Thursday, February 28, 2013

a picasso or a garfunkel....getting back into art

While my bro  and sweet niece were in town a couple weeks ago, my sister-in-law and I decided to have an afternoon of art. During one of Ellie's naps, I decided to go through my dusty art supplies that take up an entire corner of my bedroom, and make them useful. [Tangent: I have mentioned before in this post, that I am trying to exercise that atrophied part of my creativity lately.  It is daunting and scary, but completely overdue.]  Art can be an expensive hobby, but I guess I forgot that over the years of art courses, I somehow accrued an ungodly amount of  supplies....like nice ones....not just puff paint, bedazzlers and god's eye kits. I'm talking like $90 prismacolor pencils and toolboxes full of every kind of brush and paint. Suddenly, I felt these things needed to fulfill their destiny and not just be an eyesore. [Tangent: For God's sake- I have a full sized easel...and a table top one. I need to use these things!!!]

Oils are scary and messy and there are a lot of rules I don't remember...and there's paint thinner and maintenance...and I would inevitably wanna paint people...and then I would remember how inept I am at teeth and hands....so I would make all my people frowning with their hands behind their back.... so basically- oils were out for now. Watercolors it is. [Tangent: A lot of people hate watercolors...and I probably should if I used them properly. But, when I was in HS, I remember a teacher showing us weird techniques like throwing salt into it....or dropping big droplets of water through it or letting the paint drip all over the place. These stuck with me for some reason, not unlike all the words to The Simpsons Sing the Blues album.]  I decided my first project would be something kinda vintage and spacey as a valentine for my ginger because I am destitute and couldn't afford a giant stuffed gorilla because he has never known that artsy side of me, and I wanted to assure him it was not a hallucination of my younger years.


To my astonishment and to the boyish delight of my fella, it didn't turn out completely unfortunate. [Tangent: I am not one of those people that thinks everything they do is awful. Once in a while, I will knock something out and be all, "Damn! That looks amazing" so I hang it up and don't mind looking at it all the time, but the other 90% of the time- they will just sit in a pile and more or less forgotten about.] Parts of this piece looked completely sloppy and strug, so I opted to bust out those $90 prismacolor pencils to feel full-time fancy...and make it pop a little more. Mixed Media, bitches!  

It's not fantastic and the difficulty level is roughly a 3 on a 1-10 scale, but the colors are pretty, right? [Tangent: It's like telling a not-so-pretty girl that she has a fantastic personality.] It also got me slightly re-obsessed with messing with watercolors. Its so oddly soothing, even though my palette usually ends up cooler looking than whats on the paper.


I was inspired but felt like I needed to kick it up a notch...so I added typography into the mix. [Tangent: The whole put down letter stickers and paint over it is a pinterest classic, but I have yet to see people try watercolor with it...so I wasn't even sure it would work and that the letters might just slosh off the paper.] Despite my impatience in trying to peel the letter stickers off before they are dry, I wanted to do it again and again. Here are my first two experiments:

The During: 


 The Finished Products: 



Overall pretty fun, and these projects took me no time at all. Maybe soon, I will get my mojo back and stop relying on projects that involve things from the scrapbooking department. Maybe one of these days I will post some of my old art projects because some of them are pretty cool and deserve internet celebrity....and some of them just deserve public ridicule

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

a trunk full of pickles: more family feud madness

Sometimes this blog is super theapeutic for me. Just when you start to feel like something you do is completely lame, hordes of people validate you and it's as if a choir of angels is singing the 90's Michael Jackson classic "You are not Alone." [Tangent: My apologies for bringing back the dark memory of a semi nude MJ and Lisa Marie cavorting in an empty theater. If I have to picture it, you all do. ] Such is the case with my love of Family Feud. Not unlike Criminal Minds, it is one of those pervasive shows that is ALWAYS available for viewing.

Previously, I have written about my very controversial stance that Steve Harvey is the best host ever here in the infamous "dong sarong" post. [Tangent: Richard Dawson and Ray Combs clearly tie for second as they are classic, but Steve Harvey just brings the ridiculous.]  Perhaps my love hinges on the fact that all the producers/writers have the mentality of teenage boys. I realize those polled are responsible for what goes up on the board, but the wording they choose is commendable. 

Question: What comes in 6 and 12 inch sizes?

 Yes, a soul pole. I have never ever, in all my years of being an immature adult heard that phrase uttered by anyone. Bravo, Mr. Harvey and company....Bravo.

The ballyhoo doesn't end there. Clever phrases just seem to come with the territory at the feud. [Tangent: I wish I could remember the questions for these.]


Is it weird that I take pictures of my TV screen? Probably. I don't really care. Sometimes, I include loved ones. Here is my niece starting her love of game shows at a young age. See...it's genetic. 


Anyway- if I didn't keep my iPhone camera ready, I would have missed this badass Jeopardy Teen Tourney moment from a couple weeks ago.  I wanna be this Leonard kid when I grow up, afro and all.  


OK, now that my shameful hobby [Tangent: If you can even call it that.] is on the table- I will leave you with this amazing video my friend Kate posted on Facebook last week...and the "trunk full of pickles" thing will make sense. It will be the best 3 minutes of your day, promise. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar Nail Art 2013

I love movies and award shows with every shred of my being [Tangent: I'm definitely not all Joaquin Phoenix about it. IT'S IMPORTANT, DAMMIT!!], so every year I vow I am gonna throw an Oscar party...yet I never do.  The prospect of rewearing an old bridesmaids dress and completely film geeking out excites me to no end. [Tangent: Every year, I make it a goal to try to see all of the nominees before the broadcast. It is hard, so I usually don't accomplish it. This year, due to my inordinate free time, I saw about half...Django Unchained....Argo...Beasts of the Southern Wild...Lincoln....Silver Linings Playbook.] However, I didn't attend a glam party and instead opted to eat hotdogs and watch it with Jamie and my family. Since no one wants to see photographic proof of that...I decided to show off how my friend Laura celebrated. [Tangent: As you will see, they are destined for internet celebrity!]

Because she is a manicure master and was attending a thematic gathering, she decided to give herself a fun Oscar mani by honoring each best picture nominee with their own nail homage.

 (1) Les Miserables- French Flag (2) Zero Dark Thirty- night vision scope (3) Life of Pi- tiger stripes...duh. (4) Amour- heart...because old sad people are not as easy to fit on a thumbnail (5) Lincoln- stovepipe hat (6) Django Unchained- Bloody-ness (7) Argo- sci-fi theme because the Iran Contra Affair was harder to depict (8) Silver Linings Playbook - with a silver lining. (9) Beasts of the Southern Wild- sparklers and outline of lil Hushpuppy (10) Oscar statuette...because there are only 9 noms.


I am seriously so excited and not-so-secretly jealous of her fun nails...and her ability to do her left hand as well as her right. Such skill.  If I have to award statuettes to my favorites, it would be a toss-up between the Life of Pi and the Beasts of the Southern Wild nails, so I think they're ready for their close ups,  Mr. Demille.



Also, its semi thrilling to see an idea come to fruition so picture-perfectly so don't mind helping them fulfill their destiny of being Rebecca Black level famous.


Also, I can't neglect to mention that her ever supportive and ridiculous husband, my friend Brandon, built a mani-cam for the party they were attending so that they could feel akin to Kelly Osbourne and Julianna Ransick on their red carpet. [Tangent: Just need some foam core and some obsessive compulsion to produce something awesome!]




Because I wasn't there in person, Laura sent me lots of pictures of the mani-cam in action in Huntsville. Now I feel like I need one at every party I will ever attend from this moment forward in my life. Without it, you would miss out on opportunities for moments like this.





It's always fun seeing how other people celebrate and refreshing to find that I am not alone in my commitment to ridiculous pursuits. I love the Oscars and am sad to say goodbye to award season. [Tangent:....only my nails aren't as festive as I wave.]  Thanks Laura for letting me showcase your handy-work [Tangent: PUNS!] and here's to making them internet famous!

Because she is the foremost nail expert I know, I got her recommendations for products that can take your nail art to the next level:

The must have top coat: Seche Vita Dry Fast Top Coat; For intricate nail art: Revlon Nail Art Expressionist Nail Enamel, Monet, Monet; Best black polish: Essie Licorice; The best stamp on the market (used in the tiger stripes); Stamping starter kit: Konad double ended stamper kit


 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

fat kid reviews: lays potato chip contest flavors

[DISCLAIMER: I realize I am a petite gal, and not really fat...so spare me your hate mail. Thankfully my stomach capacity is much like that of someone after gastric bypass; I just can't eat that much at once. If I was physically able to ingest all that my eyes are hungry for, it would be FUPAs and cankles all over the place.]

For about a week, my fella and I have been on a vision quest. After being taunted by the likes of Eva Longoria from our TV screens telling of us these mysterious and splendid flavors like Sriracha, Cheesy Garlic Bread and Chicken & Waffles- we knew they must get into our bellies, pronto. [Tangent: Limited edition flavors are one of my true vices. It's as if the lovely people at Lays were reading my dream journal by offering these three for just a couple months to find a permanent one to produce based on Facebook feedback. ] The problem was we haven't seen em out, so today we decided was the day. We would devote as much time as necessary to making these ours [Tangent: Hoppin' Saturday night! Am I right?]


After hitting up Publix, Kroger and Mapco, we checked Walgreen's on a whim. [Tangent: If we had on pleated khakis and numbered sweatshirts, I swear that we'd have looked like final round Supermarket Sweep contestants in the first 3 establishments. Milling around and splitting up down the store aisles looking for the item in question. However, I have a hunch we weren't the only ones. There seemed to be a lot of dissatisfied people eyeballing the other normal everyday Lay's flavors. ]  Considering it is a drugstore, their snack section is weak and I felt like all hope was lost... until I spotted a heaping barrel of those phantom potato goodies by the checkout!  I can't promise there wasn't a hint of squealing.

this is makeupless me getting STOKED in the Easter candy aisle.
 Because, I felt many people probably share my excitement and interest in snack foods, a blog/review was inevitable. So, on behalf of my inner fat kid, here are my findings. Let it be known that none of them were disappointments.

Taste Test #1- Sriracha
Many of my friends are obsessed with this condiment and put it on everything from eggs to chicken nuggets, however, I am not really one of those people. I like it, but have never gotten swept up in the hype. Guess I'm not one for overly spicy things.

I was worried that these chips would pack too much flavor, leaving that odd film on your tongue and that pesky chip dust everywhere [Tangent: I'm looking at you Xtreme Pringles and Flavor Blasted Goldfish.]. However, they were really yummy! At first they kinda taste like a sweet BBQ flavor, but then the spicy heat kicks in as you are about to swallow. It's a nice little surprise.

Taste Test #2- Cheesy Garlic Bread
Before today, this is probably the flavor I was most looking forward to considering it's inspiration is probably one of my top reasons for living. MMMmmmm....garlic bread.  I wouldn't say I was disappointed, because it was really yummy. I just think, mentally, that I had set the bar of expectations a little high.

The flavor itself reminded me of that white cheddar popcorn that you buy out of vending machines, and its definitely the most subtle of the three. [Tangent: Subtle is not a bad thing considering my favorite chip flavor is salt and pepper.] Because it is a lighter flavor, I could probably see myself eating this one the most,  but as far as originality goes- I am not so sure.  I wasn't wowed.

Taste Test #3- Chicken & Waffles
This is probably the one most people are strangely intrigued by. It's one of those, "That sounds weird, I have to try it!" scenarios. Ever since going to Roscoe's in LA a few years back, I can confirm that these two things belong together.  We saved them for last to build anticipation and we figured the sweet one should be our dessert chip.

When we opened the bag, my ginger said that it smelled like toasted marshmallows, which made me a little wary. That is not the first impression you want when snapping open a bag of chips. Even after consuming the first one- I wasn't convinced that I liked it. But they totally grew on me....chip by chip, I started to love them more. They wore me down and eventually, that was the one I probably ate the largest quantity of. The maple flavor is definitely dominant, and you can't really taste the chicken-ness. [Tangent: These are definitely more of a breakfast chip if you are one to occasioanlly brunch out of a vending machine....as I was sometimes prone to do at my former job.] The sweet and savory are pretty damned yummy together.

Conclusions:

I really can't pick a favorite. This vote is definitely more stressful than the one I made back in November. They all have their strong points, so I guess I wouldn't be mad if any of them won [Tangent: I am kicking myself a little that I hadn't sent them a potential flavor so I could win a million dollars!]. How's that for being a diplomatic fat kid? Have any of you all tried them? What did you think?

Friday, February 22, 2013

disabled people are not all nice: the oscar pistorius example

As you know, I am unemployed and can only watch so much Bravo and TLC without my mind turning to mashed potatoes, so I try to watch the news at midday, 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00. This way, at least I know whats going on in the world around me while I am hermitting hardcore.

The story which I have been most obsessed with is the Oscar Pistorius craziness [Tangent: You know the guy with no legs cleverly deemed "the bladerunner" at the 2012 Olympics]. Despite not being a sport nut at all really- I love the Olympics...and followed his "inspiring" story of triumph and fighting to compete. [Tangent: Remember when he came up short on that one event and the winner swapped numbers with him as a sign of respect. It was a total Rudy Rudiger/underdog moment and you could practically hear the entire world giving a collective "awww."]


Yada Yada...cut to a few months later he is in the news for allegedly killing his model girlfriend. Even though he got bail today and they feel like the evidence is insufficient, a lot of skeletons came out and it was revealed he wasn't South Africa's sweetheart after all.


Perhaps I am most upset because I had been been duped by the very device which drives me so crazy about society. Not unlike the early stages of American Idol where everyone with Turrets/a dead parent/a paralyzed vocal cord/scurvy gets a touching video package, just because you are different doesn't  make you a source of inspiration. People with disabilities are dicks, sometimes. [Tangent: Yep. The secret is out!]  The blade runner is a perfect example.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to matriculate with lots of folks with various kinds of deformities/disabilities/life tragedies, and I can affirm not all of them are nice people. Some of them were bitches, and should not get a free pass on bad behavior because they happen to use a handicapped placard.  Let Oscar Pistorious be a lesson to us all. We, even us on wheels or hi-tech running blades, are completely human. If we are being assholes, feel free to judge us and call us out on our behavior. [Tangent: The wheelchair card can only carry you so far. You all know I have used it to get out of tickets and other things, but I don't expect to get away with murder.]

Otherwise its a vicious cycle and the behavior and the feeling of invinsibility will keep on truckin. So next time you see a person who is different, I beg you to get to know them before you place a halo on their heads.

doggie bloggy part 2

So not unlike the a wedding/vacation episode from any early 90s sitcom, this canine blog is a two parter [Tangent: Its like the Sever family's trip to Hawaii or when the Saved By the Bell gang went to Palm Desert for Jesse's dad's wedding.].  So if you are not a dog fan, oh well...you'll live.

In the Spring of 2010,  I had been dogless for 2 years after my longtime bestie Jazzi took a long dirt nap in mom's flower garden;  I had a bad case of puppy fever and Petfinder.com was consuming way too much of my free time [Tangent: Especially the disabled/special needs pets, because how precious would it be for a wheelchair girl to get a blind britney spaniel with a heart murmur. Unfortunately, I thought that would be a lot for me to take on.] At the time I was praying to tiny baby jesus the right dog would fall into my lap.

On a whim, I decided to go to PetSmart on a Saturday during one of their adoption fairs. [Tangent: This is something that I had done before and if nothing else, a good excuse to play with doggies all morning.] After being there for less than 10 minutes, my future furry son had literally fallen into my lap.


 The lady from Critter Calvery Rescue placed this little 2.5 pounder in my lap, and then started rattling off his tragic life story.  [Tangent: If you haven't ever been to an adoption event, be prepared. These lovely volunteers are as savvy as mall kiosk workers; they know how to get you.] They told me all about how he had been taken away from his mom too early and had been found in a shoebox on the side of the road. Yep, that sealed it. [Tangent: Part of me feels like the shoebox story wasn't even true, but it was a very effective marketing tactic. Kudos, rescuer, kudos.]

They told me his name was Mayfield, which of course a matter that needed to be tended to post haste...because that is a stupid name [Tangent: Sorry Mayfields of the world!] He had blue eyes and needed a studly name, so naturally Newman. [Tangent As in Paul, everyone's favorite blue eyed silver fox.  Plus my dad was a Paul Newman fan, so I knew he would love him immediately. It didn't work...because my dog is an asshole.] 


 The only other thing I knew about him was that maybe he was part chihuahua and that he at best would weigh only 8 lbs. [Tangent: I have since learned the other part was beagle or weiner dog or demon seed. Oh, and he now weighs 20 lbs. He literally looks like a manatee with short stubby legs...in the most adorable way possible.  I wish that I had known that he was a "cheagle" when I got him, because I would have named him Don Cheagle.]

Newman can only be explained as being an acquired taste. He definitely is one to grow on you. [Tangent: I usually tell people that if he was a person, he would definitely be a cocky douchebag with some anger management issues...but one with a creative/sensitive side that he doesn't show many people.] I love my boy, even though his vet statement shows that he is both obese and ill behaved. [Tangent: In his defense, I might misbehave too if someone was grabbing fecal matter out of my butt.] Having him definitely makes me understand how parents of misunderstood children feel at parent/teacher conferences.

Despite being super subversive, he is really smart and has been the easiest dog to train I have ever seen. He learned to potty train in just a couple tries and does a metric shit ton of tricks. My neighbor thinks that maybe he is just bored with this whole "being a dog" thing and wishes he was off solving crimes or something....that's why he acts like a dick. [Tangent: We also think his name is now more befitting to Newman of Seinfeld fame now that his baby blues are more of an amber color. I mean they are both fat annoying, albeit loveable assholes.]

...pretty much
 We tried medicating him for a while. He was on doggie Zoloft for several months to control his anxiety, but it got expensive and felt seriously afraid that I was turning him into a zombie against his will, and one day he would resent me. [Tangent: Perhaps I have watched Garden State one too many times.] Also when Andre moved in, it did more good that anything the vet could have possibly prescribed. Andre's catlike non-confrontational demeanor is definitely rubbing off and I realized maybe he just needed a friend.

I tend to think its a good thing that Newman is selective on who he lets into his inner circle. Sometimes I wish I could be such a good judge of character.  I'm very lucky that Jamie and him get along so well. They are good buddies...mostly because they are both furry gingers. 


Ok, now bring on the cavalcade of adorable pet pics of my Newmie.



so tiny.

where he hides after being an asshole.


big belly

see...at one time newmie was a runt next to andre. no longer.

Even though he is a pain in the ass, he is my pain in the ass and I love him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

doggie bloggy part 1

The other day, in the same email exchange where me and Eartha Kitsch discussed obscenely large stuffed valentines, she mentioned that I rarely mention my dogs much in this blog. Although I smatter their images hither and yon, I rarely write dog-centric posts... probably out of  fear of becoming the kind of dogger blogger that blogs from her canine's perspective [Tangent: Yeah. That's a thing. A very popular thing, actually. Just consult the web.]. I probably haven't devoted an entire post to them since this post about Newman entitled Doggie Style. [Tangent: Yes, I called that as a fun play on words...more as an homage to Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion) than a sexual overature, however, after the post got a lot of hits, I took to the googles and found out why. If you search "girl in wheelchair doggie style"- that blog post is #7.  (At one point, I was #5...I guess I'm slipping.) I'm sure the demographic using that search term is highly disappointed to learn that they are reading less a Penthouse forum letter and more just me ranting about my demented chihuahua mix puppy. Now you know my popularity is based solely on unfortunate wordplay. Oh well.] So I guess it's time tell you their adoption stories so I thought I'd give you all a two-parter with loads of cliffhangers [Tangent: But probably just some nostalgia scattered with things that'll make you go "awwww!"].

Easter-time 2007, my brother dropped off a very underweight battered puppy mill dog at our house.  [Tangent: At the time, my bro worked for a generically named volunteer organization that helped mentally challenged adults. The people that found the little misfit pup misunderstood my bro's company mission of service and just dropped the dog with him thinking that they just seemed like do-gooders in general. My brother, ever the bleeding heart took him in and promptly handed the mutt our way.]. Frankly, the dog was gross. Matted, boney and skittish with stitches around his neck.  There was no way of telling what kind of dog he was, but since he was puppy mill, we assumed some type of "designer purse dog." [Tangent: We are thinking a Morkie...but have no idea.]

He basically just stared at us from the couch for 2 days straight while my 14 year old cock-a-poo gave it the stink eye.  He didn't bark or move, just basically sat there looking scared of the world and acting nervous. Lame.


After hanging with him for a day I named him Andre, because he was lanky and effeminate and nervously danced around. The only thing I could liken him to was Andre Gonzalo, my favorite Project Runway contestant of that era. Additionally, saying "Where's Andre?" in my favorite Tim Gunn inflection was a joke that I'm sure never got tiresome...to me at least.


 We already had an elderly dame [Tangent: My girl Jazzi was 15 when she died. RIP.] who was pretty set in her ways and didn't want anything to do with this little homely orphan, so without asking, we told my sister in Chattanooga that she was getting a new dog and would take him home after Easter Break. Happy Easter, Kelly, you get a heap of Vet bills and lost sleep!


My sister took care of Andre till about a year and a half ago when she changed living situations, so Andre (aka Dre aka Dr. Dre aka Dreidel) came to live with us...now that he was all fattened up and sassy...and slightly less scared of his own shadow. At first it was only temporary but he was a good BFF for our new dog, Newman....so Kelly decided it was a better living situation for him. This way he could have constant attention and a friend to gnaw on his face 24/7.


 He is still a weird skittish mess, and probably more cat than dog. He doesn't do any tricks and we think he is mildy schitzo, but we love him and are so glad we got him out of that terrible puppy mill scenario. So now, for some doggie spam- Dr. Dre edition:


this is my boyfriend wearing a dog vest, and my dog wearing a vest. [He doesn't dress like this every day, promise]


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