Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fads in my hometown

These two housing trends are so prevalent in my hometown right now, you'd think they were in the bylaws:

1. Steel roofs (of the vertical panel industrial variety): A quick and long-wearing way to create a quasi-machine shed look for your home. More and more of these roofs go up by the minute.

Photo of "investment grade roofing" from Metal Roofing Alliance

2. Tin stars: The bigger the star, the better. Groupings of two or three stars is most desirable. Four stars is overdoing it (looks like you're trying too hard). If you must buy four stars, might I suggest placing one in the garden or on the side of the garage?

Photo from flickr

Ben Jammin'

This weekend I ventured to my hometown to watch my brother Ben perform as the Tin Man in his high school's rendition of the Wizard of Oz. He did such a great job! The whole show was quite good and incorporated some sweet technology (wink, wink siblings). Here's a little clip of Ben singing in the Emerald City. I wish I would have taped him during his solo, "If I only had a heart," but I was busy. Watching the show that is.

Can you hear Ben? He's the one with the low voice (baritone?).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Feed Me

My food supplies are looking a little lean this week, but I'm making do with what I have since grocery stores wear me out. In a word, grocery shopping is laborious. It requires patience and endurance to maneuver through all the aisles, locate items on a cusp (Is oatmeal in the cereal aisle or the baking aisle? Beats me.) and jockey for position in line. That's not to mention all the time and money it consumes.

Here's all I really need to live happily for weeks at a time (in no particular order): milk, baby carrots, onions, eggs, bread, peanut butter, jelly, applesauce and rice. So long as I have those staples, I can usually scrounge up enough other ingredients to make my meals interesting.

Currently, I have a lot of sauerkraut, eggs, celery and grape jelly. Know of any recipes with those four ingredients? I also have four sticks of butter if that's helpful.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Very Exciting Topic of Grout

I've never really cared about the dirty grout in my bathroom before. I just thought that was the natural order of things - grout gets dirty and stays that way. Enter: the Internet and my uncontrollable urge to scope the blog scene. Over at This Young House, I was browsing through the comments section of some of their recent bathroom posts and ended up at House Made. There, I made the pleasant discovery that those bloggers have the very same bathroom floor as me with just one very glaring difference. Their grout is gleaming white (restored to its original state after a lot of hard work with muriatic acid) while mine is a disgusting shade of human filth brown. So, now I have an intense, urgent need to follow in these virtual strangers' footsteps and get my grout up to par.

My bathroom

Their bathroom

Books Rule

These two books are kind of consuming my life right now: Contemporary Chinese Textbook 1 and The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings). I force myself to practice my Chinese characters and then reward myself with a little escape to Middle Earth. yippee! I am super nerd #1.

I think I shall forever be learning Chinese but never able to hold a conversation with a native Chinese speaker.

"One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them" - ooh, chills!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Little Poinsettia that Could

This little poinsettia makes me so proud! I bought it for $2.49 from Wal-Mart (such humble beginnings) at the end of November, and it's still going strong. I don't think I'm doing anything special - I just water it when I remember and commend it for living so long.

Behold: The little poinsettia that could

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I hate litter bugs

I've always disliked litter bugs. But, now I just absolutely despise them. Earlier this week, I spotted four empty 2-liter bottles of strawberry pop amongst my curbside shrubs. And a few months ago, I cleared away a McDonald's bag, complete with a half-eaten burger and soggy from the rain. That's not to mention the many to-go cups and containers that seem to materialize over night by my shrubs.

I admit that the shrubs are ugly, but a junk yard they are not. This just makes me so mad! Mad enough to make me want to post my own passive-aggressive note or jam a pop bottle through a litter bug's windshield.
I feel better just by creating this.

My New Bookcase

I trekked to IKEA last weekend for a new bookcase and ended up with the LACK in white. Now, I say "ended up" as though I did a lot of debating in the store. Truth be told, I spent a month beforehand researching my options. I looked though 972 pictures of IKEA bookcases on flickr to see the LACK in action. There were a lot of IKEA bookcases, but only a handful of the LACK, and even less in white.

Then, as if sensing my need, one of Apartment Therapy's recent house tours included a great action shot of the LACK (in white no less!). That sealed the deal. Now, if only I can get mine to look that good.

Since mine isn't assembled yet, here's the picture from AT to tide you over.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

American Frame

The frame from American Frame for my couch print arrived yesterday! It was packaged quite well and the frame, mat, acrylic sheet and backing board all arrived in excellent condition. Unfortunately, the framing hardware was missing, which means I can't hang my picture just yet. I called American Frame today about the hardware and they are sending some my way. As an added bonus (well, at least it's pleasing to me), the entire mat board was included - the border I'd requested and the inside portion which can easily be cut to mat something else. All in all, I'm pleased with my purchase and will use American Frame again.

This is the interior packaging - how it was packaged inside of the box.

The frame itself, currently laying (lying?) on the floor while the hardware is MIA.

I <3 Five Gallon Buckets

Who knew a five gallon bucket would turn out to be my best friend? I spent my formative years on the farm schlepping many a five gallon bucket of milk (two at a time, too!), but hadn't really thought I'd use those mad skillz again. Ah, but life has a funny way of working itself out. My five gallon buckets (and my amazing hauling abilities) were called into action several times over the past week and half to remove at least 50 gallons of water (caused by melting snow) from my bowl-shaped driveway.

Even if you are not blessed with a curvacious driveway, a five gallon bucket can still be your best friend. Consider these other uses for this cultural phenomenon:
  • Extra seating
  • Step stool (which I used when painting my dining room)
  • Weapon (I once bludgeoned myself in the head with one)
  • Test out the science of G-forces
  • Toilet