered all our tomato and pepper seeds that we started in our kitchen in March, Eric and I purchased some Roma tomato, Jalapeno, Bell, and Sweet Chili peppers. Don't they look nice in the soil? We've also got onions, carrots, beets, peas, cucumber, green onions, and herbs either already planted or on the schedule to be planted this week. What a great lil garden! Good job Eric!