27.7.12

The Nail Files: I Don't Give A Hoot. No Wait, I Actually Do.


The Nail Files Link Up


This week, I was inspired by a video tutorial on Pinterest. I've never really done "nail art," per say and thought I'd give it a try. I mean, she makes it look so easy!


Spoiler Alert: it was slightly tricky. And by slightly, I mean considerably. 



Source: youtube.com via jennie on Pinterest




China Glaze For Audrey, Sally Hansen Xtreme White On, OPI Swimsuit...Nailed It, Finger Paints Black Expressionism, Right Stripe Gold.



Two coats of For Audrey on every nail, to start.


Then, Swimsuit...Nailed It for the base of the owlWhile still wet, I used the brush end of my dotting tool to make the ears.


With the end of a makeup brush, I made two big dots in White On for the eyes (this was where it started to get tricky because it was basically impossible to get two even circles. There were many retries. 
Many. Retries.)


Then, using the same make-up brush, two dots of Black Expressionism over White On. It did not get easier and still took a lot of retries.


Back to the White On, I used the dotting tool to make a smaller pupil. Thankfully, this only took one try.


Then I poured a glass of wine because those four steps took over an hour but I'd already come too far to stop.


The tutorial said to make three dots underneath for the feathers and then layer the base colour over them to make crescent moon shapes. Yeah, that wasn't happening as I'd been burned by having to do a thousand re-tries of the larger layered dots. Therefore, I used the brush end of my dotting tool to do some swoops. 


Black Expressionism on the sides for wings and then a little Gold for the triangular beak. 


The rest of my nails looked mucho-boring next to Hoo-bert (my owl's name) so I decided to genuinely copy the Pinterest video and put dots of White On on the Hoo-bert-free nails.


Even though it took me the entire day because I'd get frustrated and throw a mini-tantrum a while to finish, I'm still a fan. Not only is Hoo-bert super stylish, but he makes it easy to work puns into everyday conversation. And I love me some puns.


For instance:


When saying goodbye to someone = Owl'll be seeing you later.


Ordering dinner in a restaurant = Owl'll have the baked penne.


When singing along to Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles = W-hoo says you can't go home?


So as you can see, I had a pretty good week. The Remix, however, is more than ready me to switch it up. What a party-hoo-per.



Thanks to Tara and Vicki for hosting!




26.7.12

Eff, Marry, Kill: Literary Characters




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For this edition of Eff, Marry, Kill, I decided to use my love of reading for inspiration. I used to do a weekly series titled "Friday's Fictional Hotties," so some of these guys have been reused but hey, that just happens sometimes. Haha!


Since everyone tends to read different books, I thought I'd stick with classics (don't even try to tell me that Anne of Green Gables isn't a classic. Seriously. Don't do it. I'll punch you. Okay, I won't punch you but I'll totally roll my eyes). 


Eff

Theodore "Laurie" Laurence from Little Women
Holy Hotness, Batman (and not just because Laurie was played by Christian Bale in the movie adaptation. Did you see what I did there? Bahaha, I'm hilarious. Okay, moving on). He was a cocky guy in the beginning because he was a spoiled little richie-rich, but Jo March wasn't having any of that. Sure, he was heartbroken when, years later, Jo rejected his marriage proposal but that just made him more brooding and intense and, therefore, even hotter. Because I love me a cocky jackass, Laurie's a sound choice for effing. 


Marry

Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables
(I suppose I should admit that I'm a card-carrying member of the Gilbert Blythe fanclub. Not that there are cards, per say, but you get my drift. Unless you know about where I can get a card, in which case, please send me an email with the details. All right, moving on)

 For those who don't know, Gilbert Blythe is Anne Shirley's nemesis-turned-love-interest. He calls Anne "carrots" on the first day of school, on account of her red hair (the nemesis-inducing-act, obviously, because you NEVER make fun of a girl's hair). Then Anne breaks her slate (tiny chalkboard) over Gil's head, which basically makes Gil fall in love with her and follow her around like a lovesick puppy until he wears her down she realizes he's awesomesauce. It takes a while but eventually, she gives in. How could she not? Also, he ends up becoming a doctor, so if we got married, we'd be living it up and I'd probably get starring role in The Real Housewives of Prince Edward Island. Gil's hotness, sweetness, and potential for a six-figure income make him the obvious marriage choice. 



Kill

Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights
I mean, he wears a cape. Do I really need to elaborate? (okay, I will).

In my opinion, Heathcliff can be summed up in two words: Mr. Whiner-Face. There are some who think that Heathcliff is the ultimate tortured soul (which somehow makes him attractive) but, frankly, I just want him to shut the eff up. So what he overheard Catherine saying that she thought marrying him would "degrade her," up until that point, he wasn't exactly winning any awesome prizes. And yes, Catherine's brother Hindley was a total douche-bag to him but still, Heathcliff spent way too much time wading in the self-pity pool. I remember a girl in my high school class saying something to the effect of "Oh, but he's an orphan and he grew up with everyone hating him." My response was something like: "So do a lot of other people but they don't turn somewhat psychotic and spend the rest of their lives punishing everybody else while still thinking they're the real victim. I mean, get over yourself, already." If memory serves, my English teacher gave me a standing ovation. Okay, not really. Anyway, so for the above mentioned reasons, Heathcliff's gotta go.

*pushes button to release hatch under Heathcliff's chair, a la Austin Powers* 



How about you? Are there any literary characters you'd eff, marry, or kill?


I can't wait to read about who everybody else picked!


Thanks to Heather and Michelle for hosting! I freaking LOVE this link-up!!


25.7.12

Happypants Reno/I Know Entirely Too Much About High-Efficiency Chicken Slaughtering





**DISCLAIMER: If you decide to read this post then you too will know entirely too much about high-efficiency chicken slaughtering. You've been warned.**


If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me use the hashtag #happypantsreno when talking about the contractor we hired to do our renovation (I kept my maiden name when The Remix and I got married so we adopted "Happypants" as our communal last name). I interviewed four contractors and immediately fell in construction-love with Handy*. He’s awesome. Like, the most awesome of all the awesomes. Anyway, he started about three weeks ago and since then, I’ve been trying to finish my latest manuscript while being distracted by loud noises and the unexpected comedy show happening behind my living room couch (where I spend most of my day watching Jersey Shore reruns writing).



(*names have been changed because I live in a small town)


Handy’s probably somewhere in his early-mid forties and his apprentice, named Junior, is about twenty. The dynamic between the two of them is hysterical and I find myself losing huge chunks of time just listening to them and trying not to laugh too hard.


Handy: Hey Junior! Come over here and take a look at this! That’s a thing of beauty right there, Junior!

Junior: Well come over here and take a look at this! That’s how you do that! What fireplace? (there’d been a fireplace there before and Junior had finished drywalling over
it).


Side Note: "That's a thing of beauty right there" is Handy's catch-phrase and both Handy and Junior yell it at each other anywhere from 5 - 20 times a day. And I love it. Each and every time.

**

Plumber to Handy: It’s really hard to find reliable help.

Handy: I know.

Junior: Um, Handy. I think he was talking to me.

**

Junior: Am I making you randy, Handy?

Handy: no response.

**

Junior: Whoa! I almost cut off my thumb, there!

Handy: Better than your finger.


Junior also occasionally sings along to the radio. And he also likes to talk to Pickle. Over the last few weeks, we’ve realized that we have similar senses of humour so I beg them to talk to me we end up having a couple of small conversations a day.


Last Friday of last week, though, my chattiness wrote a cheque that my psyche couldn't cash. 


Handy and Junior were cleaning up at the end of the day, which is when I asked them what their plans were for the weekend. Junior said he was going kayaking while Handy said that he was learning how to slaughter chickens. I laughed, thinking he was making a joke. He wasn’t. I wished him luck and then told The Remix that Handy probably wouldn’t be in on Monday on account of the intensive psychotherapy he’d have to start after spending the weekend slaughtering chickens. The Remix laughed but I could tell he thought my statement had some merit.


On Monday, I was genuinely surprised to see Handy pull up. Here's what happened:


Me: So Handy, guess you didn’t do the slaughtering considering you’re here and not in a mental institution.


Handy: *Laughs* No mental institution, but I did do the slaughtering.


Me (not wanting any more information): Oh, well okay then. Have a good morning. Let me know when you want some water.


Handy: It really wasn’t what I thought it’d be.


Me (suspecting he was going to tell me what happened and therefore, trying to end the conversation before it actually started but realizing that it probably wasn't going to happen but still having to try anyway): Okay then, well that’s cool. Oh, is that the phone ringing? I should probably go inside.


Handy: Is it? I don't hear anything. So, it was set up like an assembly line, with tables all around a room. There were 150 chickens there and we were going to slaughter 100. I got there in the afternoon and they’d already done about 60.


Me (internally, picturing a room full of chickens watching other chickens get slaughtered): 



Me (externally): Oh, I didn't know that's how chickens were slaughtered. 


Handy: Oh yes. That's how they can kill so many in one day. The first table is where the farmer rests the bodies without the heads. Then they go to the next table, which wasn’t so much a table as an area for the bodies to be hung so the blood can drain out.


Me (internally, trying unsuccessfully not to imagine what a table full of draining chicken bodies would look like):


Me (externally): Well that sounds....efficient.

Handy: After that they go on this conveyer belt that has huge fingers to take off the feathers. They’re rubber fingers, not metal, so the flesh doesn't get ripped.


Me (internally):
image

Me (externally): Rip the flesh? No that'd be awful. Rotating rubber fingers makes good sense.


Handy: I was at the next station, where I pulled off the extra feathers. Then I brought the bodies over to the boiler.


Me (internally, if someone asked me to be the extra-feather-puller and mover-of-feather-less-bodies to the boiling table):
image


Me (externally): So…err…did you get to take any chickens home with you?

Handy: Five. But you can’t freeze them right away. There’s some kind of bacteria that breaks the meat down and it’s better to wait 48-hours before freezing or the meat won’t be as tender.

Me (internally, now completely and utterly traumatized):


Me (externally): All right. Well that sounds like quite the weekend. I have to go inside now. Don’t be alarmed when the ambulance comes up the driveway and I'll see you in seven to ten days, after the doctors decide I'm no longer a danger to myself.


**This conversation may not be a verbatim account, due to my traumatized state when it first happened, but it's as close as I could remember. Rest assured, though, my emotional response is quite accurate.**




So, although the renovation is going extremely well, and it's been mostly good times, there have been some bumps in the road. Mostly made by dead chicken carcasses. Also, I'm realizing that this may have had something to do with me thinking that a pal's Twitter avatar was a chicken head, when in fact, it was a soft-serve ice cream cone. Obviously the trauma has embedded itself much farther into my subconscious than I first thought.


*redials hospital hotline*





20.7.12

The Nail Files: So Bright You'll See Spots


The Nail Files Link Up



I follow China Glaze on Instagram and they posted a pic of bright pink nails with a leopard accent finger. It was love at first sight, so off to my polish collection I went.


Put on your sunglasses, ladies. It's about to get VERY BRIGHT up in here...


All set? Good.



China Glaze Pool Party and Turned up Turquoise, OPI Don't You Lilac It?, Sally Hansen Blue Me Away! and White On, Finger Paints Black Expressionism.



Two coats of the brightest pinky-orange on the planet Pool Party. It was a little streaky but turned out all right. Then, I took the end of my dotting tool and made splotches with the other colours. When they were dry, I used the brush end of the dotting tool to blob on some black around the edges. 


I originally took this picture in direct sunlight and, I swear I saw spots afterwards...and not just the ones on my feature finger. This pink of out of control! I'm still VERY sad that I can't find Flip Flops anywhere but Pool Party is a pretty good substitute.  Plus, it was on sale, so there's that too.


Can't wait to see what everyone else did this week!


Thanks to Tara and Vicki for hosting!









18.7.12

Switches Are Hard/When It's Yellow, I'm Not Mellow






I originally had a different post scheduled for this week’s musing but then something happened yesterday that TOTALLY BLEW MY MIND.


And by blew my mind, I mean POTENTIALLY SCARRED ME FOR LIFE.


Seven years ago, almost to the day, I was in Biarritz with a pal of mine. For those who don't know, Biarritz is a small surfing community in the south of France. Yeah, I know, I’d hate me too (haha). We were there for two weeks and stayed with a local family instead of in a hotel. Little did we know that we'd be staying with a bunch of lunatics.


Cool-ish-Son, Crazy-Face-Mom, Super-Awesome-Dad and Totally-Nutso-Granny


Side story: there was a mix-up with our arrangements and they were expecting two 16-year old Norweigens (read: under aged girls who’d be home before midnight) so when we showed up, two twenty-something Canucks (read: like to go out drinking), there was a little adjusting that had to be done on both our parts (read: we tried to adjust; they did not).


Me and my pal were super stoked to be within walking distance of the beach (note how I slipped in some surfer lingo there?) and decided that it’d be awesome to see the sun set while sharing a bottle of wine. FYI, in France, you can drink in public: on a bus, in a public library, on the beach while casually chatting with a pack of middle-aged policemen – pretty much anywhere. Yes, I’m also surprised that I chose to return home.


Anyway, so we were half-tipsy after watching the sun set and decided to head back before it got too late. When we arrived back at the house, we noticed that the outside light had been left on. Now, we weren’t sure if it was left on for us or because of Totally-Nutso Granny. She was really old and lived on the first floor, so after an extensive conversation, we decided to leave it on.


Spoiler Alert: That was very much the WRONG thing to do.


The next morning, my poor pal got subjected to what had to be one of the most reality-bending conversations of her life. I was spared because my French was so appalling they avoided speaking with me at all costs. That or they thought I was the stupider one. You'll see what I mean in a second. 


Crazy-Face Mom: Come here, Idiot (she didn’t call her that, but you get it).


My pal, after sighing: Yes?


Crazy-Face Mom: This is a lightswitch. It controls the lights. Do you have these in Canada? Here’s how they work. There’s “on,” and “off.” Then she demonstrated that “on” switched the light “on,” while the “off” position turned it..well, off.


My pal: 



Crazy-Face Mom, nodding fiercely: “Okay, now you try.”


My pal:


After two flicks of the switch (each earning my pal a psychotic smile from Crazy-Face Mom, similar to one you'd use while training a puppy) my pal proved that she was able to operate the incredibly sophisticated light apparatus despite being Canadian (although not well enough to be trusted to operate the garbage can; a story for another time) and we spent the rest of the time trying to spend as little time in the house as possible (which wasn't hard because we were in France). 


Well, yesterday, I’ve never felt a closer kinship to Crazy-Face Mom (and I don't think I need to stress just how difficult that was for me to write).


I was in Sussex for the first time – yes, the place where the Best Song Parody Of All Time was created – and really had to go to the bathroom. I’d been in the car for just over an hour but since I didn’t follow the cardinal rule of going before leaving, by the time I reached the town, it was a full-stop emergency. Luckily, there was a Tim Horton’s right by the exit (shocker, I know).


Screeching to a stop by the front door (not really), I ran into the building (really). Swinging the women’s washroom door open, I watched both stall doors close simultaneously.




With my legs crossed and leaning against the sink to avoid an embarrassing accident, I waited while the women took their sweet sweet time droned on and on about how hard it is to remember to take some random medication once a week. Apparently, the biggest beef the women had was that they had to wait half an hour before eating anything afterwards but…wait for it…an entire hour if they wanted to eat dairy! 




Finally, after what felt like a thousand years, one of the women came out. She looked startled to see me and then walked to the sink. The two women were still speaking while the one finished up, but I’d tuned them out because I was so elated to get to pee.


And that’s when I noticed that the woman who used the stall before me, didn’t flush.


 


The mixture of confusion and grossed-out-ness stunned me in place. 


Is this really happening? Is what I'm seeing REALLY THERE? Why didn't she flush? Who doesn't flush in a public restroom? Am I on some kind of sick-o reality TV program? What the hell is going on here?


I don’t know where I got the idea, but I opened the stall door and asked the woman if she was finished. 


She and her companion looked at my like I was a nutcase.


Repeat: she looked at me like I was the nutcase.


My response:




With a large and somewhat passive-aggressive sigh, I pushed the flush lever as hard as I could. By the time the swoosh of swirling water had sucked the yellow-ness away, they were gone.


So as much as I hate to say it, maybe Crazy-Face Mom wasn't so wrong with her ridiculous instructions on how to operate basic switches. Apparently some Canadians really do find it to be a challenge. Like we really needed another stereotype, eh? 


Now you'll have to excuse me, I need to finish chipping the last few blocks of ice for my igloo while marinating moose meat in maple syrup for supper tonight (yes, it's going to be a busy day). 



13.7.12

Book Club Friday: Most Talkative







If you know me in real life, or have been reading this blog o' mine for a while, you know that I have a tendency to not shut up be long-winded, at times. Naturally, when I saw the title for Andy Cohen's memoir, Most Talkative, it was like finding a kindred spirit. Haha! I'm moderately obsessed with a few of The Real Housewives franchises (Atlanta being my favourite) so the combo had me pressing "add to cart."




To be honest, I actually heard parts of the book before reading it. We have a satellite radio and Andy had a feature program for a couple of weeks. Andy has a way of speaking that completely captivates me and I found myself hanging out in grocery store parking lots just so I could keep listening. One story in particular, regarding a trick he played on his mother, had me almost blacking out from laughter. Okay, not really, but I was laughing a lot. 


Like any memoir, the first few chapters are about Andy's childhood. Unfortunately, these were the least interesting of the bunch, which really surprised me beacuse most of the stories Andy read on the radio were from those exact chapters!


When Andy was reading the stories on the air, I was practically dying from laughter yet when I read them myself, they weren't funny at all! It was like being stuck listening to someone drone on and on as they fail to notice the intense look of boredom that's taking over your face while you silently plead for them to either get to the point, or stop. In fact, the tricks he played on his mother seemed more mean than funny, which is totally bizarre because it was the same freaking story



Yeah, Alexis, I don't get it either.


Anyway, after childhood, Andy moves on to his career. Wow, did he every do a lot of different stuff! All in TV, mind you, but still - he was all over the freaking place! As much as I didn't know every actor/actress/host/news anchor he mentioned, there were some very funny moments.


And then, of course, the last few chapters were about The Real Housewives. Learning how the franchise came to be was both interesting and engaging. The muddled storytelling of the first chapters was long gone and I whipped through the pages so quickly that I'm surprised my hands aren't covered with paper cuts. 


I'll share one small excerpt that had me in stitches.


From page 185:

"Then came Dina Manzo of the New Jersey cast and her hairless cat, Grandma Wrinkles, and I was shocked awake from my pet-related apathy. Grandma Wrinkles was impossible to ignore, and that is because she was one of the ugliest animals I'd ever seen. When Caroline Manzo reported that old GW stank like bacon, I became mildly obsessed - from afar. A bacon-scented hairless cat named Grandma Wrinkles? As they say, you cannot make this shit up."


Dina Manzo and Grandma Wrinkles


If you're a fan of Bravo's amazing reality television series, then you'll probably like Most Talkative.  Andy's aware of the insanely high level of ridculousness the women operate on, so every little ditty is written in a tongue-and-cheek kinda way. I don't know why the first chapters didn't have the same feel, but in the end, Andy demonstrates why he is where he is. And that's because he's a seriously hard worker with a wicked sense of humour. So, obviously, I want to be his new BFF.


All in all, I'd say Most Talkative is a good read but if you can get it in an audiobook, you may enjoy it more. There's just something about how Andy talks that takes his writing to the next level. Either way, though, it's a solid memoir. 



Thanks to Heather and Katie for hosting!