Fun Thing: Maker Faire Preview

Have you been to Maker Faire? You should go.

Maker Faire is an annual DIY bonanza with a focus on science and technology, though there’s an excellent crafts hall as well. Essentially, if you make something cool with your own hands and brain, you can apply to be one of the “Makers” the Faire hosts each year. It’s so huge in the Bay Area that it always seems to be sold out by the time I get my act together.

But this year! This year was different, because of Margaret. Margaret is the kind of friend who ends up with spare tickets to movie previews, or coronations, or space shuttle rides. It’s seriously uncanny. So last week she called to say that she had an extra ticket to preview night at Maker Faire, which means all the cool stuff with none of the lines or parking conundrums. So I made out with her. You would too if someone took you to see a fire-breathing snail car.

Fun Things Roundup

Behind the scenes, I’ve still been trying to do a Fun Thing every day. This week was particularly nice, because my life is awesome. A Fun Things recap:

Thursday’s Fun Thing
Alli, my college roomie and partner in crime, went into labor. Alli and I met in seventh grade, where both of us spent lots of time in the library pondering our Welcome to the Dollhouse lives. Things have since improved.

Friday’s Fun Thing
Lisa Stone convinced me that it was bad juju to ignore hot tub access at the Four Seasons. Lisa, if you haven’t met her, is like Den Mom for your life. We had a glass of wine and thirty minutes to decompress before we hit the Mom 2.0 party, where I eventually forced her to put her purse down while we danced.

Saturday’s Fun Thing
I moderated a stunningly informative panel at Mom 2.0. Turns out I’m surrounded by geniuses — specifically Isabel Kallman of AlphaMom, Gabby Blair of Kirtsy and DesignMom, and Barbara Jones of the W.O.M. Mom. All that intellect, and pretty easy on the eyes, if you know what I’m sayin’. We teamed up to fix everything wrong with the Internet. (Watch your back, Scoble.)

Sunday’s Fun Thing
Hank’s truck-themed birthday brunch, which we cunningly scheduled right in the middle of his nap time.

Monday’s Fun Thing
Cooking freezables for the new parents. (How cute are those Stuck Labels? Having a stockpile around is making my life prettier.)

Tuesday’s Fun Thing
Meeting Eli. Hello there, little boy.

Fun Thing for Saturday: Pear Pomegranate Guacamole

Last weekend Jordan, Paul, and baby Moses came up to the cabin. Jordan was excited because she was about to launch her awesome label shop, Stuck Labels, which went live last week. Go, Jordan!

We planned to cut down our Christmas tree that weekend, but then Jordan told a horrifying story of two friends whose houses exploded with bugs when they got their trees out in the woods instead of at a lot. I’m still in fetal position from the lice incident, so we stayed home and made pomegranate pear guacamole instead.

Friends, this guacamole will end you. Your eyes will roll up into your head, and you will die of deliciousness. I look forward to it every year, because the ingredients are only in season for about 60 seconds, so make it today! Instead of the chiles, try four big cloves of minced garlic.

Ordinarily, Bryan and I would strip and roll around in the unctuous guac, but Jordan was all, “That’s not sanitary.” And since she enlightened us about the exploding tree bugs, we decided she was probably right about this too.

Too bad though, because the photos would have been awesome.


I finally took photos of my finds from last month’s Alameda Flea Market:

-A signed, limited-edition print of a thistle, which I pretty much stole for $5
-Beer steins with slightly detached handles
-A blue Tonka truck from the ’70s for the little guy
-Georgie a rubber baby doll. I’ve been looking for a good one for Hank, and had to have Georgie when I noticed he had one blue eye and one brown, like Bryan.
-A very small jointed doll, which I’ve added to my small-impassive-doll collection. The big gash on his face is part of the charm. I was going to pop him in a terrarium, but Hank has adopted him. He calls him “Guy.”
-A few more cool little cars for Hank. The ones with the best moving parts aren’t pictured because Hank has hidden between couch cushions or somewhere similarly secret.

A pretty good haul for about forty bucks.

Families at Outsideland

Last weekend, we had media passes to the Outsidelands festival, a multi-day, outdoor concert in Golden Gate Park. The passes were courtesy of Crowdfire, a Web app that makes it easy to find out what people are saying about an event by aggregating attendees’ Twitter, Flickr, You Tube, and Facebook feeds. Useful, yo.

Anyway, Hank had a great time, and I was amazed at how many families were there. It’s nice when organizers take a few small steps — like allowing strollers, or not charging for wee ones — that make it possible to include your kids in the fun parts of grownup life.