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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Don't Think That's a Thing

I'm not very good with "idioms."  I've been known to combine two different expressions resulting in a lot of puzzled reactions from the people to whom I am speaking.  For example, I've found it necessary on many occasions to say, "I just can't seem to get all my ducks on the same page," to suggest that  I'm unorganized.  And I warn my kids all too often to not, "Count their chickens before they get their heads cut off." 

I misunderstand the wording of things, as well.  For instance, when I was a little girl I was deathly afraid of weasels because I thought that that was what was being said in the Lord's prayer.  You know, the part were you're supposed to say, ". . . lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil?"  I thought I was supposed to say, " . . . deliver us from weasels."  And I couldn't imagine how weasels could be so dangerous and why we had to impose on God to protect us from them.  Additionally, instead of the Virgin Mary I thought they were saying "the Verg and Mary," which spurred lots of questions like, "Who's this Verg guy? and what were his intentions concerning Mary?"

So, my family has come up with a mechanism to deal with my misinformed expressions and misunderstood words.  When I happen to turn a phrase the wrong way my family says, in the nicest possible way, " Honey/Mommy, I don't think that's a thing."

I find it fascinating how people always bring their own stuff into words and in return can create some really hilarious interactions and situations. We, my family and I, have actually started collecting "I don't think that's a thing" examples from the world at large. We share them with each other on an almost daily basis and I thought maybe you might get a giggle or two out of my most recent addition.

Today's "I don't think that's a thing" happened last week while I was getting the brakes fixed on my soccer Mom van.  I was sitting in the waiting area reading a two-year-old issue of People magazine when a really flustered young woman walked in.  She had what my children might refer to as a "I'm-trying-not-to-catch-on- fire" look about her.  As the young woman began to open her mouth to address the man behind the counter, he gave her the finger - no, not that finger, but the index one - which even I know is the universal symbol for, "Hush up!  Can't you see I'm on the phone?"  As he hung up the phone he turned his gaze back to the young woman and asked, "May I help you, Miss?"  She responded with, "Yes, I think my car is out of gravy!"  He scrunched his eyebrows together, retracted his chin back into his neck, took a deep breath, and shot me a look that seemed to say, "Really?" and then responded with, "Miss, I'm pretty sure neither one of us knows what you are talking about."  She then replied, "Yeah, that little Aladdin's lamp looking-light keeps flashing at me - and I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to drive without gravy cuz' it might stall out and then I'd have to be jacked off."

All I can say after that is . . . Money can't buy happiness but it can buy me new brakes and supply me with a funny story and lots of laughs, which is kinda the same.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Grafters: ¡el grupo!

It's Grafters day on the blog. And today, I have a whimsical piece by a group of designers and craftsmen with a passion to create and influence the world around them called ¡el grupo!.

This playful piece of street art, entitled Moustache Rides, is a see-saw built for waiting customers at East Austin's El Chilito taco stand. The see-saw was built from discarded phone booths and lined with rhino liner, a covering typically sprayed on truck beds for weather protection. The sunglasses and seat backs are made of wood that is burned using a weatherizing process called "shou sugi ban," which is a process traditionally used on Japanese homes. Sugi is known as Japanese cedar, but it's really more of a cypress and it is burned to resist rot and fire.

This is the first project by, a creative collective recently formed in Austin, Texas, as part of The Pay Phone Revival Project back in November of 2010. They have a blog where you can go for more info and photos about the process.

Great fun and very Grafter-esque!

Photos courtesy Nicolas Rivard, ¡el grupo!, and The Pay Phone Revival Project

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