Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cribs, blog style

My parents have recently decided (with a little pushing from their children) that they need to redecorate their house. They live in an late 1800s home which they decorated to their style in the early 80s. And it's nice. But outdated. If you remember the 80's, wallpaper was the way to go. So every room has some sort of of country-kitchy wallpaper. Recently, with the purchase of some bedroom furniture (their first in 32 years), they have finally decided to let go of the old style and move into new. And for this, they have entrusted me. Yep, that's right, me.

Now, many might wonder what exactly qualifies me as a decorator worthy of trusting. Of course, the first qualification is hours and hours of watching do it yourself TV. How did we decorate before we had Trading Spaces, Design on a Dime, Flip that House, etc? But, more important that my TV viewing, is actual design history. Basically, they like what I've done with my apartment. Even though I'm more modern than they would ever dream of being. So we've been doing the home decorating conventions and picking out paint colors and fabric schemes for the last few weeks. Hopefully, I'll be able to take some photos and do a nice before and after for you all to enjoy.
Which leads me to this post. I realize, that with the exception of a few readers, most of you will never have the joy of visiting my apartment. So why not bring it to you via the net? Of course, this is mostly a post to commemmorate my digs as is, since eventually one day I will be living elsewhere and this will only live on in my memory. Also, if you could care less about any of this, please feel free to look away.
My decorating theme is mostly discount department store chic. You know, Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Meijer, and Value City Furniture for the big ticket items. The paint is all the Kilz one coat stuff from Walmart. Hey, it's what I can afford. So now, I show you, my humble abode:

First up, the Bedroom: It's kinda a Chinese inspired theme.
Bedspread set is from Steinmart. Metal thingees above the bed were from TJ Maxx and the headboard is custom made from a board and fabric I found on clearance (total cost around $16). The side table is from KMart. The gold stripe was my attempt at a custom paint job. I mistakely taped it off and painted the grey, then realized I couldn't tape the edge of the grey without peeling off the grey. So I had to paint the gold stripe by sponge brush. It took me a year to get it done.
My Chinese art is from Burlington Coat Factory.
The fan is tied for favorite piece in my room. I got it from ebay.
These shelves are my other favorite piece in the room. These were actually part of a bookshelf I bought from Meijer for $25. Only, when I was opening the box, I dropped it and the side pieces both broke. So, I decided to be innovative and bought some wall brackets and mounted them alternating on the wall (to hide the unfinished edges). Also, you may not see it, but for some reason the electrical box is in the middle of the master bedroom. My mom thinks I chose my paint color to match. I didn't, but it is a nice touch.

Next, the bathroom:

There's nothing spectacular about the bathroom, except that I picked the paint color before I ever found the shower curtain.

Next, the Kitchen. It's kinda got a french/italian chef theme:
I got these words at TJ Maxx and the wine bottle holders at Meijer.

These wall plaques are from Target. I bought 1, then found out there were 4 in the set, so then I had to keep my eye out for the other 3.
Again, there's nothing spectacular about this art, except I bought them while in law school at Steinmart because they were on clearance, and forgot I had them. I had already decorated my entire apt before I found them and realized they went perfectly with my apt

Next, is the dining area and the one reason I thought I'd fail the bar exam. I moved into my apartment on July 1 and had to take the bar exam at the end of the month. Since I hated staring at white walls and hated studying, I ended up decorating instead of studying for much of the time. And for some reason, I decided to do a unique wall design.

I did this by taping off squares with painter's tape. The taping took me about 4 days. Then paiting the squares took another 2 days, and then scoring the tape so that it didn't remove the paint was another full day. Yeah. I love the wall, but it was a lot of work. And, I mimicked it above the washer/dryer area. Then I wished I had used black instead of brown. The vases were clearance from Meijer at $1.25 a piece. Part of me wants to repaint them, part of me doesn't

And finally, the living room:

The furniture is from Value City. If I had it all to do over again, I'd buy it in black. But then, I didn't have my decorating ideas in mind when I bought it. It's ok, but black would have worked better. The shelves above the couch are my mom's favorite thing. I bought those from target in packs of 2 and then bought some cheap dishes at Walmart for about a buck a piece. It took me a month of laying these all over my floor to figure out a pattern. And then about 4 hours to map out the nail holes to make sure that it was evenly spaced.

And that's all she wrote. Yes, a long, long post. But I feel like you all know me better now.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

American Idol: Lucky 7

Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been travelling for work for the past 2 weeks (over 800 miles on my car) and usually that's when I think about blogging. They should have a number I could call on my cell phone while driving to blogger and voice mail blog. That'd be fabulous.

Tonight, I'll go from the best to the worst. Cause I'm too lazy to rewatch the tape and see what order they performed in.

Melinda Trouble is a Woman
This may have been my favorite performance. She's such a chameleon and knocks it out of the park every time. They should just give her the title already. This show will be a joke if she doesn't win. I agree with Simon making her lose the astonishment face.

Jordin Broken Wing
Simon said she could win this competition. Sure she could, if Melinda dropped out. But she still rocked it tonight. I just don't think she's as polished as Melinda. Of course, if you pull for the young talent, she's your woman. I did like it though.

Blake When the Stars Go Blue
He phoned this in tonight. It wasn't his style and it showed. He's still the best guy, but it wasn't his night.

Lakisha Jesus Take the Wheel
I HATE this song, and she didn't do anything for it. I agree that she's fallen by the wayside, and I predict a shocker exit for her at some point, maybe even this week. Ryan asked her if she heard what the judges said when they didn't like it. From her short, succint "I hear 'em", you could tell she was peeved. And didn't believe them. She lives in her own world and doesn't believe when people don't love her. She's shown that week to week by failing to take advice. I am kinda past annoyed with her and could do without her at this point.

Phil Where the Blacktop Ends
I normally don't like Phil (heh, I originally typed fill). Tonight was a normal night. He's just out of his league. He had a good performance tonight, which should make him prime for leaving this week.

Chris Mayberry
Simon and I must be listening to the same show. And he must be reading the TWOP forums. Tinny is their favorite word for Chris. If he is intentionally choosing nasally, he's the only one. Most nasally people try to get away from that. He's just not good. He'll be safe this week since he hit the bottom 3 last week and his deaf dedicated fans will be in overdrive tonight.

Sanjaya Let's Give Them Something to Talk About
Please. He is so obviously the joke of this whole thing. For those occassional viewers who think it's funny he's still around (yes, I'm looking at you Aggie) it was a shining performance.

This week on the seal, should be Phil, Chris, and Sanjaya. My money says Blake or Lakisha hit it, maybe both. Bottom 3: Lakisha, Phil, and Sanjaya (with a slight chance of Blake). Packing her bags, in a shocking turn of events, will be Lakisha.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

American Idol: Another One Bites the Dust

I don't know why the show decided that even though they had too much time in a half hour results show that an hour long results show would be even better. I didn't even tune in until the last half hour. I expected that they would have narrowed it down to three by that point. Not so. Instead, they had wasted their time on several pointless tasks including Ryan going out and finding plants American Idol Employees completely random people on the street who thought J.Lo was an excellent teacher. This show does so much to stroke its own ego and the egos of the guest stars, it's sickening.

Then they got to the final 3. Can't say I'm shocked by any of them. Though I was shocked by realization that I actually didn't mind that Sanjaya didn't hit the bottom three. My detestation for the other 3 contestants exceeds any feeling that I need Sanjaya gone. More than any other time in this show's history, I hoped they'd pull an "Apprentice" and get rid of at least 2, if not all 3. After the boring performance shows we've been seeing, this show could use a boost of excitement.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Deadly Obsession

How true is it that you can have hundreds of channels on your TV and still have nothing to watch? I used to hate it when I lived with antennae TV and on Saturday mornings, 4 of my 5 channels would be showing golf. The kicker was when the 5th was showing a movie about golf. The stars certainly aligned for that one.

There are some shows I only watch when I'm completely bored and there's nothing else on. A few years ago, my roommate and I could get sucked into a Real World marathon and lose an entire day to that lame vacuum of a show. It's an addiction, really. Luckily I'm over that show for the most part.

My new channel of obsessiveness is the Discovery Channel. I can watch any show on that channel and get sucked in. The last few weeks have been "How It's Made." A great 30 minute show that will detail how they make toilet paper, or mattresses, or garage doors. It's fascinating. This past week, the show has been "Deadliest Catch." It's an hour long reality drama following fishing boats during king crab season. The fisherman can make about $20,000 for five day's work. They also can die when a stray rope knocks them overboard into freezing water. Just last week they showed a Coast Guard rescue of a crew of an overturned ship. They pulled one from the water alive, 2 who didn't make it, and a 4th who was never found. The show covers pretty much everything I hate: Reality shows, cold, seafood, boats, open waters. Yet, I love the show. For a preview of what the show entails, you can check out the clip below.


American Idol: 8 is Enough

Wasn't my favorite, but she still knocks it out of the park. I think Simon was just looking for one time to knock her down. Hopefully he's gotten it out of his system. She still sings better than anyone in all 6 seasons of this show.

Eh. I'm over her. She doesn't agree with anyone. And she doesn't take anyone's advice. She'll be really difficult to work with in the future.

We all know how I feel about Chris. I thought tonight's performance was cheap and out of tune. So of course the judges would fall all over themselves trying to praise it no end.

Obviously she knows she's in this because of her looks. It's like a bad high school performance.

He's out of his league by now. I never thought he was good to begin with and now he's just on my nerves.

She has a good voice, but with her more than others, all songs sound like a dumbed down version. Tonight's song seemed so slow. I feel like I'm watching a high school performance.

Like it, didn't love it. He's hands down the best guy. Though I fear he'll hit the bottom 3 soon.

I don't even care. I'm tempted to even turn the TV off and not even watch it at this point. He doesn't ever put any effort into his songs, so why should I? Though the 5 o'clock shadow is really wigging me out. As is the hair. It's not as bad as I had thought it would be. Still. Please.

Overall, this night was so meh. I'm almost bored to tears. The bottom 3 should clearly be Phil, Haley, and Sanjaya. It will be Phil, Haley, and Blake. I've predicted it at least 3 times before that Phil would leave. I'll try a different tactic and call Haley out hoping I'm wrong. Though, I wouldn't shed any tears if they got rid of both of them.


Friday, April 06, 2007

From the Mouths of Babes

My niece has entered this phase where she repeats back everything you say to her in the form of a question. It's like your own echo machine constantly following you around everywhere.

For instance:
Me: Get your shoes on. We're going to Mimi's.
Her: My shoes on? I go Mimi's?

She's even got the inflection down so you know it's a question. Where do kids even learn that?

Sometimes it is cute. Yesterday Mimi asked my sister if she had seen the niece's latest drawing. Only Mimi referred to it as a masterpiece. So the niece picked it up in the kitchen and ran to her mom shouting, "look at my masterpiece mommy." The kid can't say pillow correctly (she says cah-low) but she can say masterpiece. Go figure.

Earlier in the night, I'd been sitting on the couch reading a magazine while she played with something. She came over to me, got my attention, and simply said, "I'm smart, Heidi." Yeah, humble too.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Are you there God? It's me, Heidi

Dear God,

I realize this is a busy time of year for you. I mean, billions of more prayers to contend with as well as all of those holiday Christians coming out of the woodwork. You know the ones. The ones who haven't stepped foot in a church since Christmas, but come out now to pray for salvation and the gift of deception to sneak past the IRS. Afterall, it is tax season.

In addition to that, there's Easter as well taking up much of your attention. And I believe this holiday is the root of my problems this week. You see, I'm not entirely sure why, but you seem to have the seasons mixed up today. Christmas is the one with the snow. Easter is the one with the blooming flowers. Which is why I don't understand why it was flurrying today. When I left work yesterday, it was a balmy 82 degrees. This morning, it was 28. Maybe you were just dyslexic today? Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. If I had a nickel for every time I've inverted my own phone number... well, suffice to say you'd have a lot fewer prayers from me asking that I be able to find some way to pay the rent.

But whatever the reason, I'm perfectly content to get back to our regularly scheduled programming. I know the saying is "If you don't like the weather in Indiana, wait a day and it will be different." I'm pretty sure it's a joke and we're not to take it literally. Then again, I'd prefer the cold to the nasty storming we had late yesterday afternoon. As my lights kept flickering, I tried to remember the last time I said "If I'm lying, may God strike me down" and hoped you weren't taking me literally on that. Because, seriously. That lightening scared me.

Best wishes,

P.S. No blasphemy intended.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

American Idol Live Blogging

First, it's miraculous that I've made it this far postingwise. I just tripped on my own feet and dropped my laptop. Which it would have been bad enough landing on the carpeting, but it made a pit stop bouncing off of my elliptical machine. It knocked a few keys off of the keyboard, but so far seems to be working ok. Here's hoping it stays that way.

I still like him. Nice take on the song. I didn't think Tony's criticisms were all that helpful. They didn't exactly make sense.

Ah, Phil's toast this week. Admitting that this week is what you've been looking forward to is the easiest way to get yourself booted. You've now met your idol, got trashed for your singing, and your job here is done. I'll actually be surprised if he lasts past tomorrow night.

Seriously, she's in a league of her own. I think everyone at this point knows that if she loses, America will have forgotten to vote. She completely knocks it out of the park each week and, like Simon said, there's nothing to criticize.

Ok, it was widely reported a couple of weeks ago that he was not exactly in the bottom two but that the producers put him there to get his fans to vote for him by thinking he was in danger. When they gave him the pimp spot the following week, I started to believe a bit in that. Tonight, he couldn't have tried harder to be Justin Timberlake. The hat? The suspenders? Boy needs to stop himself. Paula commented that he was true to himself. Uh, sure, if by being himself you mean being the biggest knockoff faker in the biz. His voice is OK, but I don't bother to listen to more than about 20 seconds because I can't stand the dude. I'm still betting he is the rumored "male diva" who thinks he has this competition all wrapped up. I mean, even his "biggest secret" from a few weeks ago was vain in that he used to weigh more. The "before" pictures looked like he maybe weighed 8 lbs more. Ok, I'll stop now, and stop using the ".

She's good, but she doesn't move me. I have a feeling that she's going to be a surprise boot around number 7 or so.

I figured out why I like Gina. She is a dead ringer for one of my new bosses, whom I really like. So when I see her, I see my boss. I actually enjoyed the version, but I fear for her as well. She's probably bottom 3.

This is what would have happened if William Hung made it to the finals. He's a joke, he knows he's a joke, except he still believes the fallacy that he can sing well. It's obvious Simon wants him gone. As do I. He's here for a while though.

I honestly forgot she was still here. She just kinda blends in the background. I love how Randy punted to Paula. And Paula punted to Simon. She is here just pretty much on her looks right now. Not much to comment about on the singing.

Before she starts, I hope she's gotten back some of the sparkle she lost in the past few weeks. Love the dress. Song is ok. I think she's definitely getting left behind by Melinda. She should still be top 3 or 4. If she can keep it up. I don't necessarily care for the way she curls he upper lip on some notes. And didn't like the head bob thing at the end.

Results: With the week of 9, they'll probably divide them into 3 groups of 3. One group will be the highest vote getters, one the lowest, and the middle kids. Just remember, whatever group Sanjaya gets place in, will easily be safe. I think the bottom 3 will be Phil, Gina, and Haley, with a possibility that one of them is spared in favor of Jordan. Going home? Phil.


Free the Music

Every Tuesday (or later in the week when I remember), I start up my Itunes program to check out the free download of the week. Sometimes they royally suck. Other times, they're actually really catchy. And you can't beat free music.

This week's featured free single is by an Indiana boy named Jon McLaughlin. I just listened to it after downloading, and it's pretty good. It seems like his album is coming out soon, or may already be out. If it's as good as this single, I may have to check it out. So if you don't have Itunes, download it for free and then check out their weekly freebie. It's like second drink. (Bonus points for getting that remark.)

Here's his music video for a different song, named "Industry." It's also good, which bodes well for his album.

For more of his music, he has a Myspace page with 4 songs, including the two above. I actually like the song "Indiana" as well.

Footnote: According to Wikipedia, he has recently toured with Marc Broussard (whom I blogged about a couple of weeks ago) and Cowboy Mouth (who has been a favorite of mine since a friend introduced me during the summer of 1998.) It all comes full circle.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Awkward Much?

I met my family for dinner last week, and was the first to arrive. While I was waiting, our waitress offered to get me a drink. After taking my order, she paused, and said "I know you from somewhere." She looked a little familiar to me as well, but I just couldn't place it. After asking my name and still not getting the answer, she asked if I worked for the court. When I explained that I was a lawyer, it clicked. Turns out she was a defendant I had evicted and then pursued for collections at my former job. I quickly tried to explain that I was no longer at that job and that one of the main reasons I was not there was because I hated doing that type of work. She seemed to buy it. And I hope it bought me a dinner without her spitting in my food.

This is why I need to live in a different county than where I work. Don't they say you shouldn't crap where you eat?