October 2014

Halloween is a magical time of year when children are allowed to wear polyester jumpsuits derived from petroleum, free base sugary candy, and stay up late harassing neighbors for treats. But let’s be honest, although we indulge our children in this strangest of holidays, Halloween is for grownups.  After you’ve ordered the overpriced polyester onesies for your children, and thrown a few spooky decorations around (the existing cob webs and dust in my home suffice), it’s time to contemplate your own Halloween costume.Here are some easy, inexpensive, and fun ideas, that will help you make the most of Halloween. If you are like me, you can simply dust off the “Costume Box” and cobble together the perfect kit.

My rule of thumb; capture the moment in pop culture. Flamboyant or scandalous pop stars, Hollywood train wrecks, athletes, designers, and politicos are great fodder. Memorable movie or TV characters from within the calendar year are also fun.

For Women:

  1. An uncanny resemblance

    An uncanny resemblance

    V. Stiviano and DonaldV. Stiviano: This is remarkably easy. Grab the long black wig from your costume box, get a giant sun visor, and wear something inappropriate. I found a plastic mask that made me a virtual doppelgänger of this class act. If your husband has an ape mask, he can throw it on and be Donald Sterling.

  2. Amanda Bynes: Because she likes to sport wigs and large sunglasses, Amanda at her bestthis is a particularly easy costume.  I recommend either the blue or disheveled platinum blonde wigs.  Just about any clothes you throw on will do, she doesn’t seem to be particularly discerning. Props include an iPhone for incriminating selfies, and a Super Big Gulp sized Starbucks cup.
  3. Mariah Carey:This will require some prosthetic body parts. Wear the shortest skirt you can find with the lowest neckline possible. Talk with a Jersey accent and act confused.

Men:

  1. Lance Armstrong: Biker gear and syringes pretty much make this one work. The plastic syringes you get at the drugstore to administer oral medication to kids work like a charm. Just scotch tape them to the inside of your elbow. This can easily be turned into a couples costume. Your partner can wear scrubs and carry vials of liquids and pills.

    Bruce Jenner Halloween Costume

    Bruce Jenner Halloween Costume

  2. Bruce Jenner: I found this clear plastic mask and I just couldn’t resist. It turns any face into a dead ringer of Bruce. If you can muster a tiny ponytail, this will be a nice touch. This costume works well for men or women.
  3. Charlie Sheen: His constant kerfuffles on Twitter keep him relevant. This is an easy one for those who want to participate, but can’t see themselves going all out; dark wig, weird sunglasses, imbibe copious amounts of alcohol, have your wife or girlfriend dress as a call-girl. It’s that simple.

 

Silver spray paint made an old lamp shade new

Before and After

It’s been almost two weeks since I deposited my daughter’s furniture at the crash shop. Apparently my DIY mess is difficult to undo. I created a sticky goo from my sanding, paint removing, re-painting frenzy that is impenetrable, and withstands sandblasting. I’m wondering if NASA might have a use for the chemical compound I created. Apparently their only choice is to remove the goo with a razor.  This sounds labor intensive. I’m afraid to ask how this new development will affect the cost.  My dear husband may soon regret not purchasing the Pottery Barn Teen dresser and bedside tables.

Incidentally, there are about 1,000 shades of white car paint. When you see a white car, it’s not actually white, its “Crystalline”, or “Sugar Silk”, or “Hanna”.  I did sweet talk Victor into letting me bring home his paint samples so I could match the

The perfect color of white

The perfect color of white

color to Camila’s bed. He was very nervous to let them go, but I assured him I would bring them back promptly. As I worked my way through the 1,000 whites, I was really hoping the natural choice would be Mercedes’ Arctic White, or Tesla’s “Pearl”.  No. The best match was “Sophia” from Mitsubishi.  For a moment, I hesitated. Let’s look at that Mercedes sample against Camila’s lacquered white bed one more time. I debated; pride was messing with my head. Darn it, I just can’t lie to myself, Mitsubishi it is.

As I wait in hopeful, somewhat weary anticipation for the furniture, I focus on other parts of her room that need attention. The curtains are ordered, she needs throw pillows, a desk chair, and new lamp shades. “Hey wait a minute! I can spray paint the dingy gold brocade lampshades silver!” I’m either setting myself up for one more miserable failure and closing the door on DIY forever, or just maybe, I will meet with triumph, and rebuild my shattered DIY self-esteem. Get ready Pinterest, this is going to be worthy!

Voila! This project was remarkably easy, and took all of about 10 minutes, start to finish.  I dare say, they look fantastic! They even met with my daughter’s approval. My pride intact, I wait for her furniture to emerge from the shop in its full Mitsubishi White glory!

DIY Redemption

 

It’s time to update my eleven-year-old daughter’s room from little girl pink. We start in earnest by purchasing a white lacquer bed, and rug on Overstock.  Her new bedding dictates the color scheme; gray, white, and Aquarius blue (in the 80’s we called it teal).

My Daughter's new bed and rugIt’s starting to take shape, slowly, very slowly. My daughter points out that when her friend Riley decided to update her room the project was initiated and complete in a week.  “Well honey, you know that’s not how I operate. Jamie has a full-time job, so she gets things done faster and more efficiently than I do.”

Next we tackle the hodge-podge of brown-varnished furniture.  We show my husband photos of the Pottery Barn Teen dresser and bedside tables Camila picked out.

“That’s nice dear, but I’m not sure why you’re showing me this. Her current furniture is perfectly fine.”

I know better than to try and convince him otherwise. “Well, Camila, I have no choice, Mumsy’s going to paint your furniture white.” Camila looks at me as if I said I was planning to climb Everest.

“What? You are going to paint my furniture?”

“Yes, of course, you know, DIY. It’s easy.”

“Mom, up until very recently you didn’t know what DIY meant.  I think it may be harder than you think.”

Determined, I head to Five Corner’s Hardware. I consult with Faye about my project. She provides expert advice, and loads me up with all the necessary supplies. I ready our deck off the main room, transforming it into “my workshop”.

One of my best selfies

One of my best selfies

In full regalia; safety goggles, respirator, pink rubber gloves, and a do-rag for just the right Rosie-the-Riveter-meets-Tupac-effect, I set to work. Sanding away, brown dust flying, sweat beading on my brow. I begin to feel alive, my forearms fatiguing, my back aching.

I start the first layer of white paint. The drawers take on a slightly pinkish hue. Perhaps I didn’t wipe them down enough? Now to the bedside table; the paint mysteriously does not adhere. I’m undaunted.

My husband comes home that night. “What the heck happened to our porch?”

Classic "Do Rag"

Classic “Do-Rag”

“That’s my workshop. I’m painting Camila’s bedroom furniture to match her new bed.”

“What? Why? Do you really think that’s a good idea?”

“Of course, you know, DIY — Do It Yourself.  I’m saving you so much money. I could’ve gone out and bought all new furnishings. I’m so resourceful, plus, I’m reusing and recycling, saving the environment. It’s going to look great!”

“How can you be saving me money? I had no intention of buying her new furniture. Her dresser and tables looked just fine before. And when am I getting my deck back (AKA: Sacred Sanctuary)”?

I sigh; there is no point in explaining. His brain can’t possibly comprehend why an eleven-year-old girl wants matching white bedroom furniture.

The next day the paint is still not adhering to the bedside tables. The dresser drawers appear to be white when I brush on paint, but dry in a distinctly pinkish hue. It’s back to the hardware store, leaving with a chemical to strip off the stubborn varnish. I slather on the gelatinous paint remover. The fumes make me  light-headed.  So much for saving the environment…

I work like a madman, possessed.  “DIY or Die, DIY or Die!” The words running through my brain in a circular motion like a hamster on a habitrail. I glance at my watch. Oh crumb, time to get the kids from school. But I can’t stop. Just one more coat of paint on the drawers, a few more scrapes with my scraper. I’m officially late. I run out of the house, my hands, jeans, and boots, splattered in white paint and a disturbing brown goop.

Days turn into weeks. Seven trips to the hardware store, a deck destroyed, two pairs of shoes and jeans ruined. My family continues to discourage, but nothing breaks my DIY spirit. Maybe I need to buy a blow torch? Perhaps I can fashion a pulley system to the roof-line of the deck and lift the furniture into a vat of paint, submerging it. I keep expecting “Pinterest worthy” furniture to emerge from the rubble, like Pygmalion’s statue from the stone.

I continue down the rat hole. My family starts planning my intervention. Fortunately my husband and I have a dinner scheduled with friends at a delicious restaurant. It’s been on the books for months. I reluctantly shower and make myself presentable. I am relieved for the dim lighting in the room. Hopefully no one will notice my stained hands and fingernails.

I mention my DIY project during cocktail hour, expecting a chorus of DIY horror stories. This will be a cathartic time to commiserate.

“When I updated my daughter’s room, I found a guy to shellac her furniture white. It looks amazing and he only charged me $200”, Mandy pipes up.

“Why not just take it to the local auto body repair shop?” suggests another of my pals who’s in the know. “They can spray it down for you in seconds. And think about it. It’s car paint; practically bullet proof.”

I go from sipping my wine to taking large gulps, as I feel my entire reality shifting. Everything I’ve known and believed in for weeks has been a lie. I’m a fool. I drink my dinner.

The next morning I wake up, my mouth is gummy, my head pounding. I see a note I scrawled for myself the night before on my nightstand.  It’s in lip liner. “Call Werner’s Crash Shop”.  Fortunately I have a poor enough driving record to have a few friends at Werner’s. I talk to Jenna, “Oh yah, just bring your furniture down. Victor can spray it in between jobs.”

I throw pride aside and ask my husband to help me load my Jeep. The dresser and two bedside tables just barely fit. I drop them off first thing Monday morning. P.T.G.I.D. Pay To Get It Done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPhone 6

iPhone 6

I am not a conspiracy theorist. I’m a skeptic.The problem is conspiracies not only abound, but are proliferating. It’s obvious the CIA wanted to get rid of Tupac. And that strange floating eye on the dollar bill clearly represents something sinister. A secret so powerful and destructive to all of humanity, protected and passed down through the ages by the Priory of Scion, the Knights of Templar, and The Little Rascals.

No, I am not immune to conspiracy theories, and from time to time I fall victim. I don’t wish to create mass hysteria, but right now hundreds of thousands of us have fallen pray to a fiendish corporate plot.

old cell phones

I’m calling it the “Poison Apple” conspiracy. Apple Computer is sabotaging all prior versions of the iPhone. They are lashing out at those of us who did not upgrade immediately to their new folding phone. Much has been made about the iPhone 6.0 and its glitches. But nobody is talking about a systemic and diabolical plot against slow adopters. Some of us had better things to do than stand in line all night for the iPhone 6, as if Van Halen reunited, and David Lee Roth found his marbles.

I’m talking about those of us still hanging on to obsolete iPhone 4’s and 5’s. If you fall into the late adopter camp, I’m willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that you are experiencing one or more of the following issues:

  • Voicemail constantly repopulating deleted voicemails from the last three months, than declaring your voicemail full.
  • Your entire contacts list mysteriously disappearing.
  • No Internet access.
  • You can receive texts, but replies are undelivered; a particularly torturous form of existential Hell.
Oompa Loompas now working for Apple Computer

Oompa Loompas now working for Apple Computer

I imagine a secret room in the bowels of Apple headquarters in Cupertino, where a team of Oompa Loompas work day and night hacking into old versions of the iPhone and wreaking havoc.  Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory went broke after that blasphemous remake of the original classic. I can’t really blame the Oompas, lured by stock options and the promise that some of their Apple colleagues sport the same green hair. Finally, they fit in.

“Oompa, Oompa, oompa de do..If you don’t upgrade, we’ll cause trouble for you…” I can hear them singing that hauntingly ominous melody.

Well I’m here to say, that I’m not going to take it Apple! Don’t be such an Apple! (Thanks Annoying Orange.) I’m blowing the whistle. And just to show you I mean business, I’m waiting to upgrade until the next version of iPhone 6.0 arrives, and you’ve worked out the bugs.

© 2017 Napadaisical
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