Monday, December 27, 2010

Mission: Accomplished.

So my Christmas wish was to wake up on Christmas morning and find that there was nothing left to do in the bathrooms but stare at what I'd accomplished... And that wish came true. Mind you, I was a VERY busy bee in the last couple of days before Christmas, but that's really nothing out of the ordinary. I am a project-motivated person... I like being busy and I like achieving my goals in time to sit back and relax for a weekend before tackling another new project.

This week has been about the holidays. Obviously. But in the evenings I have taken to shifting around bedroom furniture trying to find something that better suits me than the configuration my grandparents had for 40+ years. It's an ongoing process... moving a few things around, seeing how it functions for a day or so, and then shifting things again as needed.

I would keep going on about all of this but I think I have even bored myself with this post. (If you started reading this only to find yourself picking your face up off of your keyboard, hoping you didn't drool on the keys, and having lost a couple hours with this giant snooze of a post, I apologize.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bathroom follies... (UPDATED.)

Ok, this is not a post about what typically goes on in a bathroom. This is about what is going on in MY bathroom lately... And don't worry, I'm not going to tell some horrific story involving explosive diarrhea.

So I have pretty well finished the downstairs bath. And a few problematic touch-ups on problems created by previous owners aside, it looks awesome. May post pictures soon. The upstairs bath should be done by Christmas if I get my ass in gear... Though I admit that lacquering the light fixtures is taking longer than I had initially planned on... I think it's an issue of humidity making the dry time longer, and as a result we are experiencing undesired texture issues in the finish. The former electrician who originally wired those things was SERIOUS about not having anyone undo his work, though I must say with regard to the mountings, he did a shitty job. (The wiring part I will approve though.) So I've had to re-do the mounting brackets and because that electrician was so protective of his wiring, I spent more time than I should have needed on undoing the wiring. (Re-doing it should be a snap though!)

I will say this; thank god I haven't run into anyone I know lately while out running the odd errand. Because I've been constantly dressed like a schlub, never wearing makeup, and either had wallpaper scrapings stuck in my hair or was covered in some form of paint or plaster pretty much every day for the last few weeks. It's not a look I expect to see strolling on the runways of Milan in the spring.

And with that, I will leave you because I've got to get back to my task if I want this thing done by Christmas!

Oh, and P.S. - Whoever thought it would be a great idea to have swivel brackets on these stationary light fixtures, YOU WERE WRONG! (SO INDESCRIBABLY AND HORRIBLY WRONG.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

We're working on it...

Template changes are clearly underway. I'm not sure if I am sticking with this theme, but I rather like it SO FAR. (It is a work in progress)

I have lost the links in my sidebar, but I think I will be putting updated links in there at some point in the near future.

In the process, I also lost my comments because I used a comment gadget other than the standard blogger comments. So please feel free to re-comment as you like.

More changes to come, ...I think.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Here's what we're going to do...

I understand that I have a rather limited audience these days. I've gone through too many starts and fits to expect otherwise, and frankly blogging is becoming passe, so I'm not attracting new readers through word of mouth, and linkage the way I used to. An episode of my current favorite TV show, "House," (the only show that I block off time for,) recently did an episode about a blogger/patient, and the writers made some salient points about the concept of blogging. I won't bore you with all the details, but until I can find someone else who wants to publish my writing for a mass audience, this is my outlet.

That said, I'm remodeling my home, so I'm remodeling my blog as well. There will be a template change, as the current model is a little outdated for my current lifestyle, (I'm no longer the drinker and party girl I once was) and so, like a predictable girl after a bad breakup, we're getting a new look. I am going to take some time to find exactly what I want, so the change might not be immediate, but it is impending, and it will be rather sweeping.

All of that said, and knowing I have a limited audience, I am turning the reigns over to the readership for a bit.

You tell me what you want to know, and I will try to spin it as only I know how. The subject matter around here has been pretty boundless for a long time, and I don't see that changing... So if you've got a question, and you want my opinion, let me know and I will try to accommodate you. If it is personal or lengthy and you don't want it all out there in the comments, feel free to send an email to and I will sort out the details and then post a reply. If it is something simple and you just want an expansion from my point of view, leave it in the comments and I will find it there too. If it is something I don't feel comfortable answering for whatever reason, I simply won't answer it. (But there isn't much I'm not willing to take on here, so have at it.)

Don't get me wrong here, I'm still going to inject my own topics and interests, and daily misadventures on a regular basis, but in an effort to be more accommodating to the few readers I have left, I'm essentially opening the floor for a little Q & A time.

Ok, so now it's your turn!

Monday, December 06, 2010

I should write them a thank you note!

After that tirade about the peeling of the wallpaper (2 posts down) and the painted wallpaper, (which, in my opinion, should be considered a treasonous act of hostility against all future possible owners of a property, and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of laws yet to be written,) I did a little homework.

I went to the websites of the assorted home improvement stores. I googled effective removal methods. I even searched for reviews of the products I found. The mixed reviews of the "Paper Tiger" seemed to indicate, (often in broken english -- which led me to believe that the users who wrote some of these reviews didn't possess the literacy level necessary to comprehend the directions for proper use,) that this was the tool I needed.

So I dropped by ye olde home depot. I looked through the aisle alongside the zip-strip and fancy $30.00 scrapers. (For thirty bucks, that shit better have an ivory handle and do half of the scraping by itself while you're on the couch clutching your third martini!) And there, on a peg not 6 inches from the floor of the aisle, (well out of range of the headliner products that the store REALLY wants you to buy and thus puts them on shelves at eye-level). It was seven dollars and forty nine cents. And as far as this home improvement project goes, it was easily the best seven and a half dollars spent so far!

I returned home with my new-found toy and restored hope, and idly gave it a quick twirl in a small area on the wall. My mother, drawn in by the curious noises produced in said twirl, came to observe.

For those of you not familiar with this product, it's a small dome-shaped tool that fits easily in the palm of the user. Under the dome are two small wheels with teeth set at an angle that tear tiny perforations into the surface of the offending wallpaper... and if used correctly, not deeply enough to damage the wall surface below. Admittedly, it makes a horrid screeching noise as you twirl it over the wall, because the edges of the dome are dragging on the wall surface, but that is a small price to pay when faced with the prospect of slowly and painfully scratching through and lifting away painted wallpaper one square inch at a time. (After all, with the benefit of an ipod turned up to eleven, you're not going to notice the screeching nearly as much.)

My mother was amused by patterns left by my screeching new toy. She readily encouraged a brief foray into using it to graffiti by scratching out our names onto the wall before we got serious about using the thing to its full and honest capacity.

After a few minutes, distractions deterred me from continuing. Dinner was ready, and there was something on TV that I think I was actually vaguely interested in watching. And then I came down with a cold and felt like garbage, so the last thing I wanted to do was go to town screeching this thing over the wall... So our names remained on the wall for a couple of days. But since I was feeling better and needed a sense of purpose in my day, I got to work this afternoon, while also doing three loads of laundry, and cooking dinner, (after three days of being miserable and non-productive, I was jumping back in with both feet) I got to work showing that painted wallpaper who was boss.

After doing about 60 square feet in total, and then squirting it all with a windex bottle full of water rather than any fancy over-priced stripping product, I took my trusty old $2.00 scraper and wouldn't you know, that nonsense came off like butter! And so a large portion of the wall just needs a good rinse and wipe to get minimal glue residue off, and it'll be ready for paint! (I don't think it's necessary to tell you that at this point in the game, taping out the tile and window will be no problem and the painting portion will be tantamount to receiving a puppy as a Christmas present... Pure, unadulterated joy. (I would've compared it to getting a pony, but let's be real here... None of us has ever gotten a pony for Christmas. And if you tell me you did, I'm going to call you a liar and demand documentation from your parents and video proof that it happened on Christmas... A puppy on the other hand is far more plausible and likely.)

Anyway, it might seem like a simple thing to you, but these days I deal in little victories.

I think I'm going to get to working on that thank you note for the maker of that fine product... And a letter to my parents asking why I never got a pony on Christmas morning.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

We're talking about the wrong things...

(This post is entirely editorial in perspective and content.)

I have felt for a long time that we are talking about all the wrong things.

People focus on the other people. We focus on the banal concepts that give allow for conversation rather than discourse. We talk about the weather. We talk about sports. We talk about the boss' daughter's overpriced wedding. We talk about the Kardashians and other obscenely unimportant gossip of the day.

The ibid and common quote goes: "Great people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people." And in my experience we have all become small people.

I admit that I have become as guilty as most anyone, being a regular observer of as one of my daily web visits. But I also ascribe to a higher aspiration. I also visit,, and as a point of daily ritual and intent on seeking relevant news and information for my daily input. (The latter of which is HIGHLY UNDER-RATED, and in my opinion should be high on most people's list of informative sites, as it seems to encompass most any political and social view in features and editorial pieces.)

The fact is that we as a people have become far too complacent in ourselves. We scrutinize the latest update on the impending royal wedding in England (Something that we are not invited to, and doesn't even impact the U.S. economy, aside from raising airfares to Europe for spring 2011,) and the latest update on about the most current sports scandal, (which will serve no purpose other than to be further divisive to drive up ticket prices for our chosen favorite teams). Does it impact our daily lives? NO. Does it influence how I am going to make ends meet on an annual basis? NO. Does it do anything other than inflate or deflate my opinion of myself and or my opinion of the celebrity or sports affiliations I tend to root for? NO. Meanwhile, we're not teaching people about ACTUAL civics, or math, or important concepts of language... Why just this week, I LITERALLY (YES, LITERALLY) had to take twenty-five minutes out of my unemployed day and explain to someone in their late 30s (who makes $40 an hour) how cause and effect relationships work... I'm not kidding. This person is nearly 40, and I had to spend nearly half an hour explaining what cause and effect was, and how it operates in language theory and reality. Yet, I am the unemployed idiot, and they take home upwards of 80 grand a year. (Do the math.)

Like I said right out of the gate... We're talking about the wrong things.

Politics. The economy. Money. Job satisfaction. Quality of life... If we delve into these topics on more than a surface-level basis, they are considered TABOO! We don't want to upset anyone. We don't want to rock the boat. We don't want anyone at the office to talk about their pay grade or benefits package for fear that someone else is catching a raw deal. We might imply that we are open about these things, but we're not. This politically correct atmosphere we've established as a cultural norm is something that is running us into the ground and damaging people's lives along the way.

We're not talking about the person who is assisting the dentist cleaning my teeth... she might only have a high school diploma and some limited in office training. I don't begrudge her the job she does, but I do take issue with the fact that she makes more for turning on a machine to sterilize the instruments going into my mouth and taking notes on a chart than someone with a college degree in social work who spends their days going into poop houses and supervising visits between child molesters and the kids they abused.

Think about it.

It should enrage you. I'm not just talking about dental assistants. I'm also talking about Hollywood starlets, celebutantes, agents, marketing directors, cash-flow analysts, unionized auto workers, finance magnates, celebrity chefs, Las Vegas pit bosses, and a thousand other jobs... I could very easily spend my time memorizing a script and decide I am better off improvising a few lines, or looking at a chart and saying, "Yeah, that's likely to be profitable" or saying, "I'm calling my agent and getting a cover on US Weekly about a crazy pregnancy rumor!" I could easily screw in five bolts per car on ten cars an hour. (Hell for $80 an hour, you can step it up to 12 cars an hour and I'm pretty sure I still wouldn't complain too loudly!) I could spend years in a kitchen studying the exact conditions necessary to yield a perfectly cooked steak and how to pair it with pan seared scallops and a potato puree that would make your mouth water. I could stand and watch people deal cards and decide when a player is getting too hot and costing my boss too much money that we need to switch out the dealer and the cards... And I could get paid obscene amounts of money for any of it. But I don't. And do you know why?

I didn't think it was worth tangible value. And there are others out there too!

They don't get paid obscene amounts of money for what they do because teachers and policemen, and firemen, and public defenders, and social workers went to school and decided that people were their currency. (Hell, there are greens keepers that make more in a week than a public school teacher makes in a month!)

I don't mean that they trade in people... That's slavery... Highly illegal and generally frowned upon pretty much no matter who you talk to.

I mean that we consistently culturally value the wrong things. We value the wrong things because we are focused on and continue talking about all the wrong things.

Don't get me wrong... I know that those movie stars are making $20 million a movie for their efforts at entertaining the masses while teachers and social workers are touching just a few lives at a time... But how hard are those Hollywood actors working for it? I mean how many hours a day do they have to put in to figure out that a specific line isn't working, or that their character is going to be more believable to a mass audience if they weighed 140 lbs rather than 95,(or vise versa depending on the role). That's not rocket science. You know who should be making that money? ROCKET SCIENTISTS! (Or engineers who figure out how to make a zero emissions car, or people responsible for educating the next generation to enter the work force, or UN peacekeepers...etc.)

Basically I think we need to be far more concerned with where this country is headed than the weekend box office returns, or the next new gaming system? Do you know how many hectares are in an acre? Do you know how many sides a dodecahedron has? Do you know what bodily systems are most impacted by hypoproteinemia? HELL, DO YOU UNDERSTAND CAUSE AND EFFECT? For example; The cause is, "We are culturally concerned with ALL THE WRONG THINGS!" What is the effect? -- To be determined.