Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. Tiny little lines for intricate coloring. Seems more stressful than relaxing to me. I prefer my Hello Kitty coloring book any day.
This week I learned a new meaning to “adult coloring.”
Get your mind out of the gutter.
My asbestos friend the soon-to-be famous author bought a pair of white tennis shoes and decorated them with words using Sharpies.
Now, I instantly thought:
What a great idea!
What a waste of (a) canvas.
I love to write, but I also love to draw. When presented with a blank canvas and a rainbow of markers, my mind automatically goes to all the cool pictures and designs that I could create.
So, I totally stole her idea and decorated up a pair of shoes for myself. My son urged me to leave some white space, but I just couldn’t do that. I covered them in colorful doodles of whatever fell into my brain. Which, of course included Punky Brewster, the Wienermobile, and the logos for my website and book series.
My decorated shows-the front!
My decorated shoes-the back!
I have been daydreaming about living in a little pink shack in Hawaii lately. There is a picture I love by Hawaiian artist Holly Kitaura. I did my own representation on my shoes. (Don’t worry. They are just for me. I won’t sell them or make any money off of them.) I wanted to put Stitch on (as in Lilo &), but I forgot to.
Rainbow Hale by Holly Kitaura
I had many more important adult responsibilities to attend to on a gloomy Sunday, but I was drawn to work on the shoes until they were done. It is very possible that the Universe was sending me a message that I needed to take a breather. I’m glad I did.
My decorated shoes-the insides!
My decorated shoes-the outsides!
I wonder if anyone would notice if I wore them to work. And would I rather no one noticed so that I wouldn’t get into trouble, or that they did notice because they are that awesome?
Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – AVAILABLE NOW! When You Least Expect It – NEW RELEASE! Be Careful What You Wish For – ANNOUNCEMENT TOMORROW!
I needed a binder to hold some paperwork the other day for my book business that my husband doesn’t officially recognize as a business. I rummaged through my recently-organized stockpile of previously-used office supplies.
You will never guess what I found.
My college binder with bitchin’ graffiti
I found this binder from college. Appears as though I used it for Independent Study for English. But also lots and lots of doodling.
The doodling doesn’t surprise me. No, I remember that is how I primarily occupied my time during boring lectures and long periods of time stuck in the college library waiting for a ride as a commuter with no car.
What surprised me is the subjects of my doodles! These are all things I am still interested in today, almost 20 years later, most of which I have written about on this very blog. I guess my tastes are pretty locked in.
My personal cartoon character Mr. Ugly-Man is prominently featured–he even gets his own amusement park, complete with imitation Disney characters! (If you have ever picked up a print copy of one of my books, you will notice that he is on the back cover.)
There is also an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile on there, next to a booth selling 10 cent wieners. Because we all know that wiener sounds more perverse than “hot dog.” This also reflects my obsession to one day drive the Wienermobile. Hasn’t happened yet, but I don’t think I’m done trying. And I might not be above a little grand theft wiener. (Hehehehe. That is so dirty to say!)
I have a thing for old Coca-Cola merchandise and advertisements, even back when I drank Pepsi and Mountain Dew all the time. That is why the sunshine is wearing sunglasses and holding a Coke. It is very similar to a postcard that I own that I bought in a tourist shop in Knoxville and the store bagged my purchase in a World’s Fair bag, even though I was there more than a decade after the Knoxville World’s Fair when they built the Sunsphere, but it always makes me think of the episode of the Simpsons where Bart goes to the “Wigsphere.”
Wigsphere. I mean Sunsphere, far right. I mean left.
And then we come to a picture of Jeff Gordon. There is a possibility this could be from 1997, the year he won his second Winston Cup Championship. It is so hard to believe he is retiring this year. It seems like just a few months ago that I saw him in person in his hometown of Pittsboro, Indiana.
Oh wait, it was!
At least I am staying true to who I am. I guess if that is the best I can do in life, I will take it!
Why are there no Narwhal icons?
Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – AVAILABLE NOW! When You Least Expect It – NEW RELEASE! Be Careful What You Wish For – COMING JANUARY 2016!
This post will make you laugh, and it will make you cry.
My deep feelings about the Wienermobile are plenty. Let me share them with you now.
I never knew such a thing as the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile existed, until one night on the 11 o’clock news I saw it as the final 30 second special interest feature they always do before cutting away to the Tonight Show. As a devoted follower of all things weird and pop culture, I instantly fell in love.
I sent away to Oscar Mayer for an information pack about the Wienermobile. In those pre-Internet days, that is just how we did things. The packet was a folder full of stuff, containing an 8×10 glossy of the Wienermobile, along with historical facts, and of course a catalog of fine Oscar Mayer products for purchase.
First Wienermobile info packet from Oscar Mayer
Being a good little consumer, I totally ordered a Wienermobile shirt (it was one of my favorites for years), a Wienermobile Hot Wheel, and several wiener whistles, that I then continued to hand out to people who were important to me for years to come. (If you knew me in person, you would understand. Or at least you would smile to my face and laugh behind my back about it. That IS the polite thing to do, afterall*.)
I was instantly interested in how I could maybe one day get to drive the Wienermobile. Unfortunately, it was a college internship thing. At this time, I was only senior in high school. So, I hung the picture on my bedroom wall and wore my shirt weekly. (Can you guess that I was not popular in high school? I was Sue Heck, from The Middle. I was so oblivious, I didn’t even realize how unpopular I was. Except I had glasses instead of braces.) At this time, I may have also came up with my dream of Jennifer’s Wiener Hut.
Sue Heck from The Middle standing in front of a giant hot dog. It is like this picture was MADE for this post!
When I started college and majored in Communications, taking classes in Radio and TV Broadcasting, and minored in English-Writing, I thought that maybe those would be skills Oscar Mayer might find useful. I thought that maybe if I had a Wienermobile internship for a summer, that then I could parlay that into an actual job at Oscar Mayer. Wisconsin is not that different from Michigan. Weather or culturally. I could probably handle living there. I like cows and cheese.
When I was a junior in college, I inquired again in writing to Oscar Mayer about how to become a hotdogger (what they call the people who drive the dog). They sent me another information packet (not quite as awesome as the one from 3 years before). Incidentally, that was the 60th anniversary of the Wienermobile. They informed me that the internship was only for graduating seniors. So, I would still have to wait.
Second Wienermobile info packet from Oscar Mayer (Yes, I DO save everything)
With either the first or second mailing, they had sent me a cassette tape with all the different versions of the Oscar Mayer weiner song on it. Traditional, march, bossa nova, you name it, it was on there. I even used the music (and some of my other memorabilia) to make a commercial for my TV Production class.
[My apologies to the college students who are displayed within. I am withholding their names to avoid any further embarrassment.]
The Wienermobile came to Toledo. I was brave and drove down all by myself to go see it at the Lucas County Fairgrounds. I took many pictures. They wouldn’t let anyone go inside of it 😦
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at Ned Skeldon Stadium
As I got closer to graduation, I wandered into the Career Center at the college once or twice. It was useless. Usually no one offered any help in there. Once the adviser guy did talk to me, and admitted that they did not get many job postings for positions in the Communications area. (Gee, thanks. Glad I spent 4 years worth of money here so that you could tell me that now!)
On one of these trips in, I saw it…
The sign to apply for the Wienermobile Hotdogger interships that year! The year of my impending graduation!
The bulletin that Adrian College posted (Note the incorrect spelling of Mayer!)
But F**K! The deadline was just a few days away!
I had to type up a resume and cover letter and get it in the mail, pronto. I am sure whatever I had for a resume at the time was pathetic, so I am sure I had to spend some time in the computer lab to revise it. The computer lab that was always busy, because many students did not yet have their own desktop computers. (Laptop? What is a laptop? A cell phone? Only guys on Wall Street have those. A smart phone? Does not compute.) I went to the post office and mailed it off priority 2-day mail, which I had never used before, because I wanted it to make it there by the deadline.
Then I worried and fretted that I had not made the deadline. I never heard back from them. Not even a rejection letter. By the time summer came and they would have been starting their Wieneriffic journey, I knew I was not worthy of the wiener 😦 I would have missed my then boyfriend, now husband if they had chosen me. But I think he would have understood. And followed me to Wisconsin.
For years, I was bitter about not getting the internship. I still am. In July of 2011, I was laid off from my job of 12 years. A year and a half later, I was still looking for a new job. I had gotten pretty desperate by then, so I was applying to somewhat crazy jobs anyway. Then I stumbled across the Hotdogger job. Again! But this time, it was not tied to anything about college. There were no restrictions, so I applied again!
I knew I wouldn’t get it. And I knew it was crazy, since I had a husband and small child at home who I really couldn’t leave to travel. But I had to apply. Again.
So I could feel rejected. Again.
I always knew someday I would write a blog post about the Wienermobile.
I HAVE ANOTHER SHOT! And because I am a powerful manifester, I will continue to get shots until IT IS MINE!
You think my confidence is cocky? I have a $2000 6 foot tall plush giraffe that I got for free in my house to prove that I CAN make my dreams come true. That only took me 20 years. And it only took me 20 years to get a dog. Hmmm…and to get a Red Wings hockey jersey…
I see a pattern here.
This bodes well for me and the wiener. And for getting a book published sometime soon.
NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!
RELISH THEM! (hehehehehe)
Once again I am coming down to the wire, though. If you want to enter as well, just tweet #tweet2lease by 2/7/14. But please don’t, because I want to win.
But if you do, and you do win, please swing by my house for a ride. That is all I really want…to have a ride in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
…and the Goodyear Blimp. Obviously not at the same time though.
* “afterall” is one word in the funnygurl2 dictionary.
My gramma used to live on the top floor of a 7-story apartment building. I would stand on her balcony and watch the residents and visitors come and go from the parking lot below. I could also see the busy 5-lane road that served as her building’s address.
Across the street was a shopping plaza. It did not contain some of the busier stores in town, but there was lots of traffic that passed by. At the very front of the plaza was a tiny gas station, back when they still made them that way. It had two old-school square pumps out front. I believe it may have even been full service.
But you have to remember, this was probably 25 years ago.
The gas station closed and sat there empty for a long time. And that is when I developed my business plan.
My great consignment store find plate featuring hamburgers and hot dogs
I wanted to someday use that building to open Jennifer’s Wiener Hut. At the time, there were many restaurants along that road. And being at the front of the parking lot right near the street, I would have had great frontage.
I would have put a drive-thru on both sides of the building. This was pretty forward thinking for my age at that time, as I had never seen a Rally’s with that set-up. I would have had my sign be a giant hot dog at the top of the building that said “Jennifer’s Wiener Hut”. It would be drive-thru or walk up only, no indoor seating.
Hot Dog Salt & Pepper Shakers
I would have served hot dogs and sausages. I would have offered chips as sides. I figured I could offer almost anything on the menu as long as it didn’t require a fryer. (I’m scared of bubbling hot oil.)
My restaurant would be known for getting the cars in and out fast. (This would be an advantage of having a limited menu.) People with only a half hour for their lunch would think of my restaurant first. People who were in a hurry would be my target customer. Unfortunately, that would make for a rather crabby customer base.
It’s not that I think hot dogs are the greatest food of all-time. They are not. Although they are a great food choice for picky eaters at a fair or festival. And sometimes a hot dog just hits the spot.
Although, according to the book “Never Put Ketchup On A Hot Dog” (I used to send copies of this book out to stores at my old job), I am sacrilegious because I usually only eat ketchup on my hot dog (and sometimes onions). But, as my mom would say, “Hot dogs are just made of the leftover parts the meat companies can’t use for anything else”. So why should it matter what way I choose to consume it?
I love hot dogs the most because of the kitsch/camp factor. Hot dog advertising over the years is so cute and happy. Just picture the smiling, dancing hot dog with his friends popcorn and fountain pop on the drive-in movie screen. And think of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. (But that is a whole post of it’s own. Someday.)
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at Ned Skeldon Stadium (now torn down)
Over the years I have purchased items with hot dogs on them, and in the back of my mind I always thought maybe I would use them someday in my hot dog stand or as a decoration on the shelf that would go around inside my stand, up by the ceiling.
Hot Dog Towel
On Mackinac Island, there is a yellow hotel across the street from the Straits of Mackinac. It has a little hot dog stand in front of it between the street and the water painted up yellow and white, just like the hotel. I took a picture of it so that I could remember it as a model for Jennifer’s Wiener Hut.
Hotel and Hot Dog Stand on Mackinac Island
The gas station I dreamed of converting is long since torn down. But I still think it is a good idea. And because I would be the owner, I would hire other people to actually work in the hot, steamy, tiny kitchen. I would just beam with pride that I own a business with my name on it and am making money from it.
And if the hot dog stand didn’t work out, I could use the same name for a male strip club 😉