I fancy myself an intrepid, if boozy, anthropologist.

Shower Curtain Wall Art

Hello all!  Long time no update!

I though this would be as good of a time as any to revive the ol’ blog given that I recently completed a project I was pretty proud of…  I came up with it on my own and it wasn’t a total disaster!  WOO-HOO! So we’ve been in the house ALMOST a year now, and things are ALMOST how I want them.  We do, however, still have a few empty walls and a few empty bookcases.  The problem is they’re all BIG walls and filling BIG walls tends to cost BIG bucks.

I love the old trick of wrapping fabric around canvas, but the walls I needed to fill in the upstairs living room probably required something wider than your average by-the-bolt fabric, so I thought “shower curtain!” The next obstacle was the canvas.  A canvas for the size I was needing wouldn’t be cheap, so I went to Home Depot to see how expensive some lumber would be to build the frames myself.

They had 8′ boards that were the perfect width/depth for my project!  And they were seventy-five cents!!!!!  YES! For each shower curtain, I purchased 3 boards.  One 8′ board got cut in half to make 2 4′ boards.  The other 2 boards were cut down to 5′ (which Home Depot does on the spot for free, in case you’ve never done anything like this.) Once home, I assembled them like so (and used some of those U-shaped staple/nails to put them together). From there the process is just like wrapping canvas, although on a larger scale.  Position the shower curtain where you want it, wrap around the frame, pull taught and staple in place. Your frames are not only inexpensive, but also lightweight (which is often an issue when dealing with “art” of this size, so your shower curtain wall-art can be easily hung with even just a single nail.) I must say, I’m pretty impressed with the end result!  These particular shower curtains are definitely inexpensive – I purchased them from Target.com!  (roughly $35 each, making the total cost for each hanging right at $40).

Forgive the less-than-sharp pictures.  I only realized last night (having owned my phone for a year) that I had the camera set to a fairly-low resolution.  HA!

There are a lot of really great shower curtains out there from geometric patters to movie scenes, periodic tables or maps of the London Underground.  Have fun with it!  Just make sure before you click “add to cart” that the curtain you’re looking at is fabric and not plastic 🙂

Years ago I remember seeing a calendar that had some random “holiday” or other reason to celebrate for every day, and it even suggested a drink to go with each celebration.  Or at least I thought I remembered it.  Google tells me I’m delusional and no such calendar exists.

However I did find a lot of really fun/random “Holidays” on my Google Pilgrimage to find this Holy Grail of Boozy Calendars, and I finally just decided to make my own.  Unfortunately it’s done with Powerpoint and MS Paint (because I’m actually a sales analyst and those are the only tools I have access to).

It also turned out to be WAY more work than I thought it would.  There are some days where very little worth even mentioning has happened.  Nonetheless, I present to you:  January 2012.  All of the holidays I mention are “real” (according to the internet anyway, and the internet NEVER lies).  Believe it or not, I left out some of the weirder ones, such as “Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day”, which is January 22.  My cats have never really asked me questions, and they don’t care for booze…. so I wasn’t sure where I would go with that one.  Possibly a White Russian, but I’m really hoping there’s a Big Lebowski Day later in the year.

If there is any interest at all, I’ll push forward and do the rest of the months.  If no one but me is in to this sort of thing, I’ll just keep celebrating “Tuesday” with a glass of Merlot, the way I’ve been doing for years.

I’m also totally open to suggestions, it anyone wants to change a day I have already listed with something better, or if you have a great idea for your favorite “holiday” later in the year.  Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Worst. Haircut. Ever.

Technically this all went down on Saturday, and I debated whether or not to write about it, but since I’m pretty sure it was the most awkward haircut in the history of mankind, I felt I should commemorate it.

So, All I wanted was shorter bangs.  To be honest, I was pretty sure I could do it myself, but why risk it?  So, I made an appt at a very reputable, fairly expensive salon.  I thought it would be a nice relaxing experience!  A treat for myself, you know?  I also grabbed my White House Black Market gift card and just decided to make a day of it.

I find the salon easily enough and then I wait.  And wait… and wait… and wait… and finally the stylist gets there.  Like a half hour late.  I’m immediately disappointed because all of the other stylists are all cool and trendy and mine… is not.  Her hair is long and dirty and her highlights are orange.  Not like funky-orange, but like “I have black hair and tried to bleach parts of it and it didn’t turn out well.”  Nonetheless, I tell her I want Audrey Hepburn bangs and show her 3 pictures.  (It may be wishful thinking, but I’ve always thought I bear an ever-so-slight resemblance to Audrey, and they looked fab on her, so why not me??)  She crinkled up her nose and said “Um… who is she, like an actress or something?”  UGH.  Really??  Anyway, these are the 3 pics I showed her.

It’s simple.  I want short, choppy bangs that can be side swept.

Anyway, she looks a little concerned, as if I’ve just asked her to give me a mullet.  So I asked “Has anyone ever asked you to cut really short bangs before?  I know they’re not exactly ‘in’ right now.” …  “Well, I had one lady who had gotten really drunk and done it herself and I had to fix them.”

Awesome.  We’re off to a great start.

So she takes me back to get shampooed.  “Sorry I’m late… my husband just left me.  Took all of his things and left me.”  OH. SHIT.  This won’t end well.  But what am I going to do?  Walk out with dripping wet hair, adding insult to injury?  I felt like she probably needed the money, and they’re just bangs after all.

Anyway, I explained that I currently had long bangs, but I hated how they fell in my eyes so I just wanted them really short (again: like the freaking pictures).  She proceeds to take about half of my existing bangs and cut them just below my eyebrows, in a blunt cut.  “Like this?”  “No.  They’re still in my eyes.”  So she goes 1/8” shorter.  “Like this?”  “No…”   The icing on the cake was when “Someone like you” by Adele came on and she started crying as I just sat there awkwardly.    UGH.  (Before I sound like a heartless bitch, she explained that they weren’t technically married, but they had been together since she was 12, and they had a kid together, and they had a lot of fights but he’d never taken his stuff before, etc.  I definitely got the impression that this chick is a hot mess most of the time, I just happened to catch her on an exceptionally dramatic day.)

Interestingly enough, while I was sat there, some other lady brought around “complimentary magazines” (mostly advertisements – clearly published by the salon itself) for everyone.  They had a big spread on Audrey Hepburn and her iconic hairstyles.

After another half hour of her making my bangs minutely shorter over-and-over again, coating my face with hair dust each time, I just gave up and told her it was fine.  2 other women were waiting to see her anyway since she was a half hour late to start me.  I tipped her very well, even though I looked like shit.  I kind of felt bad for her.  Kind of.

Instead of Audrey Hepburn, I looked like this.

I had hoped it would grow on me, but I was literally cringing every time I saw my reflection.  So on Sunday, I went to Supercuts to see if they could fix it.  The stylist (who barely spoke English and yet DID know who Audrey Hepburn was, thankyouverymuch) took one look at the picture and knew how to fix them.   3 minutes later and they were exactly what I wanted!  For $12!  That’s it – screw salon/spa’s from here on out.  Supercuts it is.

Sure, I'm still no "Audrey Hepburn", but I'm not "Lime Helmet Cat" either... and that's what counts.

Yesterday, as I was chatting with one of my coworkers, she randomly said “So you know Mike has a huge crush on you, right? 

Um………………….WHAT????  OK, Let’s recap:

  • For the past year, I’ve been mildly scared of Mike, and moderately sure he didn’t like me.  Mike is a motorcycle-riding, head shaving, heavily-tattooed, “Sorry I can’t come in to work today, I’m in jail” bad-ass.  He is NOT the puppy love/crush type.
  • I work in an office with at least 3 absolutely gorgeous women.  Women with 5% body fat, women with no husband or kids, women with expertly applied makeup and  impeccably highlighted hair who exclusively wear the latest trends (and wear them well).  In contrast, I once got all the way to work before I realized I’d left my shoes at home.  If anyone in the office is going to be the object of a coworker’s crush, I’d think I’m pretty far down on that list.
Now to be fair, my coworker added “Oh it’s all totally innocent, he just thinks you’re really pretty.  Whenever he sees you he just sighs and says your name.”  (Again:  Seriously??  Is there more than one Mike??).  He’s also not quite as tough as he seems… although he is pretty damn rough around the edges.  Sure, he was in jail for a barfight, but he was supposedly helping out a friend who was getting beaten up pretty badly.  Not condoning violence, just giving some back-story on the whole “jail” thing.  It’s not like he was running a meth lab or anything.
It also cracks me up that he seems to be some sort of Hell’s Angels/Rachael Ray hybrid.
Me:  Ooooo… is that your breakfast?
Mike:  Yeah.  It’s an organic spinach and goat cheese frittata.
And later that week, as he walks down the hall with his lunch (we have lunch catered in every day):  “I hope they didn’t fuck up the roux this time.  They always fuck up the roux!
I also have a tendancy to take pictures of random things at the grocery store and post them to Facebook with the caption “what the hell is this??”  He usually not only knows the answer, but can suggest a couple of delicious recipes with which to prepare the random food item.

Except this. This one remains a mystery. It looks like a squash doing it's impression of that scene from Alien.

More than anything, I don’t think I’ve considered myself crush-worthy in YEARS.  First getting married, then gaining weight, then having a baby, then gaining more weight, then having said baby cut my morning “getting ready” time in half… I think that’s the real reason I was so shocked.  Which is sad, really.  I didn’t realize how far my self esteem had fallen.   There was certainly a time when I assumed that basically everyone (men, women, whatever) secretly wanted to marry and/or have sex with me.  I used to think I was THE SHIT.
So, in closing:  Thanks Mike, for reminding me I’m not the total ogre I sometimes think myself to be. Also a big thanks to Weight Watchers – I’ve now lost 10 lbs which is over 5% of my original starting body weight!

My sister called on Friday to ask what my plans were for the weekend.  I excitedly told her “Tomorrow is fire safety day for the kids at Home Depot!  There will be games and prizes and crafts!”    Kendall:  “….. are you serious?”  It’s a legitimate question considering how differently I would have answered 5 years ago.

5 years ago, back when we were both single, back when the economy was thriving, back when I had more money than common sense, there was the Saturday morning text.  “T Cycle?”  It was meant to say “U awake?” but T9 predictive text always fucked it up and we just went with it.

Who ever woke up first would send the text and patiently wait for the “am now” reply which gave permission to actually call.  Chances are one or both of us had been out the night before doing God-knows-what and we dared not actually call before we had permission from the other party.

From there we would make our “plans”, which was absurd because it was the same thing every Saturday.  Meet at either Red Lobster or Red Robin, have lunch (and a few cocktails), then hit Nordstroms and Saks.  We’d spend ABSURD amounts of money on shoes, makeup and clothes.  We’d buy Valentino handbags and leave the store hugging them, telling them they were our new best friends and even assigning them names.  (Sully is one of my favourite handbags to this day.) Eventually we’d part ways after 4 or 5 hours of binge shopping.  Sometimes we’d do it all over again on Sunday.

Now then my big plans had shifted from the spa at Nordies to the parking lot at home Depot.  She didn’t opt to join us for that particular outing, but she did agree to meet us at Chuck E. Cheese’s for lunch.  (Again, not quite Red Lobster, but I was still looking forward to it.)

There were definitely “”Normal Rockwell”-esque elements to the day, with the whole family being together and doting over Donovan, trying think of what we could do to keep improving his super-awesome day.  Then there were moments that were just like old times…. i.e. Kendall screaming “Die you cock-sucking little mother-fuckers” at the whack-a-mole machine.  (I gave her a suitably horrified look and she responded with “What?? *I* don’t have any kids…”)

All in all, Donovan’s day included:  Building a wooden boat at Home Depot, painting said boat, playing hockey with dad, splashing in puddles, meeting some firemen, sitting in the driver’s seat of the firetruck, lunch at Chuck E. Cheese’s, playing ski ball, playing basketball, riding one of those coin-operated horses… and the coup de gras: the ice cream truck pulling up outside our house Saturday night.

Next weekend:  “The Gentle Zoo” – a project whose proceeds go to animal shelters.  It  includes, train rides, giant maze, bounce house, petting zoo, pony rides, crafts, photo ops, etc.  I know we’re spoiling him, it’s just so much fun to see him so-totally-stoked.  Almost as much fun as dropping a grand on food, booze, and Valentino 🙂

SO…. the wedding.

Apparently the festivities started Friday night (the rehearsal dinner).  As the best man’s wife, I was probably supposed to go to that, but to be fair I didn’t really know about it.  And I had other plans.  So while Pool Boy did that, I had a large herd of friends over to watch movies, drink wine and eat junk food.  (I think I won that round.)

Being the procrastinator that I am, I didn’t have a dress to wear to the wedding yet (well, I probably did, but where’s the fun in wearing something you already own?) so I headed out for a day of dress shopping first thing Saturday morning.  That sounds WAY more fun that it actually was.  When will these damn pencil skirts go out of style??  They are NOT kind to women with massive hips.

After about 10 dresses I finally narrowed it down to 2 and bought them both.  One made me look proportional and was not entirely UN-flattering.  The other dress was a stretchy tweed that I felt had the potential to be really flattering with a pair of heavy duty Spanx.  But then, what doesn’t?

I finally decided on the tweed one, although I couldn’t decide if I looked AMAZING or if I looked like a black and white snake that had swallowed a large animal.  I’ll spare you the actual visual on this particular point.

From there I painted on enough eye makeup to embarrass a raccoon, did a smashing job on my hair (if I do say so myself) and headed out – all the while vowing to enjoy the evening and keep my mouth shut.

Actual picture of me from Saturday night

The ceremony was nice, and it was also very short (yay!)  But then the reception was a cash bar (boo.)

Speaking of the reception bar:  Worst bartender EVER.  I ordered a martini and he gave me a highball full of ice and vermouth.  WTF.  He didn’t even throw in an olive.  It’s gin in a martini glass for fuck’s sake.  It’s not complicated.  The glass is even named after the drink.  My mother in law ordered a Tom Collins and was served margarita mix with a splash of vodka.  Yikes.

Seriously though, the reception was a lot of fun.  The bride looked amazing the happy couple seemed to be in 7th heaven. I reconnected with a lot of people I had met once or twice before.  People that I had met and thought “wow, I really like these people!” but then had’t seen again.  Hopefully it won’t be another year before we actually get together.  Of course we all drunkenly vowed to hang out but we’ll see if it actually comes to fruition.  We are Facebook friends now, so that’s a step in the right direction…

 

Sims, Spaniels and Scotch

Things are settling down nicely at Casa de Nevershagagreek.

Pool Boy’s started his new job yesterday and he’s LOVING it.  He gets to wear jeans all-day-every-day.  It’s a “come and go as you please” type schedule.  He’s already been invited out to dinner with coworkers.  The work/life balance seems to be much better.  Less travelling.  And:  FREE GAMES!

He bought “me” an Xbox a few weeks ago in anticipation of all the new games.  Then last night he brought home Sims because I was briefly addicted to the game when I first got my iPhone a few years ago.  Bless him he was SO proud.  “Go upstairs!  Play your new game!  I’ll take Donovan to the park.  I’ll give him a bath!  Go enjoy your new game!”  So, I spent the next couple of hours cursing at the complicated controller all the while feeling really OLD.

HOLY SHIT - ALL THE BUTTONS.

I finally managed to create 3 Sims that vaguely resembled my family.  That was about as far as I got.  It took me literally 30 minutes to realize I kept accidentally pausing the game.  Eventually I got my Sim go pee and wash her hands…  Then I turned off the TV and went downstairs.  They may have all starved to death by now.  Does that happen??  Anyway, I think PB was sad to see me come down after having only spent a few hours with the new game, but I really did feel bad with him taking sole care of Dono all night.  Plus I’m 30.  I think my days of staying up all night playing video games are behind me.  (OK, and I was a little miffed at not being able to figure the damn thing out.  What am I, 80?)

The adoration may be *slightly* one-sided.

Bonny is also doing well.  Sweet puppy* follows me everywhere I go.  Silly though it may be, that really means a lot to me.  I just can’t hug her enough.  Dono is also still thrilled about her.  He’ll point to her and say “puppy?” (which is his generic term for “dog I don’t know”).  The look on his face says “Um… did you know there’s a random dog in the house?  Are you cool with that?  Because I’m kinda diggin’ it.”  I’ll say “Yes, that’s Bonny.”  At which point he’ll squat down to pet her and say “niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice puppy.”  He’s pretty much the president of her fan club.

*She is not actually a puppy.  She’s actually fairly old.  But all dogs are puppies to me and mine.

In other news, Weight Watchers is still going well.  I’m continuing to lose weight!  I think I’ve lost 7.5 lbs so far.  I still have a long way to go, but at least things are moving in the right direction.

Still, I have a wedding coming up soon and I’m not sure what I’m going to wear.  This isn’t a wedding I’m necessarily looking forward to.  For a lot of reasons.  OK, 2 reasons.  First off, I’m NOT a fan of 1/2 of the couple.  Secondly, I think it’s a huge mistake for the other half.  I’m trying really hard not to judge other people’s relationships (Some women LIKE a jealous man.  Some women want to be submissive.  Some women like a man who’s trying to change them because they feel like they need to be changed.  Whatever – not all women are me is what I’m trying to say).  Still, there are times where I see little red flags that no one else sees.  Growing up with abuse gives you that special 6th sense.  It’s not much of a consolation prize, but damn if it’s not come in handy more than once.

With that said, there have been a few times recently where I found myself thinking “Yeah… I’m going to need a little liquid courage to get through this particular event.”  With that said, I found this fun little item today!  It’s from North Africa, circa 1940.  I believe (hope) that to be bone.

It's antique, which means I can feel classy while drinking my way through awkward situations!

If I can just get through the wedding with my mouth shut, smile firmly painted on my face, I’ll be fine.