Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Until it didn’t. Now the news is.. well.. horrible.
I am majorly majorly majorly bummed out over here. There aren’t enough times to type majorly. Majorly.
In other news, my siblings will be happy to learn that my unemotional self broke down and shed a tear for my beloved civic… meaning that on the last day of the 11th month, I finally had a 2011 cry. Clearly this proves I am more man than machine. Clearly. Even if technically it was about a machine.
Friday, November 18, 2011
I am mighty proud of a little household project I’ve undertaken, despite the fact that I had to get on YouTube to figure out how to reload a staple gun. I know. They are going to take away my master’s degree. Anywhoo. I’ve always had a littleish bed here, in part because my place is charmingly teeny and in part because the prospect of moving a giant heavy frame is daunting (as is Gladys, but you know).
I decided to pick up a few canvases at JoAnns and staple them together. Add batting and your very favorite fabric and BAM. Insta-headboard.
It was easy, minus the gun snafoo. Guns are bad, kids.
I also decided to update an old lamp I had to match the new fun Gray thing happening over the bed. Conveniently a trip home aided in my outdoor and reclaiming needs.
A new modern shade and a little spray paint and primer at least ten feet from the house on an uber windy day.
I may or may not have waited for it to dry while doing a series of cartwheels around the yard. Does fresh grass make anybody else have the urge to time travel to when their hamstrings were totally conductive to such tomfoolery?
I also pilfered a couple of old beat up crates from my parent’s basement. These used to be in my grandparent’s garage and one even had a scruffed up mailing label to my Grandpa’s old air force base!
Last week I also picked up an anthropologie hook for my keys (marked down to $3, score!), which never seem to make it all the way to hook/shelf on the other side of the kitchen. Get in your new home, keys!
Also after three years I figured it was time to trade up my old dinosaur iphone for the latest and greatest. I even traded up for a snazzy new case. ME-OW.
I’ve also had some football fun and festive game day food with Dad.
Spent some QT in the kitchen with mom making a stuffed Acorn squash from the O! Magazine cookbook.
The recipe included:
- Acorn Squash
- Kale (subbed for Swiss chard)
- Onions, Garlic, S&P, seasoning, etc.
Mom also gave me a tutorial on my new old sewing machine. I love that bad boy. I am thinking of naming her Maude.
I’ve been spending an obscene amount of time looking at the eye candy on pinterest. This one’s my favorite.
Get it? bahahahahah.
I’ve become addicted to reselling things on ebay, and purchasing resold things with my winnings. Welcome to fall, new boots.
Also I have been a maniac with solitaire (way to get a fancy phone for no reason). Over $10,000 in fake winnings. Out of control. I literally have deleted this app three times and re-downloaded it. Ruining my life.
Monday, October 31, 2011
So the day of Emily’s wedding, I woke up alert and with the BEST idea ever. Did it come to me in a dream? A prophecy? That’s so Raven? Oh Snap?!
When I saw the bride I immediately said “ I know you have a lot on your mind right now, but I know what we’re doing for Halloween.” Unfortunately we couldn’t talk about it at length, what with Emily having matrimony and veil placement on her brain. More on that pretty day here.
Meanwhile three months later and a few trips to the craft store, this epic group costume came to life, behold the masters of rock:
The spaceman, demon and star child. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssss!
My $6 silver leggings from ebay/korea came in the ta-da nick of time, which helped. My tiny F21 dress was easy to sew fabric strips to, except for the three hours I wasted trying to make shoulder things stand upright like the actual Ace Frehley spaceman costume. I gave up and went with epaulets.
But you wouldn’t even know from my expression. I am the very picture of happiness.
It was a fun costume. Although smiling didn’t look quite right and NOT smiling always looked so menacing.
Emily’s husband was a groupie.
She made herself a cape and a prosthetic tongue (on a stick) since her natural tongue extension would shame Gene Simmons.
It was a hysterical night. I love Halloween!
Friday, October 28, 2011
Another major adult moment: Changing spark plugs after 108K miles. From $100 at a mechanic down to the low low price of $27 from the auto parts store and twenty minutes worth of gratuitous thanking of my engineer boss.
In related news the Honda dealership gave me a bottle of engine coolant for FREE. I have got some good car mojo happening. This coinciding with a Halloween candy sugar high = me grinning uncontrollably and skipping around like a fool. I like it.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
So mom and I have been on a mission lately to finally get me a sewing machine as my belated Christmas 2008 gift from Santa. That’s a story for another day. However while on Craig’s List looking to pick up a vintage Kenmore, I happened to spot a brightly colored piece of furniture that had my Pinterest heart all aflutter. Aflutter I tell you.
So one week later a teal armoire was mine. That’s right, teal. I love my apartment and continue to put my type-A tendencies to work to find creative storage solutions to a place without a proper closet. You know, like how I have socks in an ottoman next to my sofa. Anywho. Real furniture is expensive, and some assembly required furniture is pretty hit or miss in terms of style and proportion for me. So imagine my delight when this very heavy real piece of furniture was only 100 smackeroos. Smell ya later $1600 Anthropologie furniture.
The color is the best part. Because it is the exact color of the high jump that took me six years to work up the nerve to jump off, I call it public swimming pool blue.
Where did I place this gem you ask? (pay no attention to my hasty (lack of) staging of the photo)
Bam, right when you walk in the door. I relocated the singer sewing table (also acquired via Craig’s List) to live underneath the TV. The wardrobe has three or four blue shelves currently housing vases, serving dishes, my Halloween costume and scraps of fabric for other projects. The shelves are also tall enough to make a really fun Barbie house, which definitely did not go through my mind the first time my 28 year old self laid eyes on the interior. Just saying. It could have been the belated Christmas 1990 gift from Santa.
The woman I bought it from actually picked it up for free out of someone’s trash pile/yard and spent a month painting it blue and distressing it. Formerly it was brown with gold hardware. Yowza. She learned that she had to move and was more than ready to get rid of it. In turn, I was pretty eager to pick it up… figuratively, cause that mother was crushingly heavy.
Now I am not someone who names things often. Unlike, say, my sister who names anything she comes in contact with more than once. That’s a lot to manage. However this funky vintage piece in some way replaces the void left by the antique dress form that once called my apartment home. RIP Beatrice. So in keeping with the old lady moniker (those names are always the best, no?) I immediately thought of the name Gladyce. Similar, starts with GLAD. Hello who wouldn’t want to be greeted by something glad every time they walked in the door.
Except though it rolled off the tongue I had no idea how to spell it. So I googled the first spelling that came to mind.
I thought all baby names were like ‘of the laurels’ or something equally as pleasant. Not so much? Nothing wrong with being disabled, although that feels like sort of a harsh sentence to serve up to the ole girl. We are just getting to know each other. While I was trying to convince myself that perhaps being disabled would make this antique piece one degree closer to being a Kennedy, I couldn’t resist clicking on the enticing Facebook link.
Bahahahaha. I love it.
Still I felt duty bound to explore other possible names. How about the wardrobe from beauty and the beast? After all the ornate hardware could have been French in another life. Her name is Madame De Le Grande Bouche which literally translates to big mouth (she was the opera singer pre beast curse). We do a lot of singing around my place, but five words is a lot to use when casually referring to an inanimate object.
Or even from my now cancelled but beloved soaps, Opal from All My Children (full name Opal Sue Gardner Purdy Courtland). She loves tacky jewelry and doctor phil-esque folksy sayings. I would love to come home to that, but my knowledge of her marriages would have me wanting to use all her names as well.
So there I was already calling the armoire Gladys. The name stuck so I modified the spelling and I like to think that makes her a little more handi-capable.
Come over and see the pretty new blue piece of furniture!
Friday, October 21, 2011
So the other day Natalie let me come out to the ranch and ride one of the horses. Topaz and I got along just fine, I think he even enjoyed the sweet music I was making in my attempts to imitate the season premier of modern family. Oh man, I had a lot of jokes.
He responded by laughing. On the inside.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
So one day when pressed for time we popped in to a Sbarro Pizza place for a quick lunch. Did I mention those things were everywhere? I mean, on many a trip to the mall growing up I have eaten a deliciously greasy ginormous slice of sbarro pizza, but I can probably count on one hand the places I have seen those things at home. Not the case in Russia. Considering we spent a great deal of time in tourist traps, I saw only 2 McDonalds the whole time, but probably saw a dozen Sbarros. There were 3 in the Moscow airport and you could see all locations from one spot. Madness I tell you.
Anyway, there we were eating. We had spent plenty of time seeking out unique restaurants during our trip, but like anything where you have to eat out ten days in a row, sometimes you just pick the place next door. Inside and seated with our trays of food, we realized that the TVs above our heads were playing back-to-back-to-back Ace of Base music videos. This was just awesome. For one, I had no idea that they had more than a couple of hits, but when each new song would come along, we would happily hum along and discuss which skating rink or school dance that particular song represented to us. As we were watching the bizarre cinematography, moody 90s attire (crushed velvet, leather, army boots, mullets) of this Swedish band of yore, it occurred to me that THAT was Russia as I had come to know and love. Bowler was not as impressed with my ‘aha’ let’s-compare-the-whole-country-to-a-90s-band-generalization moment. I’m just saying, it reminded me of some of the people watching in the city in a totally not a bad thing resemblance. It was deliciously European. I loved it.
But post lunch, we had some more exploring to do from inside the Kremlin walls!
Can you spot the Sbarro still stuck in my teeth? Many more rounds of pictures happened before this was acknowledged. Points for Bowler for finally getting it off my tooth after about four minutes of me saying ‘and now did I get it?’ That’s friendship folks.
On some of the buildings in and just outside of the Kremlin (the Red Square/Kitay Gourd area), the construction was covered up by a false wall designed to look like the exterior of that building. Seriously, can you tell that the picture below has not real windows and a crane peeking out from behind. So much more scenic.
While in the Kremlin it was pretty limited with what we could see. Only so many tickets were available to the exhibits in a few buildings. If you weren’t there at the precise moment they went on sale, Nyet tickets for you. One exhibit we were able to see however was the Diamond fund, which is basically the crown jewels for the last few centuries. Holy smokes that stuff was magnificent. Also if you make jokes with the hilarious Australian ladies in your tour group and raise your voice to laugh you will be promptly scolded in Russian. Then you will get the giggles and it will be worse. Those guards are all business.
And then of course we left a little time for some shenanigans before we left Red Square.
Next stop was a traditional Ukranian restaurant. Complete with kitschy flair for us to use while dining. You know we were all over that.
We were famished by the time we sat down to eat and when bread and mystery dipping stuff was put in front of us we didn’t hesitate to dive in. The proceeding conversation was all of us guessing the ingredients of the then unidentified dip which tasted like something delicious and fatty. Was the base butter? mayo? ‘Guys, I looked it up in the guidebook, it’s lard’. We all exchanged slightly grossed out looks, and then proceeded to eat some more. Fat is tasty stuff, no surprise there.
What was a surprise was my entree. I was trying to order something intriguing with no guarantee on taste or presentation. Nailed it. Our waiter brought it long before the other dishes and accidentally gave it to Bowler first. We looked at it with intense curiosity for like five minutes before asking the waiter what the onion/jello cake was. Turns out, that was my order of ‘Herring in a fur coat’. It was a layered casserole of sorts, served cold, with the fish/potato mix on the bottom and layers of carrots, beets, and beet Technicolor sour cream on top. Truthfully, it was kind of gross. Cold fish in a non sushi type of plating was hard for me to wrap my mind around.
Also, the sickly Bowler had ordered some sort of pear beverage with the hopes it might soothe her throat. When the waiter enthusiastically recommended it after she pointed to it on the menu, he asked Rosley and I if we would like samples. He didn’t know tons of English, but he did use the word sample. What the hell, we thought. Then he brought us large steins (damn, not samples) of a root beer like concoction. Maybe it was more like non alcoholic beer. In any event, it was not a great pairing for a cold herring casserole. It’s cool though, I ordered dumplings also and then helped myself to Bowler’s lard mashed potatoes. Which were the stuff dreams and thunder thighs are made of. Holy moly was that good.
And with that meal (last supper?) our trip had come to a close and we headed back to the hotel for packing and an obscenely early wake up call for the train.
I can’t say it enough, Russia was amazing, wonderful, fascinating, superlative superlative superlative. I am grateful to my friends who made this little adventure happen. I feel so fortunate that I had the opportunity and that all the stars aligned for such a fun and enriching trip.
I also felt like it was such a fascinating time to be visiting Moscow. With communism now twenty years behind Russia, it seems like much had been developed to make the city like other major European cities (technology, global businesses, universal languages). It felt like that place would have looked so different ten years ago and will look so different ten years from now. And that my friends is the beauty of travel. These foreign destinations put their imprint of that point in time in our passport, hearts, minds, and collection of fur hats (which has gone from 0 to 1). You put your imprint, however incrementally, on the local economy and everybody is better off for it. Let’s go abroad again soon, da?
And now, for your moment of zen: Rosley at the crack of dawn in Moscow with too-long pants that were tight rolled, her luggage backpack, duffle full of clinky vodka bottles and some industrial strength tobacco packed Russian cigarettes. A sight to behold.