Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Community Craft College: Like regular college but with more popsicle sticks and crying.

There's only so much inspirational images you can look at before you reach maximum interior porn saturation without having to actually do something to alleviate your frustration.  Which is to say I've been feeling - *gulp* - crafty lately.  I KNOW!  I know.

But now I have an actual sewing machine.  In my possession.  

I haven't sewn anything since I was 14 when I used to alter my clothes (for the worse).  I don't know why I did considering everything I wore back then came from the men's department of the thrift store but I guess I wanted to appear even more awkward and unattractive than my dark lip liner and poser attitude made me.

I think there's a bobbin involved but I don't remember.  Sigh...

via The House Home  
I better learn myself good because I have a lot of fun fabric that needs to be made into a comfortably eclectic pillow assemblage like this picture above.  By 'comfortably eclectic pillow assemblage' I mean pile of lumpy fabric with wonky seams.  

I wish I could DIY everything else in that room but I should start small.  And go light on the ric rac.

via Luxe Source
I might even paint some artiness too!  I have less painting experience than sewing experience but I'm hoping all that angst surrounding my weirdo men's clothes phase will burst forth from my brush into glorious rivers of color that will touch your soul.  SHUT UP IT COULD HAPPEN!  Maybe it'll even be red.  I don't know, I'm talking crazy here.  Even that bust is looking at me like WTF?

via Head Over Heels
Maybe I'll just stick to something big and blue and abstract.  Or maybe I'll just sit and drool over the rest of this room because gawddamn.  Learning how to paint something that big will take a lot of time in addition to all my pillow-making.  It's gonna be a busy winter.  I don't even know how I'm going to make time for all the refrigerator styling I have planned.  (MS sidebar: I hate glass dining room tables.  I always feel like I'm having everyone else's crotch for dinner.  It'll be kinda weird when I have to unbutton my (totally not men's) pants for the second serving of lasagna too.)

via Elle Interiors
I'm not crafting anything from this room but I just like it.  It's sparkle city up in the ModSauce hizzy right now - there's glitter and Christmas shine crammed errywhere there is a free corner.  This simple open space seems like such a nice summer novelty right now.  I give two thumbs up for the bombe chest next to the Malm.  I assume it's Malm but I don't really care if it's not.  I'm thoroughly distracted by the goldiness.

Hhmm... could I craft something with more goldiness??

via somewhere on Because I'm Addicted
This doesn't inspire me to craft something but I just love everything about this ferociously masculine room and want to share it with you.  Except the coffee table.  Maybe some masculine people need a tiny table to place their delicate demitasse cups and watercress sandwiches but I need a giant coffee table.  For large important lady business.  

A Thanksgiving guest actually commented that my coffee table is the perfect size table for 'grudge fucking.'  I was going to say it's the perfect size for intense crafting projects like sewing wonky pillows but I obviously need to open my mind up to other possibilities. 

Unfortunately, I hold grudges with about as much skill as sewing straight seams.   I should work on that skill as part of my winter continuing education program here at the ModSauce Ranch Community College because grudge fucking sounds way more satisfying than fucking up pillows and canvases.   

If I earn a grudge-fucking credit I probably won't tell you about it.  But be prepared for all my sad art and pillows to be featured IN DEPTH!  

You know you want it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's hard to artfully style boxes of pizza rolls

After three fun-filled Food Pornologist celebrations this weekend I can assure you that the Brussels sprouts did make me cream my sweat pants and my tummy and fridge are delightfully bursting at the seams.  For Marthia.  And America.

I figured this would be a perfect time to talk about this series of photographs about refrigerator portraits by Mark Menjivar called You Are What You Eat.  I'm really subtle with the segues, huh?  Almost as subtle as my lust for Thanksgiving food.
Community volunteer, completely blind and lives alone
Mark spent three years photographing the insides of people's refrigerators which sounds awesome and horrible.  He wanted people to think about "How we care for our bodies. How we care for others.  How we care for the land." 
Deli attendant, disowned by parents for marrying a black man
Each photograph has a little factual tidbit about the owner which I find infinitely fascinating.  But not as fascinating as Dr. Thunder - the best brand name of anything ever invented of all time ever.  It's like Dr. Feelgood but BETTER!

Retired train conductor, started Meals on Wheels in his community
I have spent an unhealthy amount of time going though every photo and recreating the meals and lives of each person.  What's under that paper towel?  What's he gonna do with the lettuce?  

Street advertiser, lives on $432 monthly fixed income
WHAT IS IN THE BLACK BAG?  How can this person afford to eat at all?

College student, drummer for death metal band

Midwife/middle school science teacher, 1st week after deciding to eat all local produce
The caption for this one is fantastic. 

So naturally I decided to participate so everyone can judge me by the contents of my fridge.  
Designer/blogger, Believes glitter holds magical powers
I took this picture three months ago but didn't post it because #1 - it feels really really personal sharing the contents of your fridge.  Easy to extrapolate someone's life based on their Dr. Thunder habit, but harder to share your food decisions with the world.  #2 - Although I'm fascinated by the larger themes by the photographs and being a voyeur is always super fun, does anyone really give a shit about what I have in my fridge?  

So it lingered in my drafts folder like that about that peach I forgot about in the back of the fridge.

I decided it was time to share after my blog daddy Paul Anater of Kitchen and Residential Design sent me a link to a blogger who styles - yes STYLES - her fridge. 

She suggests placing a small vase of flowers in the fridge, keeping leftovers in French canning jars and tying up cheese and meats in parchment paper and string to make a prettier fridge.  

I eyerolled so hard my eyes literally popped out of my head and rolled across the floor and it sounds like Charlemagne is nibbling on them but I can't really tell because I HAVE NO EYES.

I applaud her attention to detail about things I could give a shit about but damn, y'all.  Is no place safe from the precious fingers of design bloggers?  If looking at cold flowers every time you open the fridge to grab a beer makes your heart soar with delight then happily I support your compulsion and future appearance on Strange Addiction.  

But in a culture where every one is Photoshopped and every thing is styled like Marthia, gawddess of hearth and French canning jars, is knocking on your door, can't I have one area where it's okay to be apathetic about pretty?  Possibly even *gasp* ugly?

I'm not really waffling on this issue - it's a rhetorical question.  I'm completely apathetic and ugly about many areas of my life including but not limited to the state of my fridge, my sock drawer, my pedicure in winter and my entire guest room.  

Call me a judgmental asshole because I have no problem making negative assumptions about the sanity motivations of someone who wants to style their produce but pretend I don't make negative assumptions about the type of person who leaves pots of food uncovered in a fridge like in the photos above.  That is so gross to me.  Maybe they're grossed out by the current state of my toenail cuticles so I guess we're even.

But I would happily be friends with someone who enjoys Dr. Thunder but if I saw they had gift-wrapped their raw chicken I might have to reevaluate our friendship.  

By reevaluate I mean get the hell out of their house as fast as I can.

But I'd totally steal some fancy butter as I self-righteously run away.

You can judge me for that too.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Honoring America's greatest treasure: National Food Pornologist Day

Thanksgiving is a day to recognize the what really makes our country great - the food pornologists.  Put away your shirts with buttons, adorn yourself in your dressiest sweat pants, let that muffin top loose and prepare your reserve stash of napkins because the gravy is about to runneth over, motherfuckers! 

Onto your pants.

[Insert timely Monica Lewinsky joke]

You holiday food whore, you.

I love Thanksgiving not only because it is the gateway drug to Christmas - my favoritest time of the year - but because it is an exercise in logistics.  Fuck portion control and the 'no thanks, I've had enough" attitude of quitters and fascist assholes, there is a science to properly forcing Gastronomic Olympic-sized amounts of food into your body in a way that will allow you to do it over and over again.  

For a day every November, I'm like a binge eating scientist for the ole US of A.  A Six Sigma black belt of food-to-stomach engineering.  It takes a master's degree in physics to figure out exactly how much food I can shove in my face hole to maximize repeated deliciousity.  Fortunately I have all of those qualifications because this is America gawddamit!   A magic land of opportunity where I can be a whore for casseroles AND a super smart scientist of food things because of feminism and all.  It's called progress.   

And according to manifest destiny I WILL look yonder to the end of that table and annihilate every casserole in my path towards total and utter gluttonous success.  I will shed my horribly restrictive shackles (pants) and crawl along the table righteously and gloriously over the hillbilly mountains of squash casserole, past the ashes of Sherman's destruction and the shallow remnants of gluey mashed potatoes while I hum the Battle Hymn of the Republic and salute thee, oh gravy.  

Past the carcasses of our fallen brethren and a deep-fried fowl and onward through the plundered fields of green bean casserole I will stake my claim just like Tom Cruise in Far and Away - that documentary about American pioneer Scientologists.

On a covered wagon through the western desserts of crumbly cornbread dressing washed down with cranberry sauce, I will dry hump that empty casserole dish hard enough enough to give it smallpox because I'm also a medical doctor for the day and that's exactly how that works according to the time I spent in 8th grade playing Oregon Trail.

Finally, to the far reaches of our golden coast of the dining table where Paula Deen awaits me with ooey gooey pumpkin cakes and a stick of butter she will annoint our naked bodies with while we writhe ceremoniously to the beat of Native American drums and gourds filled with dried beans played by Taylor Swift.  A bald eagle will drop bits of pie into our upturned mouths.  Mouths hungry for tradition and sticky sweet goodness - desires born of a world built upon cans of sweetened condensed milk and cheese logs.  

We will not stop with the ceremonious writhing until all of the offerings have been consumed to honor Marthia, the gawdess of hearth and insulin production and Amazonitus, the gawd of Black Friday deals.  Our frenzied ritual will end in the greatest orgasmisplosion of fireworks that our founding fathers Abraham Lincoln and the baby jeezus have ever seen.  

With Reddi Wip on top.

What I'm saying is, I am rather partial to Thanksgiving fare and can't wait to finally cook some holiday meals in my new kitchen.  

Here is one thing I will cook in it for National Ford Pornologist Day:

I almost creamed my sweat pants when I saw this recipe for cream-braised Brussels sprouts via the always delicious Orangette.

It's better if the cream comes from the teat of Marthia but sometimes it's hard to find.  

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.  Hug a food pornologist this week.  For America.  

But not too tight - they might explode and then that would be a waste of science.

Today, everyone from the Let's Blog Off gang - that rag tag group of bloggers that convene every two weeks - is talking about Thanksgiving.  Go here to be a voyeur on everyone else's thoughts about National Food Pornologist Day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

I have lots of friends. Friends who enjoy fine towels and kitchen gadgets.

Christmas is coming in about two weeks so I'm getting a head start on all my shopping.  

For my, uhhh... friends.  

*shifty eyes*
Like my friend who's decided to invest in some glass water bottles.  Polycarbonate is "safe," my ass.  I mean, HER!  Her ass.  She is particularly fond of the Takeya water bottle because it's sessy as hell.  It may or may not have won several design awards not that she cares about those kinds of things.  It's not like she even cares about design let alone has a blog about it.  Only crazy people do that...

It might be nice for my friend to have nice filtered water in a GLASS pitcher if such a thing existed.

But wait!
DWR makes this one for under $100 - the ONLY one I could find.  I looked everywhere because I'm such an amazing friend who will go to any lengths to make my friends happy.  However, I'm not sure if louseki stones, fairy kidneys and Binchotan charcoal from the coast of Japan is strong enough to filter out the ridonkulous amounts of estrogen, Prozac and other pharmaceuticals that are in our water supply.  Without a proper filter, our water is going to make us grow another ovary or permanently tweak out - just pick your poison.  

Sometimes that poison is caffeine.  Just like my other friend that wants to ask Santa for a single serve coffee maker.  Perhaps this handsome devil?!

This fat little penguin is tinier (and infinitely more huggable) than the Keurig in case this friend has a brand new kitchen that doesn't need to be cluttered up with ugly gadgets.  It would be nice if there was such a thing as a single serve coffee machine with a GLASS reservoir that used regular grounds instead of pods because that seems so wasteful and I know this friend is probably concerned about the environment and shit.  

I have caring friends. 

With lots of very particular needs.

Like this OTHER friend who can't be happy with normal towels because she's a super high-maintenance bitch and has decided to change to fancy towels.  For her fancy hair.
lots more options on bathstyle's etsy shop
The thin cotton pestemal - a traditional Turkish towel woven to signify the history/origin of its owner that has now been bastardized for American consumption (Now with less ethnicity!  Yummy!) - is what this lady person wants in her stocking.  Why don't you ask me to fly over to Turkey and waste my time on a glorious and exotic shopping excursion just for your Christmas present?!  GAWD!  So selfish this friend is.

It's a good thing I'm so generous with my time and shopping abilities for all my friends.  They are lucky.

And I'm lucky to have such wonderful readers who will be happy to share their favorite single-serve coffee machines with me.  Feel free to write me a letter telling me all about it.  I'll give you my address.

For the, uh... letter.

My friends - who really like caffeine, having the appropriate number of ovaries and the color grey - will really appreciate it.

So get in the holiday spirit y'all!  

For my friends. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And now I have a new roof and another reason to never eat a hot dog again.

This week, thrilling events happened at the Ranch.  Contain yourselves.  

I finally got my new roof.  CONTAAAAAIN.

Not my roof but oh sweet jeezus...
You might remember the tornadoes and storms that came through this area and Alabama in the late Spring.  Fortunately, I had no damage other than what the golf ball-sized hail did to my tender rooftop.  A roof that was already leaking and was only still on because it was too old to actually care enough to fall off.  Fortunately, insurance money will force its departure.

I worked at home for the two days the process would take to maximize my boredom and to savor in the tap-dancing giant on my roof.  I couldn't even leave for a few minutes because the roofers needed an outlet and my outside outlets don't work because of course they don't.  I live in shithole.    

I sure as hell ain't leaving my house open to strangers with face tattoos.  Call me judgmental but no latte is worth losing my collection of vintage Sinbad VHS tapes.  I'm guessing that's what roofers would be drawn to first, I don't know...
Not my roof
Somehow working from home is like the Holy Grail of working 9-5.  You think it's going to be like a snow day when you were younger - pajamas under snow coats and hot chocolate at 10 AM and the day is full of possibility and freeze-dried marshmallows.  But instead it was like a snow day at 4 pm when you're so fucking bored because omigawd it's too cold outside and daytime tv sucks even when it's on in the background and I'm so lonely for human interaction and why will no one tweet me?!  


Not my roof

I was so bored I actually ended up working.  Once I found a rhythm I was a machine of creativity and efficiency on my couch.  I barely ate lunch.  I'll save you for later, Torchwood marathon.    

Based on my daytime tv rant you can see getting a new roof is pretty uneventful.  The installation part, that is...  

The process leading up to the actual roof replacement was long and arduous.  There was plenty of contractor homework and quotes and I thought I could afford a shingle and then I couldn't and then I wanted color samples and THEN addresses of properties where those colors were installed because this is a big fucking deal y'all and you know how weird I am about color.  I don't even know why since I always choke right at the end and fuck it up but whatever.  It's just part of my PROCESS.

Not my roof
But after my part of the process was over some random dudes came by in a van and tore off my old roof and put a new one on.  That's about it.  I think they tried to avoid me at all costs.  Our only real interaction happened as they were packing up and one of them knocked on my door to ask to use the bathroom.   *cringe*

Assuming they were peeing in the bushes this whole time the only reason he was needing the bathroom was for his more substantial elimination needs.  Or he was going to jack off.  Both thoughts went through my mind and I wasn't sure which one I would have preferred.  

During his endless time in the bathroom, I was able to clean the kitchen, unload the dishwasher and reload it just in time to hear another knock on the door.  Face tattoo guy came to inform me that the supervisor couldn't speak with me because he just had to take one of the guys to the hospital for cutting off his finger.  


I assumed the accident during the kitchen remodel where my plumber sliced his face open was a fluke that I was only too happy to blame on the hellgate.  Unfortunately I forgot about the possibility of other hellgates in the house.  The most obvious one being the chimney of doom which is near where the roofer was standing when he caught his finger in some kind of blade.  

Not my roof but is that a mutilated finger up there?!
Tattoo face guy didn't seem overly concerned since he was laughing about all the accidents this dude had gotten himself into over his 21 years as a roofer - or possibly due to the look of horror on my face.  I told them I would have gladly offered up a cup of ice for the finger (it's the least I could have done and what happens in the movies I think.  Also, I kinda wanted to see it...) but was told the finger was in pieces.  *more cringing*

His exact quote was "You know what a happens to the end of a hot dog when you leave it in the microwave too long?"  I do indeed know.  Thanks for that mental image.  

About that time bathroom dude finally decided to rejoin the world and by the stench of boiled ass poured over rotting corpses that followed him into the living room, I figured out which of my two previous options was correct.  Unless he was doing both at the same time which I would like to think is somehow medically impossible for the sake of my future nightmares but I put on my hazmat suit and spent the next two hours sanitizing the entire bathroom just in case.  

And now I have a new roof.

The end.