Thursday, September 21, 2006

A [not quite] three-hour tour

So apparently it's fall now... For some reason I seem to forget each year just how abruptly it can come about. On Saturday, I was wearing a sleeveless shirt outside at 11:00 pm and didn't even need a sweater. Today it is 62 degrees in my house. Yes, in my house. I am hoping that removing the AC units from my windows so I can shut the window fully and tightly will remedy this cold front in my home, because I am not turning on my heat just yet. Really, why is there just no transition? Yesterday was the first day I finally broke down and put on socks and proper shoes instead of sandals; today I need a coat inside? It's simply just not fair.

Sorry; did I just spend a full paragraph talking about the weather again? I am a Minnesotan, you remember. It seems to happen a lot with us. Anyway, speaking of cold, Poppy had a fine suggestion the other day. Last week's post featuring my pal Noodle atop my fridge prompted her request to see my fridge magnets in full. Since I actually have more on my fridge than in it, her curiosity is understandable, I thought. I aim to please, Poppy, so here you have it: a tour of my fridge decor, in likely more detail than you ever desired.

Note: This is either the start of a new meme or my lamest blog post ever. The choice is up to you. If you want to take this idea and run with it, feel free to publish your own fridge-front as well. If not, don't go browsing through my archives to look for posts lamer than this. I assure you, they exist, and I'd be more than able to point them out for you if you insist.

Anyway, here it is, in all its cluttered wonder: the front of my refrigerator...

My fridge

You can click that pic for a slightly larger view, but because I had entirely too much time on my hands today, I've also number-coded several items for explanatory aids. (I am a huge nerd, I'm well aware. No need to point it out.)
I have too much time on my hands

The tour, then, if you will...

  1. I like to think myself a crafty sort of gal. I go in spurts where I decide, "Hey, I could make that!" Occasionally, this plan pans out successfully, but just as often it involves a lot of swearing and complaining and, in general, a time investment that is two to three times my original estimate. For a while, I was really hooked on Craftster, and the fabulously creative folks there inspired me to attempt to make all sorts of things (even furniture and bedding, for example). A few Christmases ago, I decided to try to make as many of my Christmas presents as possible. I started knitting scarves, felted purses, and coasters the preceding July, and miraculously, I finished nearly everything on time. I also supplemented my knitting with marble magnets. Nearly everyone I know got a set. All the extras are still scattered on my fridge.

  2. During my semester abroad, a lot of people I knew bought a flag patch in each country that they visited. The plan was to sew the patches on their backpack later on. I, being ever practical to a fault, realized I likely wouldn't be using my monstrous traveling backpack much upon my return to The States, so I purchased stickers from each country instead. The stickers now adorn the cover of one of my three photo albums from that trip.

    A few years ago, I started taking a similar "simpler is best" mindset for souvenirs on all my post-college travels as well. I decided that, unless I saw something that I really, really wanted or found meaningful, the only souvenir I needed from my trips (aside from photos, of course) was a magnet for my fridge. You can see here six such souvenirs: a mini Mona Lisa print from the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh; a replica of a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window from Oak Park, Illinois; an ever-so-classy potleaf with "No Problem" message picked up somewhere in Negril; a Heinz 57 pickle magnet from the Heinz museum (also Pittsburgh); a sand sculpture lizard from Cozumel that, frankly, has seen better days (I think I've glued his right lower leg on no less than three times); and a fabulously touristy fake voodoo doll supposedly hand-crafted in New Orleans. I am all about supporting the local artisans, of course, even if it means perpetuating centuries-old stereotypes just for tourism's sake.

  3. The Sculpture Garden's Spoon Bridge and Cherry is one of Minneapolis's most recognizable landmarks. I'd say it is our Statue of Liberty or Gateway Arch, but that might be overstating its importance just a tad. Besides that, we do have the Mall of America, of course, vying for that status as well. Nevertheless, I was indescribably shocked to hear my boss, who has lived in the area for no less than twenty years, say she'd never in her life heard of the thing. Clearly she has never been in my kitchen (or anywhere else in Minneapolis, it would seem).

  4. Chino Latino is a fine, fun restaurant to visit should you ever come this way. I haven't been there in probably four years or more, but each time I drive down Hennepin Avenue, its sparkly glittered facade is still drawing people in. I've acquired at least three magnets there over the years, apparently, as well as two fortune cookie slips that were amusing enough to save indefinitely. The first says "Everything you've ever done is nothing in front of a bus," and the second simply reads, "That wasn't chicken." Considering most fortune cookie manufacturers have taken to publishing meaningless proverbs instead of fake fortunes, I think they could take a cue from whoever makes the cookies for this place.

  5. In the first few years I lived in the Twin Cities, each time my out-of-town friends visited, we would head to Comedy Sportz. Before each show, the cast ambled up and down the aisles pretending to be ball game vendors, but instead of calling out the usual sorts of things (like "Cold Beer Here" or "Get 'yer peanuts"), they'd throw out less conventional things instead. One night, someone shouted, "Letters! Get 'yer letters!" and tossed an "F" my way. The fact that I still have this after at least three moves means I will likely have it for life.

  6. Rosie the Riveter. Do I really need to explain this one? She is, simply, what she is.

  7. At any given time, I have at least three different postcards featured on my fridge. When a friend sends a new one and I don't have a spot to put it or a magnet with which to affix it, I rotate an older one out of its place. Considering the most recent one (from Thailand) has been there over six months, I think my friends are in a dry spell, travel-wise.

  8. Clearly I numbered these before I started writing about them. I already talked about the lizard (see #2).

  9. Once a month the Walker Art Center holds an event called "Walker After Hours." For the low, low price of $14 ($7 if you're a member), you can wander around the galleries either looking at art or looking at all the beautiful people (and wannabe beautiful people) who are pretending to look at art, all whilst sipping overpriced cocktails and clamoring for sporadically distributed hors d'oeuvres. A highlight for me is the art project that's always available on the lower level of the building. The month I created this, they were celebrating the new building expansion, so our instruction was to decorate the building outline with various scraps and colored inks. Since they were heavily promoting the opening, these were meant to be postcards we could mail to our friends, but obviously I decided my hard work should stay at my own house instead.

  10. Have you ever noticed how, once you say you like something, suddenly that thing becomes the default gift from all friends and family members? How suddenly, like it or not, you're building a collection? Somewhere around 1996, I made the mistake of expressing some affinity for sunflowers. I've had this magnet and potholder since shortly thereafter.

  11. Three years ago, I bought a house in Northeast Minneapolis. A few months earlier, my best friend Lisa had moved into a place in the area as well. Since she considered herself an established resident of the neighborhood, this clock magnet was her welcome/congratulations gift to me. I would say it was my favorite housewarming present, but since my sister also collected donations for a dishwasher for my home, you can understand how that's a tough call. Nevertheless, I do still love the clock. It's the last thing I glance at each morning as I rush (typically five minutes late) out the door.

  12. Of course I Voted; didn't you? Oddly, I think this particular sticker is from the time I voted in the least eventful election of my adult life: the September primary of an odd-numbered year. Maybe that's why I decided to keep it, actually.

  13. We don't talk politics when I'm in my parents' house for holidays and vacations. That didn't stop my sister from sticking this in with my Christmas gift last year, however. My Republican father may not appreciate it, but I have no issue at all with displaying George W.'s face beside the message "My daddy bought me an election, and all I got was this lousy war."

  14. Three politics-nerd items in a row? You'd think I was actually volunteering and donating to progressive causes in this important mid-term election season. On the contrary, I felt so defeated after the debacle that was 2004 that I still haven't regained my energy the way I should. Nevertheless, I love this glitter and Barbie decoupage magnet from a gallery near my house, which reads, "Why do we choose from 50 for Miss America and only two for President?"

  15. OK, so I don't really heart Hooters, but I do heart irony, it would seem.

  16. Best radio station ever (and the only one that's ever inspired me to actually place a call-number decal on my car).

  17. Not the best station ever (particularly since it replace the far superior Zone 105, which I still miss), but good in a pinch nonetheless. And they gave me a free magnet, and evidence shows I'll put just about anything magnetic or adhesive on my fridge.

  18. This is not a magnet nor a sticker, but is worth noting anyway, for no other reason than it supports the well-established fact that I am likely the laziest and most procrastination-prone person I know. I received this notice from my health insurance provider damn near a year ago, reminding me that I've not had a tetanus shot in at least ten years. My thought was that if I put it on my fridge, I might remember to do something about it. The reality is that the longer anything hangs there, the more invisible to me it becomes.

  19. I have felt the need to call my next-door neighbor only once since he scrawled down his number for me (which he did the day after my tree fell in his yard, because we assumed we'd have insurance matters to sort out), so I can't really explain why his number* remains on my fridge a year later. I think it just amuses me that he has a name (Lief) that he can express with a doodle. My friend Dale, during a visit several months ago, scoffed at the cutesy-ness of this maneuver, but I could see the gears turning in his head. Having a noun-name himself, I am certain he was trying to come up with a way to draw a dale in place of his name. I should probably check in with him to see if he's made any progress on that.

    * I've blurred out the number in this photo, of course. This is the Internet, after all, and I'm not entirely stupid, you see. (I am, however, not as bright as I'd hoped, because I'll admit that masking the number was actually more of an afterthought than it should have been.)

  20. Oddly, I couldn't tell you where the signed copy that I have of this is at the moment. The clearly less valuable unsigned one, however? That I've got displayed in clear view. I got both at a free performance that They Might Be Giants did during the release of their latest children's DVD venture. It still seems odd to me that I saw one of my favorite bands at Barnes & Noble with a bunch of hipster parents and their toddlers, but a free TMBG show is a free TMBG show, and I'm not going to think too hard about that.

  21. I think this is a pig possibly fashioned from a gourd, but I really couldn't tell you for sure. I got it at a lithography demonstration at last year's Northeast Art-a-Whirl, and it's been in that spot ever since.

  22. Again, it seems I didn't really think things through as I numbered. As I mentioned in #2, this is a hokey little fake voodoo doll from some tourist shop in The Big Easy. How do I know it's fake? Because it's labeled "Goddess to find a real man," and clearly, I am still single. I guess I figured it was worth a shot?

Also pictured but not labeled are a can opener-shaped magnet that for some reason my little sister thought meaningful and sent me (apparently we used to have an identical one growing up?), a metallic American flag sticker that I did not affix myself but in fact came with the house (along with several other things I should really document for my amusement someday), several bottle cap magnets from the One Spot at Target (I'm not the only one who loves to troll the dollar bin, am I?), and a coupon from Famous Footwear that I will most definitely forget to use.

So there you have it. More than you ever wanted to know about what's in my kitchen. So, tell me... what's on your fridge?


Darren McLikeshimself said...

Wow. I was wondering why you hadn't updated lately, and now I know. I really admire the dedication here, Stefanie.

Stinkypaw said...

Wow! There's a lot of stuff on your fridge! I'm impressed by the effort (or nerdiness?!) you've put into this, again Wow!

BTW, do any of them fall when you open/close the fridge door? ...just curious here...

stefanie said...

Darren--I'll admit this did get significantly longer and more involved than I planned. (I was thinking it'd be a quick, easy post.) But I haven't been working on it all week or anything. I'll just blame the usual things (being busy, lazy, and/or uninspired) for my lack of posting this week or any other week.

Spaw--Most of them stay intact pretty well. The voodoo doll always spins upside down because apparently its head is heaver than its legs, but it doesn't actually fall off. Absent from the photo, though, is a large pink cocktail magnet that Noodle knocked off the fridge and broke last week. I need to glue the stem back on and put it back (so that I catch watch it just fall down again).

-R- said...

I am going to do this! My fridge is not as exciting as yours, but I will do my best.

My word verification is "jxurypl," which I read as jury pool. Just thought I'd share. Try not to be too excited by this comment.

Maliavale said...

I saw these awesome chalkboard panels the other day that you attach to the front of you fridge -- and you can write on them AND still stick magnets to them! Genius.

Also, as I scanned your first paragraph, I read the part about shoes and socks and sandals and my brain meshed together "socks and sandals," and I was like, honey, no, we need to talk.

nabbalicious said...

Wow! Funny post. You also gave me a post for next week, but my fridge isn't nearly as interesting as yours.

stefanie said...

R--Gee, I wonder what you do for a living... ;-)

Malia--Oh my; no! I'm glad you re-read that. Actually, I don't know why I even left that paragraph in there. (I wrote it as the start of a different post, and then went in this direction instead. I should have just deleted the intro, as clearly the post got more than long enough as it was!)

Nabb--Are all these "Wow"s coming from the sheer ridiculous length and detail of this post, or the fact that I was dorky enough to draw a separate numbered sketch of my fridge? (I'm seriously feeling lame for both offenses, but once I started, I just kept going with it.)

cristen said...

Okay, so I've only this week gotten sucked into the world of blogs (we're a bit behind the times here in MS--that's Mississippi for those who might not be sure), and have just been doing the rounds on the fridge-front meme. Your color coded sketch made me laugh outloud! I had already read Nabb's and Darren's, so needed to go back to the originator. Great idea; fun reading.

stefanie said...

Cristen--Agh! Get out while you still can! ;-) Seriously, you have no idea how much time you are about to start losing if you let yourself get sucked into the world of blogs. Don't say I didn't warn you.

With that said, Welcome! :-)