story of my life

7 Quick Takes Friday 9.6.13

— 1 —

Guys, I am so excited.  Yesterday I hit 137 views!!  That’s a pretty big deal, considering two weeks ago I was only able to get about 30 on a good day with a new post.  And on top of that, my recipe for The World’s Best Steak & Roasted Veggies was featured over at another blog.  I know people are featured from link parties all the time, but it was my first and it really made my day.  I’m hoping I can continue linking up and get a few more features here in the future!

— 2 —

Also on the blog front, thanks to Nik & Rachel you are now viewing this on my very own webspace.  Wooohooo!!  Nik & Rachel are very dear friends who used to play WoW with me and Canadian Bacon; they were also founders of the guild, and we’ve maintained a friendship since we all quit.  They also host my comic.  They say they’ll kick me out if I get too much traffic though, so that’s my new goal :D

Having a self-hosted WordPress blog is way cooler than having one at WordPress.com.  There’s a LOT more features and functionality that you have access to.  The most obvious is being able to create your own theme and/or customize others for a more personalized look.  While I’m a pretty decent hand at basic html, I know nothing about css… so I’m basically just modifying a premade theme.  A lot of bloggers start out this way and then hire professional designers later on down the line.  I really like this theme and its functionality.

Also, plugins.  There are a ton.  I don’t even know what to do with all of them.  I’ve got a few downloaded and enabled – like Akismet and Jetpack – but I know I’ve yet to do anything more than brush the surface of what’s available.  I’ll be learning as I go, I guess.

— 3 —

Since the windows are almost done – I say almost, because I still have 3 panes to scrape that I am studiously ignoring, as well as hardware to attach – I decided to go ahead and start touching up paint today.  Let me tell you, I thought painting before finishing everything (like laying the floor) and moving in was the way to go.  Today I was forced to reconsider that opinion based on the sheer amount of touchups I was required to do.  Dayum.  Moving in scuffs and chips a lot of shit, fyi.

I decided to focus on the biggest project first – our living area.  I had a lot of holes I’d spackled and sanded, like around the windows from where I was figuring the best way to hang my curtains.  I also had quite a bit of damage from where I’d used command strips to hang some art that I’d later decided to move.  Guys, don’t buy those pieces of shit.  They’re expensive and they tear up your drywall.  I havent’ been able to remove a single one without it peeling off my paint and the first layer of drywall!!

Speaking of tearing up walls, let’s also talk about FrogTape.  Most diy bloggers rave about the product (maybe because many of them are sponsored by the company…), but I have had nothing but bad luck with it.  The stairs have been a piece of work because every piece of tape leaked.  I had no crisp lines, just a hot mess.  Today, I used some of my leftover FrogTape to tape off the window frames.  The tape alternately leaked and pulled off paint.  UGGH.  I am following the directions properly.  I create a good seal with the tape.  I remove it when wet.  I’m not using it on fresh paint.  It’s driving me bonkers.  I’m just not going to rely on it anymore.  Instead, I’m going to work on doing detail work by hand – I’m decent at that, anyway.

Once I had the paint out, I couldn’t help but attack the stairs with it.  You would too if you’d seen them.  Here’s a partial picture of their horrific paint job:

09-5-13-stairs1
At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to paint the moulding. Then I took a step back and was like “dude, that looks like shit.”

The bright white semigloss had to go.  It did not go with anything here – only the trim is white – and despite having two coats of primer under it, stains from the wood kept popping up.  The stairs looked filthy even when they were clean enough to eat off.  You can see in that picture that I originally toyed with leaving the moulding that’s finishing off the drywall white, but I quickly decided to paint it gray, too.  Here’s a sort-of after (still needs another coat):

09-5-13-stairs2
Ignore the Clorox wipes making a cameo. I use them to get up wet paint if I drip. And let’s be real here, I’m super messy so they get a lot of use.

It blends in A LOT better now.  I still need to paint the stairwell – it’s yellowed and nasty looking – but at least the stairs are looking better.  You can really tell a difference with the risers, but I’ll need to take a picture with a good camera in the daylight tomorrow to show you.  I still need to pull out the black and touch up the treads, particularly where they meet the stringers here.  And there’s a huge sanded spot on the other side of the rail that needs to be touched up too.  Tomorrow.

— 4 —

There is so much fur in this little apartment.  I swept the “living room” (the small area between the double windows and my built-ins, maybe 12×12) last night and had two full dustpans of fur.  If I were a spinner I’d turn it into yarn and then it could be knitted into sweaters… there’s that much.  And it’s not like we live in squalor, either.  CB and I clean pretty frequently.  It just collects all along the baseboards and in the corners.  I am so, so glad we have these beautiful laminate floors instead of carpet!  I can’t even imagine how nasty that would have gotten already.

— 5 —

Life, as always, is a circus around here.  I’ll let you in on a lil secret – it’s Saturday morning and I’m just now writing this entry.  Already today I’ve gone on an epic adventure wherin Sugarbandit let Boo Kitty outside and I joined Meemaw in a quest to rescue her from the great outdoors before she could get ran over.  The epicness was compounded by SB waiting in the car for Meemaw to go to breakfast (which she was refusing to do until Boo was found), as the clock was ticking since he’d already taken a bigger-than-needed dose of insulin on an empty stomach.

So.  That’s been my morning.

Generally, I write the first 4 or 5 Quick Takes on Thursday evening, save as a draft, and pick it back up to finish on Friday so I can see if anything else fun happens.  Yesterday I didn’t actually ever get to pick it back up.  Because fun stuff happened!

Periodically my mom and I have Momma-Daughter days.  We generally schedule these when she has a doctor’s appt in Nashville and I have a day off.  We had one yesterday when she had to go to her new orthopedist (I think that’s what he is… correct me if I’m wrong, Ma!).  We originally thought the appt was later in the day than it was, so I definitely didn’t get much sleep Thursday night.  I blame that for the reason I passed out at 9pm last night.

After the doctor’s appt, we headed up to Nashville for breakfast at Ihop.  We checked out a used book store and then went to the new JoAnn Fabrics store.  Guys.  I love fabric.  I got into costuming with the SCA, and while I kinda hate it, I like that I can create what I see in my head with better materials and for a fraction of the cost that I would spend on completed outfits.  So the store was really cool.  Mom was even more thrilled than I was… I think she spent about an hour browsing the quilting books alone.  We found awesome peacock material that matches the prints in my bathroom.  I might have to go back and buy some to make a shower curtain that I can change out with the one I’ve got up now, in case my cats wind up putting too many holes in it (they like to attack me through it when I’m in the shower).

They also had a pretty cool Halloween section at JoAnn’s, including this apron that I really liked.  I already have a really pretty chicken apron from The Crack House (aka Cracker Barrel), but this one might give it a run for its money.  I mean, c’mon, it has a quote from Shakespeare on it.  It’s the witches from MacBeth… so like, when I’m cooking, it’s like I’m a witch brewing poison to kill my whole family.  Or something.  Anyway, I think I need it.

Isn't this just completely badass?  As badass as an apron can be, anyway.
Isn’t this just completely badass? As badass as an apron can be, anyway.  Also, the owl has green eyes like me!

— 6 —

Yesterday my friend Sebastian linked a YouTube video on Facebook that I found hilarious.  I’m sure everyone’s sick of the whole Miley Cyrus VMA thing by now, but this video is worth sharing imo.  The Law Revue girls point out the rape culture Thicke’s song encourages by defining his “Blurred Lines” song in their parody “Defined Lines.”

With such wonderful lines as “What you see on tv / Doesn’t speak equality / It’s straight up misogyny” and “I apologise if you think my lines are crass / Tell me how it feels to get verbally harassed” it gets straight to the point.

PS:  The video is definitely NSFW.  It bothered me to watch guys dancing around in their underwear while women treat them like meat.  But that’s totally because that’s not a cultural norm the way the opposite is – and that’s the root of the problem.  The way the video made me feel unsettled is how most media portrayal of women should make me feel.  And because it’s the norm I don’t even blink anymore.  That’s horrible and I love that this video points that out.  #notfuckingplastic

— 7 —

This week I started reading the “Unwind” series by Neal Shusterman.  The premise of the series is that after a long war fought between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice parties, the government signed the Bill of Life, which made abortion illegal but gave parents the option to “Unwind” their teenagers.  Unwinding is basically harvesting 99% of the teenager’s body for its limbs and organs.  Because all the pieces live on in other individuals, unwinding is considered to be a “portioning” of the “donor” and not murder – the parts still live.

It’s a really creepy premise.  The only thing I didn’t like was the first person present view of the story.  It’s really jarring at the beginning of each chapter, but fortunately I found myself getting used to it quickly.  The creepiest part was when I was literally in the head of a teen who was undergoing the unwinding process.

CB tells me that I should do more book reviews on here.  He’s all, “Do one for each book you read!” and I’m like, “Dude, I read like a book a day sometimes” and he’s all “I KNOW.  SO MANY POSTS.”  I don’t think I could keep up with that, lol, but I’ll try to do more.  My “Books I Read” boards on Pinterest are actually my most popular and get many repins, especially the ones that I’ve put short reviews on.  So maybe he’s onto something there.


Disclaimer: The “7 Quick Takes Friday” link party is hosted by ConversionDiary.com.  I do not agree with their religious beliefs, being a Pastafarian and all, but I support their right to worship whatever they want.  His Noodliness the FSM is just the most delicious deity available.  Arrrrrr!

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