My Evil Lair of Evilness

I find joy in tacky furnishings. But I am a grown-ass adult (or so I am told), so I cannot furnish my entire house with orange and brown velour couches and red velvet hanging lamps (on gold chains!). Also, more importantly, my husband won’t let me.

So, in our new house there is a basement. It is supposedly “finished” – in that it has carpet, wood paneled walls, and a “bar.” Said “bar” is comprised of a sink and small countertop, with cabinetry of three different finishes and styles. Fancy! I have taken ownership of this basement. It is mine, and I can make it as tacky as I want, damn it. And I am calling it My Evil Lair of Evilness.

There have been a couple of roadblocks – 1) all my previously owned tacky stuff (red velvet hanging lamps! dogs playing poker! neon beer trophies!) are in storage in Texas. I am not in Texas. This is a problem. 2) The stairwell down to the basement is exactly 27.5 inches wide. In case that means nothing to you, it is approximately half the width of a normal stairwell. Needless to say, finding furniture that will fit down the stairwell (which also has a landing, forcing a sharp turn halfway down!) is nearly impossible. In fact, I now have a lovely brown chair in my living room because it JUST. WON’T. FIT.

Methodical searching of local consignment and antique shops has led to a few finds. I now have a lovely, teeny tiny skinny desk. It is perfect for my teeny tiny laptop though, and that’s all I needed. I also now own The World’s Ugliest And Therefore Most Evil Couch. A mere 26 inches tall, I was able to lay it on it’s back and get it down The Impossible Stairwell. It is SO UGLY, that when I paid $40 for it, I almost cried. But! And this makes me question society wholeheartedly – it is in PERFECT condition. No worn spots. Good springs. Armrest covers that aren’t even worn out. Someone, somewhere, kept this couch in a room covered in plastic and rarely sat on it. WHO IS THIS PERSON!? (I think they might be my soulmate. Sorry, Husband.)

Oh and! I set up one of my aquariums down here. Since we moved here, in May, this is the longest I’ve gone without a fish tank since I was 13. I decorated it with the evilest decor I had – including a coffin with a pop-up skeleton. And then I put six tiny, adorable goldfish in it, because I don’t care about you and your fancy saltwater aquariums, I LOVE GOLDFISH.

Well, this is a very boring post about my basement. But I love it, so shut up. And given my agoraphobic tendencies, I am now unlikely to ever leave my Evil Lair of Evilness.

Check out this couch though. Seriously.

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And here’s the chair that won’t fit (I actually think this is pretty, but I know I am alone in that.)

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Tire Passion & Alarm Systems

Okay, not really. But I am trying to find my inner tire lover. I’m set for a second interview – meet the owners! – at a tire shop tomorrow. A small business, they’ve never had anyone in an HR position and have finally decided to hire one. I think that sounds fun, a chance to build an HR department and do things (with respect to laws and regulations) my way. It also sounds completely overwhelming and terrifying. To be honest, I didn’t think my first interview went very well and was surprised to hear back from them. I kind of think maybe they are only going forward with more interviews because they think they can pay me less than a more experienced HR person. We shall see.

In other news, my poor husband thought I was murdered today. We have an alarm system in our house now, because this neighborhood is a bit dicey. I was in the kitchen doing dishes and getting dinner ready this evening, and my phone was in the living room on silent. We don’t have a home phone, because it is 2012, hello.

I was in the kitchen for about 30 minutes before I went to the living room to check my phone. I had several missed calls from my husband, and two texts. The first one said, “You are not answering and the alarm is going off. Is you ok?” Then a minute later, the second, “I told them to send the police.”

For the record, the police never showed, despite the fact that it was over five minutes after they were called before I clarified myself as alive and well. Great job, Michigan.

I immediately called husband and explained that I was fine, and that the alarm wasn’t not going off, as I should have been able to hear it. He was somewhat agitated and insisted it was going off, that it had heard glass break and HE THOUGHT I WAS DEAD. I went upstairs and checked and sure enough, it was going off – but silently, for some unknown reason. Neither of us were even aware that it COULD go off silently, so that’s an interesting thing to learn. The alarm company then called me and I explained that everything was fine, and they canceled the police (who should have been there by then, I’m just saying). 

My poor husband had even tried to find me using the app Find Your Friends, which of course wasn’t working at that time and told him my phone was unavailable. I can’t imagine how scared he must have been – thinking someone broke in killed or kidnapped me. I would have straight shit myself if I was on his end of that situation. I mean, come on – we don’t have life insurance right now!

(I kid… kind of. We really don’t.)

Husband is now very concerned that we are going to be fined by the city because we never registered our alarm system. If we do receive a fine from them, I say we refuse to pay it on the basis that they never showed the fuck up anyway so SCREW YOU, MICHIGAN.

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Like It’s My J.O.B.

Unemployment is not very fun. I absolutely adored the job I had in Texas, and I know there’s no way anything I find here will compare. Not that it matters anyway – I can’t even seem to get an interview. I’ve never had any trouble finding work before, but maybe that’s because I was always looking for less professional jobs. Now that I’ve worked “in the real world,” I don’t particularly want to return to the hours and stress of waiting tables. Husband says I can hold out until the right thing comes along, so I am, but… It’s stressful. There’s a ton of things I’d like to update on this blog. There’s my new food blog that I’ve started but not written anything for, there’s still unpacking to be done (shameful, I know), and exploring of the city – but every time I’m doing anything other than job hunting, I feel guilty.

The result of my guilt? Lots of sitting on the couch in front of my laptop, watching marathons of shows I’ve never seen on NetFlix. At first it was all good – Better Off Ted made me so happy. But now. Oh, now. Now I’m stuck on the most awful, terrible show I’ve ever watched, it pisses me off DAILY, and I can’t stop. I’m too ashamed to even say what show it is, it’s that bad. BUT I SHALL NOT STOP UNTIL IT IS OVER.

Now I will go apply for more jobs (because I love getting my daily rejection letters) and continue watching The World’s Worst Television until my head explodes.

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A Grand Adventure

Oh look, this blog is right where I left it two years ago. Just sitting here, mocking me. I thought about deleting it, but that’s kind of like burning your old journal… I might want to read all this someday, I guess.

Wow, I really need to update my “100 Things” list. That is woefully wrong these days. Most importantly, I no longer live in Texas. We moved to Michigan a few months ago, which is one of those weird things that if I stop and think about, it still blows my mind. I think because Michigan was just never on my radar at all. Turns out, I love it here. I get to live in a city, we bought a house built in 1908, which is freaking amazing, and it’s gorgeous here – although I’m told my opinion may change in the winter months.

I’m going to try to write something every day now – either here or on the food blog I’m planning to start today. I’m having trouble finding a job, and I don’t know a single soul up here, so loneliness and depression are starting to be a bit of an issue. But I’m joining a book club! Hopefully that will help, and the writing will keep me busy.

Now I need to find a bookstore nearby…

 

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My name is never was.

One hundred thousand years ago, I could play all kinds of instruments. My parents had me in piano lessons when I was small, which I was never very good at. In junior high I picked up the flute, in high school I added trombone (Jazz Band!) and tuba. Tuba was always my favorite, even though I never really wanted to play it. The reason I did was because I am STUBBORN:

All the tuba players in our marching band were graduating, and our director said one day that he would give an automatic A to anyone who learned tuba over the summer and marched with it the following fall. I, sitting there with my tiny flute, said, “I’ll do it!” I was kidding, but then… My boyfriend laughed. And the director also laughed and said, “You couldn’t.”

Well, done deal, folks. I took a tuba (well, technically a sousaphone) home that summer and by fall I was proficient enough to march with it and hold my own. (That fall we did all Beatles songs for our shows, and still when I hear a Beatles song, I really only hear the bass.) The following year I was made section leader for the tuba marching section, and was the solo tuba-ist for the Wind Ensemble. And that spring at the Band Banquet (I just cringed typing that), the Director gave a little speech about how he misjudged me and was proud of me*, and awarded me the Most Improved Musician award (and now I’m double cringing). Obviously I’m not trying to brag about this now – I work in a grocery store for crying out loud, look how far tuba gets ya, kids – but I’m working up to my point.

So, awhile back I mentioned to Husband that I thought it would be fun to play the fiddle. Husband, being the kind of upstanding, honest man who takes people at their words, bought me a violin for my 31st birthday. I messed around with it a little, thought it was fun for a day or two, then stuck it in the closet and kinda forgot about it – because I am more the kind of person who says things on a whim and never follows through. But that spouse of mine, he’s no quitter. So for my 32nd birthday, he bought me prepaid lessons for my violin. He’d even gone and found a teacher that would be able to teach me “in the fiddle style.”

I’ve been taking lessons for several months now, and I’ve realized two things:

1 – I never could read music. If pressed very hard, and given several minutes, I can name which notes are which on a scale. But all I ever did was memorize the right finger/arm patterns and the right way to blow for each note on a scale, and I never could tell you which is which. So when my violin teacher (who is awesome, btw) yells, “No, A!” while I am butchering Twinkle, Twinkle, it does nothing but confuse me more and I end up stopping. I keep trying, really trying, to learn the notes so I can hear that and know exactly what to do, but I just can’t do it. I am totally incapable of associating the dot on the scale with a letter. I have no idea what this means about my brain function, but it’s annoying as all get out.

2 – String instruments are HARD. I am not kidding about this, people. I am now completely blown away whenever I hear someone play anything with strings and there aren’t dogs crying in the background and cats fleeing the scene and Husbands getting out their earplugs. With wind instruments, I just picked them up and played. I honestly can’t remember ever really having a problem learning any of the three I played. Even that summer that I learned the tuba, I don’t think I practiced more than once a week. And once I had it down, I never practiced outside of school. They were just… well, easy. But man, this violin might just be the death of me.

I’m not giving up yet. And I’m determined to start practicing for at least 30 minutes a day. There’s no reason I can’t fit that into my schedule. Although, honestly, what am I going for here? It’s not like I’ll ever be good enough to play in public and also HELLO I’m 32, not 9. But it’s fun, and at least I have a hobby other than my cross-stitching. It is slightly less embarrassing to tell people that I take violin lessons then it is to tell them that I cross-stitch baby bibs for babies I probably won’t have while sitting on the couch watching Mad Men alone on a Saturday night.

Yay, violin! See, I kind of had a point.

*Two years after I graduated our Director, who had previously married one of his students shortly after she graduated, was fired for being caught making out with one of his current female students. So gross. Kind takes away from the whole thing, huh?

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Oh, East Texas. At least you aren’t Arkansas.

Last weekend my parents, brother and sister-in-law came into town. They stayed here a few days and then we drove out to East Texas for a family reunion. Although I took the wrong highway for 100 miles and we almost ended up in Arkansas, which is scary. Not to mention it added an extra hour and a half to an already long trip… But at least I was in the “girl” car with my SIL and mom, instead of what I’m sure was a loud, stinky, fart-filled “boy” car.

There was a minor cop situation, wherein myself and another vehicle were unsure as to whom the cop was attempting to pull-over. The boys car, which was behind us at the time, found the whole thing to be hilarious – we seriously looked like fools, pulling over, pulling out, changing lanes, pulling over again. In the end it was the other car that the cop was after, and I drove off. But it was mildly embarrassing.

We ended up getting to my aunts house around 5 that evening, and had dinner with some of the family. (Chicken spaghetti! Yum!) Then just after dark we left on a hunt to find a hotel – after calling two and stopping at two others, we finally found one that had three rooms available. Apparently there was some sort of Baptist convention going on in Carthage, Texas that weekend – normally there’s NO ONE in Carthage, Texas.

After we got settled into our rooms, my SIL came down to our room to hang out and drink beer with Husband and I. She’s the cool one in the family – my brother doesn’t drink and my parents were out cold. Either that or she NEEDED the drink that badly, which is entirely possible after a day in the car with me. Unfortunately, we realized that the only beer we brought needed a bottle opener, none of us had a bottle opener (SIL even went upstairs and woke up my brother on the off-chance that he had one). We were in a dry county, so even the front desk was unable to help us out. After LOTS of failed attempts, Husband finally came up with this genius method of opening beer:

Pardon my cursing. I do that a lot.

The next day consisted of a great deal of eating, a bit of wandering around the country side (where I promptly forgot Husbands warnings to “watch out for the vines with the thorns” and completely tore up my feet and ankles), a lot of good family time, and a lot of watching my dad play with his iPad.

Just kidding about the iPad. Kinda.

I have tons of forest pictures, but I’m too tired to upload them tonight.

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Convo With my Family. A Small Taste of Where I Get My Crazy.

“May I bring you a non-dairy creamer?”

“Why non-dairy?”

“I think we’re out of non-dairy…”

“I don’t know. I just didn’t want to bring milk to the living room.”

“Why? What’s wrong with that?”

” I DON’T KNOW! There’s just something about milk. I don’t like carrying it around.”

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