Sunday, October 30, 2011


OK, it could be worse (as I continually point out to Ted). I could be addicted to crack or gambling or prescription medication reality TV. Instead, I have a slight problem with throw pillows (and magazines, but that seems to bother Ted a lot less). I believe that throw pillows are essential to a room, the way accessories are to an outfit. This may cause those of you who know me in real life to laugh, as my "accessories" usually involve the same pair of stud earrings I wear every day and whatever watch I can most easily find as I try (and fail) to get the kids to school on time with a healthy snack (Pop-Tarts apparently do NOT qualify) and matching shoes before I head to the office. That said, I would LIKE to be the kind of person who wears accessories, and I do believe that throw pillows are an important part of a room.

So needless to say, the day I discovered Etsy was a big day for me and one that changed my life... and my living room and my office. I soon came to realize that the site sells much more than pillows, but pillows were my first Etsy love. I am planning to show you why but until then let me give you a teaser. Here is my favorite pillow purchase (I think. It's really hard to choose):

Since I discovered Etsy, I have bought (feel free to stop reading here, Ted) no less than 25 new pillows. I am going to post a complete pictorial of how said pillows have changed the rooms in which they are employed. I will also be shamelessly promoting the stores where I shop for my pillows because they are amazing and my three readers (Hi Mom!) should know all about them.

Quick weekend recap: Friday night rocked, at least what I remember of it. Saturday sucked as we got buried under a foot of snow, a tree fell on my car, and we missed our best friend's 40th birthday gala. Sunday AM was spent throwing what was quite possibly the worst party ever for my son Andrew. Luckily, he is only 5 and didn't seem to notice that it was a complete failure, but I am sure that my standing among the preschool parents has sunk even lower, if that's possible. But on the bright side, the Giants pulled it out in the end, the Pats lost, and my Eagles are currently crushing the Cowboys. Plus, I might actually win my Fantasy Football game this week. So all's well that ends well, and here's to starting another awesome week tomorrow.


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Sunday, October 23, 2011


I realize now that these posts are in reverse order, as this is about my wretched Saturday, but whatever. My Saturday SUCKED. But let me start at the beginning. My Friday also sucked. Like, seriously, you guys, it was terrible. And long! A long, terrible, atrocity of a day. But Friday night was amazing. T-Dawg and I went to a wine expo with Ted and some other awesome friends and I tried to drink away any memory of the hideous day:

T-Dawg helped:

So Friday night rocked, and then T-Dawg slept over and we stayed up all night and laughed and laughed and laughed. But then Saturday morning came. T-Dawg left for home. Then Ted and the kids left to visit Ted's brother Jon and Jon's wife Nikki's new baby (I wasn't going because I have a bad cough, and Nikki is amazing and super nice but she might kick my ass if I showed up at her house and hacked phlegm all over week-old baby Justin.)

So there I was. Alone. And so, so bored. Facebook, Twitter, Scrabble, Words with Friends and one's favorite blogs can only occupy so much of your time - especially when your other friends have lives and allow more than 10 minutes to elapse between moves, or don't post blog entries over the weekends (you know who you are). Oh, sure, there were closets to clean, drawers to organize, kitchen counters to scrub, but let's be realistic.

In addition to being bored, I was also FUCKING FREEZING. My fingers were numb and and my lips were blue. So I was really sad that Ted was gone for the next 6 hours because our furnace had not yet been turned on for the winter, and I don't know how to do it. Or how to take the air conditioners out of the window. Yes, I am a real catch. So I was resigned to fighting off hypothermia, loneliness, and intense boredom for the rest of the day. But wait, it gets better.

At I was sitting on the floor in front of my laptop, hitting refresh on the Scrabble screen like a rat hitting a lever in a psychology experiment, one of the cats emerges with a sock in its mouth. More evidence of my crappy housekeeping, but whatever. But then I realized that it was not a sock, unless it was a sock with its own feet. It was a fucking mouse. I elevated myself straight into the air and onto the highest point of the arm of the couch farthest away from the dead vermin that was chilling on my living room floor. I threw a pen at the cat to stop it from eating said vermin. I couldn't leave the room because my cat would have rushed back to snack on the remains, and I couldn't get down from the couch because as soon as my feet touched the floor it was obviously going to come to life and head straight for me. Am I even sure it was totally dead? No, but there was no way that I was getting close enough to that motherfucker for any kind of certainty. You tell me if it looks dead:

Look at the expression on my face in the first photo. Now look at the dead mouse. How had I sunk so low, so far, in fewer than 24 hours? I called Ted, but he was just leaving Philadelphia - at least two hours away. And even though we have lived here for two years I know almost NO ONE in town, let alone someone I could call and ask to play exterminator. So I called my friend Alex, who lives on the Upper West Side, and asked him how quickly he could get to my house to deal with this problem, Funnily enough, he seemed to think that a date with his girlfriend took precedence over driving half an hour to pick up a dead mouse. He did suggest that I get a dustpan and take care of it myself, but fuck that. I am a badass, but everyone has their Achilles heel, and mine is dead rodents. So I called another friend, Dave (AKA Sparky, in the tradition of giving people horrible nicknames and hoping they stick. Don't you want to be my friend?), who seemed to think that grocery shopping took precedence over driving 20 minutes to pick up a dead mouse. I convinced him he was wrong, and he showed up 20 minutes later.

Once he got there and made several unkind comments about the situation in general and my ability to deal with life in specific, he wrangled the mouse into a plastic bag and asked where the outside garbage cans were. I don't really know, but directed him downstairs. Once he returned, he remarked that the door to the back yard had been wide open. To which I replied "So THAT'S why I've been freezing my ass off all day, wearing a parka in the living room and chugging hot beverages." Dave left. And he did not seem to be in a particularly good humor, or very impressed with my intelligence either, I might add.

So. You guys. What the fuck was I supposed to do? Put on some big girl pants and and get the dustpan? Whatevs. The only thing that I have learned from this experience is that I need to make more friends in this town and/or memorize all of my neighbor's phone numbers. And check more often to make sure all the doors to the outside are shut. Living in the country is no joke, yo.


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My goal for the rest of 2011 is to change one of the rooms in our walk-out basement from a playroom to a mudroom. And to achieve mental stability. But let's concentrate on the basement first - it's a much more realistic proposition. First of all, I use the word "playroom" loosely. It's really a room at the bottom of a staircase, with a door to the backyard and another door to the garage, where all the shit that the kids don't really play with is stored. There's a kitchenette with a mini fridge and cabinets, and Mercy's bedroom is next door. There's a full bathroom/laundry room off of it, too. But a playroom? Not really. The kids prefer to play in the living room, which of course is the one room in the house I'd like to be clean and neat and nice, and not full of fucking Star Wars figures and Silly Putty and Transformers. So that worked out really well for me.

The Kids Who Don't Play in the Playroom
When we moved in, we had the "playroom" carpeted. I'm not sure why, but wall-to-wall carpeting made a lot of sense at the time. After the room flooded and the carpet began to rot, it made a lot less sense. So we ripped it up. I think you guys will remember what we were left with (scroll to second two photos, they're a real treat). How fucking gross is that? I'll tell you, it's pretty fucking gross. And the kids never play down there anyway, and I'm sick of my soon-to-be-gracious entryway getting cluttered up with shoes and coats and bags and other crap. So I have made a unilateral family decision that we will all start using the back door instead of the front door. That means Ted and I will park in the back driveway (which is probably what you are supposed to do anyway, and we've been tacky-ing up the neighborhood by parking in the front for two years. We are not the classiest family on the street, in case you were wondering).

This means that the "playroom" has to change into a back-entry mudroom. Which is going to be quite the transformation, as currently the room looks like this:

Door From Garage, Ugly Shelves of Crap, Corner of Unused Train Table
Door to Backyard, Bins of Crap, Ugly Poster Ted Had Before We Started Dating
While here is what I'd like instead of the ugly shelves:

And for right next to the garage door:

And we've already discussed the new floor, which looks like this:

I am clinging to the hope that putting down the floor is going to make a huge difference - it's supposed to happen this week, but Gerard just had rotator cuff surgery so who knows. My next move is to get the train table out of there (Craig's List, right?) and purchase these two items from Target:
and install them where the train table currently sits, gathering dust. If you're thinking that I'm being a little aggressive in the coat-hanging department, you don't know the half of it. There's a coat closet down here, and another one immediately inside the front door upstairs. But for some reason, they are both always completely stuffed and whenever people come over and actually want to remove their coat and stay a while, there's no where to put it. So we've been reduced taking the coats and laying them over the dining room chairs. Which is slightly awkward when it comes time to eat in the dining room and there are coats lying everywhere. The other option is to only invite people over in the summer. So I am desperate for places to hang coats. I might take the thing with the hooks in the photo above and hang it low, so the kids can use the hooks and we can use the shelf on top.

So you guys, what do you think? I'll post photos as soon as the floor is in, and then more as soon as I'm allowed Ted and I make a mature and mutual decision to spend some money on the new furniture. Gerard's supposed to do the built-in thing, but that's probably going to be a bigger investment and therefore something we hold off on for a while.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that we need new doors to the outside. A solid one and a screen door. They are cheap at Home Depot, but I am not ready to even contemplate a trip back to that place just yet. 

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Monday, October 17, 2011


Yes, you guys, I am still struggling with my entryway. I will explain the specific problem: the wall opposite the staircase, to the right as you enter the house. Right now, there is a VERY large chinese drawing there that Ted's mother brought back from a trip to China, and while I am not always a huge fan of Asian art, I like this:

Very Crappy Photo, Please Tell Ted I Need a DSLR Camera
You can't really see, but it's mostly a pen and ink drawing, in black and greys, with lovely cherry blossom trees in the foreground. This piece of art is not the problem. The problem is the console table that goes under it. Here's what is there currently:

Current Console Table

It's from Ballard Designs and is at least 6 years old. The table has served us well over the years, fitting into tight spots and providing a drawer in which to collect old keys and screws that you're not sure what they go to, and loose change, and receipts from four months ago for things you are never going to return... OK, maybe the drawer isn't so hot. And ignore the 18-year-old cat hiding under the table. But still, the table itself isn't really the problem either. The problem is one of scale. I tried to take a photo where you could see the table and the picture, but it was harder that you might think (or I'm just a moron). Here it is:

Small Table and Large Chinese Art
You can see the problem. It looks ridiculous. Even more so in real life. To add to the difficulty of finding something new, I need a table that is not only longer, but also slightly less deep (I'm aiming for 10 inches) as the entryway hallway is not particularly wide. And since I'm married to Ted who is annoying about me spending money we don't have, it can't cost a fortune. So here's where I am right now:
$309 from

I know it's kind of bare-bones, but maybe that will make it sort of "disappear" against that wall. And it's only 10" deep which is narrow enough not to get in the way but wide enough to hold the silver tray that was a wedding present, and the green foo dogs that I love love love (eBay!!).

So what do you think? Will this work? Can you steer me to something better? Do you have a similar problem? Am I a moron? Wait, never mind that last one. Tune in soon for an update on the new bar and our first time putting it to use. Hilarity ensued.

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I know that the stereotype of the hot contractor is a cliche, but Gerard is the perfect stereotype. He has blue blue eyes and a charming Irish brogue and has never taken on a project he couldn't finish in time and under budget. No, you may not have his phone number. Here he is:

Handsome and Capable Contractor
Ted and I first met Gerard when we were still living in the first apartment we bought together. It was a 4th floor walk-up in a townhouse that was about 200 years old, and the floor of the upstairs bathroom (it was a duplex) had an unfortunate habit of falling through the kitchen ceiling. Also, the banister was shaky, and the roof leaked into our bedroom. We saw a lot of Gerard. Then we got pregnant and moved to another duplex on the first two floors of the same building. I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that Gerard had about 6 weeks of work to do before we could even move in. And it didn't stop there. So he's known us since before any of my children were born, fielded late night, hysterical phone calls from me when Ted was out of town and the plumber walled up my cat into the bathroom wall, for example, or when the supplier delivered a sliding door to the backyard that was backwards and refused to exchange it. For all of this I was pregnant, so Gerard has seen me cry. A lot. And yet he hasn't changed his number and still answers when we call. If I wasn't a married woman (and a little afraid of Mary, Gerard's wife. Irish women do not fuck around)...

Anyway, I introduce Gerard because he is going to perform the transformation of my basement from playroom to mudroom. I will have "before" photos of the space tomorrow, along with examples of my inspiration for the finished product. Then you will feel very bad for Gerard. But don't worry. He's faced worse, like the time I called him in Ireland where he was visiting his ailing mother to ask him why water was pouring into my kitchen, only to have him explain to me (at international rates) that there are things called gutters that have to be cleaned when one buys a house and moves to the country. Lucky Gerard!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011


Ten years ago today, Ted and I first kissed. Well, sort of. If you discount an erratic string of one-night stands that occurred during and after college (and one should), this was the first time we kissed. And this was the big one. We both knew that if we got together for real, it might be FOR REAL. And sure enough, ten years later here we are. But it's been a busy decade, you guys.

We started dating:

At a Party with Random Dude in the Background, 2001

Went on vacations:

Utah, 2002
 Moved in together. Got engaged:

Engagement Brunch, 2003
Our "Save the Date" Photo
And then got married:

Wedding, 2004
In between all this, we bought an apartment, sold it, bought another apartment, and I got knocked up. First we had one boy:

Andrew, 2006
And then another:

William, 2008
We sold the second apartment and decamped for the suburbs:

New House, 2009
In the last two years of living in the country (despite Ted claiming that we don't live in the actual "country," it feels pretty fucking country to me, with all the bugs, gutters that need to be cleaned, shopping at Costco and whatnot) I have made a lot of adjustments, you guys. One of the best parts has been having a house to make into a home. I have only made a small start, as is evident from my earlier posts, but have recently reconciled myself to the the fact that it's going to take a while for my house to look like the pictures I see in magazines and blogs. But I'll get there. I know a house is never perfect, but I'm going to get as close as I can. I mean, a home is always a work in progress, but one day I will have all the crap and clutter out and everything in it will be something useful, beautiful, very much loved, or all three. 

As for the relationship, that, too is a work in progress. And I do mean work. It's a fucking second job to keep two people together, monogamous, and not in prison for murdering each other. This past week in particular has been extra tough, hence the lack of posts about fun purchases and improvement projects. I'll be back this week, kicking my clients into shape (are you listening, Sissy? T-Dawg?) and creating beautiful videos. But this past week has been about work of a different kind. And like the house, our marriage will never be perfect. But if you do the work, you can get pretty close. I like being married, but I love being married to Ted. Here's to another decade together, Smoochie Bear.


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Monday, October 10, 2011


You guys, I am seriously hating Home Depot right now. I know in my head that this is temporary, and that there will come a time when I will walk through those doors, find exactly what I need, and love Home Depot once again, but right now my heart is full of hate for the HD. See, Ted and I had planned this super-productive trip to said superstore this past Sunday (yeah, that's how we roll. Big plans on a Sunday afternoon). We were going to buy a million things that would allow us to then cross a million things off our "TO DO" list. Ted is very big on "TO DO" lists. I like them myself, don't get me wrong, but I usually end up losing the list itself which makes the whole thing sort of pointless. Ted never loses his lists.

One of the many things that we wanted to buy from Home Depot was a grill. Here is our current grill, which was left here by the previous owners of the house:

Anyway, Ted wants a new grill, and my mom was here, and Ted was all, "We need a new grill, we've had this one for two years and it's kind of old and doesn't work that well." And my mom thought we had bought the grill when we moved into the house, and it was only two years old, and was thinking to herself for days, "WTF? These assholes are so fancy they can't cook on a two-year-old grill? What's wrong with the daughter I raised and this jerk she married?" and every time Ted would mention getting a new grill, she'd be like, "Really?" and we'd be like,"Yes, really, and why the fuck do you care, anyway?" and it took a while for us to realize that she thought we were assholes, and for her to realize that the grill is actually about 10 years old and really doesn't work very well, and then the whole thing was kind of funny.

So Ted and I left the brats with my mom and headed off to Home Depot. Ted's all excited because he found some deal where we can buy a ton of shit and not pay for it for a year. This is the kind of financial magic Ted loves, and with which he apparently keeps us out of the poorhouse and off food stamps.

The first sign it was going to be a bad trip was that none of the grills had prices on them, and it took a woman literally 45 MINUTES of looking up things in a large book and on a computer while we stood there only to tell us that she didn't know how much any of the grills cost and wasn't going to be able to find out before tomorrow. I mean, seriously, what the fuck? What the fucking fuck?!

So we headed over to the flooring department, where we tried to purchase some engineered-wood flooring for the playroom in the basement that I am trying to turn into a mudroom. Here's why we need new flooring:

Current Floor
And that's the fancy part. Here's the area right in front of the door to the backyard where there's a piece of plywood covering up a hole that leads to sewer pipes and things:

Nice, right? Well, we're going to be looking at it a little while longer, because at first there was no one to help us, and then when some guy did show up, he was actually WORSE than no one. I asked where the engineered-wood flooring was and he started to interrogate me about my plans for said flooring. When I got through that, I asked how one could tell whether the flooring one was looking on the shelves at was in stock or had to be ordered. He said there was no way, other than to go through every single box that was stacked on the floor under the shelves and see which boxes had which flooring in them. And also, he said if it wasn't in stock, it would take three weeks to get here. We got into a sort of a fight at this point. Not a fist fight or anything, just a bit of a testy exchange. After he stormed off in a huff, Ted pointed out that in the corner of every piece of flooring on the shelves was a sticker that said either "In Stock" or "Quick Order - 7 Days!" So basically the Home Depot guy is either a moron or a liar or both (my vote), while I am only a moron for not noticing the stickers myself. Winning!

We also needed to get a medicine cabinet for Mercy's bathroom. Mercy is our nanny, an amazing human being who is much better at parenting my children than I am, a wonderful cook, and basically my wife, and the reason that Ted and I are still married. She lives with us 4 nights a week and goes home to her equally wonderful husband Tito Louis for the other 3 nights. We recently partially redid her bathroom and currently hanging above her sink is this:

which we found in the garage when we moved in. Mercy deserves better for a mirror, and also deserves some grout around that last row of tiles, come to think of it. Jesus, Gerard! Get on it! So I was going to get a medicine cabinet/mirror and ask Gerard to hang it up when he comes back to do the grout and screw in that other lightbulb. I believe we've already covered how lightbulbs are not Ted's forte. But back to Home Depot. The only medicine cabinet we could find in an actual box available for sale was $229.99 and while I love Mercy, that shit was not going to happen. Conveniently, Home Depot was out of the medicine cabinets that cost $29.99, $37.99 and $79.99, at least as far as we could tell. This, you guys, is when I lost what little enthusiasm I had left for our entire venture.

Another item we planned to grab was a new set of fire tools. Our current set of tools, while attractive enough:

was a wedding present which means that it's seven years old, or will be in November. Also, it's missing the tongs, which, let's face it, are really the most (not to say only) important tool in a fire tool set. And the brushed nickel finish doesn't go AT ALL with my living room which who cares, but I care. I want a nice set of iron fire tools that includes tongs.* Which Home Depot had, but they only had one. The display one. I tried to take the display up to the register and see if I could buy it (THAT had a motherfucking price on it, at least) but it was chained to the shelf. Apparently 3-foot-tall, really heavy, bulky, metal items are a favorite among the five-finger-discount crowd. This was strike four, and I was about to cry or go apeshit on someone, and Ted has been with me long enough that he can tell when a storm's a brewin' and we got the fuck out of there, never mind all the other things on our list.

The upside to this disaster is that I got to buy all these things online (yay!) which I did (except for the grill because we don't really need it till the spring and were only getting it now because of the awesome don't-pay-until-next-year deal), and not one of them from Home Depot. Here's the new medicine cabinet for Mercy:

$21.99 from

Here are my new fire tools;

$75 from

And here is the beautiful new floor for the playroom-that-will-soon-be-a-mudroom (so help me God, I will make that transformation happen):

$2.68 sq ft

And the best part is that while I was poking around on the Interwebs at about 2 AM, I found the lamp that I want for the entryway, except instead of $520 it was $162.50! For the same fucking lamp!

$162.50 from
Can you believe it? I can barely believe it myself. So in retrospect, it was a really productive Sunday.


*This doesn't really have anything to do with anything, but Ted and I follow the traditional wedding anniversary gift themes, which can be kind of tough when the tradition gift theme, is, for example, leather (third) or wood (fifth). Last year, it was iron, which was also tricky, but I got Ted a lovely wrought iron glider for the porch because no one loves a porch swing more than Ted. And I know what you're thinking. Why didn't I get a lovely set of fire tools made of iron? I mean, what are the odds that your wife actually WANTS something made of iron? Very slim. It was a slam dunk for Ted. But instead I got... wait for it... NOTHING. That's right. Nothing. I put on a brave face (very unlike me; I must have taken extra medication that day), and said that since the swing was built for two, it could be a gift for both of us. You know, like I gave him half a swing and he gave me half a swing. But I was pissed. And I love to hold a grudge like Ted loves to swing on a porch, so it's going to be a while before I let this go. What's the seventh anniversary theme, you may be wondering? Oh, copper. That's right. I can't WAIT to see what I get come November.
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Saturday, October 8, 2011


Actually, what with our current effort to potty train William, around our house it might really be shit. But there's an equally good chance that it's our compost pile. That's right - once we moved to the country, we became the sort of people we used to make fun of. You know, the sort who go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday, and talk about how often Roberto from the landscaping company should be coming to mow the lawn, and have a compost pile because it's ecologically responsible. Well, we WERE those people. No longer. After two years here, we don't go to the Farmer's Market much anymore because a tomato costs $4, and besides, I was getting hives from all the hippies. And Ted mows the lawn himself because we don't have a landscaper - a true rarity, even in our suburb that fancies itself quite "down to earth" and "not at all like Scarsdale or Greenwich." But we do still compost. In fact, we apparently compost so much that we were in need of a new compost bin. And Ted wanted to build it himself.

This is Ted:

Very Old Photo of Ted in Our Former Apartment
Now Ted, in addition to being handsome, smart, the love of my life, the light of my eyes, my very own Smoochie Bear whom I love more than any other person on earth, does have a few minor flaws. One of which is that he's not super handy. But he's the worst kind of not-super-handy, because he THINKS he's super handy. You see how this could lead to some unfortunate situations. Let's just say that our contractor, Gerard, is practically a member of the family at this point, and has spent more time in our home than many of our actual relatives. Ted is often taking on projects that are, shall we say, beyond his reach. And then I am left to listen to the complaining that his back/knee/neck/arms/shoulders are in so much pain that he can't move, and that he needs to own bigger and more expensive tools, like a chainsaw or a snowblower.  And Gerard is left to deal with the failed attempt to assemble the swing set, or screw in a light bulb (I am not kidding. This happened.)

So when Ted approached me with the plan to build us a new compost bin (we had some old, ugly, tacky, plastic one that the previous owners left here that was much too small) I was less than enthusiastic. But we made a deal - if he built the compost thing himself, I could purchase a new console table for the entryway AND a storage bench for the playroom I am trying to turn into a mudroom (more on that later). We shook on it,* and he went to work. This is what he had to start with:

Compost Pile and Ugly, Inadequate, Plastic Bin
Here is my car after he went to Home Depot for the materials:

Here is the area that he scoped out for the new compost bin, and then cleaned up so that he could start work:

Don't ask me what all those plastic containers are, maybe garbage cans? Can you tell I am a huge help around the house? Also, these photos may be leaving you with the impression that I was out there documenting this project and cheering Ted on. That's not true. I was inside on the computer drinking Diet Coke and my mother was outside being supportive and snapping photos while also watching the children. Yes, I am quite a catch in the wife department, I know.

Here's where Ted got real:

And then got real-er, and started laying down the "floor" of the bin. Luckily, he had some help. Or rather, "help."

Things progressed. Inside, things progressed too, as I switched from Diet Coke to wine. I did not have any help, though, and so was forced to drink the entire bottle myself. Ted, on the other hand, got even more help:

If you think this is boring to read about, imagine having to listen to the blow-by-blow account from Ted, who is a very thorough story-teller. Eventually, the bin got walls:

And a roof:

And finally, doors:

Now, all joking aside, I was very impressed with the fact that Ted was able to manage this feat of construction. I even felt a little bit bad for all the nasty comments I made about how he was never going to be able to do it. However. Just because something is built to house what is essentially a manure pile, as far as I can tell, does that mean that it has to be the color of manure? I mean, now I have a giant shitbox in my backyard. This does not make me happy. Granted, I was drunk enough that it took me two days to realize that I had a giant shitbox in my backyard, but once I did, I wasn't happy. You can tell from the chain-link prison fence behind the shitbox that I am VERY concerned with appearances, especially the appearance of my back yard. I gently suggested to Ted that perhaps we (he) could paint it dark green. To which he graciously agreed, and promised to buy new paint and take care of it right away. He really is too good for me. At least I know it.


*Clearly I should have gotten it in writing because Ted reneged on our agreement as soon as he opened the latest credit card bill, and said no fucking way were we buying anything, ever again, not even food and gas. Good times.
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Thursday, October 6, 2011


I have offered my services to a select group of friends and relatives people, and there are a few who have availed themselves of the opportunity to become paying customers. Said services, however, are not limited to interior design. I also tell you how to change the way you live your life in order to get the most out of this fucking circus called human existence. Basically, I will sort your shit out, you guys. I know it's hard to imagine that there aren't crowds lined up at my door, begging to shell out money for me to boss them within an inch of their lives, but I currently have a mere five clients. Some need more help than others. Client #1, also known as Terry or T-Dawg, for example, has a variety of issues. Her house is a borderline disaster, and her marriage and career aren't faring much better. So she's signed up for the full package, plus a video of her kids that she can watch when she gets depressed about the current shitshow that is her life. Client #3, Laura, really only needs some major wardrobe editing and shopping accompaniment and advice. Client #4, Cynthia, has handed over all her video tapes and photos of her adorable sons and will be getting a video set to music that she plans on giving her husband for Christmas, and Client #5 doesn't even know they are a client because their video is a surprise. So I am busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest these days, but that's OK because I ROCK at kicking ass. Whatever, at least I now have a bar in my own home where I can self-medicate and procrastinate drink responsibly and get my creative mojo on.

Today, we'll be discussing Client #2, my sister who shall remain anonymous:

Me and my sister aka "Sissy"
Whoops! Sissy has any number of problems, but we have prioritized and put her apartment first, starting with her bedroom that currently lacks almost any furniture at all. Seriously. Sissy has a bed that needs to be painted, two bedside tables, and a chair that's currently upholstered in truly hideous fabric, and that's it. She's dreaming of a palette of white and grey with green accents, and I put together a couple of boards for her using these guidelines. Board one:

She said she liked it, but I wasn't feeling enough enthusiasm in her reaction for my personal liking. So I kept at it, and eventually sent along boards two and three:

With Boards #2 and #3, I elicited a gasp of delight and an "I love it!," so we're going to proceed along these lines, with darker, more intense, jewel-tone greens and bedding with simple lines. I have my eye on this set from PBTeen:

But with plain white sheets. Our first jobs involve painting - we're going to do the walls in grey. I'm thinking Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter:

or perhaps something slightly darker, while leaving the window sills and sashes white and keeping the hardwood floors bare. We're also going to paint the bed white to go with the bedside tables. We'll have to get some more actual furniture in there too - like a dresser for clothes, a trunk/storage bench for the end of the bed, maybe a couple of bookshelves. Budget = limited, so we'll have to be creative and hunt for bargains; I'm counting heavily on sale items from Home Goods and Pier One, as well as my old stand-bys Etsy and Craigs List. But it's not all basics, we also want to make Sissy's bedroom beautiful. Here are a few decorative items I have in mind:

Agate Bookends

Slipcover for Ugly Thrift Store Chair
Art for Wall
I am trying to convince her to add some sparing notes of purple to balance out the color scheme, something like this pillow:

Purple Pillow for Chair

but I'm not sure she's going to go for it. In the end, she's just going to have to trust me, though, or I will post the "before" pictures of her ugly bedroom and she will never again be able to leave for the shame. Although once I'm done with it, her apartment will be so nice she'll never WANT to leave. Win-win, you guys! She also obviously needs this hung in a very prominent place - I'm thinking opposite her bed so it's the first thing she sees every morning:

Right? Share your thoughts! Especially the ones about how you love my ideas! Just kidding (not really).

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