Kate's Bellybutton Lint Collection

I used to think blogs were self-indulgent navel gazing, but now I'm not so sure. From a practical standpoint, they're great for keeping up with friends, especially when you're awful about keeping in touch (like me). I know most people could probably care less what I think or do in a given week. For everyone else, this blog's for you! Enjoy my collection of hand-picked navel lint!

November 29, 2009

Senger Reunion in El Paso

Our family achieved an amazing milestone this year. My grandparents Joe and Vesta celebrated their 80th birthdays and 60th wedding anniversary. Virtually the entire Senger clan gathered in El Paso, Texas, for a huge reunion and tribute to these two wonderful people. My grandfather was raised on a farm and worked for the military for 29 years, traveling all over the world to places like Germany, Holland, Iran, and Vietnam. My grandmother followed him wherever she could, raising eight children. No small task! She had to make do with army rations and whatever game the local hunters could spare.

Grandpa is an amazing award-winning photographer, so we were treated to beautiful slides of his travels and growing family. Many of them look like Norman Rockwell paintings: fair-haired, chubby-cheeked children gathered around their mother with fields and snow-capped mountains in the background.

We spent a lot of time hanging out at their house, nibbling on Grandma's kuchen, drinking wine made by Jim and beer from Joel's brewery, playing games, and laughing our heads off. Luckily the neighbors did not complain because we were a very loud group! All the Sengers seem to share the same off-beat sense of humor. The food was great - some meals we cooked communally, others we ate out. You can't pass up Mexican food in El Paso because it's soooo good. We had breakfast one morning at an old diner called "The Clock". I don't know whether it was the chunks of jalapeno in the eggs, or the salty refried beans, but it was great.

The best part, of course, was hearing all the stories about growing up during the 30's and 40's. I never knew my grandmother sang bass in high school, or that my grandfather has a degree in education. I learned about games with marbles called "Purgatory", "Fat and Tall", and how to make a rapid-fire inner tube gun using a chicken crate and some fishing line.

Here's to a 90th birthday reunion and beyond!

Labels: , , ,

November 06, 2009

A Gay Halloween

Halloween was a lot of fun and very unusual this year. A chain of events led to the idea for my costume. You may recall this was the year Farrah Fawcett died. After hearing this news my friend Mickey suggested we watch the 1976 movie Logan's Run, where she had a minor role. It's a great old sci-fi film that I'd never seen before, depicting a future society where every individual's age is marked by a colored crystal embedded in their palm at birth. The older you become, the redder your crystal flashes. When you reach 30 (I think), you are required to attend "carousel", a public event where you are ceremonially killed to much cheering. If you try to escape this fate a character known as a "Sandman" chases you down and shoots you with what looks like a barbeque lighter gun.

I started off wanting to make the costume for the character "Box", a giant silver robot, but since that was going to be way too unwieldly we decided to go as Citizen Farrah and Sandman Logan. I borrowed a friend's sewing machine, bought a bunch of fabric, and stitched away. They turned out pretty well, and closely resemble costumes from the movie and miniseries (below). I thought the 3-ringed belt was going to be tough to reproduce, but I lucked out. I found some rings at the Halloween store intended to be worn in the nose (for a tribal costume), which I was able to link together. As a finishing touch we glued blinky lights to our hands. That was what tipped most people off to who we were.

No one I knew was throwing a party this year, so after throwing candy at the hordes of Trick-or-Treaters storming the neighborhood, we went to a couple of events hosted by Mickey's gay coworkers. They were fun folks, and very well-dressed. Hence the title of this entry. :)