January 27, 2008

My First Pottery Class

I just took my first pottery class yesterday, from Hinckley Pottery in my neighborhood. The studio was full of dust and clay and hippies. Each shelf was labeled with a multitude of stickers like “please don’t scrape the sides of the barrels to get rid of hardened clay – the clay can clog the sink”, “no Republicans here”, “Hey weirdos, this is where the fired-pottery goes”, “I break for Republicans”, “please recycle the orange clay, and sift through the screen first”, “I am a cat lady and all my cats are liberal”, and other things of the sort.

During our first class, we focused on centering the clay, and making our first lop-sided bowl. Let me tell you a little bit more about centering the clay. Centering the clay is a term used to describe the process of putting your clay on the wheel, and making sure that it’s perfectly centered. If it isn’t, you will get a lop-sided object since your (relatively) stable hand will work on a piece of clay that rotates at varying distances from the edges of your hands.

Step 1 - First knead the clay to get rid of the imperfections and the air bubbles.

Step 2 – Take a comfortable position on your chair and get your legs wrapped around the wheel. Your arms will be locked against your hip-bones when working, so it’s important that you be as close to the wheel as possible

Step 3 – Throw your rounded piece of clay on the wheel, as close to the center as possible. Start the wheel spinning quickly.

Step 4 – With the palm of your left hand, you push the clay up. Your right hand just cups the other side. Make sure that the mount is wet (you can squeeze water from a sponge on it)

Step 5 – With the palm of your right hand, you push the clay back down. Your left hand just cups the clay. Again, the mount should be kept wet.

Step 6 – Repeat the process several times, until your clay is centered.

This seems like a maddeningly easy process, and the video I am posting also makes it look like a piece of cake, but trust me, clay is not easily malleable, and your hands are a lot more clumsy then you give them credit for. Also, your forearms will ache the next day. Here’s a video of the whole process:

January 21, 2008

Dating Websites

I feel totally lame, but I've signed myself up on a dating website. I know three couples that have met that way, and are now married. When I think about it rationally, I think that it's not so bad: it's just another way of meeting people. After that, it's up to you to see if there is a connection, if you like his sense of humor, if you respect his philosophy of life, if you have things in common.

But I still feel weird having to describe myself on the profile. I hate to come off as a show-off, and would rather not upload a picture of myself ("look at me 5 years ago, when I was 20 pounds thinner, through the fuzzy lens of my friend's camera, while I was slightly inebriated. I'm so hot!"). I tend to keep my descriptions short and boring, while others describe, in detail, the last time they went to exotic Canada, for example.

Also, I kind of have a thing for Jewish boys. In theory. And so am very tempted to sign up on JDate. The description of the site makes me groan (especially the "The next wedding you attend could be your own" part), and seems really directed to people who would like to get married:

Welcome to JDate, the premier Jewish singles community on the Net. It’s no wonder that countless marriages begin right here – it seems like everyone knows someone who fell in love on JDate! Check out our Success Stories section for hundreds of success stories and you’ll see why JDate is the undisputed leader in Jewish dating. As the modern alternative to traditional Jewish matchmaking, JDate is an ideal online destination for Jewish men and women to find friends, dates, and even soul mates, all within the faith. In just minutes, you can create a profile and be ready to mingle with other JDate members in your area. Our vast membership base and user-friendly interface make JDate a source of Jewish romance around the world.
Using JDate is an adventure -- we’re continually adding exciting new services to a list of features that includes Click!® technology, video instant messaging, live chat, and much more. Meeting new people has never been so fun! Who knows? The next wedding you attend could be your own.
JDate. Where it happens.™
It's totally tempting...And yet, I don't want to get married right now, and I'm not Jewish...D'oh!

January 02, 2008


You may remember that we've just lost a roommate a couple of months ago...We found a replacement (much to my wallet's relief), but recently discovered that our old roommate had left us a gift that keeps on giving (no, not Syphilis, get your mind out of the gutter please): frozen food!

He left tons and tons of...Caribou meat! What the hell? We have two packs of Caribou steaks, two packs of Caribou rib eyes, a big ol' honking piece of Caribou, and Caribou sausage. It's so weird, I'm still shivering from the shock.

We are Hollow

I was having Happy Hour with some friends at Cafe Mozart the other day, when I saw a shelf displaying chocolate Santas. A sign said: "We are Hollow - PLEASE DO NOT PINCH". It really made me laugh...And then, I thought about IT some more, and I was horrified to realize that, alas, this was in fact true: what's more hollow than a Santa who only gives gifts to spoiled and wealthy children?