Gym Win

Well. The craigslisting didn't happen. There might even still be a broken shot glass in the garbage disposal. The Plan failed. But giraffy and I, against all odds and mutual whining made it to the gym. Go us!

Apparently, taking three weeks off wreaks havoc. It was ugly. I felt like all of a sudden the treadmill was 9000 feet above sea level. Giraffy was making "are we DONE yet" signs across treadmills. Still though. Woot.
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I Need To Suck Less (The Plan)

The List comes to mind.  (Which I have sucked at updating) Why am I not addressing items on there?  Not only have I not refinished the Modern Danish Tables, but I haven't listed stuff on Craigslist to clear the garage enough so I can get access to the tables.  Neither can Jesse get to our dirt bikes, so any kind of maintenance I need him to do before the weekend is out of question, because he doesn't really work under Hobbit conditions, and it's embrassing to strew all of our stuff across the alley for a day. 

I haven't blogged either.  It's not a very good documentary of projects or thrifting at all.  Well, the projects have been at halt recently, so there's that.  I may as well call it, "Stuff I Found a Year Or So Ago.."

My bedroom is a mess.  I got back from a cruise.  (!!!) and never unpacked.  It's been two weeks.  With my luck, there's an uneaten lunch somewhere in there.  Or some stashed cakes (unlimited food buffet style is a terrible thing to do to a hungry Russian girl..)

I have a broken shot glass stuck in my garbage disposal yesterday night, so I simply declared kitchen off limits (till daylight) so dishes wouldn't have to be washed.  Even though Jesse was all over it (headlamp and all).  But when he does housework I feel like I ought be doing housework..  so I prevent HIM from doing any, either.  It's an efficient household I 'run'.  Or don't. 

Luckily, the blender mechanism was functioning just fine, so I had some margaritas with the neighbors, and went to bed at 1am.  On a Wednesday. 

Few weeks ago, I got a cold, right before a cruise.  I skipped gym and sulked.  Then there was Cruise with Giraffy, and it was magical.  The week after was "cruise recovery".  Now it's just been plain old ugly laziness.  This and a nasty American Idol habit I picked up.  Which is exactly why I don't watch TV, it's like crack.  Stupid, time swallowing, black hole chore postponing crack.  But I let people at work babble at me about American Idol, so there I am, waiting for 9pm, cheering on Crystal and Siobhan.  Like an AA veteran slipped up and carried away in a stream of whiskey.  

In addition to this, we've eaten a lot more erratically (read: out) in the past 3 weeks.  I've tried to reign it in this week, since I actually enjoy cooking.  I don't know what was up with March.  I really need a redeeming April.  I don't have a chaotic job, my only complaint is getting off at 6.  I don't have children.  I don't let wild boar stampedes run through my bedroom. 

I think I need, in addition to THE LIST, a PLAN.  And then I need to adhere to it, better than I pay attention to the LIST.

The PLAN (for Today)

- run 2 miles after work
(must be done.  brownies were had.  yesterday's dinner was bread+olive oil, and
margaritas, prosciutto wrapped in mozzarella cheese)

- list on Craigslist:
the coffee table
the TV stand
the MX Hauler.  (I really don't want to part, but I have 2 trailers, and trucklet (Rav4) does not like to have 300lbs suspended 20" away from bumper on its sheet metal frame.  SIGH)

-the garbage disposal.  I either need to address the kitchen or not meddle in Jesse's way when he does.  I mean, seriously.  My grandmother would 'fall through the floor from embarassment". 

Oh, and - NO TV.  Background music that is conducive to Craigslisting and clearing out glass shards out of a garbage disposal.

I'll stop there, since I haven't been at all efficient lately.  Baby steps.  BABY steps. 


I'm a Sugar Doll!!

Stacy at Moderate Means probably heard about the miserable, self pitying wreck of a week I am having, and to cheer me up before I dissolved in a puddle of snot, she gave me an award! 

I do love me some awards.  This one  entails telling people 10 things they probably didn’t know about you. I’m not clear if they have to be cool things, but since Stacy mentioned something about 4th grade, blue socks, and orange jelly shoes, I am guessing not so much. Tehee. 

It’s hard, cause I babble a lot about myself, and a decent internet search will probably turn up everything you need to know to impersonate me on a weekly phonecall to my mom.

But, here goes:

1. I used to read everything. Books, candy wrappers, anything. If I didn’t have something to read, I was running around in a frenzy till I found something, like my grandma’s passport on trips, or the newspaper that merchandize was wrapped with. It was a little disturbing, but convenient at the same time. It also came in handy for being the biggest teacher’s pet of all time. Seriously, any class picture – I’m easy to find.

2. I spent a lot of village ‘spare time’ by climbing up and copying the cross stitch patterns of the wall hangings. Talk about “playing quietly” by myself. I also cut out my dolls from sticks (Russian kids can play with knives) and painted them with my mom’s nail polish. Then I got in trouble for missing knives and nail polish.
3. I grew up 300km away from Chernobyl.

4. I learned conversational English by watching Full House with captions on, and Blossom, but when that girl Six talked, I couldn’t understand anything. For the longest time I was so used to captions, I couldn’t watch TV without them.

5. Jesse and I met on an internet message board, and on our first date, he told me I should be his girlfriend . On our second date I drove to see him in NorCal, and almost got cold feet last few miles in, slowed to 55mph behind a truck and considered turning around. When I finally got there, he took me to see the “house he grew up in”; which was located in some dark long forgotten orchard in NorCal. I had my fingers on my pepper spray and had dialed a 9 and a 1, and asked him to turn around and go back towards the city… Luckily he did, so nobody got Maced.

6. I don’t like dogs. I just don’t. I think they’re smelly, and ungraceful, and generally far too perky for my tastes. I think Korea’s onto something.. [img]http://kolobok.us/smiles/standart/no2.gif[/img]

7. I once tried to catch a rattle snake for a “pet”. I was well in my twenties, and two step children were talking me out of it. I was going to ‘capture’ it into an empty apple juice jug. When it went into its hole, I poured some water in to get it to come out. It went poorly. Rattle snakes can jump, near vertically apparently.

8. I once tried to catch a porcupine for a “pet. It didn’t go well either.

9. I have no pets, and I routinely kill all my plants and flowers. Either through neglect, or through over zealous water/prune/gardening. Sometimes, they just die just to stick it to me, I think. I go through states where I get a whole bunch, really get into it, but then they all die and piss me off. Sigh.

10. I want to have lots of children. Like, at least 3. But, may be 4 or 5. Then I think about putting all of them through college, and it freaks me out. As does pregnancy, and that whole birthing nonsense, which I really want no part of the conventional, “baby makes its way” way. And, what if they grow up to be snotty? Like, all 5 of them?! I’d really like to do it in sets of triplets and twins, to minimize the pregnancy deal. I compulsively gather and collect various miscellaneous info about pregnancies, to mentally file away if needed. BTW, Thanks for that PUPPS, reference, Stacy! Talk about having preemptive nightmares. Then I think about them and freak myself even further out.

There. That was good to get off my chest. Thank you Stacy! This definitely makes up for the PUPPS Google image search I have felt had been entirely your fault. *snicker*

In turn, I would like to pass this award onto giraffy at 365 Days of Awesome.   It’s an award, so she’ll be pleased, and possibly bake me some more cookies, and what an awesome way to be non chalantly nosy!

Week 9-10 No Poo Hair Horrors

It's week 10 currently, I think.  I forgot to post this last week.  Or may be I was waiting to attach some pictures, but they're pretty inconsistent.  Hm.  I forget where I'm at in this saga.  Anyway, the short of it is, for SOME reason, if I comb the soap through my hair, it is awesome.  If I do not, or do not do it diligently enough, it's nice on top, but proceeds to separate into strands, and generally behaves very candle like. 

I re-dyed it, for the first time in forever, and used a bit of my fancy conditioner.  It behaved beautifully for the photo shoot last weekend.  I washed it again Sunday, no comb, and it came up clumpy and waxy.  Bah.  I rewashed Monday water only, with a little soap on the lengths, where the waxy lives, combed through, and it became beautiful again.  I can't quite understand why me washing the lengths thoroughly is not the same as combing.  But, this last time I noticed some pink wax (red hair dye) on the comb.  So, my theory is that the soap loosens and the combing washes wax away in the shower, and it's not magic like I previously thought.  It stays nice and clean up on top all the time, so I really don't have to wash it more than twice a week.  This is redeeming.  Someday, I can probably move to once every 5 days. 

I am trying to figure out if this has to do with hard water at all.  I read somewhere that dissolving baking soda in boiled water worked for the hard water no poo experimenting.  I'm not using baking soda, because in small quantity it didn't do much for me, and in larger quantities, it dried my hair out.  It also stripped my red dye out pretty fast.  So, I'm on natural soap (I call it a shampoo bar).  I wonder if somehow lathering up the soap in boiled water and then transferring to my head would help. 

Last week, I had run out of soap (tragedy), so Jesse ran to CVS and got us a Dr Bronner's Lavender bar.  I heard it mentioned on my favorite message board, so I was excited.  Subsequently, I saw them at Mother's, at a lower price, and a bigger variety (rose!!).  They also have liquid stuff, if I was interested in paying $9.  They had a whole aisle of things that appealed to me, actualy.  SIGH. 

Anyway, it's a little relief that at least I know how to get it to behave if I need to.  I'm hoping it goes away.  I might, just MIGHT, take all types of time boiling mad amounts of water, and using only IT to wash the hair.  I mean, it's not a method I could sustain long term.  Grasping at straws, really.  But now that I know if I diligently comb it, it's fine, I'm not as pissy.  It does not need conditioner, oddly. It's actually really nice, and I'm feeling good about using paper wrapped soap, and no plastic bottles.  I have transferred the remaining shampoos and conditioners into the guest bathroom, and since Jesse is doing this with me, we only need the one bar between us.

UPDATE:  (This is the week 10 part of the post) Apparenty, wet combing doesn't always work.  It's out to get me.  I had wash/combed it last week, before the NorCal trip, went ot bed thinking it'll be magical, and it was waxy and gross for my liking all the next day.  UGH.  This is AFTER the combing.  Not super waxy, like I've seen it, but about a 4 on the gross chart.  Anyway, so after my stepmom and my sisters all got to touch it and go, "OMG, how WEIRD"..   I washed it again Saturday, Bronner's Bar, nothing else, as usual, and loosely finger combed the soap through, cause I wasn't in the mood for its shenanigans, and wasn't in the mood to comb and cuddle it.  Anyway, no combing at all, and I woke up Sunday to nice and clean unwaxy hair.  I don't know what's happening.  But it is now Wednesday, I last washed it the Saturday, and it's just fine.  I mean, it's due for a wash, but it's not waxy, it's not greasy, it's just like normal hair.  So, I guess, 'sort of Yay'?


С 8-ым Марта!!!

An International (and especially Russian) women's day!  (Although I'm a day late)

Also knows as the Housewife's Revolution Against Kitchen Slavery .  If you're Russian, or from the former Soviet Union, or, more importantly, your girl is, and you didn't make with some flowers yesterday, you're in trouble as you ought be.  It's like a Valentine's Day, although now that USSR adopted western holidays, we get both.  Ha.

I'm a sick, sick duck this week (right before I'm cruise bound with giraffy this Friday.  Frown), so, yesterday, I got homemade chicken soup with dumplings (from a boy who used to eat out ever.single.meal before I met him), unquestionable control of the remote, a jar of raw honey to eat with a spoon (I heard it's good for you, and I'm getting better before Friday, dammit) and a a couch 'lair' to greet me after work. 

Although, flowers aren't limited to romantic relationships.  My dad bought me some shoes, my step dad called, and Jesse and I called my mom and grandma.    I also ordered some Edible Arrangment flowers for my grandma, but they have so far failed to deliver, so somebody in Chicago is about to get a fire lit under their ass.  I am, after all, grumpy and sick. 


Beads, Frames, and Saris

It’s a good day when I can run amok at an estate sale before work. It’s even a better day when its one of those family run sales, as opposed to the ones run by people who have consignment/antique galleries on the side. You know, the ones where they label every tea mug with a detailed description and proceed to charge you more than that mugs cost originally, what with inflation and all.

This one was awesome. In the driveway, by 4-5 birdcages I picked up a picture frame, whipped out my measuring tape, and it turned out to be the much sought after (standard canvas size) 18x24. $3. Score. The guy smoking in the garage, pointed to a pile of picture frames in the back of the garage, and a reptile cage he was going to make a really good deal on. Apparently, they hadn’t unpacked all the boxes yet, and he was ready for the day to be over.

I briefly got stuck on some colored glass shot glasses, like the ones I want at Treasure Cove, but not quite as nice, and fewer in number. Still, I grabbed a set of four and carried them around until I saw a room of beads.

That was the attraction, in the first place – throw ‘sewing’ anywhere in the ad, and I’ll show up. Jesse found it in the Pennysaver and used it as bait to get out of bed early (I put up a good fight every morning) I like to look for old patterns and fabrics I can try out my atrocities on. This place had a lot of yarn craft stuff, needlepoint, and cross stitch. They had marked 50c price in SHARPIE right on needlepoint stuff!! Nooo! And, there was the room of beads, that was full of boxes of beads, glitter, sequins, sparklies, and crystals. I was pretty happy in there, and ended up walking away with a little box full of seeds beads, and sead bead handmade jewelry.

There was a big box of ribbons, the fancy kind you wrap gifts and stuff with, but $40 for a box was over my total allowable budget. I side eyed Jess for a second, to register my disappointment before I moved on.

It was pretty uneventful from there and through the kitchen, where I noticed 3 or 4 more sets of colored glass shot glasses or little glasses and just lost interest. Too much. Passing through the foyer, there was a $ 10 Mickey Mouse figurine on a mantle. To Jesse’s dismay, the figurine is now mine.

 I don’t really like Disney stuff, except Tinkerbell and Piglet, and I really don’t like figurines of any sort, the dust collecting uselessness that they are. Umm. But it was cute? I mean, she’s wearing a little veil!! And, she can be a cake topper. Probably wouldn’t balance on a croquembouche doughnut pyramid I’m planning, so I’ll probably throw it up on Ebay after I’m done admiring it on a bookshelf in a couple weeks.

In one of the closets I found lots of $10 saris, $1 sari blouses, and patterns for a sari blouse, as well as embroidered silk fabric of all kinds. Jesse redirected me, pointing out that it would be difficult to do stuff with a grid like embroidery pattern, which I think, was his way of saying I’m not really good enough to line up a row of sunflowers in a straight line on a skirt.

I got fixated on a ‘giant flower’ wrap skirt, and couple $1 silk shirts. The shirts didn’t fit me, but I only let go of them when I found a sari that did please me, and had an irregular flower pattern. Ha.  I doubt I can actually wrap it around myself properly, without flashing people, so I'll probably use it as fabric for an outfit.  A two piece skirt and top?  It'll be hot. 

Also added to my ‘pile’ was a pair of hair chopsticks (the 'big flower' is of the big flower skirt).

There was a lady complaining that all the advertised “Indian” stuff was really pretty new, and from Arizona. (I wonder if by Indian they mean the sari stuff, but I didn't have the heart to say it)  Having said that, she did hang on to a weird looking little dream catcher holding teddy bear with a mohawk on a wooden perch. I told her it was ugly, and it cemented her resolve to get it. She was considering whether she’ll pay the $5 or bring it down. It should have been free, the atrocity.

She was really sweet, and we talked for a while about vintage table linens as I was eyeballing a tablecloth. [Jesse alleges] it fits none of the tables in our house, but the teddy bear lady and I decided it’s beautiful, so I ended up dragging it home.  It was unpriced and I ended up getting it for less than a dollar, so.. 

Apparently the teddy bear lady has a resale shop, and more or less does this for a living, and I was a little jealous. Here, I had an office to get to, and she was going to peruse ugly teddy bears all day long. Another chatty shopper pointed out some wool jackets that would probably fit me in the closet. Bright red, even! I do love when it becomes a team effort. And this wedding dress from the 60’s?

Ok, I admit, it doesn't look like much in the picture, but it's almost shiny in person.  Silk and lace?? I was born in the wrong time period. I would totally give up my Blackberry and Ipod if I could play in silk and lace all day long.  Well, may be not the Ipod. 

There was also, to match my wedding figurine, a brand new David’s Bridal wedding gown. These are usually pretty safe, since it’s hard to beat the one I already have. But, it was pretty, fluffy, with tags, and something like $150. I had seen it at DB, so it’s pretty current, even.

On the way out the door, I took a new approach to haggling – instead of going per item, I asked that I walk out of there for $20. This was the amount of money we withdrew from the ATM this morning, and save a couple of rogue nickels, it’s all I had to work with. Jesse argued that I only need like, $3, or $10 max, so I was already over the limit. (It’s not everyday you come across veiled Minnie mice). There was a lot of commotion over a missing Kitchen Aid (who has the balls to stroll out with that in their armpit?) so, my $20 bid on a pile of stuff was accepted happily, I think they were just happy to see people leave in orderly fashion. 

I typed this in the morning, but during lunch we went to a Newport Harbor sale, as well.  I didn't even take any pictures.  There's a bronze bust of Caesar, for $3000, and a painting for $7000.  That sale must be for a different class of shoppers.  Sigh.


Purses, Beads, Silk Scarves and Dress Form FAIL

I am really trying to walk out of the thrift shops empty handed.  I really am.  I don't know how this stuff happens.  Every time I vow to make it a "viewing excursion only", and come home with:

The kids found it for me, in a San Francisco G-Mart, and it's adorable. 

G-Mart -> Goodwill =  Tarje -> Target.  The number of times I utter Goodwill references in public called for a fancy nickname.  Mostly for Jesse's gentle nature.  He walked into this relationship straight from Macy's $120 shirts.  I gently eased him into Nordstrom Rack, and now I shamelessly bring home stuff I found in an alley with a completely straight face.  I often wonder if it offends his gentle sensibilities when he says he needs new slacks, and I offer the address of 3-4 thrift shops G-Marts that I think are *perfect* for finding slacks.  I think he's adapted, because he was a little disappointed his $5 slacks for engagement pictures did not have the blue 50% off tag.

But, back to the shiny purse - it's really inconsiderate of the kids to bring me shiny stuff to consider they know I have an unhealthy texure/color fixation.   The number of times I actually leave house with a tiny purse?  Close to none.  Oh, let's not make it the blog of lies.  None, actually.  It's a Waters and Davis, made in US, coin purse, there are a few of them on the internets.  I think mine is from the 50's?  I like to guess a history of any dumpstered object.  I like to imagine the Russian Tsars having a lot to do with it.  (Not the 50's purse, clearly, but most anything else)

I might have mention Debbie's Attic Dumpster, our favorite junk shop in Pacifica, CA, has a dress form I have wanted since the summer.  The owner insists she's going to dress her up, but it's never happened.  Mysteriously, though, she won't sell it.  Until this weekend anyway.  I asked [for the 20th time] and she came back with a "today only' offer of 'non negotiable' $95 dollars.  With a promise to change her mind tomorrow.    I mean.  It's perfect because it has, within half and inch all MY measurements.  But, it's wobbly, it's got a questionable for pinning styrofoam layer (I think it's a mannequin more than a seamsress tool), and it's got holes in the covering.   I looked at my stepmom, and she whispered that $45 would be her ceiling on said form..  Did I mention that you have to climb over a china shelf, a couple trunk full of stuff, and hop over a bedframe, just to view this form?  I just might have to let that dream go.  Although my parents said they'd come when the owner's husband is in, who is more reasonable, and interested in moving stuff out. 

I did find this silk scarf for $3, that I envision having multiple uses (I like to pretend that I can wear tube tops made out of a silk scarf tied around myself in the summer.  The reality of wearing such an outfit is probably very remote).  And a couple of vintage sewing patterns for 10c each. 

They aren't as cool as McCalls 9777, (a big fluffy 50's dress) that I scored here (also 10c) in the summer, but I hope to get a run at them all the same.  I have accumulated a nice stash of random fabrics from JoAnn's 50% off clearance isle and garage sales, that I can take on a 'test' project pretty inexpensively. 

Also seen, but not gotten was a fox, or an otter of some sort, no longer alive, and shoulder ready.   I'm not sure how I feel about vintage dead animals. 

In a shop down the street, we found a giant - me sized bird cage.  It was a little disturbing, the interest Jesse showed in it.  Although, I guess with enough pillows and a proper view it could make for a nice reading spot.

The same shop had a $3 Russian teaspoon, hallmarked "МНЦ", a little rooster, and a stamped price of 1 rouble, 20 kopeiks. 

I researched it a little, and the Russian letters than look a little like "MHU" stand for an alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc, that was often silver or gold plated. Also known as "German silver" or "white copper".   Mine might be silver plated, but I can't tell. I don't know what time it's from, but I could probably figure it out if I researched the price.  Sometime during the Soviet regime.  The pattern is just like silverware we had in Ukraine when I was little.  I don't know why, but it's cool to find stuff like that in a small antique shop in a small town in Northern California. 

Total dumpstering spendage: $8.50.   Not bad for weekends' worth of entertainment.   It SHOULD have been $28.50, because I was eyeballing this ADORABLE set of 10 shot glasses, all different colors, with an etched design, at a nearby Treasure Cove (also antique shop in down the street) but I walked away.  We don't have a china cabinet, and unless I get Jesse to build me a display rack, like he did for the teacups, it would be a shame to have them hidden somewhere.  I see the next home project looming... 

And, keeping up with the Purses I Kind Of Have No Use For theme, I had last week, at G-Mart by the house, on TWO different days, found:


I have mentioned a bead obsession, right?  This last one is suffering from some broken threads and mising beads, but nothing I can't fix.  Luckily, I happen to have a ton of beads, and finally, FINALLY, they will come in handy. I knew it.  I don't keep useless stuff.  It's all very useful.  Eventually. 

The Seashell was $1.99 and Flowers was unmarked, and ended up $6.99.  (After I shamelessly haggled and partook in #8 of top 10 sucky things about thrift shops.  Thanks for the link and giggles, Thrift Store Mama) I was totally "that guy".  I mean, it's Goodwill.  You got it for free.  It's raining beads all over the floor and counter.  Be reasonable.  $6.99 was way too much, especially for something dainty that does not fit my giant tea thermos, camera, phone, and 5lbs of random odds and ends, but I was a little in love already and it was too late. 


Suck It, Fat.

I really didn't want to go to gym today. Not even a bit. Not even after I had a gorgonzola salad for lunch (with dressing). Or after the chipotle carnitas bowl for dinner.

We got in after midnight from the 7 hour Norcal-Socal drive, and went to work. I just want a nap, and I get off work at 6.

But I buckled up, braced myself (and Jesse) and walked in, fully prepared to take off someone's head if they asked me for my ID. (Why can't they print it on the pass??)

Success! And, we're home by 7ish. Pleased.
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