Yard sale finds

This week’s Marblehead haul included a crock for my birthday plant, a vintage box for stacking plants, and an amateur portrait of a very serious Bert. Rest assured, Bert will not be living in the garden, but nailed to the wall in the living room. Sorry, Bert.

I’d been hoping to score a planter at Brimfield, but the prices were high, especially for those stamped with a little number like this. Must be valuable, but I just wanted a solid, vintage-inspired container for my plant. This one was marked $30, but I talked him down to $15, getting it for $14 when I realized that’s all I had in my wallet. Whoops.

On the back of the Bert illustration was a handwritten note: “To Peter, Happy 4th Birthday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.” I decided it was a keeper when I heard someone call out, “Peter, how much are you selling this for?” Sandy-haired Peter was now my age, the two of us children of the 70s. “You sure you want to sell it?” I asked. He seemed unfazed, and couldn’t remember if it was from his father or grandfather. For that, I asked if he’d sell it for $2 instead of $3. A man should know who drew and framed a portrait of Bert for him when he was four. But Bert, just so you know, I would have paid $5 for you.

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Cutest bug ever?

In a cute bug contest, I think it’s the ladybug versus the inchworm, but after spotting this little green guy on a picnic table, I think he gets the nod. I’ve always loved the way inchworms creep along, stretching out their bodies, until they suddenly inch up like a slinky. Like, Oh, I almost forgot to bring my body.

Inchworm waving

Oscar’s buddy, Slimey, from Sesame Street is further proof of the inchworm’s adorableness, even if his coloring makes you wonder if he was cut from the same cloth as Big Bird’s legs.

Stuck in Career Day

Remember Career Day in high school? I was so enamored by the world of journalism. But when I spent the day shadowing a local newspaper reporter, I was crestfallen to see how little the job resembled the newsroom in my mind. My mentor spent the day on the phone talking to local politicians about building permits and sewer lines and the town budget. Ew. When we hit the road for the fun part—scouting a feature photograph of ducks at the town pond—I’d had enough of the glamorous life.

So, no reporting for me, I thought. Then I promptly went to college, graduated, and took a job as a newspaper reporter. It was as awful as I remembered. I was now stuck in my Career Day career. I did learn a lot about town government and writing (the latter being actually useful) and loved the rush of the newsroom. But, before I poked my eye out with my steno pad, I got the hell out of there.

For all you girls out there, still trying to figure out what you should be when you grow up, know that you may not know until after you grow up. Until then, here’s a little inspiration from some powerful lady puppets on Sesame Street:

Could Grover be laid off?

Sesame Workshop announced yesterday that it will cut 20% of its work force. What? You know times are bad when even the puppets are taking a hit. How is the adorable yet inept Super Grover going to land another superhero gig in this economy? His stint as a waiter was a failure, and that monster label doesn’t help.

Grover: out of the job?

Grover: out of the job?

Looks like the Count won’t be counting his stacks of money anymore. I’m worried about Bert and Ernie too, though what those guys do exactly is a mystery. Cookie Monster’s made a career of devouring cookies, which strikes me as an excellent job but the first to go in a tough economy. Oscar, seemingly unemployed already, may need to give up that sweet plot of real estate for a cheaper corner. And Big Bird? He’s only six, so his resume is lacking, and he lives in a hood that’s on the decline with no parents to care for him. He could be out on the streets tomorrow, which, I guess for a bird would be fine. Still. 

If anyone’s gotta go, I say it should be Elmo. That creep never paid his dues and somehow usurped Grover in popularity in the 80s; I’ve never forgiven him. If heads are gonna roll, I hope one of them is Elmo’s.