Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A turn-around...

So I know I've had my bouts of self-indulgent "woe-is-me" I hate being single and childless moments in the past... And I know that there is probably more of that to come in my future, but today I came to a realization...

There are days when pushing 30, and being unwed and childless can be TOTALLY AWESOME.

What brought me to this conclusion?

Well, you see, the other night after downing a bottle of wine, (over the course of a few hours, it wasn't a wino-chug-fest,) I checked my email and saw that there was "secret sale" going on for one of my FAVORITE girlie things... Luxury handbags. (Yes, I own my own cordless drill, and miter saw, and a bad-ass grill, and I'm still into girlie things like fancy purses... I am an odd amalgamation of traits, but I embrace it, because it makes me a unicorn among women.)

So feeling pretty good, thanks to the wine, I perused the items up for purchase and found two purses and a wallet that EASILY topped $1000 when found at full retail price. I paid a fraction of that... FAR LESS than half. And I got them direct from the company website, so I know they are legit.

And when I got home from work today, there was an inconspicuous cardboard box on my porch... But I knew what was in there, and it made me smile before I was even out of the car.

So I went out to the porch to collect my box, and got giddy with excitement as I brought it to the kitchen to cut it open. And they are BEAUTIFUL bags. I realize that there are starving villages in Africa that could feed everyone for a month on what I spent, but frankly they were the last thing on my mind... Because it was at that moment that I realized that many of my friends and peers have settled for what they thought they wanted. Some are enviably happy, sure, but many of them hate their spouses, or in some cases former spouses... And while I'm not discounting the rewarding nature of parenting for most people, I even know some who resent their children, and that makes me so sad for them.

You see, today was one of those days where a little self-indulgent consumerism taught me a valuable lesson. Those people who got married and/or had children now have other people to consider first. Their spouse's needs, their children's needs... "We need to pay tuition, and the kids need new shoes." Or, "Honey, I am buying a new lawnmower..." or something similar; whereas I only have myself to please. Sometimes I forget that fact. I forget that I have absolutely nothing to tie me down. I have a great job that is super-flexible, and a boss who is convinced I can walk on water, so he lets me do as I please. I can take the projects I want, I can turn projects down if I want. I can work from home in my pajamas, or I can get dressed up and sashay into the office if I feel like it, and through it all, I collect my paycheck, put it in the bank, pay my relatively minor bills, and have the freedom to do and buy whatever the hell I want whenever the hell I want it because I only have to worry about me.

It really is amazing that it took me this long to come to this conclusion. I'm kind of ashamed of that. But today, I recognized that I actually have it pretty great and I'm going to go on celebrating me for a while... Just because I can!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Moving on...

Ok, so after much discussion with multiple parties, the big story seems to be a bit of a non-starter. It was a big deal to me, but the general consensus is just, "Well, that shit happens." So I'm moving on to other things.

My boss has been out of town this week, and that thrills me to no end because in my particular office, I am known as something of a "fixer." Basically, what that boils down to is this; any time my boss has something that he lacks the time or inclination to do, it falls to me. This has included, but not been limited to anything from preparing legal briefs, balancing the books, verifying transactions, and cross-checking receipts on expense accounts, to painting walls and assembling office furniture, and preparing lecture materials when he needs to go teach a seminar... My work varies wildly from day to day, and I've learned to embrace a very casual wardrobe that can easily be changed around as the need arises... But since the boss is out of town, he saddled me with a sizable project suited to my particular skill set. Essentially, I was responsible for the repainting and design overhaul of his library... Yeah. HIS library. He doesn't share.

Knowing the type of grunt work involved, and the OCD level of perfection/cleanliness of my boss, I was dreading the idea of having him running in and out and checking on everything repeatedly while I was undertaking a task as unwieldy as painting can sometimes be, and redesigning a room, which under ordinary circumstances would dovetail quite nicely with my particular skill set and recent remodeling expertise... But then he said he would be out of town for a week. SCORE! That frees me up to do things as I see fit, (the right way!) working the big picture first and then sweating the details at the end. (Which is completely backwards from how he would have me doing it if he had his way.)

Well, I accomplished my goals at work, and even won a side wager, because there was a bet in place that the rub marks on the walls left by the book cases wouldn't cover using only paint... Someone was convinced that they would need an additional layer of primer and then paint, but having painted as many walls as I've painted recently, I knew that there was not going to be any problem with coverage.

As if I didn't get enough of this nonsense while at work this week, I took it upon myself to get my basement repainted and prepped for further minor remodeling efforts so that I can host overnight guests without having to set up an air mattress in my home office... I would much prefer just to have a standard setup of normal furniture at the ready as the need arises... And post-fire, I'm not short of furniture, because while some stuff went straight into the dumpster, a lot of really great stuff got relegated to the basement because I made the executive decision to convert two tiny guest bedrooms into one BIG guest room that is closer in size to the master, and convert what was a large walk-in closet into a great little office nook that offers more privacy for office mess than the primary home-office on the main floor... (When your house is gutted by fire, water, and insurance-paid contractors, you can get away with making those kinds of changes without worry of busting the budget!)

So I painted in the basement... Initially I used a paint sprayer. And while the claims show it to be all smooth and simple and fast, none of that could be further from the truth! I gave it a fair shake... It took forever, because the sprayers available to the commercial masses apparently SUCK ASS, but I wanted to give it all a complete coat with the sprayer to ensure that there wasn't just some mental retardation happening on my part and that I just jacked up one wall or something... Nope. The process was painstakingly slow, the coverage was spotty at best, even going super slow, and I still had to take a brush and roller to every wall to correct all the light spots. (I was not pleased with my purchase, and despite the fact that it is now used and covered with speckles of paint, I will be taking it back to the store and demanding my money back.) But after round two of painting, taking a more standard approach with brushes and rollers, the walls look great, the color is fantastic (Behr, French Lilac - a lovely light greyish purple) And so now I just have the trim to paint which won't even take a day, including the time to tape it all out, and then I'll be ready for new carpet (Which, yes, I will be installing myself...) and then I can get everything else set up so that my family and/or drunk friends have a soft place to crash.

I also got most of the weather stripping hung after work today... So that leaves only some pretty minor stuff left on my home improvement punch list. (There are a couple of larger projects too, though... Let's see...)

  1. Paint the front storm door. Just a fresh coat of white!
  2. Paint the exterior trim around the front and back doors, including the cornices and all that nonsense.
  3. Paint the front stoop... The current paint is all chipped and weird, and a horrid shade of red.
  4. Paint the floor of the back screened porch. (I'm having new screens put in professionally, even though I know I could totally do it myself... Some things are worth paying the pros to tackle for you!)
  5. Paint the garage... I would prefer to just knock it down, but unfortunately, my lawn grooming implements and my grill need a home, and so a coat of paint is the cheapest solution to the problem at the moment.
  6. Fill cracks in the brick work with tuckpointing mortar material... (This is not as big a deal as it sounds.)
  7. Till the mound in the back yard where the garden used to be and spread the dirt around so as to eliminate the bulk of the mound.
  8. Purchase and plant some new shrubs in the front of the house. 
That about covers what I have planned this summer. Personally, I think it is all rather doable...  But then again, I know I'm awesome, so maybe I'm biased.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ok, so I've posted it...

I have posted the story I was wrestling with. It is on a private blog that you will need to log into in order to read. That requires that you email me at thebartenderspeaks@gmail.com... All I ask is that you somewhat identify yourself, (if you prefer to maintain your anonymity by identifying yourself using your known pseudonym, that's fine, but I need some kind of identifier,) and providing me with an email address so that I can add you to a list of approved readers. I will then add you and email you back with the address for the post and you should be able to read it as a guest.

So there you go.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I have a story... A real doozy of a story, in fact. All true stuff as always. But I am wrestling with whether or not to tell it.

You see, in the grand scheme of things, I have relatively little shame. (I mean I told you all about how I puked so hard I peed on myself the last time I was sick, so you know that there is little I won't come clean about.) The thing is, while I have almost no shame, the same can't necessarily be said for other folks who are lucky enough to share time with me in person. And while my inclination has always been to keep a policy of full disclosure here, I also understand that this is a very public forum, and even if not that many people come here to read, or even remember that this blog exists, if I put it out there, it's out there... And I'm not the kind of person to go airing other people's dirty laundry, even if it does include me in a VERY significant way.

So I think I'm probably going to keep wrestling with this for a while, and do a little homework to see what I can do about posting it in a more controlled (read: "password protected private post" kind of way... I know this can be done, but I've never had to do it here, so I'll have to look into it a little further.) If I can make it work, I'll post it, but if I can't, then you'll just have to chalk this one up to, "every girl has her secrets," and let that be the end of it.

Just know I haven't forgotten about you, my little corn muffins!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Let's get some shit done...

So I've been busy... We know this.

I painted the front door, (it looks awesome). I painted the outside of the french doors to the patio, (they look a little less awesome because I still need to give them another finish coat to smooth out some uneven areas, but they will look awesome.) I've purchased the trim paint to refresh the look of the exterior door frames, the eaves over the front and back doors, and the storm door out front. Also kind of semi-impulse-purchased a new storm door for the back door...(the old one is crappy and awful, and while I was out getting paint and supplies, it was noted that storm doors were on sale, so even though it wasn't necessarily on the docket, I had taken measurements so I could get it when it was time...)

 So I've got another weekend of DIY activity ahead of me. I've already taken the old storm door off the back, (necessary just to get the correct measurements) and done a rough fit of the new door... Tomorrow's activities will be almost entirely back door oriented. (And no, I am not talking about THAT back door... Get your mind out of the gutter!) Basically, I've got to cut the trim rails, do a dry fit of the new storm door with rails, paint the door frame, hang the new storm door, take the actual back door off the hinges remove the old door sweep because it's kind of bent and threatening to damage the new kitchen floor, sand out some problem areas, and paint the back door, let it sufficiently dry, rehang it, and then do some touch ups which will undoubtedly be necessary. (I am just hoping that the weather cooperates.)

In case you were wondering, (and even if you weren't, I will bore you anyway,) it has been like 90 degrees around here lately, which is common for May, but we've also have had a rash of ridiculous storms the last several days. Even on days when we weren't supposed to have rain, as soon as I had/have the time and inclination to get something done, BOOM! Thunder, lightning, hail, frogs, locusts... So I am trying to work it out so that I can do the doors one at a time so that there is at least one layer of something to keep bugs/ heat/ stormy weather/ killer bees/ herpes/ etc. outside while I work on other things.

Incidentally, I am also finally getting rid of an old washing machine that has been sitting in the basement for a long time, and I sold it via a craigslist ad, and the guy is supposed to be coming to get it Saturday afternoon, so if you see a blurb on the CNN homepage talking about a killer who finds victims via month-old craigslist ads for major appliances on the cheap, and I haven't posted in a while, well... you'll know what happened. I am just hoping that his murdering and appliance pick-up don't interfere with my plans. I have shit to do! (I do have plans to have someone else here at pickup time so I'm not home alone with some strange dude and his burly buddy who is supposed to help haul a washing machine out of the basement just show up at my house, so please don't think I'm a total idiot who doesn't plan for the worst case scenario.)

But it's going to be a long and laborious weekend, so I've got to get some sleep so I can get things poppin' early before the weather ruins everything... because between that and being garotted with the cord of the washing machine I was trying to unload, it's all bound to go horribly wrong.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

No rest for the wicked... Still.

(This post will be entirely in third person. Get used to it, or get over it. The choice is yours.)

Ok, so since we last checked in on the Lizzle, she was bitching about something trivial like changes to the blogger dashboard. She has since gotten over it, though she is still not a fan...

She is still not finished with the large project for her real job, though the boss is pretty much convinced that she can walk on water, so he is willing to wait until she is damn good and ready to submit the final product.

In the meantime, she has busied herself with other far more trivial projects for the boss, largely because the smaller projects are far more amusing for her to undertake, and have the added benefit of playing into her unique skill set... These projects include but are not limited to: room design consultation for a home office, furniture shopping for said home office, assembling bookshelves, painting walls, and rolling her eyes rather cavalierly as the boss rambles on about something before offering her own opinion rather than being a "yes-man" to the guy that signs the paychecks... And all at her regular pay rate! Awesome, Possum!

On the home front, she has installed a new door lock on the patio door, removed the old raggedy looking house numbers and installed shiny, pretty, new numbers in a new more prominent location, selected paint and carpet for the basement guest room area, selected paint for the exterior doors, bought new weather stripping and door sweeps to be installed after the doors are painted, pressure washed the driveway, expanded the herb garden, purchased a wine fridge, purchased and hung new accessories in the kitchen and breakfast rooms, cleared stored items out of the basement guest room area in preparation for new carpet and paint, patched basement walls in preparation for the paint, and all the while, she has managed to keep up with basic lawn care, daily meal preparation, and all of the boss' random requests, and submit a loving tribute to her college employer who is receiving a very special honor this weekend.

Basically, Lizzle has been a busy bee. You'll have to forgive her for not posting more. Clearly, there is a lot on her plate.