Monday, December 14, 2009

If You Make It Out of Ironic Materials, They Will Come. And Buy It. Maybe Buy Two, If You Will Cut a Deal.

Get out your glue guns, hipsters. It's the most Portlandish time of the year.

Gray and rainy and Craftywonderland!

For all my out of town readers, Craftywonderland is, well, it's a wonderland of craft. Or more precisely, a Convention Center hall of hand-crafted wonders you can purchase to support some local artiste's PBR habit.

One of the hottest items was the Portland Bingo set.
Actually so popular that it sold out at Craftywonderland, (though it will soon be available for purchase at Powells).

Still, I was inspired enough I figured I'd play my own game of Portland Bingo as I made my way among the crafty wares.

What to wear to the next kale sale down at the vegan co-op?
Organic cotton and hemp stretch denim!

(Warning, could lead to one of those embarrassing Honey, I smoked my stretch pants incidents.)

Speaking of functional objects out of favorite substances:
Duct tape wallets.

So Portland. So Portland 2004, actually. Been there, stored my PBR money in that, as the hipsters say.

But wait, here's something new:
Duct tape flasks.

For when you're a little too suave to swill down a can of PBR, yet still feel the need to keep your booze in a metal container.

Notice that both the duct tape wallets and the duct tape flasks come in the ever popular mustache style.

Because the FREE SQUARE on Portland Crafty Bingo must surely be the facial hair frenzy.
Keep Portland Beard cards.

Fabric Mustache flags

Mustache ring
(note macaroni ring included only as scale indicator, not for sale)
(for when you need to pour something out of your mustache duct tape flask to toast the bride and groom as they exchange their mustache rings)

Here's a nice enviro-friendly art form:

Sort of a hair-of-the-dog potential here, what with slipping a skateboard bangle on that arm you've just broken doing a Wallplant that came out looking like one of my dying houseplants.

Christmas is coming up, so no surprise that the crafters are ready for Old Saint Nick.
Or perhaps that's more Old Milwaukee, given its hipster cred.

Others hadn't forgotten that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
Our friend Rachel B. picked up some hedgehog notecards for her stepmother, who apparently loves all things hedgehog. Alas, it's a pity Rachel didn't see this in time.
Because nothing says, Happy Birthday Prince of Peace like the hedgehog brass knuckles.

If only her stepmother were actually a man, she might have picked up this lovely set of gay man's fantasy potholders.
Potholders were in surprising profusion at Craftywonderland. Though as Cheez observed, they did not seem to hold the kind of pot the majority of the crowd seemed most familiar with.

Among my favorite items were the beautiful old suit jackets that had been remade into what I like to think of as Portland's sartorial take on the mullet.
Business up front

Hoodie in the back

There was a lot of working with recycled materials. Old Sony Walkmans made into bookends. Old books made into journals. Old beer caps made into
well, I actually have no idea what that is they were made into. But dude has figured out how to deduct his beer purchases as business supplies, that's pretty artful right there.

And for those of you who are ready to ditch your old-fangled duct tape wallet, may I recommend the latest in nostalgic materials recycled into a moneymaker, er I mean money holder:
The lawnchair webbing wallets. Note that the display stand included actual photos of lawn chairs
presumably because the twenty-somethings cramming the sale had no firsthand knowledge of such things.

It does make you think. What 70s decor item can't be recrafted as 2010 fashion, when you get right down to it. Those plastic covers my parents still have on their sofa? Peekaboo robe to go with the shag bikini cut out of the living floor treatment. Stick a fondue pot on your head and call it macaronimaniac, as the old song says.

They really had decked the convention hall with boughs of 70s nostalgia. This lovely velvet painting of an AMC Pacer, for example, was going for $100.
Which is probably more than the Kelly Blue Book value of the Pacer itself.

The ultimate Portland moment, though, was when I spied this vendor on the crafty kids aisle:
Yes, at nine years old, he's already sporting the airbrushed trucker's cap, churning out ironic artwork, and exuding aloofness at the presence of shoppers.

Best of all, just moments after I snapped this shot, he began unconsciously playing air guitar to the song blasting out of the nearest speaker. Which, in the true spirit of the holiday season, was Don't Fear the Reaper.

A lovely sentiment, though perhaps not as apt as the one of which I had to remind our pal Cynthia and her daughter Jackson, who were fleeing the Convention Center after being traumatized by the Craftywonderland crowd: Don't Fear the Hipster.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Holy Moses" Does Not Refer to an Episcopalian

Tis the season.

The season to assume everyone is Christian.

Including, apparently, farm animals.

I can kind of understand certain right-wing news outlets gloating like a Fox in the cowhouse over this weird story, but when NPR and the Jew, er I mean New, York Times cover it too, what is up with that?

Cows are not Christian.

Particularly not cows named Moses Holstein.

Trust me, Moses Holstein you can pretty much count on being a member of my herd. Er,I mean tribe.

Pardon me if I'm a bissel oversensitive. This is a tough time of year for the Jews. On the one hand, sales. We love those. On the other hand, everyone saying "Happy Holidays," for a good week past the end of Hanukkah. Like maybe we Jews aren't going to figure out that "Holidays" is code for "birth of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Who by the way, as a Jew, would have loved all these sales.

Though maybe not so much the ham dinner you're planning on serving on his birthday.

Actually, I'm not sure what's more horrifying to me as a Hebe:

That most Americans believe everyone--including some randomly birthmarked bovine--is a Christian.

Or that the one goy sticking up for us Jews is . . . Orrin Hatch.

Yes, that Orrin Hatch. Orrin G. Hatch, the Mormon senator from the state of Utah. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Mormons per se. Frankly, I think we crazy desert religions ought to stick up for each other.

But this is just plain weird, this Hatchnukkah song. Dude has got a thing for Jews like that pasty white guy in your dorm had a thing for Asian chicks.

We all know goyim don't write Hanukkah songs. It's unprecedented. Unnerving. Unnatural.

So please, let's give up this sick, twisted, immoral lifestyle, Mr. Mormon Senator from Utah, and go back to the way it was meant to be.

Not to mention Jews singing them.

Neil Diamond, double platinum, your mother must be so proud!

Bette Middler, Grammy-nominated, mazel tov to you!

And me!

Yes, dear readers, Macaronimaniac will be belting out the Christmas songs and the Hanukkah spiel this Saturday night. I hope you can come see me.

Just please leave your half-breed, Hebe-named Holsteins at home.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Myself Agita Worrying For No Good Reason

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

So of course I start worrying about it well in advance.

By last Tuesday, when the Cheez and I had actually started on our road trip to San Francisco, where we have spent every Thanksgiving since 1992, I was in full on panic.

Carol is coming this year I pointed out to Cheez, meaning our friend Katie's mother. This is shocking because though she is invited every year, she always declines. Something about not wanting to see her adult offspring in lingerie.

Oh, yes, I guess I should mention that in addition to spending every Thanksgiving since 1992 in San Francisco, we have spent every Thanksgiving since 1995 in lingerie.  

Trust me, it cuts down on the unwanted relatives at the dinner table.

At least it did until this year.  

This is just like when the AAA magazine ran the article on Burning Man I moaned, my complaint shrilling out like an RV tailpipe dragging along the hipster-encrusted desert. It means it's all over.

Then, as we were holed in the Motel 6 in Redding, we realized Cheez had forgotten to pack his Farrah Fawcett wig. How can you have Thanksgiving in your regular hair? I wailed.  You might as well be sitting home with a Tofurkey sandwich. 

But by the next morning, things dawned brighter. Or so it seemed when I discovered that the gas station across the street from the Motel 6 sold souvenir spoons.  $6.99 later, I knew I was really on vacation. 

By Wednesday night, we were firmly ensconced in Little Orphan Annie's flat in the Lower Haight, with all eight of our Tgiving pies baked.

What the hell are we going to do with ourselves tomorrow morning? Little Orphan Annie wondered. 

She panics about Thanksgiving even more than I do. 

I reassured her that we could use the time to pay fitting tribute to the Native Americans to whom we Haole Americans owe our earliest Thanksgiving.  AKA the ones from whom we stole this great land. 

Which we did by riding down to the bison paddock in Golden Gate Park.
Herd of bison in the park.

Herd of bicycles in the park.

Things were definitely looking up. Little Orphan Annie lent the Cheez a replacement wig that not only clashed admirably with his made-by-Victoria's Secret-but-actually-purchased-at-Goodwill holiday outfit . . . 
. . . it also made him bear a striking resemblance to everyone's favorite Greek singing sensation.

Now our only worry was how to get us, eight pies, a guitar, an accordion, a salad, half a case of wine, and enough cheese to stink up the entire state of North Dakota from Little Orphan Annie's flat in the Lower Haight to Katie's house in Bernal Heights.

The trunk of the Prius being suPIESingly roomy, everything seemed on the level as we left the Haight.

But I was INCLINED to believe things might be compromised, or really compropiesed, when we popped the trunk after parking the car up on the Heights.

Or at least, half the car was parked up on the Heights. The other half was rather far down.

We were greeted by our co-hostess with the mostest, who seemed oddly ready to play some Live Action Role Playing game.
Very oddly. 

Ever since the breeders among us have started reproducing, I've been keeping close tabs on the queers to kids ratio for Thanksgiving.  But according to Katie, this year it was going to be a shut out.

I couldn't quite imagine a what a No HoMo Lingerie Thanksgiving might mean.

But of course, I'd forgotten that drag queens and five year-old girls are virtually interchangeable. 
Here is Katie's daughter, unwittingly proving that preK can also be pretty queer.  

Speaking of odd couplings, Thanksgiving is the day when I most realize that in addition to being an interfaith couple and an international couple, the Cheez and I are also an inter-animal print couple.

Of course, as John Lennon so beautifully sang, You may say I'm a leopard going out with a bovine, but I'm not the only one . . .

Okay, maybe his panties are a little more equine than bovine, but it's a holiday, people, don't be so uptight. 

Or rather, up tights.

After all, the holiday is about joy and thankfulness and gathering with your loved ones.

Indeed, this pink-crowned and red boa-ed guest is the exemplum of family values, surrounded as he is by his daughter, son, niece, and two nephews.

I guess I don't know why I was so worried that things were changing.  

After all, Thanksgiving will always be my favorite holiday. My pies will always be delicious. Faux leopard will always be the outfit of choice.  My team will always lose the post-prandial football game.
But we will always have the better team photo.

And Carol did do a great job of keeping her five grandchildren occupied, while we in the middle generation had the Accordion-Christmas Carol-and-Endless Eighties-Singalong that are a long-documented Thanksgiving tradition.

Farrah may be dead, but Nana lives on.