Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tie A White Ribbon Around The Blue Box

The circus left town and the tent went with it. I painted it to oblivion. Martha Stewart is applauding all the while giving me pointers on how to pack a suitcase. For some RANDOM unconnected reason. And Ringling Brothers is homeless. But that's ok because I have never liked clowns AT ALL. I see nothing wrong with doing a little good deed. Operation Save The Children From Nightmares I Suffered As A Child When My Parents Took Me To Circus World And Painted My Face And Scarred Me For Life.

But first: You want an update on my love life? Well, it's summer so there are many boys of summer. (And those who have seen a lot of me this summer, Mav and Dear Prudence, are like, "Chickie, you got no boy." Well, they'd be right. But there is that guy on the metro I see every morning. We are going to get married.) But, really, it is so fucking hot in DC right now a boy on my arm would be one layer too many. In fact, right now I am sitting in my office and I am wondering if I can take off my shirt.

(Holy Record Tangents: Two paragraphs in and I have already managed to mention the weather (small talk!); my lack of a love life; the fact that I hate clowns (Hate!); a Martha Stewart episode I watched the other day where she had Matt Lauer on to show us how to pack a suitcase which was really disguised as: "Step off, Matt, let me show you how it's done," and then she turned to the audience and said, "Dumb Matt doesn't know how to pack. Ha ha ha," while Matt sat in the corner really no more animated than her cooktop; AND gratuitous nudity. You must know, I really tried my damndest to sneak mention of Willem Dafoe in there.

Mind you, this is a post about painting my bathroom.)

Soooo, back to the intended post.

This weekend, I performed a critical step in Operation Dismantle Circus Tent: Die Die Die My Darlin. I got out my painter's pants, brushes, and tape and transformed my lovely little bathroom into a Big Blue Tiffany Box.

But first, that consisted of a lovely stop to the Home Depot which I have come to loathe. Seriously, I need to find the Lowe's. Because the Home Depot is dirty and nobody is really helpful. Nor cute. If I have to be among sawdust and tools, for the love of god give me some hunky eye candy. Otherwise it is just sawdust and tools and these pretty eyes will glaze over until you flash something shiney like that sparkly little chandelier over there. Yep, in the Home Depot. For the love of girlie.

But I got out of the Home Depot with my Behr Embellished Blue, primer, and other sundries that the Guy At The Paint Counter, who was well aware of what I was up against, swore would be the weapons needed to undertake such a heroic feat. Dragon slayers be damned. I totally got him on board with my Die Circus Tent pitch. He wants Before and After photos. Who knew? Home Depot, my cheerleader. Perhaps I shan't give up on them.

So I did the shopping one night last week and Saturday was to be The Day. But first, Friday happy hour.

Cut to Saturday morning, the phone rings. Its Mav.

"What are you doing?"

"Taping the circus tent. Remember. It's the day the circus LEFT town."

"I know, but after last night, I thought you'd be on the couch for the day." [Mav and Boa Vocabulary: "on the couch" = hungover all day.]

But see? Nothing was going to get in my way. I told her to be worthwhile too and study for her umpteenth bar exam. Mav's tagline: Barred in eight states! Not to be confused with "banned in eight states." Semantics.

So I spent the morning and very early afternoon covering up the fugly stripes with a solid and vibrant color. And, at some point, I sat in the paint can. Hey, every slayer needs a battle scar.

And when it is all said and done, she looks pretty. My eyes get all starry-eyed when I enter my bathroom like I should be getting some pretty silver bean or tear drop or rather, The Tiffany Atlas® pendant. Diamonds, .18 carat total weight, color grade G, clarity grade VS; eighteen karat white gold. 16" long. Not that I really, really want that or anything.

Then to celebrate, Dear Prudence popped open a bottle of bubbly in what we are dubbing the Girl's Dorm, and then we ventured out in the 'hood, where I met someone I am giving the longest name possible: Honey, You Are Going To Drive Me To Drinking If You Don't Stop Driving That Hot Rod Lincoln. Sigh. And then I texted Mav: I'm in love with a Lincoln. And she got it because she replied with 'how we talk': As in Abe?

Here's to passing tests, the Girls' Dorm, guys with 18-word nicknames, other guys, champagne, and one little blue box - white ribbon and all - that you can actually shit in.

[The author promises that no tigers or elephants or tamers were hurt during the Circus Tent Death. Although she is mum on those damn creepy clowns.]

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

When Books Attack

Is it wrong that I wanted a book to fall on someone's head today?

It's like the waitress or chef who spits in your food ("the secret ingredient") or the mechanic who doesn't really give you an oil change ("See ya in 3 months for that new engine you are going to need."). Well, when you are a librarian, the equivalent is dropping books a la an "oops, darn slippery book!"

Today I took it so far as to ponder: Should the foot or the head be the target?

Well, since she was sitting down underneath me while I leaned against her and around her just to get to the books while she sat there and watched me take down eight very thick and heavy looseleaf binders one at a time, not once offering, "Let me help you with those," or even, you know, moving; well, I'd aim for the head in that case.

If I was that kind of person.

But sometimes I just live in my head and this is how it played out there:

Me: Here are your eight very big binders, all updated.
Her: Hmmph. [Proceeds to scoot chair over a smidgen and open up the overhead cabinet where she motions. Words don't come easily to this person.]
Me: [struggles with books...heavy books....high to reach up here...uh-oh, oh-no, I can't catch that is falling....falling....SPLAT]
Me: Did I say oops, because I meant to?
Her Head: OWWWWIEEE....
Me: Yeah, sorry about that. Occupational hazard.
Her, stars floating around her head in a halo: No, I am the one that is sorry. I should have helped you. Instead I sat here like an idiot while you labored just so I can have my very own books. Heaven forbid I use the library. We still have one of those? And you were doing me a favor and I just sat here. I won't do that again. Books hurt!
Me: You know, that is what everyone keeps saying.

What's your occupation ammo?

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Hills Are Alive So Talk Dirty To Me

Whose idea was the karaoke last night?

Between Yukkell getting married, Operation Die Circus Tent, and dodging the Red Barron et al in my quest to be oh-so-mysterious (another blog post that needs more material first), I was ready to let loose. Apparently.

It all started innocently enough: margherita pizza, nice dinner salads, and a carafe of wine (not to mention the hefty glass I had before I ventured out to dinner) and then my dining companion, Dear Prudence suggests, “Let’s stop by [insert my favorite neighborhood bar here and no, its not Kittys]. Its karaoke night.” I thought this might be fun to watch. Ain’t no way I’m participating.

The extent of my singing career consists of me and my bestie friend, Martini, back in high school, cruising A1A and the neighborhoods off, windows down, music turned off, belting out - and I mean belting out - The Sound of Music in it entirety. It became a ritual. If someone made the cue to kill the music and roll down the window, you know that you had to step up and give your best, "The hills are alive...." We were pretty serious about it. We emoted hard on that song. And we'd start over if our voice cracked or we broke into laughter. There was lots of starting over so I said we sang it in its entirety but we never got that far. But our heart was in the right place.

But then I recall the couple weeks back in February or March when Mav and I accompanied the lovely Morgan - who, by the way, is a Singing Machine meaning she is actually GOOD - on some karaoke adventures. Why didn’t anyone blog about that? Probably because I woke up the next morning and said, “Wait?! I sang THAT? Why?! And who thought that was a good idea?” Mav. The instigator. Or so I thought. Apparently you get a few cocktails in me and I think I am Celine Dion. Or I just think I am much cuter than I am. And then I like to bop around on stage.

Therefore it doesn’t take much to drag me up there. Because the next thing you know, two miller lites into the bar and I was up on stage with a complete stranger belting out, “Talk Dirty To Me.”

I had fun last night. All it took was miller lites and a little dirty talk.

Who knew I was THAT easy?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Marry Me Warts And All

One guy marries someone else because he is "...too far into it now."

Another guy marries someone else because "she" fits the dream on the surface. The Made in China kind.

Then there is the guy who wants to marry you because of that freckle under your eye.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

That Guy

He's not the one you notice first. Maybe his friend is hitting on you.

He's the one that knocks you down with his quirky good looks and his quiet mystery.

He makes your belly hurt from laughter.

He kisses the top of your head, brushes the hair out of your face, and asks you where the fuck you have been.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

When Bitter Is Sweet

...When an old love tell you that it is still hard to say goodbye to you and he still thinks about you. He thinks that you do the same.

You don't. For someone who once knew you so intimately, time passages have made you strangers now.

You give him your blessing.

...Knowing that you will always love that old coot. Evenso...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Thursday 13 List: My Childhood Memories

I got this idea from Virginia Belle and, well, I like an assignment that gets me thinking. That and the office is quiet. And maybe I'm a copy cat. So this is a list of 13 Things That Remind Me Of My Childhood. There were a lot of (obvious) things that were part of my childhood (barbies, matchbox cars, various books, Donna Summer) but then there is these 13...

1. The beach – My parents loved the beach and we went all the time when I was little. My dad, being a contracting engineer, could arrange to work at projects for months and my parents were kind of nomadic when we were very little so we had a few summers we spent on the beach (before they decided to just move there already). One memorable summer was in St. Augustine and we shared this big beach house with two other families and I remember the grown-ups always laughing it up (and boozing) on the back deck. (I grew up to be just like them.) And then when I was in 3rd grade we moved about 10 minutes from the beach and before we moved into that house we lived right on the beach in a hotel for a few months waiting for our house to be ready. Every day after work my dad would take us out in the ocean. I remember hanging on my daddy’s arm jumping through the waves. That is why I love the beach so much because I always remember that carefree childhood and the safety of my dad's arm.

2. Jordache Jeans – This is the first time (and not the last) my parents succumbed to the "but everybody has them" argument. (Later it would be Guess jeans.) Yet I was only allowed one pair and I thought, "How unfair! Mean parents." But I loved those jeans. If I ever have a little girl I am making her wear the Jordache jeans. In fact, are they back in style yet? Anyways, the Jordache jeans represent a time when I started to recognize such a dirty little thing called "cliques." Those Jordache put me in the cool girl crowd. Now, I abhor cliques but I do love jeans.

3. Twizzlers – remind me of the fact that my parents fully supported Friday night treats. (And I like to carry on that tradition.) Every Friday we could pick out our own bag of candy. My sister and I would often get strawberry soda and the Twizzlers and then bite the ends off them to make a straw to sip the sugary sweetness. I loved having a dad who loved candy but I blame him for my sweet tooth.

4. Green Peas (yech) – Anytime I see a helping of peas you might hear me utter, "Did I ever tell you about the time...." because when I see them, I can't help but remember this story. One time my parents went out and we stayed at friends of theirs, The Peacocks. Why the friends weren’t out with them I don’t remember since they always went out and partied together. But for dinner, Mrs. Peacock served a side of peas and my brother, sister, and I despised them equally. Our parents never made us eat them. If we tried something and we didn't like it, we were not forced to eat it. (I support that logic but I am a very picky eater...) So being the stubborn souls that we are, we all refused to eat them. They're gross! Well, she would not let us leave the table until we finished them. So, we sat at that table for hours - I mean hours - and, yet, we never ate them. I remember wanting my mom and dad so bad because THEY wouldn't make me do this. At least my brother, sister and I were a team. She finally got mad and sent us to bed. To this day, I still don't like the peas. And I don't think my sister and brother do either.

5. Paddington the Bear – My aunt Liz always sent us books for Christmas. And they were always hardbound and more literary choices. No glossy paperbacks for us. I blame her for why I do not go to the library or borrow books. I want a never-before opened book. I don't want to share. (Yet I think everyone ELSE should support your local libraries.) Anyways, one time she sent me a Paddington the Bear book and I became obsessed with him. He had me at "please look after this bear."

6. Love’s Baby Soft – I loved this scent (what girl didn't?). It represents all that is little girl. Which now is reminding me of the Oingo Boingo song, "I Love Little Girls." Why was Danny Elfman never arrested for that one? Because they knew he was destined for great things, like the Simpsons theme (among many awesome scores)?

7. Vintage aprons and napkins – My grandma had a collection of them and she gave them to my mom at some point. My sister and I and our friend’s Debbie and Tracy would play restaurant. I loved being the waitress and putting one of those very cool aprons on. When I am antiqueing and come across vintage aprons I remember those times, trying them on, and probably starting my love for vintage clothing.

8. My mom’s piano that my uncle has now – I remember summers going to visit my grandfather and every morning of the week we spent there, my sister and I (sometimes we’d let my brother join) would get up and bang on that piano every morning. We never had lessons but we sure pretended like we could read the sheet music and channel Chopin. We would wake the whole house up. My uncles who were in their late teens through college during these years would never complain about us little brats. When I went to graduate school and lived with my uncle I ended up taking lessons on that piano. I looove that piano. My mom took lessons on it when she was little. I aim to get it someday. Today, I love the classical piano and would love to start lessons again.

9. Little kid learning to ride a bike or tie a shoe - Whenever I see a kid trying to ride a bike, I remember how hard it was for me. I was (probably still am) a timid child. Probably a little prissy so I was afraid of falling down. However when my brother - who is 2 years younger - was riding his bike before me, well, that gave me the impetus to just get on that bike and take a chance. (I'm a dip-my-toes-in-the-water-first and a you-dive-first kind of girl.) Also, it took me forever to learn how to tie my shoe. I'm not sure what that whenever I see a kid try to learn one of these things I think about my own struggles that I had with, really, a lot of things.

10. A Red Baseball Mitt- My daddy loved baseball, he played on softball teams and he had us in sports once we could walk. In fact, I don't remember a year in my childhood not being part of some athletic pursuit, whether it was softball, soccer, basketball, tennis, swimming, even cheerleading. But when we were very little I most remember our nightly softball games in the backyard. Daddy as pitcher and two siblings were a team on defense, the third the batter. He taught us teamwork and healthy competition. Probably why to this day I think every game should end in a tie. (Unless you are FSU, TN, USF, Nationals, TB Bucs, Steelers and if my money is on you - then you better win.) But getting to the red mitt, my dad gave me his red mitt that he had for years. (Yeah it was vintage so I liked that. I really am an old soul.) I played every year with that in organized softball leagues until the one day I lost it and I cried for days. It sill upsets me. I sometimes see a red mitt and think, "Could that be it?"

11. Barry Gibb's ugly mug - Y,all, I was in love with him as a child. We had this huge poster and I used to kiss it even! And my parent's didn't think that was weird? He was old even back then. Probably why I like older men? Damn Barry Gibb! But I do like to imitate him. The Bee Gees remind me of childhood no doubt.

12. Gowno (he polish word for "shit") - My grandma was cool teaching me those dirty words. Sorta. My Polish grandma lived with us in Florida for a few years and she did a lot of cooking for us so my mom could work. I remember always asking her what was for dinner and she would snap, "Gowno." I would ask her, "What does that mean?" and she would respond, "Nothing. It means nothing." This same conversation was on replay. I liked her response. For years I thought it really meant "nothing." Until I was corrected. I wish I had the opportunity to tell her I really know what it means. So, I intend to pass this word down for many generations in response to "what's for dinner?"

13. Orange Gumballs - Before we moved to Florida, we lived in Connecticut. One time, my dad went down to Fla for an interview and we all waited up for him to get home late one night. He got the job and he brought me, my brother, and sister little orange gumballs to represent "the move to Florida" This is very symbolic as Fla is where most of my childhood memories began.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It Takes Two To Make A Thing Go Right

It is getting hard to look this good on my own. Ha. I am one fashion casualty (and relationship) away from pullover knit tops and polyester pants pulled up to my armpits. With no zippers. Elastic-waistbands all the way man.

See this morning I was having zipper issues. A brand new skirt I bought down in North Carolina months ago and hadn't tried on yet. I didn't even try it on at the store and there is a reason you try things on. Because had I tried it on, I would have discovered that the zipper was broken.

Instead I found out this morning all alone in my house.

I struggled all morning to save the skirt's life but in the end, I had to cut the skirt right down the center just to get out of it.

A fashion casualty. And it was one of those oh-so-trendy bubble skirts that is going to soon be banished to the Land Of Fashion That Will Never Make A Comeback. Acid-wash denim has a high-rise there.

All that I needed this morning was another (with opposable thumbs so it is not an argument for the dog that I also want) to yank on that thing. If there was that one guy with strong hands in my house (in my life) at the time, the skirt's (very short as it is) life could have been saved.

Guys, I'm not asking for much...just someone to ease my zipper.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Overheard At The Beach

"What's your name?"
"Of Jo-Tootie-and-Natalie fame?"

"It's part of being a playa. There is bound to be some casualties."

In the ocean!"

"I'm wearing your pillowcase."

"...the guy with the jean shorts."
"Jean shorts?! Where'd he get them?"

"I have a thing for brunettes."
"You have a "thing" for asians, latina, or redheads - blondes even. Nobody has a "thing" for brunettes."
"Damn right they can."
"Well lucky for you I'm a brunette then. And lucky for me I have a thing for pilots."

"I'll leave your ass here. Don't think I won't."
"I'm getting a dog then."

"What can I do for you?"
"Words every girl likes to hear."

"We'll take 2 miller lites."
"Bud lites?"
"No, miller lites."
"But bud lites are on special."
"2 miller lites, please."

In front of an 8-year old kid: "I want to be tied to the bedpost."
"That was an earmuff moment if ever I heard one."

"I live on Dagworthy."
"Of course you do."

"I don't like the Rudder. I only went there for you."
"Of course you did."

"From here on out, he is known as the Red Barron."
"Of Snoopy fame?"

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Home Improvement Project Circus Tent

This post is brought to you by my art degree. I don't "use" it, it doesn't make me any money, and now my bathroom looks like shit.

My condo was pretty much move-in ready. There are beautiful hardwood floors that gleam as the sunlight hits them. (But I'm sure those will deteriorate in due time.) I have one year-old stainless steel appliances that have more buttons than my remote control. When will I ever use the warmer on the stove? The walk-in closet has a great closet organizer already in place.

Yet I thought that the first thing I would change - just because I can - would be the kitchen counters. They are white counters. I imagined some faux granite or limestone but now I like those white counters - so they are not going anywhere. I don't want too many modern touches. So I have settled that they are "vintage" which is pretty much what I call anything that isn't shaped like a spaceship, doesn't come in a stainless steel, and is so-last-year. We had a beer coosie at the beachhouse that was from one of the bars two years ago in a color - yellow - they don't make anymore. Under my terms, this coosie was vintage.

So now I like my vintage counter tops.

Now the paint colors the previous owner chose are beautiful - for the most part. The kitchen is a real dark olive greenish-brown. This is also a reason to keep the white counter tops. Good design in a room - in my opinion - has light, medium, and dark tones. That is why I don't have matching furniture. So the kitchen is pretty with the very dark colors on the wall, the light of the counters and cabinets and the medium tone with the stainless.

(I'm accepting donations to the camera fund.)

The foyer-living area is a really light neutral color and I just put the color in the furnishings. The bedroom is a sage green and I have always wanted a pink and green room. The sunroom is brick. So I was safe on all the colors in the house. that is, with the exception of the bathroom. It is a pale gray and every two inches is a white 2-inch stripe and then in each stripe is a thin yellow stripe, navy blue stripe, or hunter green stripe.

Y'all - pretty much - it's ugly. My mom hit it on the head too when she said, "It looks like a circus tent."

So I knew that this had to be my first project. First, I was gong to paint it all over in an apricot - the inspriation being the bottle of Coco Mademoiselle on my vanity. And they are saying that orange is the new black. But upon closer inspection, I have discovered that the stripes are tape of some sort. And it won't peel off with my bare hand. So I got the bright idea to work with the existing stripes because I thought that gray with the white and thin black stripes would make for a nice neutral background and I could accessorize in whatever color.

So Monday after I put my mom on sucky Amtrak against my better judgment and sure enough she sat next to a serial killer. And before Mav and I drank a 30-pack of Miller Lites, grilled up some hot links and corn on the cob and crashed the party two rowhouses down and entered into a few rounds of Flip Cup with the kids there, we went to Home Depot. She just moved into Logan Circle so she has been busy with her own home improvements too. So our weekends have been spent at the Home Depot and we have only been down to the beach once this summer so far. (Woe is me.)

Anyway, I picked up a little can of black paint and on Tuesday while America was barbecueing burgers and dogs and waving star-spangled banners and getting caught in torrential down pours if you were in DC (rain, rain go away), I was taping up each and every stripe in that bathroom. Then I painted away. It took a couple coats to cover up the colored stripes with a solid black line. Well this morning when I peeled away the tape - the black had bled underneath some and now I have runny lines of black down my walls. Obvious in some places and not in others. (I wonder: what is painter's tape for??) And only about half of the stripes were tackled so I have have circus tent, half runny black lines.

Y'all its a bigger mess than before. And frankly, this kind of "mess" upsets me and will stress me out until it is fixed. I can't live with the bathroom!

So either I try to paint over the white now and potentially make more of a mess or I try to find a way to peel the tape off which is what I am leaning towards now. If only it could be that easy. Because then I would have a neutral palette to work with, pick out a funky paint color, call Mav's painter, pay him, and call it a day. Or I might get some white paint.

So I am off to the Home Depot for the hundredth time. I figure I should get something out of all my time spent there. Because in my dreams, Home Depot was going to be filled with lots of Hot DIY Guys and as I was mulling over the aerators, flappers, and scorers I'd fall in love with a DIYer and he would do all kinds of "projects" for me. I would be design and he would be installer. And maybe we would have an inside joke about the nail gun. I don't know. Instead, the Home Depot is dusty, smelly, and filled with annoying couples - pushing me to the ground as they are reaching for the Eggshell paint card. He wants ecru, she wants eggshell.

Because, of course, they don't make a color called "circus tent."

To be continued....